My Family Biz's Site made $90K online in April (seriously)

by Conrad Stuart 51 replies
I am not trying to brag or anything, but that number is completely true. My family business has an ecommerce site that I have been promoting for about a year (we're up %200 since I got into it and April was a huge month for us.

I started this thread because I am wondering, is anyone else here making money in E-commerce on this forum? It seems everyone is an Aff or Adsense marketer. Just getting a feel for how many IMers are interested in ecommerce here, because while it's a ton of work, there's a ton of money too
#main internet marketing discussion forum #$90k #april #biz #family #made #online #site
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
    Guess that depends on what you mean by ecommerce.... Retail sales?
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Very few members here are actually ecom operators.

    I started my life in internet market building ecom sites in the early 90s, and then running my own. Eventually, it because far too much of a headache to handle physical product, and I never have found any dropship to be reliable or trustworthy - they eventually steal your customer information and market to your base by undercutting price.

    Many times I thought about getting into the fulfillment business as a service provider for other ecom players, but once again, lots of friction and headaches. Physical infrastructure on that scale is expensive to maintain and employees are teh debbil.
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    • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Very few members here are actually ecom operators.

      I started my life in internet market building ecom sites in the early 90s, and then running my own. Eventually, it because far too much of a headache to handle physical product, and I never have found any dropship to be reliable or trustworthy - they eventually steal your customer information and market to your base by undercutting price.

      Many times I thought about getting into the fulfillment business as a service provider for other ecom players, but once again, lots of friction and headaches. Physical infrastructure on that scale is expensive to maintain and employees are teh debbil.
      I can sympathize with what you went through. I ran a very successful ecommerce site that sold medical equipment for two years. It became such a headache that I sold the site and moved strictly into Internet Marketing. Dealing with physical products is the worst headache that I have ever experienced. The money was good, but not worth the stress.

      Life is very good now!
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      • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
        I can sympathize with many of the posts here. Ecommerce is my main business and I have experienced all of the problems listed above. However, it's all worth it when a $5000 order comes in while I'm at lunch (I deal in big-ticket items).

        If I was making peanuts per sale, I would have quit a long time ago. But selling high margin items makes a great "cash cow" that pays the rent, buys my equipment, and supports my other endeavors. Less sales and higher margins means fewer phone calls, fewer returns, and more time to work on other money-making projects.

        And it's not like the skills learned on forums like this don't have an application in ecommerce. I've found plenty of relevance if applied properly.

        So don't count ecommerce out. It's not easy, but when done properly can provide a good stable income to use as a jumping off point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    well done with your success, nope never tried ecommerce. Probably won't either to be honest, too settled in my affiliate marketing ways.
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    • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
      Yeah, it is a ton of work, and I'm not going to even pretend that it's mostly profit, because its only about %30-%40 pure profit, but the reason why I love ecommerce and plan to expand in it is because of the hundreds of untapped niches out there full of businessowners with websites from 1998 and no web promotion at all. There are definitely plenty of six-figure niches out there still just waiting for someone to come in and pillage
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      • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
        Originally Posted by CSH5813 View Post

        Yeah, it is a ton of work, and I'm not going to even pretend that it's mostly profit, because its only about %30-%40 pure profit, but the reason why I love ecommerce and plan to expand in it is because of the hundreds of untapped niches out there full of businessowners with websites from 1998 and no web promotion at all. There are definitely plenty of six-figure niches out there still just waiting for someone to come in and pillage
        Only 30% - 40% profit! In retail I'd be over the moon with that!

        The bulk of what I do is ecommerce, it does have it's hassles but IMO it's a lot easier than typical affiliate marketing. I could swing the other way though if my affiliate stuff catches up. The only problem with the brick and mortar businesses is the bigger you get, the more complicated it gets which is fine if you can handle it.

        Personally, it drives me mad, not so much the business itself, but keeping up with the legal requirements. Overheads and complications can quickly get out of control if you don't stay on top of it. Swings and roundabouts I suppose. Anyway, good luck and well done!

        Lee
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by CSH5813 View Post

        Yeah, it is a ton of work, and I'm not going to even pretend that it's mostly profit, because its only about %30-%40 pure profit, but the reason why I love ecommerce and plan to expand in it is because of the hundreds of untapped niches out there full of businessowners with websites from 1998 and no web promotion at all. There are definitely plenty of six-figure niches out there still just waiting for someone to come in and pillage
        Yes it's a huge lucrative market.

