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How to create great product listings on Shopify using a CSV spreadsheet

Whether you are bringing your products online for the first time or have an existing online store,... read more

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Chana ImsirovicOwner at Owl and Monk
Hey Jef, glad you found my article helpful. There are many great e-commerce platforms out there to choose from. I find Shopify intuitive and easy to use with great online support. I think organising your productive information into a spreadsheet can have many benefit's regardless of the platform you use. Good luck. If you have any question please ask away:)
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Chana, Very helpful article. I'm currently using SnipCart, but building out a development store on Shopify to familiarize myself with the platform. I think it has a lot of potential. Thanks.
Questions

What are the key elements you take into consideration before choosing to work with a production house for videos?

Elements such as.The Team, Price, Portfolio, Recommendations, Website, Online Presence,... read more

Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think reputation and online presence go hand-in-hand. In this day and age if the production house is not posting work on social media (Youtube, Instragram, Vine, Vimeo and their own website) maybe stay clear.Also pick a company that is aligned to your goal. Do you want creative control or are you willing to let them handle it? Many creative agencies that are top producers will want the ability to develop their own concept.However, if you have a specific concept and script and actors in mind you need to go with an agency that is setup more for shooting and editing.I would say that recommendations are always key (at least when they come from people you trust). Online reviews are helpful, but I would prioritize a recommendation from a trusted business partner or client first. Always review the website and content of previous videos (even when recommended to ensure they align with your goals as well).
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What are the mistakes to avoid when starting an online business?

Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Number 1 I've heard from others and experienced myself.Expecting customers will just show up because you are open for business...
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How online retailers can avoid a downtime nightmare

Online sales have been an absolute boon for retailers as in-store revenues decline. Cyber Mondays... read more

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Rose Old Channel Business Manager at Acronis
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Redundancy is never a bad thing for security and data integrity.
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1300 ice cube

1/470-472 Parramatta Rd STRATHFIELD NSW 2135 read more

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Do I sell my product to someone else to resell?

Hi there, So I know this girl who is a well known in Sydney and Australia and has a lot of traffic... read more

Gwendolyn KestrelDigital Analyst at seoWorks
I absolutely agree with Steve. If you've done your pricing correctly to cover your materials, labor, overhead (time spent ordering supplies, marketing, etc.) then you'll have a fair price set and won't have to worry about how resellers price your goods.So, I also suspect that your items are under-charged right now.Wholesale is a great way for a scale-able business to establish a steady income without having to worry as much about advertising, shipping, etc.
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
HannahBefore you do anything, I suggest you take a long, hard look at your pricing structure. 11.90 profit, purely what I make on shirt not including my labourI'm not sure you grasp the meaning of the word profit. If I read you correctly, selling at $35, you get $12 for making a shirt. Meaning $23 goes in materials and overheads. I'm guessing each shirt takes minimum 2 hours to manufacture, using machinery you've provided. If that is roughly correct, you're making $6/hour as wages and zero profit. Depending on how much you value your time, I suggest your wholesale price should be $135. That's just to cover wages, and still there's no profit.Forgive me for being deliberately flippant, but your figures reveal a serious issue that needs to be addressed before you settle on a wholesale price to your friend. If she sells them for what they're probably worth – say $125 – you're going to be seriously out of pocket within a week.
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Should we add a new domain to our current site or create a new one?

Hi guys, was hoping for a little advice on creating an additional or 'sister' website. We currently... read more

Hi,I personally think the decision would be very subjective. I am hoping my pointers below will help,1. Creating a new site is a hardwork from SEO perspective, it does help by having the site is a sister site.On the other hand, a 'sister' site with reference to the other successful website shows the business is growing and as we all know, people like to be involve with successful business.From SEO site, tho it is hardwork, it will be paid off, where having more than 1 strong websites is very advantages as they can support each other.2. Pointing a new domain to a existing cart, I'd say a faster to boost the new 'domain' and getting the new products off the ground since they will be in your existing successful website.From SEO perspective, I think you won't gain as much as another new site.From customer perspective, they may see another product in the shop instead of new business.Hope that helps,AdityaWeb Design Melbourne
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Selling online

eBay Seller Spotlight: Dave Harrison of Heavy Metal Merchant

Today we have with us business owner Dave from Heavy Metal Merchant, who tells us about his... read more

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Anatomy of a Great eBay Store

There are 13 things that customers are looking for when purchasing from your eBay Store. We have... read more

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Online Retail Strategies from the Experts: Business Advice You Need to Heed

Are you struggling to get sales through your online store, or worried about setting one up?... read more

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David BobisOwner at Studio Culture
No problems, Jef!
David BobisOwner at Studio Culture
Hi Phil, yes I love the story of Black Milk. I saw them present some time back and their story truly is an insightful one, especially with the kind of marketing they're doing online.
Questions

Is eBay shipping emails via MailChimp a normal practice?

