Author Topic: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey  (Read 5415 times)

MustachioedPistachio

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2021, 01:36:24 PM »
Just catching up on your progress. Congrats on the acquisition!

I wanted to share my solution for this..
I just got business bank accounts setup but despite it being the year 2021 we still haven't figured out how to move money from one bank to another in less than 3-4 business days (unless you pay for a wire transfer and go to your bank in person).

We use two banks, and I've found the easiest, quickest way to move funds is writing a check from one account and depositing to the other via mobile deposit. Funds credit the following morning. Otherwise, fully agree it's ridiculous there's not an even simpler, expeditious way.

sammybiker

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #51 on: October 25, 2021, 04:20:00 AM »
Bump, any updates?  @Michael in ABQ

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #52 on: October 25, 2021, 02:05:12 PM »
Things are going well overall. Definitely struggling with supply chain issues. About have our listings are for products that we don't carry in stock and drop ship from a dozen or so suppliers. One supplier in particular gets a lot of inventory from China and is frequently letting us know that something is out of stock and backordered for weeks or months. With so many products and their inventory changing all the time we're not doing a good job of reflecting when something is out of stock on our website. So a customer orders from us and then we have to tell them after the fact that it's backordered. One of our suppliers sent us a larger order of a few pallets. It shipped from a couple states away on Friday October 1st and was scheduled to be delivered on Thursday October 7th. Every day for a week and a half the delivery estimate would move back a day. It was finally delivered on Monday the 18th. Meanwhile we had customers placing orders early in October that we had told would ship in a few days once our shipment came in. As that kept getting delayed we kept having to revise the date it would ship.

On the plus side, October is trending much higher than last year. We bought the business at the end of July and August and September were basically flat compared to last year. October was historically one of the lowest months for sales but we're on track to beat last October by 50% - making it almost as strong as November/December last year. I credit that to a combination of sending a daily email to our entire list of 40k active subscribers, raising prices, and just continuing to improve our product listings with better descriptions and more keywords on the backend. Also, we're definitely seeing some Christmas orders already. Hopefully it's not just pulling demand forward - though that's still fine. I'd be perfectly happy to sell out of Christmas inventory in November from a cash flow perspective. In fact we had someone just clean us out of a Christmas product - almost 400 units in a single order. This is something that normally sells 1-2 at a time and last year the previous owner sold through about 200. We decided to double that order. Looks like we still underestimated demand.


sammybiker

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #53 on: October 25, 2021, 02:45:44 PM »
@Michael in ABQ Great update, that is awesome to hear.  Especially on the Oct-2021 vs Oct-2020...seeing some value back already on your changes has gotta feel good.

Are you seeing supply chain issues improving at all?

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #54 on: October 25, 2021, 05:22:29 PM »
@Michael in ABQ Great update, that is awesome to hear.  Especially on the Oct-2021 vs Oct-2020...seeing some value back already on your changes has gotta feel good.

Are you seeing supply chain issues improving at all?

No, I don't anticipate any improvements until Summer of 2022. We just got an order for a product that's made in Portugal and our supplier said they don't expect another shipment until next summer. So I'm probably going to buy out the rest of their inventory for some other variations of that product.

This next 6-9 months, and certainly the next 1-2 months, it's going to be all about who has the most inventory. Also, inventory purchased today will likely increase in value. Most of our suppliers have implemented price increases, or will do so in the next few weeks. A few have added a freight surcharge of 4-8% which is just another way of saying they're raising prices without actually raising prices.

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #55 on: October 25, 2021, 07:51:04 PM »
On the plus side, October is trending much higher than last year

I wonder if this is an effect of all the new articles telling us to shop early due to supply chain problems. Anecdotally, a few people have told me theyíre doing this.

Personally, I feel this is a scam by big business to get everyone riled up. And they know if you shop early, you just shop longer and buy more. So it is definitely in their interest.

Also in your interest too, Michael in ABQ, and I hope everyone shops early and often from you!

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #56 on: October 25, 2021, 09:01:55 PM »
On the plus side, October is trending much higher than last year

I wonder if this is an effect of all the new articles telling us to shop early due to supply chain problems. Anecdotally, a few people have told me theyíre doing this.

Personally, I feel this is a scam by big business to get everyone riled up. And they know if you shop early, you just shop longer and buy more. So it is definitely in their interest.

Also in your interest too, Michael in ABQ, and I hope everyone shops early and often from you!

My wife and I just ordered most of our Christmas gifts for our kids off Amazon. I know full well that people are going to run out of inventory, prices will go up, and shipping will be delayed. Good luck trying to find a LEGO set on December 14th that will arrive by Christmas without paying a significant amount higher than you would have ordering a month or two earlier.

maisymouser

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #57 on: October 27, 2021, 02:15:35 PM »
PTF. I know nothing about owning or operating a business, but it sounds like you are quickly becoming an expert and I'd like to join you to learn while you ride the waves of being your own boss :)

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2021, 06:12:43 PM »
On the plus side, October is trending much higher than last year

I wonder if this is an effect of all the new articles telling us to shop early due to supply chain problems. Anecdotally, a few people have told me theyíre doing this.