        Hard to believe but many businesses haven't got past the first two steps of having a website and having a website that actually contributes real sales and profits (or at least becomes a useful part of moving their prospects and customers forward in the sales process).

        The market is pretty much untouched and people like you and other Warrior Forum members could be making serious money while they provide an exceptionally valuable service to these businesses.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author bfas
    Congrats!

    Interestingly, I had just finished a blog post about e-commerce; specifically the fact that ecommerce dwarfs all the other internet marketing areas, and that once upon a time, that was the main definition when you talked "internet marketing".

    Needless to say, for 'smaller' marketers, meaning us - individuals - it's usually much easier to do affiliate marketing, or PPC, etc., since you don't have the 'physical product' hassles of things like returns, merchant accounts, etc.

    That said, in my mind at least, ecommerce can be a much stronger, long-term business model.

    bfas
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    • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
      Very true, I just so happened to get VERY lucky in that my family has owned a wholesale business that sells a very unique retail product, and it just so happened to fall into the category that ecommerce does best in.....hard to find, unique, and a 'want'.

      I suggest to many people on this forum that they find untapped ecommerce niches and propose an SEO partnership with one of the top players, like a single-man-affiliate program with them, because it could pay off bigtime. I wish I was getting Aff commisions from my family biz, I'd be getting rich! There are a lot of ecommerce companies out there like mine, who would love to have an IMer come in to consult, it's just all about approaching it correctly...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
    I just learned something.

    Until now I didn't know there was a difference in eCommerce and Internet Marketing

    Now I'm really confused.
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    • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
      Originally Posted by Ernie Mitchell View Post

      I just learned something.

      Until now I didn't know there was a difference in eCommerce and Internet Marketing

      Now I'm really confused.
      Ha, I think you know what I meant sorry to confuse you.....
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Ernie Mitchell View Post

      I just learned something.

      Until now I didn't know there was a difference in eCommerce and Internet Marketing

      Now I'm really confused.
      Ecommerce is an online shop.

      Internet marketing is just another marketing medium.

      There is a difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author LynxSI
    I'm interested why you haven't mentioned the URL of your family's website where you grossed your 90k? You've got thousands of people trolling these forums and you pass up the opportunity for a casual mention. According to the forum rules, if it is truly your own family biz and not an affiliate thing, you're allowed to post it.

    Plus this would allow all of us on-lookers to browse your site and learn from what's working in today's market conditions. Plus you'll get free traffic and maybe more buyers...

    As for your original quesiton, I am one of the few who is running a true solely owned e-com site and don't do any affiliate marketing stuff at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
      Originally Posted by LynxSI View Post

      I'm interested why you haven't mentioned the URL of your family's website where you grossed your 90k? You've got thousands of people trolling these forums and you pass up the opportunity for a casual mention. According to the forum rules, if it is truly your own family biz and not an affiliate thing, you're allowed to post it.

      Plus this would allow all of us on-lookers to browse your site and learn from what's working in today's market conditions. Plus you'll get free traffic and maybe more buyers...

      As for your original quesiton, I am one of the few who is running a true solely owned e-com site and don't do any affiliate marketing stuff at all.
      No offense but I find it funny that you are uncertain why I wouldn't post my URL. Sure, why shouldn't I create a ton of competition for myself and let all the best IMers in the world know how much money they can make in my niche? Why wouldn't I jeopardize not only mine, but my family's main source of income?

      I gave the url of my site on another forum one time and within weeks there were a dozen BS blogs and Adsense sites trying to take my rankings. That is why.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
      Originally Posted by LynxSI View Post

      I'm interested why you haven't mentioned the URL of your family's website where you grossed your 90k? You've got thousands of people trolling these forums and you pass up the opportunity for a casual mention. According to the forum rules, if it is truly your own family biz and not an affiliate thing, you're allowed to post it.

      Plus this would allow all of us on-lookers to browse your site and learn from what's working in today's market conditions. Plus you'll get free traffic and maybe more buyers...

      As for your original quesiton, I am one of the few who is running a true solely owned e-com site and don't do any affiliate marketing stuff at all.
      Oh man bar code scanners.....don't know why I never thought of that. Queuing up some Amazon sites right now...

      Joking of course.

