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Selling online as a business
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Thread replies: 72
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How many seagulls run their own shops online or irl?
What kind of stuff do you sell?

I'm interested in possibly starting my own, but I'm not 100% sure of the best ways to do it or if it will even be worth the investment.

What's a good amount of merchandise to start out with and what sort of things sell the most?
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Are you wanting to be a reseller or a creator? There are a lot of creators on here that run their own businesses (check out the AA thread and archived AA threads on rebeccablacktech for some great discussions), and there are at least a couple of resellers/dealers as well.
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>>8836797
I was going to start out a reseller, but hopefully I can become a creator.

I wanted to start by selling cute clothing, but nothing too crazy like some of the store-envy stuff.
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>>8836805
Tethered are so many resellers already. What will set your store apart? That's definitely something you'll want to think about.
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>>8836808
I wanted to sell cute basics instead of all the crazy kawaii outrageous stuff.

Like simple blouses, seifukus, cardigans, skirts, socks, etc

Like things that people use to start building a wardrobe or small stuff that people need to finish a coord, like a super particularly colored pleated skirt.

Also, was hoping to keep it pretty affordable so it's accessible to people with and without a ton of money to burn.
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>>8836812
there are already a billion of those on storeenvy
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>>8836820
they're all fairly expensive
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I'm a creator starting my own shop soon. The biggest issue is probably getting materials. I live in an area with a lot of fabric and trimming shops, but it's still so hard to find very cute lace and trims for lolita, instead of ugly basics. Does anyone have any recommendations?
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>>8836827
Because they're making a profit. If you sell cheap you'll barely be looking at an income.
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I have my own store, I do a little reselling along with licensed merchandise. The reselling stuff does pretty well, but like someone mentioned, it can be very expensive for the buyer. I'm really backing out slowly of the reselling because I really just don't like charging that much desu. Also, there are a ton of people doing reselling, so the market is completely saturated. I'm moving more in the direction of interesting licensed stuff. I rather sell stuff that's kinda hard to find, than stuff that's just everywhere. Been pretty successful so far.
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>>8836851
http://www.cheeptrims.com/
https://lolitaer.world.taobao.com/
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>>8836851
Taobao
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>>8836878
Second link should be
https://laces.world.taobao.com/
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>>8836878
Thank you! I'm in love with the heart lace from Laces World.
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>>8836827
Lmao, if you can't wrap your head around the idea of profit % you are not ready to run a business.
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I have an etsy shop. It was dedicated to mori girl and lolita accessories. I made maybe $200 a year and have sold about 40 items. Not much. Although I didn't advertise as much as I could. Then last year Etsy changed their policies and a flood of Taobao items were listed and my listings got buried. I also blame myself for being so busy with life. I didn't make a single sale last year. But this week I did. I decided I am going to give my shop one more shot. I may branch out to other sites and expand to selling prints.
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>>8837112
>$200 a year
My god.
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>>8837112
>>8837116
That's not a lot at all....
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i have a small handmade accessories business. i make modest profits at local conventions, and opened my Etsy store in late October. however, i have only made five sales via Etsy, which i think is due to understocking, mediocre/poor photography, expensive shipping, and buyers not leaving feedback.

my next steps are to weigh my stock to make use of Etsy's calculated shipping and let buyers choose their preferred shipping methods, to take better pictures of un-uploaded stock, and eventually go back and to retake photos of existing stock. i also plan to make more of what are best-sellers at conventions, since those types of items are still the most-viewed and most-favorited in my shop. i know my niche, and i ought to stick with it!

my tip: carry things other people do not, or have beautiful photos with attractive models (or softly-lit dressforms) if you are only selling common things.
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I have a little online store. All of my stuff involves original illustrations, though, so I can't speak at all for reselling or generic stuff.

It's been going.. Shockingly well. Like, $800 in the first three weeks, oh-my-god-I-can-actually-live-off-of-this well.
>Although I'm used to living right on the poverty fence, so maybe I'm just easily impressed.
Half of the money coming in is put away to save for a holiday for my mum, and the other half is my spending money and goes back into the store.

I think the major contributing factors are that shipping is cheap (because I'm not a dick who pads it out, even covering fancy packaging) and because the Australian dollar is so awful right now, prices are super low to international customers. That's not a very stable thing to rely on, though.