Hi, I have a large eBay store and wish to send shipping emails via Mailchimp to help with info and... read more

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Peter Jones Founder at LinkSmart
Tim DaviesOwner at ZELLIS
Hi Peter. There's nothing to stop you communicating with eBay buyers via MailChimp, providing it is directly related to the transaction itself. However the eBay User Agreement and Spam Act 2003 both prohibit you adding other eBay members' contact details to your off-eBay database for marketing purposes unless they opt-in (after you have invited them once and once only). Even if you use MailChimp to communicate with your eBay buyers, make sure you use eBay Messages for any dialogue relating to the transaction which eBay can then use to assist you in the event a transaction turns sour. When it comes to Seller Protection, eBay will not acknowledge or rely on communications which they cannot verify within their system.Hope that helps.Tim
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How can I take my service online?

I am a business broker. Thank you! read more

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Hi Bobo,That is a pretty sweeping question, but the short answer is:[1] Get a website built correctly;[2] Set up social media accounts at the platforms that your ideal clients would use;[3] Connect the social media accounts to your website;[4] Write articles on your website which your ideal clients would want to read;[5] Mention the articles on your social media platforms;[6] capture the names and email addresses of those who come to your website to read the articles, so that you have a constant source of prospective clients.I hope that gets you started in the right direction, and if you need help with anything in particular, I would be happy to expand on the list above for you. Good luck with your online ventures, you absolutely NEED to have an online presence today, because your competitors certainly will.
Bobo Thai
Hi Lisa,I appreciate your time, efforts and I value your advice.Thank you so much.
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Selling online

3 Things to Do Before You Launch Your Online Business

Eureka! You’ve just come up with a brilliant business idea and want to bring it to market tomorrow.... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
You are correct. New ventures need to be careful about the partners and vendors they use. Trust is paramount with customers and putting that at risk is never a wise choice.
Questions

Do you get direct contact from the stores thanking you or giving you more deals?

There is a new term coined "Ozbargained" -- meaning the offer was sold out by the sheer force of... read more

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Steve Hui Founder & Chief Executive at iFLYflat - We make your points FLY
Steve HuiFounder & Chief Executive at iFLYflat - We make your points FLY
Thanks, I've buy stuff I found on Ozbargain all the time - though 80% of stuff because its a great bargain and not from a need, and I think that's the secret sauce - driving non-essential spend.
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
Yes we do get contacted by ozbargained merchants all the time. Most are either agitated or angry because (1) our users crashed their servers, (2) our users bought up or claimed the freebies that were reserved for someone else. They sometimes use terms such as "law suit" or "legal threat" but never carry out.For the successful ones, they'll just create an account and try to figure out how OzBargain works themselves. They might post a deal or two later on, but strangely store-rep-posted deals rarely work on OzBargain (with some exceptions).Yes I'll gladly take a few thank you notes if OzBargain is bringing sales to these companies. However at the same time I'll remind them that OzBargain was created primarily for the shoppers, not a platform for the merchants.
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Questions

What are the first steps to starting an online store?

I understand it's a very general question but I'm looking to sell some goods online and I'm not... read more

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Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
The first step to starting an online store is to go to AdWords and do keyword research to find out what people are looking for, then use that to choose a niche (see below for link to resources by Andrew Youderian which cover other factors in selecting a niche). You can then put up a very simple page using one of the many free services for doing so, that shows some products. You could, for example, setup a shopify store with some products in it. You then run an AdWords campaign and see if you make some sales. Don't worry if you don't have the ability to fulfil the orders yet, just see if you get some, then write to the customers and apologise that you don't have the item in stock and refund their money. Once you've established how much it costs to make a sale, and whether or not there is sufficient volume for what you're selling, work out suppliers etc. Watch this Mixergy interview that takes you through this process: http://mixergy.com/interviews/jonathan-beekman-man-crates-interview/. If you don't have a Mixergy premium membership already, you should get one so you can watch that interview, but also so you can watch all the other interviews and courses -- it's incredible. The most valuable business resource on the internet by far. Also read everything here: http://www.ecommercefuel.com/resources/
Greg TomkinsOwner at Top Left Designs
This is not a simple question Yee as there are so many aspects to be addressed and the answers will also depend on what sort of products you are selling, the size of your product range, your target market to name just a few. All that aside however, you need to consider a number of things and I am assuming that you are wanting to set your store up on your own website rather than through a portal such as eBay. The following checklist is not exhaustive but can serve as a good starting point.Establish your Marketing and Branding strategy and plans - if you don't get this right up front then you will be wasting your time Understand very clearly how much effort and money you are prepared to invest in your new online store and what other resources you may need to pull it all together. Establish the business model for selling your product - pricing and discount structure, warranties/refund policies, what will be your distribution model, how you will effect delivery, online payment mechanisms, managing inventory If your online store augments a brick and mortar business, determine what level of integration you will require between your online sales and the other business sales systems Identify what sort of website you want and what information the site is going to share with your market Work out the sort of functionality you want to include in your website Work out the specific functionality you want in your online shop - size and number of product images, product sizing and colour attributes on products, variable pricing based on order quantities, related products for upsell, etc. Will you want to run special promotions of any kind and how would these be structured Do you have access to quality product images and copyright material about your products ready for inclusion in your website Identify other websites that exhibit the style and features you might like to see in your own website Identify the most appropriate platform for delivering your website - this will depend on the nature and scope of your online shop requirements but generally, for anything other than very small businesses, talk to a web developer or two and look to using one of these to build your site, implement it and incorporate your marketing initiatives. I would not really suggest that any serious business look to building their own website. The demands of creating a professional website that will address all aspects of such a job are quite complex now and really beyond novices quickly jumping into some of these free or cheap web site builder products. Whilst some of these can do some very impressive things and easily create what appears to be a great website there are some serious downfalls for those looking to address requirements of a real business. For further information you might wish to consider a series of articles I publish in one of our blogs Building a Better Online Business
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Questions