      But can you see the problem?
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    • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
      Originally Posted by LynxSI View Post

      I'm interested why you haven't mentioned the URL of your family's website where you grossed your 90k? You've got thousands of people trolling these forums and you pass up the opportunity for a casual mention. According to the forum rules, if it is truly your own family biz and not an affiliate thing, you're allowed to post it.

      Plus this would allow all of us on-lookers to browse your site and learn from what's working in today's market conditions. Plus you'll get free traffic and maybe more buyers...

      As for your original quesiton, I am one of the few who is running a true solely owned e-com site and don't do any affiliate marketing stuff at all.
      We don't need proof. Kudos to the OP. I bet it took a ton of hard work and a company infrastructure that most people don't/can't have. Promoting a brick and mortar business through ecommerce isn't quite the same as running an entirely web based business.

      Giving away your money site URLs on a public IM forum is possibly the one single way to destroy your business within weeks...
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      • Profile picture of the author LynxSI
        A couple of you are quick to mock my comments. As someone with experience in ecommerce I would highly doubt that CSH5813 made his 90k by being the "only one on the net". People buy from my own ecom site because they are geographically close, because my site had better photos/description of the products or because they are using other services of mine like development and programming. I don't compete by being the only ecom site with bar code scanners (there are hundreds with lower prices than me).

        Likewise, as the last poster said CSH5813's success would likely have come from lots of hard work and company infrastructure that others don't or can't have. That means its not as simple as just slapping up a copy cat site to steal away his revenue. To gross 90k in sales, you likely have to have > 90k invested in your company between salaries, equipment, utilities and inventory. I doubt many of you are going to put up 90k of capital and countless hours of work to rip off a fellow ecommer with an amazon site.

        The original poster was asking about others ecom success. Anybody else seeing results like this? I was actually interested in CSH5813's main question. Is anyone else making money in ecom?
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        • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
          Originally Posted by LynxSI View Post

          The original poster was asking about others ecom success. Anybody else seeing results like this? I was actually interested in CSH5813's main question. Is anyone else making money in ecom?
          Yes.

          In fact, when I started my company we were the "only one on the net". But as with all good things, that came to an end after a time. Fortunately we had built a solid business, not one based on gimmicks, that could withstand the onslaught of competitors. After 5 years in the business, we are still doing well.

          All that said, I'm here for two reasons. First, as I mentioned in a previous post, is that many of the techniques learned here can be directly used, or be adapted for use, in ecommerce.

          Second are the concerns raised by others regarding physical goods, poorly-run vendors, and angry customers. None of these are actually problems in a properly-run business, as they can be worked around with processes, good people, and accounting for the negatives as a cost of doing business. No, those in and of themselves are not a problem. The problem is when you want to run a virtual business. Yes, these things can all be overcome when you go to your own warehouse every day and all your people are there to handle the problems. But try running a business like this from Bali. It just ain't gonna happen.

          That's why I'm here.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ian Clifford
          Although I am starting to make a significant amount of my income from IM, I am also applying everything that I learn from IM to e-commerce and other online promotion - eg for the artists in the music industry that I manage.

          The inability of the music industry to understand PPC and SEO at even a very basic level is mind boggling BTW!

          I think that a lot of IM'ers are missing a major trick with not getting in to e-commerce.

          On this site, which I have mentioned before - No.1 Fan The ultimate football gift, for the ultimate football fan - we do a lot of article marketing and web 2.0 building to point links at a site that is targetting some horribly competitive keywords. And it works. We do a load of other stuff that I have learned from IM too. It's helped us build good levels of traffic in a relatively short period of time.

          We also use a tool that I have never seen anyone else use that I am trying to offer as a WSO - I just haven't had the time to knock it together.

          In short, try a bit of e-commerce. It's not so bad and the profit can be huge.

