Small business & Startups forum


Will People Buy from My Website if eBay Has it Cheaper?

by RoseMakh / January 13, 2013 4:24 AM PST

Hi everyone!

I'm opening an online fashion jewelry e-store soon, geared towards young folks ages 16 to 30. I want to source some of my inventory from eBay (they have some super-cute stuff there). The items would be coming from places like China and Hong Kong. I'd be buying each item for $0.99 to $5 and reselling them in my e-store for $10 to $12, plus shipping.

My questions are:

If my customers can just go to eBay and buy the exact same items for far less than what I'm charging, would it be a bad idea to source items from eBay?

Do most online shoppers in my target market check sites like eBay and Amazon for items that are available on more expensive sites? If so, can I overcome this with an agressive marketing campaign and a strong company identity?

Even if you don't have experience in the jewelry industry, I would really appreciate your help with this. Thank you!

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All Answers

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I'd avoid that source.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 13, 2013 4:31 AM PST

I've seen the maker go direct from China and you can't compete with them. And as long as our government turns a blind eye on illegal imports via mail, that is, they lied on the custom form and called it a gift then the playing field is not level.

Get out while you can.

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Well, that's not good news.
by RoseMakh / January 13, 2013 5:15 AM PST
In reply to: I'd avoid that source.

Thank you for your reply, Bob. Are you saying it's a really bad idea to start a jewelry e-store now, since all the customers just buy their stuff direct from China, anyway? Or did you mean the resellers are all buying direct from China, somewhat illegally?

I can source from manufacturers from within the USA and pretty decent prices. Do you think it would be profitable to do that instead, or should I just forget about it because of all the cheap China-made jewelry?

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I was as blunt as possible.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2013 9:07 AM PST

I ordered a few items on and it came direct from China via mail and the custom form was marked "gift."

As a former business owner this means that those that play by the rules can't win the game.

It's rigged and until our government fixes this, you can't compete. Well, you can, but look at their advantage.

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Oh, I Get It...
by RoseMakh / January 15, 2013 11:31 AM PST

So, they just get stuff dropshipped from China for $1 and sell it to you for $7 - $10 without even having to hold inventory. Sneaky. I never would have expected that. That really does give them an advantage.

Thank you for you input!

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Or "in the family."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 16, 2013 3:28 AM PST
In reply to: Oh, I Get It...

When I lived in Canada I encountered a few "businesses" that would take orders in Canada and they would send them to be filled by their family in another country circumventing taxes and overhead local businesses may have.

The Poste in Canada is doing a fair job at assessing taxes and duties in that country but in the USA this is not the case.

While some think this is a good thing, I see an uneven playing field.

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by BrianMitchell1 / February 6, 2013 2:06 PM PST
In reply to: Or "in the family."

If this idea is not working, there are lots of other businesses that you can follow. Its good that you are suggestions from everyone.

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Not everyone is that web savvy.

Not everyone is that web savvy to find the same item for cheaper. You could also open your own ebay store to run with your web store. Items without a SKU# or other identification are hard to find.

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I help run a small online golf company
by Business356 / March 11, 2013 1:18 PM PDT

In short a strong marketing campaign and brand identity will help you to overcome these obstacles, but a strong marketing campaign takes a lot of funds and brand identities dont grow overnight. If you feel you have the funds and are in it for the long haul then I would say go for it.

The golf company I run is almost 99% drop shipped directly from manufacturers so I dont have to worry about inventory. I certainly lose business because of auction sites like Ebay, but most of the customers I deal with want an honest deal and to know they arent buying fake merchandise, which is a huge problem on Ebay.

You can also help overcome obstacles by offering incentives like free shipping or buy one get one free, etc. Basically things to get customers interested in the site, as most people are willing to pay a premium for quality service, with a retailer they can trust.

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