Online store - 15,000 euros for the first month

    The people have a well-known proverb “First Pancake Com,” which I can not say about my fresh experience in online trading. Most likely, this is just an exception confirming the rule, but, nevertheless, I want to talk about those small conclusions that I made over the past month.

    So, a little story about how you can quite easily earn a minimum of 15,000 euros in one month.

    My professional occupation is web development. I am engaged in R&D in one small IT company, I write “sophisticated” applications for corporate intranets and, in principle, I don’t complain about life. Of course, in this situation, I want to simultaneously conduct some interesting project, which I have repeatedly done in the Open Source world. Over time, however, I wanted to earn money on side projects as well, which was not as easy with Open Source as it might seem from the articles on Habré :) Therefore, I decided to try something fundamentally new for myself - open an online store.

    Before rushing into battle, I made a short list of personal restrictions:
    1. Share capital - maximum 500 euros
    2. Time devoted to the store - maximum 2-3 hours a day
    3. The nominal value of the goods is less than 1 euro
    4. Margin - at least 500%
    5. No large size - the size of the goods is not more than a book
    6. The product is something very rare
    7. Minimum logistics issues
    In the beginning of April, some kind of unrealistic hype rose around the iPad, for which I decided to sell some accessories. God created man and gave him Google to help, and Google said that there are thousands of smart people like me. Therefore, the idea of ​​accessories had to be swept aside.

    However, the initial search vector remained the same and it led me to a logical question: “What is MicroSIM and what does it eat with?”, After an hour of searching, I learned a lot of interesting things, in particular, that microsim is an ordinary SIM card, just without too much plastic . Also, it turned out that in real life, micro sims will be used by Apple for the first time. It became clear that something needs to be done in this direction. Further searches led to the idea that there are likely to be smart people who want to use microsimka in standard connectors. So they will need a kind of "adapter".

    Google did not give ready-made solutions. The idea to sell only one type of product pleased more and more, as it solved practically all the problems of shipping logistics in one fell swoop. I began phoning SIM card manufacturers and found what I was looking for - plastic microsim adapters, 500 pieces for 400 euros, production in Germany with all the ensuing guarantees. I ordered it, and in the meantime, began to put the store on its feet. Points 3, 5 and 6 of personal restrictions - are fulfilled!

    Then everything was simple: I bought a website design template (12 euros). I bought two beautiful domains (22 euros) and in one evening put together a simple website of five pages describing the “product”. I bought a pack of envelopes and plastic bags (another 37 euros). Total expenses - 471 euros. Point one of personal restrictions - completed!

    I decided to accept payments exclusively through PayPal, as I suggested that only Americans would buy adapters, because only iPad 3G should appear on their market in the near future. I made a small backend for the store where PayPal transmits all orders and from where stickers for envelopes are automatically printed, as well as notification emails are sent. In general, two days later a completely working shop appeared. Paragraph seven of personal restrictions - implemented.

    I used to read many interesting books about the irrational behavior of people, so I decided to approach pricing as simply as possible: one adapter for 4.99 euros or five adapters for 9.99 euros. Worldwide shipping costs are included in the order price. All. No more options. The fourth point of personal restrictions - completed!

    The only thing left was to somehow start the sales themselves. What do real Jedi do? If there is no market, it needs to be created. We drive into Google "Microsim", "Microsim Adapter", "Micromsim iPad" and open all three of the top 20 sites for all three keywords. Most of the coincidences are forums or blogs, so all that remains is to write a few thematic comments (no spam, everything is strictly on the topic). And voila, the very next day the first order. A few hours later - the second. Then there was a couple of days of absolute calm, and suddenly it happened - some Brazilian blogger wrote about me , another Italian blog copied it, tweets flew from there and orders went slowly.

    To battle!

    This was the first real day of the site’s work, 26 orders came for it, about half of them were for one adapter, the other half for five adapters. Surprisingly, until this time there was only one client from the States. The rest are mainly from Italy and Brazil, and there still didn’t smell of iPad!

    Inspired by the first success, he decided to plan work on the store as follows:
    1. Devote one hour a day to “marketing” - look for thematic blogs and enter into correspondence with authors, participate in forums, look for opportunities to exchange links
    2. Devote half an hour every evening to packing orders for the last day - from the backend print labels on envelopes and pack adapters
    3. Every morning before work, run into the mail and send all orders for the past day.
    4. Allocate half an hour in the afternoon to answer all support letters
    And as a result, we have somewhere 2-3 hours of employment per day! Point two personal restrictions - completed!

    Until the release of the iPad 3G, there were few orders on average, only 20-30 per day. It is strange that most of the customers were not from the United States. Some bloggers wrote once a day asking for a free sample in order to write a review. One Brazilian site even shot a short video about adapters ! I decided to keep up and also pretended to be a satisfied client and shot a video on how to make a micro-SIM from a simple SIM card .

    On the day of the release of iPad 3G, a miracle suddenly happened. Orders began to arrive almost every 10 minutes. The Americans began to slowly pull themselves up. Notes slipped on Gizmodo and Engadget and 2000-3000 people began to come to the site a day. The average conversion percentage was already 9%!

    I promptly raised prices to 5.99 and 14.99 for one and five adapters, respectively. Surprisingly, after that they began to buy only more. Periodically, requests for larger parties began to come (as I understood from ebay dealers) - I had to create a separate page for “partners and dealers” with prices for larger parties. The business was going on, the average daily turnover was 700-800 euros. After the announcement of the iPad 3G in Europe, the number of orders increased again. Now the average daily turnover is already a little more than 1000 euros. Moreover, the consumption is not more than 30%.

    Plans for the near future

    1. Since it so happened that in the retail market for micro-adapters in one month I created a monopoly :) and, quite a well-known fact, that if people have something to compare with, they are more willing to buy - then I decided to make my own competition by opening the second adapter shop with slightly higher prices.

    2. I also noticed that the conversion rate is much lower than the average for visitors from Japan and Germany. Accordingly, it will be logical to open two more localized versions of the site in Japanese and German, respectively.

    3. Well, perhaps the most important thing is to legalize. I myself did not expect that it would be so simple and fun, and therefore there is no legal structure behind the store yet. This issue also has to be resolved in the near future.

    Interesting Findings

    1. Incredible, but true. Despite the fact that in Google search for almost all keywords, my store now occupies, if not the first place, then certainly belongs to the top 5 - from there goes no more than 10% of traffic (200-300 people per day) and conversion to customers very low, not more than 4%. But the traffic on the links, on the contrary, is firstly massive, and secondly, the conversion is 10-12%

    2. It's incredible, but true. Italians and Brazilians are most willingly and most of all buying. The conversion level reaches as much as 20%. The most indecisive clients are Germans, they watch a lot and buy a little, they write a lot to support requiring a phone for support.


    1. One wise guy tried to make me compete in the French market by buying from me 100 adapters at a wholesale price and selling individually for 15 euros. In vain only he took my own photographs - quickly found him and intimidated by the court. Adapters for sale removed on the same day.

    2. Two times I was contacted by mobile operators (one from France and one from the Emirates), both times it was a request for 50,000 adapters. Both ferried to the manufacturer. It burned out or not - I do not know.

    3. There were two orders from Russia. I sent them confirmation of sending in Russian, it seems that it was well received.

    Actually, such an interesting story happened to me over the past month. I am ready to answer questions or somehow justify certain decisions. Any criticism is welcome :) For myself, I made a simple conclusion - a minimum of time for discussion, you must immediately act! I think that the theme with my store will burn out before the end of summer, by then I hope to find a new unique product that meets my personal list of restrictions

    PS For reference, the store is

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