          Ian
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  • Profile picture of the author saraward
    Banned
    WOW!!! Your family made $90,000. That is AWESOME!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dalun
    ecommerce requires too much work and time for me. sure it applies to affiliate marketing, but my time is spent building sites and promoting products. i would rather not deal with customer problems and difficulties with retailers and dropshippers. it would also require me to get out of my office and check packages and whatnot.

    making $90,000 with ecommerce is no easy feat. congraulations to your success
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  • Profile picture of the author Mokai
    90K per month is serious cash congrats hopefully it only increases
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    • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
      Originally Posted by Mokai View Post

      90K per month is serious cash congrats hopefully it only increases
      Don't forget the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), rent, staffing, shipping, benefits, etc. in addition to all of the other expenses that IMers are used to paying (advertising, affiliate fees, merchant fees, etc.). It's not hard at all to have more in bills than the $90k you took in.
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      • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
        Originally Posted by AllAboutAction View Post

        Don't forget the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), rent, staffing, shipping, benefits, etc. in addition to all of the other expenses that IMers are used to paying (advertising, affiliate fees, merchant fees, etc.). It's not hard at all to have more in bills than the $90k you took in.

        Definitely true, although we turn about a %40 pure profit, because we are the manufacturer, so we cut the middleman and went straight to retail. I will admit that our product is very unique, and this is not possible in most markets.
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  • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
    Thanks for the congratulations everyone, much appreciated!

    As with all things, generally the more you put in the more you get out. This is why ecom is a great opportunity for anyone who has the time and money to work hard, because the competition is so low in so many niches still.

    But like many posters here have said, it is a TON of work. We have a warehouse, 4 fulltime employees and it is my fulltime job, I have answered 2 PITA customer calls since I've been typing this!

    I like what the above poster said about selling high ticket items, that is something I want to get into as well. Right now, our average sale is about $50. Thats a LOT of customers, which sucks.

    Once again, thanks for the responses. For anyone who thinks I was bragging with this post, I will readily admit that I am a struggling aff marketer on the side, trying to work for myself like everyone else here, despite the successful site!
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  • Profile picture of the author Teresa Coppes
    Newbie question: Wouldn't adding an affiliate program to your e-commerce site have the possibility of bringing in even more income?

    Just curious if this is something that all those who do e-commerce have done/thought of and considered.

    BTW - Congrats!

    Teresa
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by LynxSI View Post

      I'm interested why you haven't mentioned the URL of your family's website where you grossed your 90k?
      That would probably be considered self-promotion/advertising, which is against the forum rules, and cause the thread to be deleted. He could have the link in his sig file however, but he's already stated another reason for not wanting to do that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
      Originally Posted by Teresa Coppes View Post

      Newbie question: Wouldn't adding an affiliate program to your e-commerce site have the possibility of bringing in even more income?

      Just curious if this is something that all those who do e-commerce have done/thought of and considered.

      BTW - Congrats!

      Teresa

      Hi Teresa, I thought of doing an aff program, but my niche had so little SEO competition that I just decided to launch a bunch of little sites myself to promote us, and now I have probably 3-4 listings on almost all our longtail KWs and the top 1-2 spots for all our big KW's, so there wouldn't be alot of profit in me doing an aff program, I'd just be giving away commissions to get customers who would find us anyway. We do have a big wholesale customer who dominates all the other top spots in the niche, so we literally get almost every sale when it comes to our target customer, they can't miss us!

      Thanks for the congrats
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I did e-commerce for a while when I first started out. But here's a problem no one thinks about. If you have a site that is sitting pretty on all of you major google search terms, and then one day it suddenly drops out of site (which just about everyone here knows is not uncommon). If you're handling your own merchandise, not only could you get stuck w/ an overstock of merchandise, but you could also get stuck w/ some employees that you can no longer afford.

    I wouldn't mind trying it again if I had to, but it's definitely much easier in my opinion dealing w/ virtual merchandise, and affiliate programs.
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  • Profile picture of the author warriorpua
    Very true, I just so happened to get VERY lucky in that my family has owned a wholesale business that sells a very unique retail product, and it just so happened to fall into the category that ecommerce does best in.....hard to find, unique, and a 'want'.

    I suggest to many people on this forum that they find untapped ecommerce niches and propose an SEO partnership with one of the top players, like a single-man-affiliate program with them, because it could pay off bigtime. I wish I was getting Aff commisions from my family biz, I'd be getting rich! There are a lot of ecommerce companies out there like mine, who would love to have an IMer come in to consult, it's just all about approaching it correctly...
    How funny (and congrats!) I'm having a meeting tomorrow to discuss the feasibility of me working as a consultant to drive sales to this ecom site on potentially an affiliate basis for these $500 widgets ($100 commission).
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    You wrote, "My Family Biz's Site made $90K online in April (seriously)"

    Okay. Define what you mean by the word, "made."