I also wholeheartedly believe that the success so far has been thanks to seagulls. Not just the immediate sales, but the awesome guys reviewing their purchases and sharing links around!
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>>8837305
sounds real nice anon!
would you be okay with sharing a link to your store?
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For sellers:
What are your best-sellers?
How do you price your products?
How many bad buyers you have had?
Do you think cheap chinese merchandise are lowering your profits?

I would like to open my own shop but I have never ordered anything outside my country (true noob) and don't know how things work in international level. Also shipping is really expensive here.
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>>8837305
I want the link too!
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>>8837305
It's kind of shitty to talk down about people who price their shipping to include fees and packaging costs. It's not like it goes right into their pocket as extra profit.

As a fellow artist I don't personally want my hard work to be devalued by shipping costs coming out of my own product and profit.
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>>8837590
Agreed. But I am upfront with my customers (on etsy and lacemarket) of what shipping includes. It's maybe $2-$3 extra at the very most. Of all my sales, only one person was upset about it. She demanded a refund of the dfference, which I did give.
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How much stock of each item, and bow many items did you start out with for a handmade shop?
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I have a small Storenvy Aliexpress reseller shop, it's a bit hard to sell a lot since too many people sell the same things and i try to give a bit more variety with "mori" items. That is my job and only income for lolita/other jfash for now, i can't wait to have a real life shop.
About selling in physical shop, how i can buy wholesale genuine Rilakkuma or Sanrio items?These factories sell for retail to Europe right?Or i have to expect huge customs and issues?
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>>8837627
For people who are resellers, do you just have Ali/Taobao send the items to the people who buy them, or do you actually keep stock?
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I don't know if I can ask this here, but my grandma makes things like fabricated photo albums, pillows, table decorations and souvenirs for special events, lace canopies, etc. She wants to start selling them again (back before the internet was a widely she, people would come to her in person to ask her to make something), but she doesn't know where or how. Are there any sites that would be good for those type of things?
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>>8837629
I just have Ali sellers send the items to the customer address, i can't keep stock yet due to shipping huge costs where i live.
>Italy here shipping rates are shitty and expensive
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>>8837627
Sanrio is extremely hard to get directly. I've tried for my store. You need a brick and mortar store, and they need to regulate what you are being sent. They also won't send you "new stuff" when you want it. Also, obviously it can be really expensive to sell. My friend's store does it, and she just doesn't have a lot of merchandise. Her stuff is beautiful, but expensive.

It's actually a good idea, if you can't get the Sanrio license, to try going for literal "licensed" merchandise. It's cheaper to buy, it's still real but just "licensed." I sell a bunch of licensed stuff and it all looks great on my shelves, and I can buy it way cheaper than what Sanrio can offer me.
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>>8837629
Stock. A good deal of my sales come from people who need stuff ~right now~ or want to see the quality themselves.
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>>8837653
Thank you!Well i would like to sell these super cute My Melody floral bags but i would be pretty happy to sell San-x or My Melody (Hello Kitty no, she is everywhere and i'm tired of her) items also small home items or keychains/plushies. Nothing too much expensive to not have very cool items but unsold due to prices/normies disliking cute bags.
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>>8837686
better to not have*
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>>8837637
etsy
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>>8837643
Aren't customers suprised to get package not with your paypal name/address but with someone else's name and shipped from china?
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Do it senpai
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>>8837305
I bet you're the flower girl brooch seller! Congrats.

Can confirm I bought partially because of the exchange rate and the very reasonable shipping!
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>>8836767
Do it. Why not? You'll get some profit if you put effort into your products and advertising, you'll learn new skills- or at least improve them- and you'll rarely make a huge loss, provided you don't do something downright insane.
Don't resell ubiquitous kawaii shit, put some thought into it. Make your own stuff, learn shooping techniques, make sturdy packaging. The attention to detail will pay off, I swear.
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>>8837112
Could you share a link? I'm always in the market for mori girl accessories.
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I want to open a physical shop with secondhand lolita clothing and my handmade petticoats and basics, but friends & family are all telling me not to do it and it's kind of scaring me
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>>8840515
How are you expecting to make profit off that? Starting any kind of business is scary but if you're being put off by your friends and family then you might not be ready yourself. It should be something you're confident in.
How many people in your area are going to be wanting secondhand lolita? Where is the stock coming from and how is it going to be more affordable then the usual sellers? Or are you targeting people who aren't aware of those things?
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>>8840515
Sorry to burst your bubble anon, but with 90% certainty, you wouldn't be able to make a physical store profitable. If you want to sell, do it online or make a deal with an existing shop to sell your handmade items with them.
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>>8840506
https://www.etsy.com/shop/RestingPetalsShop

