Author Topic: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group  (Read 1386 times)

Archipelago

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Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« on: April 27, 2021, 09:01:20 PM »
Hello Mustachians,

I'm writing to gauge interest in the idea of beginning an E-Commerce discussion and knowledge group. I've been searching extensively for places to connect with other e-commerce entrepreneurs. What I've found so far is that sources are either filled with excessive sales pitching, or "mastermind" expensive membership fees. I simply want to interact with other E-commerce business owners to share knowledge and discuss ideas. Picturing 1-2 times/month, 1 hour meetings, no sales pitches or advertising allowed in any way.

There are numerous established business owners around the forums, does anyone else do E-commerce?

Thoughts and feedback welcome. This is a fresh idea, dynamic as needed.

Or if you can point me towards another recommended resource, I'd appreciate it.

This post has been approved by a mod.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 09:31:51 AM »
I'm in.

I have an Amazon FBA business doing mid 5-figures in revenue that I run as a side-business. I'm in the process of buying an ecommerce business (off Amazon) that does mid 6-figures in revenue and should be able to support my family once I go full-time on it. https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/buying-an-ecommerce-business-our-journey/


Deferr

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 11:26:53 AM »
Iím in. I run a part time multichannel (mostly FBA) e-commerce business. Also working toward FI.

I would love to be a part of a group of like minded business owners.


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Archipelago

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 06:45:30 AM »
Thanks for replying. A few days went by without any interest, so I thought the idea might've fallen flat.

That's 3 of us so far, which should be enough to get the ball rolling. I currently do a little over $250k annually with Amazon FBA, and I'm working to expand to additional sales channels. Right now it's a side hustle but I see it as eventual means to full self employment. Goal is to establish a $100k income business working 20 hours/week. Then get out of the damned rat race and dedicate more time to family and hobbies.

@Deferr and @Michael in ABQ if you don't mind, I'll PM you to get your email addresses, and we can aim for a Zoom call from there. Sound okay?

jeromedawg

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2021, 05:55:00 PM »
Just stumbled across this. I might be interested. I'm very limited in knowledge and experience but have sold stuff off amazon and ebay. I also sell on fb marketplace and cl but I'm talking mostly one-off things I find deals on and order two or more (small batches of) for resale. It's definitely not a mapped-out business by any means but I've thought more about trying to get into it more seriously.

MrsV

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 03:19:19 AM »
Iím super late to the conversation but would be keen if this wound up going somewhere! I have a six figure a year e-commerce store. It was a side gig and then COVID hit (I worked in travel) so my passion project HAD to become a real business. Managed to grow it 700% in the year, though it was a low base we came off. Would love to now figure out how to double it without the sleepless nights/busyness Iíve been struggling with of late!

travel2020

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2021, 08:58:41 PM »
Just came across this. I have a traditional business but have been exploring ideas to expand reach geographically via e-commerce. Would love to join if not too late.

Kroaler

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2021, 11:14:25 AM »
What would be some of the key topic areas?

I have a traditional business so I'm not sure how much overlap there is.

Are digital marketing and SEO huge topics for e-commerce? If so I'd be interested for those topics.

Archipelago

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2021, 07:20:01 PM »
Coming back to this topic. Apologies, life has been super busy. Isn't it always...?

There's been some more interest since topic creation and I want to feel out how this topic is going. So far there's been a mix of folks experienced, casual, exploratory, or little experience. I think this could actually be beneficial, in my opinion.

Any thoughts on creating a brief survey on this? What's the next move? This is a little more complicated than I thought!

Archipelago

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2021, 07:22:00 PM »
What would be some of the key topic areas?

I have a traditional business so I'm not sure how much overlap there is.

Are digital marketing and SEO huge topics for e-commerce? If so I'd be interested for those topics.

Haven't picked any topic ideas. Whatever is related to e-commerce is fair game to discuss. Digital marketing and SEO are valid topics, IMO.

Kroaler

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2021, 07:10:16 AM »
Coming back to this topic. Apologies, life has been super busy. Isn't it always...?

There's been some more interest since topic creation and I want to feel out how this topic is going. So far there's been a mix of folks experienced, casual, exploratory, or little experience. I think this could actually be beneficial, in my opinion.

Any thoughts on creating a brief survey on this? What's the next move? This is a little more complicated than I thought!

I've never had or participated in a group think like you are proposing, I might not even "play well with others" for all I know. 

But just as a start I imagine we all have similar pain points and it's likely someone has solved pain points that someone else might be struggling with still.  For me one thing that is tough is getting customers to leave google reviews and I imagine for fba sellers product / seller reviews.

I'm sure we also have top resources we recommend as well, be it a certain host, or SEO tool , or book.

I suggest "one page marketing plan" to everyone, but alot of you may be more advanced than that already.


Joel

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2021, 07:27:06 AM »
I donít have my own small business but Iíve been the key finance person at two different direct-to-consumer businesses and have been closely involved with the data side of the house. Not sure if thatís of any interest in this group, but a valuable and often under utilized aspect of this business model.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2021, 03:18:16 PM »
I will be closing on the purchase of an ecommerce business at the end of the month. I plan to go full time on it shortly after. So far Archipelago and I had one Zoom meeting but it would be great to have a group of people in the same industry to bounce things off of. For instance, what tasks other have had success outsourcing (advertising, bookkeeping, content writing, etc.) and whether that was someone in the U.S. or overseas.

