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How I Made $500,000 in Revenue in 18 Months with One E-Commerce Business
People seem to love when I expand on my Twitter threads, so here is another one!
“Why Not Me? by Jarrylew” is an e-commerce and investment newsletter that focuses around the idea of using efficient income to become self-employed and financially free.
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Last week I expanded upon a recent Twitter thread and the post did extremely well, so it’s time to do another one.
If you haven’t seen it already, it’s right here:
This is something that I’ve mentioned throughout pieces of content, but I’ve never done a deep dive on.
That changes today with this post.
I originally started dropshipping from Amazon to eBay, before giving it a try on Shopify.
Dropshipping is where you advertise and sell products, but you have someone else store and ship for you.
At first, you could get away with advertising random junk products on Facebook and marketing them with the tagline “It’s free, just pay shipping”.
You would charge people $10 for shipping, the item would cost $3 and as long as you paid less than $7 per purchase on ads, you were profitable.
The first product I ever dropshipped was a bottle opener, while my second product was a cheap PlayStation headset.
Both made a little money before fizzling out. After that, I never really found anything that worked.
As I tried and failed several times over, I realized that the way everyone was doing it had several issues and pain points.
I thought to myself, “If I can fix these glaring issues, I bet I’ll have a much better chance of getting something to work.”
Flaw #1 is a no brainer.
The traditional way of dropshipping back then involved 2-3 week shipping times from China.
In the age of Amazon Prime, it makes 0 sense to have an e-commerce business that ships so slowly.
I knew this because my book flipping business at the time (and this still applies today) existed solely because it took books that were shipped slow and offered them with 2-day shipping.
Flaw #2 is one that I think people still underestimate to this day.
Having repeat business is so helpful to the sustainability of ANY business.
Flaw #3 is just a general observation that if setting up your business takes very little effort, it will be easy for people to copy exactly what you’ve done.
Finding a US supplier would mean fast shipping.
Getting a custom product made would keep others from copying
Personalization makes the product more giftable and likely produce repeat customers
Etsy is the home of personalized and customized products. I use it whenever I can when I am toying with an ecommerce idea.
This is just a matter of feel and intuition. It is probably the most vague advice I’ll ever give.
Sometimes you have to go with your gut.
If a product out there that genuinely surprises you and elicits emotion, there is a great chance other people will love it too.
You will never really know for sure until you give it a try and see what happens.
Any legitimate business out there isn’t going to turn down leads for customers.
Notice that I didn’t even begin creating a Shopify store until after I got the agreement.
The last thing I wanted was to do all that work and then get a “no” when I reached out.
If I were to do this all over again, this is the part where I would lack the most confidence.
So much has changed since I ran this business when it comes to advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
The recent iOS changes really decreased the quality of traffic you get when running ads with them.
This wouldn’t be as bad if prices dropped significantly as a result, but they haven’t.
I think TikTok ads is where I would put my focus if I tried this again.
Like I said, I marketed this item as a gift more than anything else.
That focus, the personalization, and the fast shipping really helped the business explode.
Had I not set out to solve the issues that most dropshipping stores had (and still have), it wouldn’t have done nearly as well.
My true love over the past two years has been content creation more than anything else.
When I lose interest and fulfillment with something, I always move on.
That’s why I sold the business when I did and I don’t regret it.
I’m not a “genius” as a result of this accomplishment. All I did was take an idea and put it in motion to find out what would happen.
The main thing that separates those who accomplish great things and those who don’t is effort.
If you are willing to try, you’ll go further than you ever imagined.
I am still undecided if I’ll build another business like this, but I am open to the idea.
Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see me try to do it all over again while documenting entire thing.
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I wouldn’t ask if it didn’t really make a difference.
Thanks for reading!