No Capital - Smart or Creative Ways To Pre-Sell 500 Items @ $250 a Pop?

by krzysiek 6 replies
Apologies if the title is a little vague.

Im starting up a new e-commerce store here in Australia. It's going to be selling an electronic / technology item. I won't go into the details, because competition is already tight as it is.

For the purposes of a (hopefully) informative discussion, I will say that it is a general appeal item. It should appeal to a good amount of people, on average.

Now, the only issue is that I may need to buy around 500 or so pieces. I am trying to work on a smaller quantity, but it might be around that mark.

I need to think of an effective idea on how to pre-sell 500 of these puppies. The pre-sale price will be a great deal (when comparing to any competitors) so that is a major advantage. At $250 you wouldn't find a comparable product, even if importing from overseas directly (not unless buying in bulk).

So with price on my side, what could I do? I thought about maybe seeing if I could team up with LivingSocial or GroupOn, but at this price point I could only afford to give them around $10/sale of each item.

I could also team up with some tech. Related blogs and offer them $10/sale for this pre-sale. Unfortunately I cannot offer too much more as margins are quite slim. I could potentially offer a bit more if it came down to it, but I need to make a fixed percentage to be there in case of warranty issues.

Any creative ideas at all on how I could approach this?

Thank you,
Krzysiek
#offline marketing #$250 #500 #capital #creative #items #pop #presell #smart #ways
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    That is pretty vague.
    Don't look into Groupon or Living Social any more.
    They won't take $10 and they can't guarantee the sales.
    So, what would happen if they only sold 75 or 200.

    What marketing assets do you currently have in place?

    As a side note, I am not sure what this has to do with Offline.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Foster
    I would first and foremost find a product with higher margins.

    The product sells for $250 but you can only give a $10 commission? That's like a 3% commission. I don't know anyone who'd be interested in that.

    Next online isn't the only place to make money. Try looking into offline businesses you can partner with who are use to low margins on high volume (gasp - retail).
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    • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
      Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

      That is pretty vague.
      Don't look into Groupon or Living Social any more.
      They won't take $10 and they can't guarantee the sales.
      So, what would happen if they only sold 75 or 200.

      What marketing assets do you currently have in place?

      As a side note, I am not sure what this has to do with Offline.
      Yes, you're right. If it didn't make the 500 sales that I needed, I would not be able to go ahead. I am assuming that they would even accept something like this to begin with, where a minimum amount must be sold. Doubt it.

      In terms of marketing assets, I have nothing. I was thinking a large scale every-door-direct type of mass mail saturation may work well for this product. Compare it to the general appeal an iPhone, iPad, iPod may have. We're dealing with similarly enticing and appealing consumer electronics. This is why I thought a mass mailing of flyers (or better, full A4 page) promotions may work out well.

      This was going to be after the pre-sell. I don't think it's a smart idea to mass mail a whole lot of neighbourhoods only to find out that the marketing method works well, but not as well as I anticipated and then be short on orders and thus the orders would need to be delayed until I could find more customers to meet the minimum 500 units.

      I didn't know where else to put this, other than offline. Mainly because this is where I hang out at this forum and the guys here seems pretty switched on in real world situations, which I think this definitely related to.

      Thank you for your help!

      Originally Posted by James Foster View Post

      I would first and foremost find a product with higher margins.

      The product sells for $250 but you can only give a $10 commission? That's like a 3% commission. I don't know anyone who'd be interested in that.

      Next online isn't the only place to make money. Try looking into offline businesses you can partner with who are use to low margins on high volume (gasp - retail).
      Well, the margins on the product when sold at $250.00 are 20%. However, I want to ensure there is a solid % left over to handle customer returns and warranty issues. I want to be able to service clients properly and obviously need to have a good amount of money if things didn't go as well as planned.

      Therefore, I could offer more per sale - but at the end of the day, I know a local e-commerce store here in Aus sold 2,200 of a similar item in June this year, so the market is there if the product and price is good. I was thinking if they sold 500 for me, that's $5,000 for them for just sending their emails out to their list. Perhaps I am too optimistic in this specific regard.

      Partnering with offline businesses is a solid idea and is one I plan on taking forward. However, that is only for when I do have physical stock. What I am needing help is how to pre-sell 500 of these so that I have the money to buy the stock and then send it out to my customers. I don't have the capital to buy the stock first.

      Your ideas are solid, however, I think I wasn't clear enough about not being able to get the stock with my own funds. That is the issue. Otherwise, I would be partnering with retail outlets where possible. Unless, there is some clever way to partner with stores on a 'pre-sale' bases where perhaps they have a demo in-store and customers are told it is a pre-sale and must wait X period before receiving?

      Thanks for your help!
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      • Profile picture of the author Teez
        Hi have you ever heard of the lean start up model.

        Its pretty much a ask the customers directly what they want.

        So in your case here are two ideas

        1. set up a landing page with some targeted cpc with keywords like [buy electronic product] or [cheap electronic product] (substituting electronic product for exactly what it is you are selling).

        So now what you do is either have a 5min video on your landing page saying hey guys im taking preorders for bla bla .

        Fill in details in the newsletter or squeeze page to pre order or to be alerted when its ready to pre order or even better so you can offer them something of value and you can also email them and ask them exactly what product etc they want.

        The landing page sole purpose is to gather info to help you going forward.

        2. You can just set up an ebay page and sell it on ebay, or you can even do both.

        Hope this helps.
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        • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
          Originally Posted by Teez View Post

          Hi have you ever heard of the lean start up model.

          Its pretty much a ask the customers directly what they want.

          So in your case here are two ideas

          1. set up a landing page with some targeted cpc with keywords like [buy electronic product] or [cheap electronic product] (substituting electronic product for exactly what it is you are selling).

          So now what you do is either have a 5min video on your landing page saying hey guys im taking preorders for bla bla .

          Fill in details in the newsletter or squeeze page to pre order or to be alerted when its ready to pre order or even better so you can offer them something of value and you can also email them and ask them exactly what product etc they want.

          The landing page sole purpose is to gather info to help you going forward.

          2. You can just set up an ebay page and sell it on ebay, or you can even do both.

          Hope this helps.
          Wow, super idea! Did not think of this at all, but am starting to think it may be exactly the type of thing I need. Really, THANK YOU as this could really be something that makes this work.

          It could help me really gauge true interest in the product, and collect emails of people who are interested in a pre-sell type offer. Great! Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    Anyone else?
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