I wouldn't say that I run a successful e-commerce business but I do have a lot of experience in the e-commerce world and it is a topic that I am constantly studying.
The first online business venture I did involved dropshipping products from suppliers in the US and selling them on eBay.
When I started, I was only 15 and had to use my parents accounts but I was able to earn a decent side income selling products that I never had to touch. We also were living in Nicaragua, Central America at the time so it was a great way to earn money since the average hourly wage for a job in that country was a couple bucks an hour. (I earned $3 an hour as an English teacher when I was 17)
Of course, there were lots of roadblocks that I had to overcome, especially when I tried selling products from suppliers in China. Every now and then there would be a problem with an order so I had to deal with the customer, but that taught me a lot about customer service.
- My primary reason for getting into dropshipping was to earn some extra money.
- The site I primarily sell on is eBay. I have experimented with other marketplaces but eBay has been the best one for me.
- My sales came mostly just from eBay doing most of the selling. I did do some social media promotion but never really got in-depth enough to do my own marketing.
- I wish someone had encouraged me to stick with it. Looking back, if I wouldn't have gotten lazy, I probably could be making a significant amount with it. As far as what I would do differently. I would not even have dealt with Chinese suppliers when just starting out. It just caused to many issues for me as a newbie and was part of the reason I got discouraged while doing dropshipping.
- My advice: start small, do your research, find something that works and then stick with that until you have learned it well enough to branch out. By being laser focused on one particular area of e-commerce, you will be much more successful long term.
Dropshipping is just one form of e-commerce, there is also retail arbitrage, buying and reselling and wholesaling to name a few. Find one that works for you and learn the ins and outs of it. If you spread yourself too thin you could become a "jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none"