I haven't updated in a while, but I will try to get some items up soon. Thanks for asking anon. Also if you have any suggestions, I am always willing to learn new ways to improve my shop.
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>>8840515
Unless you're in a location where you will be able to sell those items, you're going to struggle to stay afloat. Even if you're in a good location, it still be can be a struggle (just look at how lolita stores in the US are doing).
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>>8837046
what if i dont care about profit and want to give people access to cute things?
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>>8841713
You will care when you have to pay those bills, overhead costs is something you have to be able to cover.

>>8840515
Think about it this way. There are brands that struggle to have physical shops. Outside of Japan it is harder because you are only reaching a small percentage of the people who could buy it. If major brands struggle and fail to do that, how will you manage it?

Normies will not give a shit about the store and reselling lolita gives a poor profit margin because you are selling to people who have the same access to the source. Unless you get wholesale deals, you will never be able to have prices that are worth it.
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Brick and mortar may not work, but has anyone thought about selling on a market stall? I know a few indoors markets in UK who sell pretty cool stuff.
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>>8840775
This is cute!
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>>8842551
I've thought about it, and to be honest, it's not worth it in my area unless it's the Christmas market (expensive, lots of competition) or you're selling something 100% Generic Normie Approved, like soap or Pinteresty things. The only stalls I regularly see doing well are ones selling hot food or ice cream (in the summer). My stickers, plushies and charms would either sell out because ~~quirky~~ or sit and gather dust, and I'm not going to delude myself about my chances. Of course, the plus side is that there are very, very low boundaries set by the other stalls. Out of ten, only one or two look like they have any sort of quality control.
What do you sell, anon? And where are you? I never seem to see UK anons in these threads!
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Ive always wanted to do this but I don't have the capital to do exactly what I want. I honestly don't mind re-sellers, but what I do mind is that literally all of them use the same stock images from their taobao supplier.

I want to cultivate a theme for a shop, but also actually KNOW about the quality. It's really easy to just find shops on taobao, but it's really hard to trust that what you're buying is actually decent. So I'd like to buy at least one of the products and doing my own photos + accurate review of them. And then do drop shipping from there (assuming I find the product to be decently made and accurate). But buying the products to test them and take photos would probably be way too expensive
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>>8837305
Sad that auspost keeps kicking up their prices though, can I ask how you do the shipping? do you factor it in with the item cost ?
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Has anyone had any success marketing to the Japanese side? Im in the USA and I have no hope of having an indie shop that pays well enough that I can be comfortable. looks like you can only do that in Japan.Will they even want to buy from an outsider (im black) has anybody gone through these hurdles and would like to share whats its like?
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I've been thinking about reselling wigs from Taobao. I know good places to get wigs on there, and I want to keep stock (so that'll be more upfront cost for me, but I can do much faster shipping in the US and personalize packages). I have a moderate amount of experience cutting and styling both real and wig hair, so I could probably style wigs to reflect what's currently popular as well. I figure the ability to style wigs can set me apart a bit, and I was thinking of doing a couple of natural looking wigs styled for lolita/otome/gyaru/etc. I can do puffy pigtails, hair cat ears, braids and what not well. Any thoughts?
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>>8844485
Go for it. Why not? You style the wig and ship it off to someone who wants to pay for the convenience. As long as you don't charge out the ass it's fine.
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I make props and sell them on Etsy for a small profit but it's not exactly something I'd turn to for a full time job.

I'm happy with just a little extra on the side being earned.
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I'm a reseller. I have a very specific idea of what I want to sell, and I make an effort to make sure that I have clothes that will suit a wide range of sizes.