What is your best advice for someone looking to start an online retail store?

Someone I know wants to start an online store selling quality fashion goods imported from China,... read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
I just answered this question here:https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/438-what-are-the-first-steps-to-starting-an-online-store"The first step to starting an online store is to go to AdWords and do keyword research to find out what people are looking for, then use that to choose a niche (see below for link to resources by Andrew Youderian which cover other factors in selecting a niche).You can then put up a very simple page using one of the many free services for doing so, that shows some products. You could, for example, setup a shopify store with some products in it. You then run an AdWords campaign and see if you make some sales. Don't worry if you don't have the ability to fulfil the orders yet, just see if you get some, then write to the customers and apologise that you don't have the item in stock and refund their money.Once you've established how much it costs to make a sale, and whether or not there is sufficient volume for what you're selling, work out suppliers etc.Watch this Mixergy interview that takes you through this process: http://mixergy.com/interviews/jonathan-beekman-man-crates-interview/. If you don't have a Mixergy premium membership already, you should get one so you can watch that interview, but also so you can watch all the other interviews and courses -- it's incredible. The most valuable business resource on the internet by far.Also read everything here: http://www.ecommercefuel.com/resources/"
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
You could tell her – "Don't."Or if her dream is to make a small fortune, tell her to start with a large one.Of course, free advice is worth exactly what she pays for it, so it's likely she will proceed anyway.In that case, I suggest she start with a plan. Several plans, in fact. the first would be a business modelling exercise. A very good template is the one provided in Business Model Canvas, by Alex Osterwalder. It very quickly tests viability.Once she has established whether the business is viable, a marketing plan is required. It can be very simple, but needs to address three key areas: 1. Positioning – establishing credibility, clarifying value. People won't buy unless they feel they know and trust the supplier. And they won't make a commitment unless they understand the value being provided.2. Attention – awareness, promotion, offer. The marketing message must address the prospect in terms she understands and is interested in, whether the tactics are PPC, social, offline, direct etc.3. Making the Sale – persuasion, relationship, conversion. The site should be structured to motivate prospects and avoid the many mistakes made by inexperienced traders. Give prospects what they want and sell them what they need. Ensure return traffic and repeat sales.If she can't or won't engage outside expertise, the road to riches is likely to be slow, expensive and wasteful. And simply copying someone else's apparent success can be incredibly frustrating (see Business Model above).This is all an oversimplification, so firstly see whether she is approaching the idea with an open mind. After doing due diligence, oftentimes the best course of action is to not proceed at all.
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Questions

Is there an Australian version of Alibaba website to buy wholesale products that are manufactured locally?

Hi Savvies, What website do you recommend for buying Australian manufactured products wholesale? I... read more

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Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Nicole McIverOwner at Nicole McIver
For a good quality , Australian Brands alternative I'd recommend Wholesale Baby or Stock My Store
Brian MallyonOwner at Luckypole Limited
I am not sure of an Australian version of Alibaba, but if you google "Australian made" I believe there are several websites that provide details of at least some Australian made products.
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Selling online

Build An Online Buying Cycle to Drive More Sales

For many people who run a successful business, taking the next step to the online realm seems like... read more

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Arrnell GapusanCommunity Manager at SavvySME
Wonderful article David!
David MooneyEmployee at SponsoredLinX
Hi Ling, Thanks for the comment. I like to think about the fact that no matter who you are, you're always somebody’s customer. Thinking about a complete strategy like this helps me put into perspective how each element fits together and how each aspect of the strategy plugs into the way your customers behave.
Selling online

Purchasing of auto parts and accessories has become easy online

You can find a wide range of products online. The product ranges from food products, apparels,... read more

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Selling online

A simple guide to buying auto parts and accessories

  You may come across different kinds of problems if you own a car. Mileage problems and battery... read more

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