Last week I launched another online store. I am going to recategorize all my ebiz1-5 into a single ebiz category because I can’t keep track of which numbers I used for which store.
This store uses the Interspire Shopping Cart software that I talked about a few weeks ago. I like the ease of use that this software allows compared to the software my other stores are running. Now that I’m used to the bulk importing and am fairly proficient at the admin console, I feel that I can produce stores at an even faster rate. The new store sells yoga bags and the link should be located on the right side bar of this blog.
With that said, I am closing my kayak store. The store has had a few completed sales, I say completed because getting an order and fulfilling it was a different issue. The most frustrating part of this store’s failure is that my suppliers are unreliable. My site was ranking pretty well for 2 particular kayaks. These kayaks were made by two different companies and I didn’t get a good feeling from both of these companies from the start.
I received 3 orders for the kayak made by Company #1 in January. After a week of not shipping them out, they told me that their distributor declared bankruptcy and now their stock was seized. They told me that they would have to build new kayaks and that they would be ready in April. When April came around, they told me June. This is just too bad because these kayaks had about a $120 profit each and I think I could have sold at least 10-15 by now.
Company #2 just didn’t seem to have good business sense but I carried their kayak just to give my store a feeling of a large selection and variety. When I finally got an order for their kayak, it was out of stock for 2 weeks. They said had 15 coming in, so I called and told them that I wanted to reserve one for my customer. Of course, 2 weeks later, no phone call about my kayak, because they no had kayaks.
Company #3 was great will fulfilling orders and customer service. The problem with them was that they changed prices every month. They would offer free shipping for 30 days and then drop all their prices by $50 for the next 30 days. In turn, to stay competitive I would have to change my prices to match. This became a big hassle because they had about 25 products and honestly it just wasn’t worth doing.
Sadly, these are the problems that you don’t know about going in. It’s all part of the doing and learning. When I talk to new suppliers I can just sometimes sense that some just don’t have very good business skills. Some suppliers just have wholesale pricing that makes no sense. But when I start up a store I put their products into the store because you never know what will sell well and it’s always better to have a larger selection than to not have enough products.
However, once my store gets established different things can happen:
- I remove products that are not selling
- I drop products and suppliers that aren’t reliable.
- I renegotiate wholesale pricing once I’ve establish a track record of sales
- New suppliers contact to you