Start a Virtual Store

People are online 24/7 looking to buy all sorts of items. Even though there are a number of sites that they could take a look to search for what they want the stores they come across may not cater to their needs. They may not even be able to find a site where they can get what it is they are looking for.This is where you come in. You might have access to commodities that a certain consumer group is looking for. You might be able to offer them at a much more competitive price than what is currently available. It can be something as simple and easy as books, t-shirts, accessories and the list goes on. You have to sit down and have a think about what you can sell easily, have access to and that you will enjoy selling.

After you have decided on what it is you are going to sell the next step is setting up an online store. You can either put up your own website if you have the technical know how or you can set up a store via a site such as ProStores or eBay which may save you some time. Another thing that you need to take into consideration is a place to store you inventory.

When writing this post Terence Chang – Almost A Billionaire came to mind. Terence has been doing well for himself online and recently set up an online store, ProFashionJewelry.com. In this case, the choice of store was for something simple, jewelry. The jewelry he sells looks good and is very reasonably priced making it a venture that is sure to be a winner. One thing that he does not have to worry about is warehousing and stores the jewelry in a spare room which saves a bit of money. I got in touch with him and asked him a few questions that I thought would be helpful when contemplating setting up an online store.

Here are the questions and his answers:

Q – Why did you choose jewelry?
A
– Jewelry is one of the best things that make women pretty. However, not many women can afford a good quality jewelry for their wedding, high school graduate prom, party or interview. I can’t remember how many times I went a to nice restaurant and see girls or ladies dress very nicely without a piece of jewelry on their neck, ears and fingers.

So I asked many of them why don’t they get a piece of jewelry? Most of the answers are what I expect. The diamond jewelry are too expensive. The cheap one at department stores are too cheap and the quality are so poor.

So I thought it will be nice to provide those people who can really want a piece of high quality jewelry at very affordable price. So my goal is to help people to find the best jewelry for their need without cost fortune.

Q – How easy or hard was it to set up?
A
– Setup an online store is an easy job. For me, I choose an hosting company that is realizable. Within few clicks of mouse, I can get an shopping cart up and running. Of course, there are some extra work to do to make the store looks great. Personally, I have experience dealing with the template and the database stuff. So it’s a piece of cake for me. For new online store owner, they have many options to get a custom template designed for them at fairly low price.

Q – Where are your customers coming from and how do you advertise the store?
A
– To keep the high quality fashion jewelry at low price, I choose the advertisement program very seriously. Many store charge higher price of their jewelry, because they have spent so much money on advertisement. My best advertisement is the words of the mouth. I spent so much time on social network and finding those people who are really looking for the jewelry they want. Many of my customers are from MySpace, Facebook, my blog readers and search engine!

Q – Where do your store you inventory?
A
– Since Jewelry doesn’t take a lot of space, I store them in my spare bed room. Jewelry boxes took most of the space though.

Q – How profitable is it?
A
– The answers rely on your selling strategies. You can make good profit margin on each piece of jewelry, but sell less. Or you can sell a lot more with less profit margin on each piece of jewelry. I prefer the later one. I’d rather make only $1 on each pieces in order to sell 1 million pieces. Or you might just sold 10K pieces with $10 profit on each jewelry. In that case, you only make 100K. You got the point.

Q – Is it worth it?
A
– It’s not the question. It’s the fact. There is never a better chance to make some serious money on the Internet by selling goods. eBay will not make billion dollar every year, if there is no one selling or buying anything. ProFashionJewelry.com is not my first online store. With success experience on the other stores, I will continue open more stores.

Personally, the biggest challenge for an online store is not what to sell, who to sell to or how to start it. The challenge is how to sell it and keep up with it. Starting a new online business is just as easy as starting a new blog. It’s hard to keep up with it and take the growing pain and move on quickly.

Many people, have failed in the online business world, were giving up too fast. In normal case, it will take a new online store to see the really growth at third year. It’s possible that your business will grow 20 times in the third year. Many people just could not wait to see that happening and give up right before that. So how to keep up the faith is very important.
End of Questions.

Terence is someone who knows what he is doing when it comes to starting up online stores. From his answers you can see that it doesn’t have to take a lot to set up an online store. You just have to think of something that people will want, get your hands on it, set up a store and start selling.

Other choices that you will have to make when setting up store include choosing which software to use to put up your store and complete transactions. ProFashionJewelry.com is powered by Zen Cart. A quick and easy option that I came across was ProStores but you can do a bit of reasearch and come up with one that suites your needs best.

It may be easy to get all of these things together but as Terence pointed out, give your store time to get up and running and don’t give up too quickly. You may not start out making a lot of money but you will get there if you stick with it and work at making your store a success. If you have any questions about starting an online store I’m sure he would be more than happy to answer them and help you get well on your way to success.

6 Responses to Start a Virtual Store

  1. Terence Chang November 20, 2007 at 2:23 pm #

    Gerri:

    Great thanks! I have a follow up post on Show me the money and start your own online business

  2. Gerri November 21, 2007 at 7:47 am #

    Terence,
    Thanks for your input and for letting me use your store as an example.

  3. chris November 25, 2007 at 6:26 pm #

    Hi,

    We have recently launched a {designer handbag | designer watches | designer
    jewellery } (choose one which is most appropriate) blog and we are looking
    to spread the word and get in contact with similar websites to ours to
    promote relevant blogs and websites.

    Please email me at chriss714@gmail.com

    Thanks
    Chris

  4. Cennetta December 5, 2007 at 12:08 pm #

    Gerri, Thanks for posting this information. Recently, I’ve been giving a lot of thought stepping up my game (sewing business). I’ll be eligible for retirement in six years. Not really old enough to retire, but don’t want to continue my current career path. I would like to do something creative instead. Having my own business would be a lot more fulfilling and interesting.

  5. Cennetta December 5, 2007 at 12:09 pm #

    Gerri, Thanks for posting this information. Recently, I’ve been giving a lot of thought stepping up my game (sewing business). I’ll be eligible for retirement in six years. Not really old enough to retire, but don’t want to continue my current career path. I would like to do something creative instead. Having my own business would be a lot more fulfilling and interesting.

  6. Gerri December 6, 2007 at 12:48 pm #

    Mahogany Stylist,
    I’m glad you found the information useful. Yes indeed, having your own business would be fulfilling and interesting. Setting up your own store (if that’s what you want to do) won’t be that heard and you will be rewarded if you do it right. If it has to do with something that you are interested in then there is no reason for it not to work. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That I guess can been applied to starting up your own thing.
    Good luck.

Leave a Reply to Terence Chang Click here to cancel reply.