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My Ecommerce Business
How I got here and where I'm going.
I’m going to use my eCommerce store to run some wealthy experiments.
Before I start hacking away, I want to provide some background info to catch you up to speed.
Here’s the tldr and brief timeline
(If you want, you could only read this and have everything you need)
It’s a 1 product Shopify store
$30 - $50 price point
$176,972 total revenue in just over 2 years (sounds impressive, it’s not)
$0 profit (actually, still in the hole)
Late 2018: Decided I wanted to see if I could sell something online
Early 2019: Formed the idea for this product by combining a niche I had observed doing really well and a passion of mine
Mid 2019: Began testing product viability and sourcing manufacturers. Shipping orders myself
Nov 2019: Found a 3PL, “Launched”, and did nearly 10k in sales in December
Jan 2020: 20k in sales (holy shit I’m going to be rich)
Mar 2020: Covid hits, sales nearly stop
June 2020: Ran out of inventory. Out of stock for a few months
Late 2020: Back in stock in time, sales are solid agin during holidays
Early 2021: I realize 3PL is too expensive and decide to ship myself (yipee!)
Mid 2021: Out of business again due to no inventory
Late 2021 - now: Slow but steady sales. Not making money but also not losing any. Need to figure out what to do with this thing I’ve built.
Why I started this thing
I started Seeing What Sticks to test and experiment with some things I’ve always wanted to try. And ironically, I started my eCommerce brand for the same reason 2 years ago. As a test. I just wanted to see if I could sell something online.
After some upfront work of testing market viability, creating the product, and sourcing a manufacturer, I answered this question with a 10k month in December 2019. January was even better with 20k in sales.
‘Why isn’t everyone doing this?’ I thought.
‘This money making thing online is easy’
Not so fast…
A number of events abruptly yanked me back down to reality:
Covid hit, sales halted, ad costs shot up, 3PL costs became too expensive, I ran out of inventory…twice (inventory management is a thing?), global supply chain issues caused delays, I was forced in a crash course on fulfilling orders myself
I also realized I wasn’t actually making any money. Sales were great if I kept Facebook ads cranked up. But margins were so thin after all was said and done that I was just breaking even.
Basically, I was spending money on FB to give myself the luxury of dealing with inventory, packing orders, and driving to the post office a few times a week.
What a deal.
Where it is today and where it’s going
To date I’ve done $176,972 in sales.
With $0 profit.
(I’m actually still in the hole because of the current inventory I have yet to sell through)
I’ve basically built myself this ambiguous business I don’t quite know what to do with.
There must be something to it because that is a significant revenue number (at least it is to me). But at the same time, I don’t know if it can ever be profitable or if it’s worth my time to continue.
And this is where Seeing What Sticks and experimentation comes in.
I’m going to give myself 6 months to test as many things as I can to try and make this thing work.
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