    If a music store buys a saxophone for $500, and sells it for the full list price of $1,000. How much did they make?

    You would be surprised at the number of people who would say, "They made $1,000." Then there are those who would say, "They made $500."

    Both are incorrect. Their markup was $500. Out of that they have to pay:

    -sales person's commission
    -other employees' salaries
    -telephone - 2 lines and a small Yellow Pages ad can run $2,000/month. (Mine was $1,800)
    -gas for heat
    -electricity for light
    -shipping to get the sax to the music store in the first place (manufacturers never pay for this.)
    -the owner's salary
    -medical insurance
    -Labor to open the box, check out and adjust the sax before putting it on display
    -new decor for the store every few years
    -parking lot maintenance (read the NNN lease!)
    -building maintenance (read that NNN lease!)
    -insurance on the building
    -insurance on the merchandise in the store
    -employment insurance
    -workers' comp
    -FICA matching on the withholding taxes
    -FUTA tax
    -CAT tax and/or state franchise tax even if it is not a franchised business
    -the massive bookkeeping needed to handle payroll (even a small one) and the mountain of government-required paperwork
    -janitorial service to keep the store clean
    -pest exterminator monthly to keep the bugs away
    -Oh, I almost forgot... the rent (or loan payment) on the building
    -and any lines of credit to even the cash flow during slow months

    The business is lucky to "profit" (make) 5 or 6 percent - $50 or $60 out of that $1,000.

    Of course, their competition discounts the sax by 20% - so the store we are discussing has to do that too. Ah, now the $1,000 sax is really sold for just $800.


    Now, I ask... "Did your family make $90,000? last month?" If so, then their gross sales had to be around $1,800,000 that month.

    Oh wait! You mean their gross sales were $90,000 last month. That is only $1,008,000 a year. So, 5% of that is around $50,000. Divide that by 12 (months) and the may have "made" $4,500. last month.

    If they are doing more than that, they have a wonderful business.

    If you doubt all this is true, just go show this post to your parents.

    :-Don
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
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      • Profile picture of the author Mukul Verma
        Congrats, that is quite amazing. Mixing IM and eCommerce can create some pretty cool magic (My personal best was about 22K to 25K a month).

        Originally Posted by Ernie Mitchell View Post

        I just learned something.

        Until now I didn't know there was a difference in eCommerce and Internet Marketing

        Now I'm really confused.
        I have a ecommerce website in my mix, they are important.

        Already explained well what eCommerce and IM is, HUGE Difference



        Originally Posted by CSH5813 View Post

        Hi Teresa, I thought of doing an aff program, but my niche had so little SEO competition that I just decided to launch a bunch of little sites myself to promote us, and now I have probably 3-4 listings on almost all our longtail KWs and the top 1-2 spots for all our big KW's, so there wouldn't be alot of profit in me doing an aff program, I'd just be giving away commissions to get customers who would find us anyway. We do have a big wholesale customer who dominates all the other top spots in the niche, so we literally get almost every sale when it comes to our target customer, they can't miss us!

        Thanks for the congrats
        YES, if you can, you 100% should if you can. I had 1 affiliate bring me 17,000 visitors last month. This is sales you may not often.


        Look at it this way, other websites are getting traffic, your product may compliment them, so let them send there traffic and make a profit and you make money you would not have had.

        Cheers,
        Mukul
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        • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
          Originally Posted by Mukul Verma View Post

          .........................

          .............. I have a ecommerce website in my mix, they are important.

          Already explained well what eCommerce and IM is, HUGE Difference...........

          Cheers,
          Mukul
          OK ... So do I.

          What happened to the concept that at the end of the day the purpose of all marketing is to Conduct Commerce? --- or, in the case of internet marketing to Conduct eCommerce?

          Isn't the purpose of Internet Marketing to Conduct eCommerce?

          Seems to seperate the two and call them HUGE difference would be short sighted
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    • Profile picture of the author balara
      Originally Posted by Don Schenk View Post

      You wrote, "My Family Biz's Site made $90K online in April (seriously)"

      Okay. Define what you mean by the word, "made."

      If a music store buys a saxaphone for $500, and sells it for the full list price of $1,000. How much did they make?

      You would be surprised at the number of people who would say, "They made $1,000." Then there are those who would say, "They made $500."