I just started last year as a bit of a hobby, just selling at conventions with the plan to sell online too. The captive market of convention selling has been really kind to me and I've sold the majority of my stock every time and made a good profit.

The plan is to get my name known, then start selling online. I've seen it work really well with some other companies here so I feel it's a good way to go.
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>>8837911
I never received a complaint about that to be honest, the only issue is shipping delays and people that complain with these, sometimes i have to refund them if the item never arrived.
I would like to get some real stock in my country and sell it, i fear customs and higher shipping but maybe people would be happy to have a quality control, real stock and easier support. I have bought many items for me from Ali and i know what i should buy and what not because shitty quality. EU customers would be happy to buy small items, socks, underwear and other cute things not shipped from China.
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>>8841713
Obvious overhead issues aside, it's just a terrible idea if you ever want to actually move past reselling (which is what you said you hoped to do later).

Years ago, I tried to help a friend do this. She wanted to establish her shop with cute things first, and then create her own work later. This backfired in her face for one very simple reason:

When you sell someone else's stuff for cheap, when you try to sell your own at a reasonable mark-up, people won't buy it. And trust me, no factory is going to sell to you as cheaply as the generic wholesale shops do, for the simple reason that a single individual can't order in the same quantities that said generic wholesalers produce. Lower unit quantities means higher unit prices per production run.
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Does anyone have any tips for reselling? I've been wanting to start up my own store for quite a few years now but I just don't know where to start.
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>>8852076
>>>/biz/

or something. not knowing where to start is a bad sign when starting a business.
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Maybe I'm a retard but I really don't understand how reselling taobao is profitable. Don't most people know they can buy it from taobao themselves cheaper?
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>>8852097
They might know but it doesn't mean they have the knowledge or patience to actually order through them. You're selling to the market that's unaware or just someone who's wanting a piece or two that they maybe can't source or order themselves. Taobao is very cheap so it's not hard to turn a profit if people take a liking to your products.
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>>8843369
Oh I don't sell yet! I'm starting to develop a few item ideas and I'm sourcing manufacturers. I'm trying to whittle down my ideas. I'll probably sell patches and jewellery bits and bobs. I think ~~quirk~~ can work, but probably mainly for resale of fairly popular trends that are here rather than personal made products.

I'm in the Midlands, what do you sell?
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>>8852078
White knight incoming. Asking for tips and asking where to start are two completely different things
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>>8837616
... Over $2-$3? I would not have given the refund, that's just bullshit.
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I'm not saying this to be mean or put you down, I say this as someone who has made many threads like this before.

If you are seeking advice from /cgl/ on how to start a business, you are not ready. at all.
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>>8836767
You'll need to invest a LOT of money and time to make it profitable at some point. If you want to be a reseller you'll have to make lots of room for all the clothes, you'll need to keep up with your stock and you have to figure out of how you track all your transactions.
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>>8852171
forgot to mention I work for an online store and helped to build it.
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>>8852163
Agreed, but if they're looking to start an Etsy or something then cgl isn't a bad place to go. It'll give you ideas on where to source materials and get charms and things, plus the mail horror threads are useful for learning how to not package items. It's far from being the best place to go, but there are a lot of tiny yet important points covered here that they might not have thought of or seen elsewhere.
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>>8837453
I make felt brooches and other randomw accessories. Though the felt brooches are the main thing and they sell the best so far.
My beat sellers are probably the glitter bats or sparkly sailor moon chrisis brooches.

I price my producers on what i feel is reasonable enough to make me a small proffit. ($6-$25 range for all my items) depending on how elaborate they are and how many materialist i use (adding my own glitter, hand stitched details, hand stitching in beads ir adding beaded chains, lace or ribbons ext...)
They had been cheaper more of a $3 - $15 range but a lot of people told me i priced my stuff to low so i bumped them up a tad.
I usually only sell locally eather at meet ups or to friends/my com or the occasional con if i mannage to share a table. So honestly cheap chinese shit makes no difference. But it probably will when ibtake the time and money to invest in an actual online shop.
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I run an etsy shop selling furry costume accessories I make and I made over $5,000 last year.

Just start out small and gradually grow. Try and different products and see what sells well and what doesn't. If something doesn't sell very well, just give up on it and move onto something else.
Thread replies: 72
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