New Business Strategy Idea
I'm in the process of paying a web developer to help me with a business idea that I've been contemplating for a few years. Over time, the original idea has changed, developed, and grown. I need help strategizing, seeing the bigger picture and potential pitfalls, and conceptualizing the fundamentals.
As I'm writing everything down below (I've written and jotted this down 100x and it's never the same) I'm realizing how jumbled and untargeted my thoughts are. I'm wasting money on the web developer because nothing that is detailed below is 100% concrete. It's just TOO MANY ideas and not enough focus to be a successful business.
I'd like advice on which aspects of the business sound most appealing and which ideas I should focus the most attention on. Definitely interested in hearing where to trim it down.
I was into e-commerce really big. Just like everybody else on earth, I was making a load of money selling on platforms like Amazon and eBay. I was able to sustain a living and the idea of e-com was appealing to me and I saw a future in it. The driving force behind my success was that I had (essentially) $0.00 in overhead. I would go out to affluent communities on "bulk trash day" and collect furniture, electronics, and anything else saleable. These items would be posted and sold, and I made 100% of the profits (minus shipping fees, eBay fees, PayPal fees, gas from driving to the affluent communities etc, cost of storage.)
Last may I was banned from Amazon and eBay. I broke the rules as laid forth in their TOA and lost my selling privileges. For a long time I wanted to get back on those platforms by being sneaky, but after numerous failed attempts, I see that brute force entry into a club that doesn't want you in attendance is not a good strategy. If I want to continue my e-com endeavors, I must adapt.
The Ideas: All of the ideas below are intended to be built into the website somehow.
A. BUYBACK STORE
I really like the idea of these buyback websites. They are self-sustaining and offer cash upfront for (insert niche market here.) They are focused and targeted and have high conversion rates. If you sell printers on the back end, you buy used printers from your patrons on the front end of your website, for a reasonable (but discounted) offer. You see this business model with textbooks, ink toner, and high end electronics etc.
My site would offer to buy used merchandise from our patrons and shop around for the best deal from the stores that already exist and do this. You'd be able to sell various items back to my company. My company would be middle manning between 5-6 already established vendors while taking the cream off the top of the cake.
How it works
- Log In to Your Profile
- Upload a picture of your item and a brief description of what it is through a template our site offers
- I see that it's an old toner that is no longer being used the ABC company. I look up the value for this toner on a competators website
- Competators website offers me cash for the toner.
- I offer 10% markdown on competator's offer to me and pass along to customer
- Customer ships me the toner/gets paid
- I ship toner to competator/get paid
"Hey you! Ready to recycle your stuff for cash?
We will make you an offer for your gently used furniture, ink, toner, electronics, (etc etc) and pay you cash flat out!"
B. E-Commerce Dropship Merchant
Everybody wants to dropship for other people….but I want to have people dropship my stuff
Offering a percentage of "trash merchandise" in a storefront for other re-sellers to sell for us. Because there is no overhead on the high end items that we find in the trash (we literally found a rolex one time and sold it for 5k), and we no longer are in front of a large audience, we would like to offer our items, pictures, and product description to other resellers. They then can use our images and sell our merchandise for us. If they make the sale, we dropship to their customer for them. We would essentially be a dropship vendor in an environment where everybody wants to be a dropshipping merchant.
The categories would be laid out by platform or product category. IE Amazon (New Goods) Amazon (Used Goods) Poshmark (Clothes). Or "Electronics" "Clothing" "Car Parts" etc.
Our sellers would have a member profile that they can log into. They can then view the products that are available for sale from our "product store" and view a list of items that they have "claimed" and want to see on our behalf.
How it works:
- Resellers Log Into Their Profile
- Source Items that Look Appealing and fit the general theme of their personal ecom store
- Somehow the reseller claims the product so that it becomes unavailable for others to sell(most products are 1 offs)
- Customer sells product in their store
- Customer sends me the money
- Either I ship direct to reseller or I ship to end-user (havent figured it out yet.
"MYCOMPANY is a privately owned reCommerce site that gives established e-commerce vendors the opportunity to list and sell merchandise without having to go through the hassle of storing, taking photos, or writing descriptions for the goods that we provide. NO CASH DOWN. We want to make the selling process easy for you. After a brief screening process, you’ll have access to hundreds of products, their descriptions, and their photos. All you have to do is post them in your store, and when the merchandise sells, we will ship it for you! MYCOMPANY makes it easy for you to source, sell, and profit."
C. Online Store
Basically, you can just flat out buy our merchandise if you want it. The store would probably be laid out in conjunction with the "Dropship reseller catalog" (section B) but instead of a "sell this item" button that our regular customers would see, there would be a button that says, "buy this item". This doesn't require much explanation. It's just a regular online store that has a little of everything (terrible business model) and has no focus. It's essentially an online pawnshop full of odds and ends.
“There's no mystery when you buy from MYCOMPANY. We pay close attention to the condition of every item that we list for sale. We guarantee that."
D. Partner / Donate
I deal with a lot of people who are into scrapping, demolition, house cleanouts, real estate, and several other businesses. A lot of times people offer me free stuff or just give me things to sell for them. I'd like to feature a "Partner With Us" section for businesses that would like to work out deals with my company on a regular bulk basis. We also would make a pledge to donate to charity, plant trees, or some other green/philanthropic initiative. Each donation would result in 1 tree planted or 10$ towards the gofund me of your choice. ETC.
It's really not that complicated but without a real focus, it'll be hard to market and hard to convert clicks. What do you guys think?
If I'm going problem vs. solution….I've reversed engineered the question that all entrepreneurs ask. "what problem do I solve for my customer" has turned into "ive got a problem selling my merchandise online…how do I solve it." The snowball just ended up turning from there.
Please weigh in with comments questions and criticism.