      Both are incorrect. Their markup was $500. Out of that they have to pay:

      -sales person's commission
      -other employees' salaries
      -telephone - 2 lines and a small Yellow Pages ad can run $2,000/month. (Mine was $1,800)
      -gas for heat
      -electricity for light
      -shipping to get the sax to the music store in the first place (manufacturers never pay for this.)
      -the owner's salary
      -medical insurance
      -Labor to open the box, check out and adjust the sax before putting it on display
      -new decore for the store every few years
      -parking lot maintainence (read the NNN lease!)
      -building maintainence (read that NNN lease!)
      -insurance on the building
      -insurance on the merchandise in the store
      -employment insurance
      -workers' comp
      -FICA matching on the withholding taxes
      -FUTA tax
      -CAT tax and/or state franchise tax even if it is not a franchised business
      -the massive bookkeeping needed to handle payroll (even a small one) and the mountain of goverenment-required paperwork
      -janitorial service to keep the store clean
      -pest exteminator monthly to keep the bugs away
      -Oh, I almost forgot... the rent (or loan payment) on the building
      -and any lines of credit to even the cash flow during slow months

      The business is lucky to "profit" (make) 5 or 6 percent - $50 or $60 out of that $1,000.

      Of course, their competition discounts the sax by 20% - so the store we are discussing has to do that too. Ah, now the $1,000 sax is really sold for just $800.

      Now, I ask... "Did your family make $90,000? last month?" If so, then their gross sales had to be around $1,800,000 that month.

      Oh wait! You mean their gross sales were $90,000 last month. That is only $1,008,000 a year. So, 5% of that is around $50,000. Divide that by 12 (months) and the may have "made" $4,500. last month.

      If they are doing more than that, they have a wonderful business.

      If you doubt all this is true, just go show this post to your parents.

      :-Don
      Have I missed something here?

      I thought it was an ecommerce store that made $90K online in April.

      So wouldn't the janitor be something like a registry cleaner and the pest control be anti-virus software? Rent on the building be hosting and domain name ....and so on?

      Veronica
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      • Profile picture of the author awmi
        Originally Posted by balara View Post

        Have I missed something here?

        I thought it was an ecommerce store that made $90K online in April.

        So wouldn't the janitor be something like a registry cleaner and the pest control be anti-virus software? Rent on the building be hosting and domain name ....and so on?

        Veronica
        There is a manufacturing process and a warehouse involved so there is a physical product instead of a digital one.

        >>But like many posters here have said, it is a TON of work. We have a warehouse, 4 fulltime employees and it is my fulltime job, I have answered 2 PITA customer calls since I've been typing this!

        >>...because we are the manufacturer, so we cut the middleman and went straight to retail. I will admit that our product is very unique, and this is not possible in most markets.
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        • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
          I hate to see this post die out, as I was hoping it would turn into a more general post for how to incorporate e-commerce into an overall IM strategy.

          Although the difficulties of running a business that deals in physical products have already been discussed here, if you already have such a business running, there are several ways that it could be integrated with other online activities to leverage each other and explode your profits:

          For example, build a blog network around your current ecommerce business. Not only can you use the blogs in your network for (relevant) backlinks, but you can sell your own products instead of affiliate offers when necessary. With your new blog network, you also now essentially have access to products that you don't with your main ecommerce site. For example, you can earn affiliate commissions on brands you don't carry, or on products that others may have an exclusive arrangement for. If you choose the products carefully, this could end up feeding back to your main site. You can essentially capture search volume from keywords that you can't have on your main site.

          You can use your blog network to further segment the mailing list from your main site. By structuring the topics, offers, etc. on your blog network, and JVing with yourself, you can send your mailing list to your other blogs, then compare which email addresses land on which blogs and use that data in your customer segmentation process.

          These are just a couple of ideas to fuel the discussion. There's more overlap with the kind of IM traditionally practiced here than most people might think. I hope that can be explored more in the future.

          At least until those of us making money with ecommerce businesses can wean ourselves off of the profits
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          • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
            Originally Posted by AllAboutAction View Post

            I hate to see this post die out, as I was hoping it would turn into a more general post for how to incorporate e-commerce into an overall IM strategy.