Kroaler

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2021, 05:56:32 AM »
I donít have my own small business but Iíve been the key finance person at two different direct-to-consumer businesses and have been closely involved with the data side of the house. Not sure if thatís of any interest in this group, but a valuable and often under utilized aspect of this business model.

I'm a little curious what you mean by data side of things. Like I/T data, or more market analytics type of data?

Joel

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2021, 07:43:02 AM »
I donít have my own small business but Iíve been the key finance person at two different direct-to-consumer businesses and have been closely involved with the data side of the house. Not sure if thatís of any interest in this group, but a valuable and often under utilized aspect of this business model.

I'm a little curious what you mean by data side of things. Like I/T data, or more market analytics type of data?

Accounting, external audits, business intelligence, long term planning and forecasting.

Iíve joined two different companies when they had outgrown their outsourced bookkeeping and needed to internalize their accounting and prepare for external audits... of course, the role always expands way beyond just audit prep. Think analysis over shipping cost and product margins (for a $100m company with many SKUs). Developing 3-5 year growth forecasts to help with fundraising from VC, PE, and debt institutions. Also heavily involved with system implementations (ie netsuite).

Steeze

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2021, 07:08:02 AM »
I have been mulling the idea of purchasing an e-commerce business and am looking for best resources for learning about the purchasing process and the required skill set for different types - at the moment I am considering e-commerce, FBA or affiliate marketing in the $100k-$200k range. Hoping to replace $3k+/mo. Income. Completely green though, donít have experience in either and am just starting to research. I have built a couple simple Wordpress sites, but nothing for income.

So far I have been looking at sites like Empire Flippers. Is there a better place you all would recommend for brokers? Would you even recommend trying to purchase vs. establishing something new? Most of the stuff they have listed is in the 40x net income range, is that reasonable?

SwordGuy

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2021, 07:43:16 AM »
I have no particular value to add but hope this will be up and running within two years, with a wealth of useful, pragmatic info to share.

I'm hoping to be producing enough artwork for fun by then that I'll have a surplus that I could sell for more play money.   (I'm not going to undercut artists who are working for a living so I'll charge proper prices.)

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Gauging interest in an E-Commerce knowledge share group
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2021, 09:59:45 AM »
I have been mulling the idea of purchasing an e-commerce business and am looking for best resources for learning about the purchasing process and the required skill set for different types - at the moment I am considering e-commerce, FBA or affiliate marketing in the $100k-$200k range. Hoping to replace $3k+/mo. Income. Completely green though, donít have experience in either and am just starting to research. I have built a couple simple Wordpress sites, but nothing for income.

So far I have been looking at sites like Empire Flippers. Is there a better place you all would recommend for brokers? Would you even recommend trying to purchase vs. establishing something new? Most of the stuff they have listed is in the 40x net income range, is that reasonable?

I just purchased an ecommerce business last week: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/buying-an-ecommerce-business-our-journey/

The best way to learn is by doing. However, that's not always feasible to start something or buy something on a small scale to get started. The effort to run an ecommerce business that generates $5k in profit is not going to be much less than one making $50k. Better to spend your time on something with a decent return.

I've gained a lot of my knowledge through podcasts and to a lesser extent blogs. I know there's a lot of YouTube content, but a lot of that is probably outdated.

The best ecommerce podcasts I've found are:
EcomCrew - They just hit 400 episodes and are very open and transparent about their brands, products, numbers, struggles, etc. It's not all sunshine and roses. Amazon FBA but also running a D2C website on Shopify and using content sites.

ECommerce Fuel - Another long running podcast. The host runs a private forum for 7-figure plus ecommerce store owners and built and sold some businesses of his own.

The Quiet Light Podcast - Quiet Light has an excellent reputation in the industry for selling online businesses. The business I just bought was listed by a broker with Quiet Light, and the seller purchased it there almost a decade ago. They do a lot of ecommerce but also content sites, SaaS, and others. Their average deal size is now over a million, but still plenty of businesses in the low to mid- 6 figure range. Their podcast has a lot of former clients on it talking about their sale or purchase but lots of general information as well.


Empire Flippers is probably the largest online business broker by volume, they're also one of the few to use monthly multiples instead of annual. 40x = 3.33x annual which is reasonable. Multiples for ecommerce businesses have definitely been increasing in the last year or two as Covid drove a lot more people online to shop and many will not go back to local retailers. There's also a lot more money coming into the space from Amazon FBA aggregators. More demand = higher prices = higher multiples.

This website aggregates listings from Empire Flippers, Quiet Light, and several others: https://app.centurica.com/marketwatch

Note that some brokers will include the inventory in the purchase price which can make a 3x multiple look like a 4x. The inventory is an asset and is essentially equivalent to cash. So if you bought a business for $300k with $100k in their checking account, saying you paid $400k is a bit of a misnomer.  That being said, virtually all online business purchases are asset sales as opposed to stock sales so you just buy the assets of the business, not the whole existing company (typically an LLC) and whatever their bank account balances are.