1. Are looking for a new ebusiness opportunity and cannot find one looking in traditional places.
2. Looking to go global – and sell products internationally online.
If you’re looking to start an ebusiness today, go back to 1998 when me and my brother were throwing together packages of FatBurners for eBay and making a vat of money. You have to sell something. Sell something tangible.
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different ideas to make money online. The easiest ideas involved selling tangible products that people were already familiar with – or, that were slight variations of what people were already familiar with.
The best market you can get in?
International. Go global and stop thinking small. Sure you’re a one-person operation, but, you can buy and sell internationally too!
The best thing you could do for yourself is to plan a trip to Asia to source your new products to sell on your website. Chatuchak market in Bangkok, Thailand is a weekend gathering place of sellers of thousands of products you can sell online. The flight to and from Bangkok will cost you about $1,500. You can probably make $1,500 back in the first year. Once you get going – you should be making that and more each month if you’re serious about your online business and invest the time and energy to make it work.
The time in the air to Bangkok is 24 hours each way from the USA.
Is it worth it? Literally, there is probably nothing better you can do for yourself than make that trip, and buy some samples to sell on your new website.
You will get many ideas from looking at the products that are at the market. Every time I go – I’m torn between buying all sorts of things that I know will sell if I only built a website for selling them.
Plan on spending a couple thousand dollars on inventory you can sell. Some you can bring home in suitcases, others you can send by post – FEDEX, DHL, and Thailand Post will all send your items to the USA – sure, you will have customs charges upon arrival in your home country. This is another reason to choose items that you can mark up dramatically.
On my last visit to Chatuchak, I saw about 100 products I could sell online – easily, quickly, and make decent money. For each product it will take creating a website and marketing it – to reach people and let them know I have the products to sell. So, choose your items carefully. Stay in Bangkok a couple days – and definitely go this market on Saturday and Sunday. At night from your WIFI enabled hotel room, use your notebook computer to research the products you saw at the market that day. Figure out what might work for you. Figure out how you can beat those you find online that are selling your products today.
Looking internationally for your business solutions makes a LOT of sense right now. Sure you can talk to people online and try to work a deal for new products to sell on your site, but you don’t really ever know what you’re getting until it arrives.
I think it’s a much better idea to go to Bangkok and see for yourself what is available. Choose something that is high quality and high markup. Choose something that is niche, but not ultra-niche. You want to be able to grow the business over time. Choose something legal – there are many illegal products at the market that you should ignore. Elephant tusks, bones, skins, tiger skin, tiger teeth, etc. Don’t bother doing anything remotely illegal. There are plenty of above-board products you can buy and sell online at Chatuchak market.
Choose products that you can re-order from back at home. Create a relationship with the seller and tell the person you will be ordering more as you sell it – and would like to get the best prices today so you can keep working with them for years from now. Ensure they know that you could become a very steady source of income for the next couple years. Ask them if they have more samples that aren’t present that day. Ask what is coming out in the future. Ask if they know the best way to ship the items. Get their phone number, email address, mailing address, fax address….
Find a good Thai translator (I have one if you need her name, she’s a friend in Nakhon si Thammarat and does great work) to help you get your order across to the vendor in Bangkok. Most Thais at the market speak very little English – and, even if they appear to speak OK English – you’ll want to be absolutely sure. I’d use a good translator. The cost is negligible in the big picture.
Let me know if you decide to follow this advice and build your online business using items found at Chatuchak market in Bangkok, Thailand.
Best of luck and life…
[Photo credit – top – Adam Kahtava at Flickr.com, bottom – antwerpenR at Flickr.]