            Although the difficulties of running a business that deals in physical products have already been discussed here, if you already have such a business running, there are several ways that it could be integrated with other online activities to leverage each other and explode your profits:

            For example, build a blog network around your current ecommerce business. Not only can you use the blogs in your network for (relevant) backlinks, but you can sell your own products instead of affiliate offers when necessary. With your new blog network, you also now essentially have access to products that you don't with your main ecommerce site. For example, you can earn affiliate commissions on brands you don't carry, or on products that others may have an exclusive arrangement for. If you choose the products carefully, this could end up feeding back to your main site. You can essentially capture search volume from keywords that you can't have on your main site.

            You can use your blog network to further segment the mailing list from your main site. By structuring the topics, offers, etc. on your blog network, and JVing with yourself, you can send your mailing list to your other blogs, then compare which email addresses land on which blogs and use that data in your customer segmentation process.

            These are just a couple of ideas to fuel the discussion. There's more overlap with the kind of IM traditionally practiced here than most people might think. I hope that can be explored more in the future.

            At least until those of us making money with ecommerce businesses can wean ourselves off of the profits
            Great addition to the thread, thanks very much, I appreciate you trying to add to the conversation and leave tips for other readers, unlike some people who simply want to speculate on my profit margin

            BTW, you nailed it, a blog network is exactly how I dominated my niche. We own 8 sites, 7 directing traffic to the money site, and literally almost every one of the feeder sites has multiple top rankings (nets about 50,000 visitors/month).

            As for Don, I appreciated your breakdown of all the expenses that a small business has, you must have put alot of work into compiling that list. As I said previously though, we are a manufacturer that sells straight to retail, so the rules are a little different. You don't have to worry about our profit margin, it's a little bit more than 5%
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            • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
              Originally Posted by CSH5813 View Post

              BTW, you nailed it, a blog network is exactly how I dominated my niche. We own 8 sites, 7 directing traffic to the money site, and literally almost every one of the feeder sites has multiple top rankings (nets about 50,000 visitors/month).
              Nice work! The sky's the limit for you, especially since you manufacture your own products. 50k visitors from your blog network alone is.... enviable!
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      • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
        Originally Posted by balara View Post

        Have I missed something here?

        I thought it was an ecommerce store that made $90K online in April.

        So wouldn't the janitor be something like a registry cleaner and the pest control be anti-virus software? Rent on the building be hosting and domain name ....and so on?

        Veronica
        Awmi explained it well. They are selling physical products and have employees. That is when the "fun" starts.

        But an IM business will also have most of those costs too. The place from where one runs the business has heat, light, rent (or loan payment), the list goes on. What new people here don't understand is: IM is a business, and all the taxes, insurance (liability insurance), employee expenses, bookkeeping and accounting costs, mountains of tax papers, etc. also apply.

        :-Don
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  • Profile picture of the author awmi
    That's an eye-opener.

    Don you just killed my dream of opening a brick and mortar store.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew11
    Sell a home online and get affiliate commissions? lol

    Actually I think I've heard of that there's a few affiliate timeshare partnerships but I wouldnt try it
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron H
    Firstly great news on the $90k. I run a few ecommerce stores for a UK company which do pretty well online and I totally agree with you about not disclosing your URL.

    But also with regards to Don and Pauls comments this is so true and something you really shouldn't take with a pinch of salt.

    Just last year I went for a meeting to start a small PPC campaign for a friend who runs a construction related training course and wanted to see how the figures stacked up with regards to ROI and he couldn't even tell me that he knew the basic running costs for the course ..... we did a very basic cost calculation and it looked ok, but still very scary that people can be that blind to their finances.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimG
    This thread brings back memories of the first year Stompernet was launched. Inside the forums there was quite a bit of discussion regarding how to increase traffic to site sthat were built around an ecommerce business.

    Some folks were building cookie cutter ecommerce sites but the business owners that were really seeing the gains in terms of generated income and profits were optimizing the SEO aspect of the websites and starting to use articles to drive traffic to individual product pages on their websites.

    Made for some interesting reading and the profits they were able to generate was quite amazing.

    Respectfully,
    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author gambit
    The concept of e-commerce being massive profit centers is very true, I saw a website for sale on Flippa that sold Salvia.....grossing $30,000+ a month.
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    • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
      Originally Posted by gambit View Post

      The concept of e-commerce being massive profit centers is very true, I saw a website for sale on Flippa that sold Salvia.....grossing $30,000+ a month.
      LOL -- The first time through I read "saliva".
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  • Profile picture of the author RossVegas
    wow, 90k is unbelievable man! Congrats!
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