Personally, I feel this is a scam by big business to get everyone riled up. And they know if you shop early, you just shop longer and buy more. So it is definitely in their interest.

Also in your interest too, Michael in ABQ, and I hope everyone shops early and often from you!
Container ships have nowhere to berth so they wait off of the coast for days a week+, then once they unload, there is nowhere to put the containers and/or not enough chassis to dray the containers from the port, then once they get to a warehouse, not enough people to unload them. Spot market container rates per FEU from East Asia to West Coast were up from ~$1500 prior to covid to $20,000 a couple of months ago and rates are still hovering around $18,000. LA/LB are pretending to charge ocean shippers for containers dwelling at the port, even though that is total bullshit and will have as much of an impact as LA/LB being "open" 24/7. Next year, the ILWU contract is up so there may be additional work slowdowns or strikes at the ports. It's actually a proper mess.

Dictionary Time

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2021, 07:17:22 PM »
On the plus side, October is trending much higher than last year

I wonder if this is an effect of all the new articles telling us to shop early due to supply chain problems. Anecdotally, a few people have told me theyíre doing this.

Personally, I feel this is a scam by big business to get everyone riled up. And they know if you shop early, you just shop longer and buy more. So it is definitely in their interest.

Also in your interest too, Michael in ABQ, and I hope everyone shops early and often from you!
Container ships have nowhere to berth so they wait off of the coast for days a week+, then once they unload, there is nowhere to put the containers and/or not enough chassis to dray the containers from the port, then once they get to a warehouse, not enough people to unload them. Spot market container rates per FEU from East Asia to West Coast were up from ~$1500 prior to covid to $20,000 a couple of months ago and rates are still hovering around $18,000. LA/LB are pretending to charge ocean shippers for containers dwelling at the port, even though that is total bullshit and will have as much of an impact as LA/LB being "open" 24/7. Next year, the ILWU contract is up so there may be additional work slowdowns or strikes at the ports. It's actually a proper mess.

Let me clarify, I do believe there are supply chain issues.

I just donít believe that itís going to ruin my Christmas. Iíll just get different things, give gift cards or cash even.

If you feel highly vested in getting specific gifts, it can be a problem. Like the earlier prayer who needs a specific logo set. Iím heartless and my kids rarely if ever get the exact thing on their list.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2021, 07:40:48 PM »
Anything that's out of stock now isn't expected until 2022. One of our suppliers on the east coast said the ship with their container arrived on September 1st and just had to clear customs - they anticipated having some products back in stock within a week or s. It took almost another month before it actually made it to their warehouse.

Another supplier on the west coast said their freight deliveries of a pallet or two for larger orders to the east coast were taking 4 weeks. Our shipment took over two weeks to go two states. When I called a trucking company that is located literally one block from my office they quoted me $600 to pickup three pallets from 5 miles away that were sitting at the other trucking company's depot waiting to be delivered.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Buying an Ecommerce Business - Our Journey
« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2021, 07:42:47 PM »
On the plus side, October is trending much higher than last year

I wonder if this is an effect of all the new articles telling us to shop early due to supply chain problems. Anecdotally, a few people have told me theyíre doing this.

Personally, I feel this is a scam by big business to get everyone riled up. And they know if you shop early, you just shop longer and buy more. So it is definitely in their interest.

Also in your interest too, Michael in ABQ, and I hope everyone shops early and often from you!
Container ships have nowhere to berth so they wait off of the coast for days a week+, then once they unload, there is nowhere to put the containers and/or not enough chassis to dray the containers from the port, then once they get to a warehouse, not enough people to unload them. Spot market container rates per FEU from East Asia to West Coast were up from ~$1500 prior to covid to $20,000 a couple of months ago and rates are still hovering around $18,000. LA/LB are pretending to charge ocean shippers for containers dwelling at the port, even though that is total bullshit and will have as much of an impact as LA/LB being "open" 24/7. Next year, the ILWU contract is up so there may be additional work slowdowns or strikes at the ports. It's actually a proper mess.

Let me clarify, I do believe there are supply chain issues.

I just donít believe that itís going to ruin my Christmas. Iíll just get different things, give gift cards or cash even.

If you feel highly vested in getting specific gifts, it can be a problem. Like the earlier prayer who needs a specific logo set. Iím heartless and my kids rarely if ever get the exact thing on their list.
That is one problem (you can't get what you want) but there are also problems with B2C on-time delivery with FedEx & UPS. Those two also imposed peak surcharges on large shippers, incentivizing those companies to encourage customers to order earlier (and the way those peak charges are calculated actually encourage shippers to prefer less early-October volume compared to late-October/early November). Last year where I worked we paid ~$12M in parcel peak charges, so you can understand much of the concern is around lowering cost rather than necessarily raising revenue.

But ordering early can be a win-win since it smooths Q4 volume out over a longer time-span which benefits a company's fulfillment efficiency, while at the same time, ensuring customers get what they want on time. There was already a huge problem with this last year but seemingly little consumer behavioral change despite some messaging then, so it is being cranked up to 11 this year.

For the record, I don't buy anyone any xmas gifts (and tell people not to get me anything) so I don't know what all the fuss is!