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I want help on a decision

Discussion in 'General Business and Entrepreneurship' started by Joe, Jan 12, 2016.

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  1. Joe

    Joe Entrepreneur

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    So, I post a lot. I'm starting multiple ventures giving each the same amount of time so I don't over focus on one and have the others fail. I'm thinking of selling Iphone app icons as pillows similar to emoji pillows.(In bulk can cost $1-$3 depending on how many you buy and are sold between $15-$20+) and I've been talking to a manufacture in china where they make these type of product. I can buy samples at $70 for the freight and $40 a pillow(I have the makings for a Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix one) but,lets say I buy 2000, they would be 3.49 per pillow. obviously I don't want my first order to be 2000, pay 7000 and there be a mess up. Is 200+ what I should do? Being a college student, I don't have much capital. Opinions? Advice?
     

  2. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Entrepreneur

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    I don't think venturing in multiple business ideas is a good thing. As for me, it's much better if you just first stick to the only startup that you really are passionate about. Keep focused on that one first, and if it didn't work, then that's when you try other types of business. Just an advice though. The decision is still in your hands. All the best.
     
    davide strina likes this.
  3. DeathXGun

    DeathXGun Entrepreneur

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    I on the other hand think it is a good idea to increase your initial net worth by taking several business ventures. However, I do think that in the long run you should end up focusing on one.
    This idea seems pretty nice and I would, myself, love to do it too one day haha
    I would suggest 100 pillows. You say you go to college and girls will be the main ones who buy such pillows. Assuming you go to a college that is non-community, you won't know many of the woman going to your school and even if you did, woman tend to spend their collage money on dorm rooms. I would assume by that knowledge that they would only purchase 1-2 pillows each, if any! I would estimate, to be safe, 1 in 3 girls purchasing any, regardless of amount. If you had 200 pillows you would AT LEAST have to have 100 woman(and men, but not many men will) purchase at least two pillows. But the amount will fluctuate and it becomes hard to calculate. Buy a hundred, in my opinion. Then see how it goes. It is as you say it is, a venture!! A venture requires risk!! Good luck man.

    -DeathXGun
     
  4. Joe

    Joe Entrepreneur

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    I'm passionate about all my ventures, and can go after each in which ever way needed, all require drafting designing, I do that, all require calls to multiple people, a website (possibly not always), it's all the same
     
  5. DeathXGun

    DeathXGun Entrepreneur

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    Ah I see. I was thinking of it as a small, man-to-man business. (Not over the web). My apologize! It sounds good to get 200 then, smart.

    -DeathXGun
     
  6. briannagodess

    briannagodess Entrepreneur

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    Do you have a possible market you can sell your pillows to? If so, 200 pillows seem like a good number. I think your business idea is very timely and relevant and there's definitely a market for it. But for me, I'm not much of a risk taker so I would rather be sure that there are people out there willing to buy my product before I go ahead and go into a high production number. But you sure are courageous and I hope you have good luck in all your ventures!:)
     
  7. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

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    While this isn't my field at all so I'm just throwing the suggestion out there, but...can to not buy to order for now and see how popular the idea is?

    Get people's attention around the college or university you go to and make a note of how many people want to place an order. If there is a large amount and the business looks viable then take deposits, or from your manufacturer and when you receive the order deliver and collect the remaining balance.

    Would something like that not work and go for the direct selling approach at the beginning instead of focussing on a web based business?
     
    setupdisc likes this.
  8. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

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    I would be careful and just test the waters first. If you can afford the $70 for the sample, then I would try that out and see where it goes just with minimal marketing and posts online after you've received them.

    Keeping inventory of anything is always a tough decision, especially if it's a commodity item or something that reflects a trend which changes rapidly. If it's a limited-time trend, then timing can be even more important than pricing.

    I would wait until you have confirmation of the niche market or a guaranteed sales for it to sell them before you invest a large dollar amount into anything, whether it's something like this or anything else.

    Sometimes you can take risks, but you always want to have a plan B or a way to liquidate the items if they don't sell to ensure that you only have minimal losses (if any) to make back what you invested.
     
  9. Joe

    Joe Entrepreneur

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    I was going to get about 3-4 pillows so I could show a Kickstarter what I'm trying to do once I can get the cost down to let's say that $3.49 (if I order 2000) I could sell them sites such as etsy, wanelo, and off online sites to see the market. The first pillows would be for me to show off .

    Brianna 200 pillows would possibly cost me lower than 10 individually but as a whole it may cost 500+ more

    But I started a Kickstarter pictures and all, if I'm funded I'll put effort into it if not I'll save money to start it on my own
     
    setupdisc likes this.
  10. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

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    Etsy's a good place for items like that. So is Amazon marketplace in the home/housewares section if you can get a spot going there. Did you have a link to your Kickstarter? I'll run it by a few people to see if they would buy it and let you know what they say if you want to post it up.
     
  11. Joe

    Joe Entrepreneur

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    setupdisc likes this.
  12. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

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    The problem with any outside investment is that they're going to want a return on their money, so even if things don't go as well as you planned, they won't be concerned, that's down to you to sort out and fix, they'll just want to know their investment is safe.

    If that's the only way then so be it, but if you can find the business yourself I find that's the better option.
     
  13. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

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    I ran your Kickstarter page by a few people Joe, and they like it. One had a good suggestion to share in that they recommended marketing them initially to people doing tech shows on Youtube: "Every time they do a video, people can see the pillow to inquire about it."

    Also, even if the person didn't buy the pillow for their shows, it would be an ideal place to advertise with a good fit to the content where a large percentage of users would be interested in it.
     
  14. CoolSpot

    CoolSpot Entrepreneur

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    I also do multiple ventures when starting something new, the main reason is to mitigate risk. This is a lesson I learned the hard way when I was selling on ebay. Ebay was my only outlet, I had thought of setting up a dedicated ecommerce store but decided against it as I was happy with my earnings from just ebay. Then one day out of the blue, paypal suspends my account, few months later they closed the account and i was out of business, with not 2 pennys to rub together as all the money I had was either used to pay the bills or held in paypal. (when paypal close your account they will also seize all the available funds).

    Setting up and running multiple ventures is a lot more work, you have ore accounts to manage and it's a lot more stressful.

    Personally I would say even 200 is a large amount for a first order if the market is untested. On ebay you can see the amount of items that have been sold on a particular listing. then you can apply the price the seller sells the item at - fees (sales fees/payment fees/all shipping fees/ taxes etc - cost of buying the item in the first place * amount sold per day, if you feel that the amount is worth the risk of running 200 on a first order then all good, try it. I would recommend still doing a first order a little lower, maybe 10-20 pcs then you can judge how well they are selling. It's easier to buy more stock than it is to get rid of stock that dosnt sell. Also with 10-20 pcs, you can diversify a little more, rather than getting 200, you could get 20 of 5 different products that sit in the same niche, evaluate everything like time taken to sell, profit generated etc, this then gives you a great starting point for dumping products that dont work, while keeping products that do.

    Ebay was always my main focus, and one of the things I learnt very quickly was, the layout of the description matters, a lot.
    list the item you have with 2 or 3 different layouts using the html option, (you can buy templates for ebay adverts if you cant do these yourself), then keep making slight changes on them until you are the dominant seller for that item. ( you know when this happens as other sellers with start stealing your ad, which then forces you to repeat the entire process.)

    If capital is the issue, you could look into the possibility of drop shipping direct from china. The postage times are a lot longer so your customers will expect a discount for that, so a $20 pillow might only get you maybe $15 instead, you might also end up paying a small premium for the supplier to package and ship your item, so a $3 pillow might become $6, but this dosnt require much upfront ( just enough will be needed to cover each order as a float as you will need to keep money in paypal for a while, or they ban your account (first hand experience). This also again gives you the benifit of not having to worry about the items you buy not selling, as you only buy the item once the customer has confirmed the order. every model has it's downfall, the downfall with dropshipping is that you might find that a customer buys a product, then you go to order and it's out of stock, and you have to go back to the customer and explain that the product is out of stock. When I had this problem, I found that it really wasn't a big deal, as I would just apologize, offer to either send a refund or to upgrade the product to the next model for free.

    just my 2c
     
  15. Joe

    Joe Entrepreneur

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    I'm sorry for that happening to you. I used alibaba to find a company in china and those were the prices due to high shipping cost. 1 pillow is $40 with shipping being $70, to get one pillow cost $110 two pillows is $150 so either way its alot of money which is why I started a kickstarter. I cant check the market for my product because it hasn't been made yet the closest thing to what Im describing are the emoji pillows.
     

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