11 October 2022

More benefits of starting your own e-commerce journey

First of all, because it earns so well. But you've heard Joshua Kaats and Jia Ruan say that ten thousand times, too. Whereas they discarded the whole image of selling through Bol or Amazon, they were right about one thing: selling through Bol is hugely profitable. Bol.com makes some 5.5 Billion Euros in sales per year. Its 50,000 sales partners are said to account for half of this turnover. That means an average of 55,000 Euros per year per partner. From experience, we can confirm this amount. That is more than 4,500 Euros of turnover per month. 

Here we must take into account that turnover is not profit. Thus, shipping, commissions, purchase, and overhead must be deducted. On the other hand, when you work in a restaurant or supermarket, you also pay premiums and taxes. By comparison, a 22-year-old working for 12 Euro per hour would have to work about 375 hours per month. Or a good-earning bartender or woman with a great tip (25 Euros per hour) would have to work 180 hours per month. Considerably more than the time you have for this (in addition to your studies, for example).


And that's the second advantage of running your own e-commerce business through Bol.com or Amazon: it takes much less time. Instead of shifts of 4 hours at a stretch, you can now simply focus all day on your own time, studying or your social life. Then around the end of the day, you collect your packing slips, start order picking in your own basement or garage, and take your packages to the nearest delivery point. Or better yet, if you use Deliver via Bol.com or Fulfilment by Amazon, even this won't cost you any time. With a bit of persistence, you can do this within two hours daily (and on Sundays, you're free). So that's 12 hours a week of packing duties.

You will additionally be dealing with customer inquiries and the purchasing process. For this, you can assume about 10 hours per week. That's 20-22 hours per week in total. Suppose you keep your bookkeeping neatly in order and forward it to your accountant or bookkeeper. In that case, you will only make things easier for yourself. It is almost unfair to attach an hourly wage to this because 4500 Euros divided by 80-88 hours per month is an absurd 50 Euros per hour. But you must remember that you are responsible for your business all day long. For example, if you want to use your own images and texts on your website, this will take time, but even for this, you could hire an external party. An excellent example of a company that can help you create content is Clover. They create professional images for your web shop with A+ branding! It is always a balance of costs against your own time.   


Besides funding a more relaxed life with more income and less time, there is a third benefit. Gaining experience in running your own business does very well with future employees. Suppose you can explain that you have built an organization and a brand from the ground up, established an international supply chain and have been both passionate about customer service and a loyal partner of Bol.com. In that case, it will pay off in the future. 

You will gain a lot of experience that will only take you further in life. Whether you want to set up a new business for yourself, make e-commerce your future as a side job or have an excellent addition to your CV. It's worth it in every way. Even if, despite the support of e-pickr and its partners, you don't reach a successful conclusion, you'll soon have a mountain of experience to carry with you that you won't gain in a supermarket or ministry. 


E-commerce and inflation

Suppose you have a side job in waitressing. You make a nice 25 Euros an hour there because your customers tip you for the fantastic effort you show for hours a day. From one day to the next, inflation rises again. As a result, your customers can spend less on tipping, and so you get paid less per hour, only 22 euros, for example. In addition, you go to the terrace with your pennies yourself the next day, and you see that your beer now costs not 2.50 euros but 2.75 euros. Previously you could buy 10 beers for 25 Euro, but now there are only 8 (22.50 / 2.75). So that's the problem with inflation: It always works its way down. You are now not catching 25 Euro tips anymore, but 22.50, and on the other hand, you are also paying more for the same goods. So you are being cut on two sides. Unfortunately, you cannot influence the prices in the bar. And even negotiation with your boss about the minimum wage is a done deal. Now, if instead of serving, you were also in e-commerce, this story would be slightly different.

When you see your purchasing power going down, you can compensate simply by throwing your prices up with it. This means you charge your consumer more for the same goods. For example, for a product that you used to sell for 25 euros, you now ask 27.50 euros. Although this will not work in the long run because it only increases inflation, it is not very noticeable on the scale of a few e-commerce companies. So as long as you pass on the cost of inflation to the way down, you are not affected, and your purchasing power changes less. The bottom line is that you can still afford that 10th beer. Although we don't recommend that you drink that much, of course! 

Reduce business risk with your own stock

Moreover, by setting up your small business with the partners of e-pickr, you are not alone. As mentioned earlier, more than enough entrepreneurs have gone before you. A mentor or a partner can help you with the points you are struggling with, and setting up an e-commerce business can start from a manageable amount. We know from experience, for example, that you can register a sole proprietorship with the KVK for 50 Euros; that an account with Rabobank [LINK: https://www.rabobank.nl/bedrijven/eigen-bedrijf-starten] is available from as little as 9.95 Euros per month; and that you can buy the first samples for your stock from as little as a few tens to several hundred Euros. Thus we have success stories of Octopuses, Fidget Spinners, Bluetooth Receivers and Sushi Kits, all of which started their e-commerce journey this way with a maximum investment of 300 Euro. Meanwhile, stock sizes of thousands of Euros are being ordered, but even they started small.

So start today with your free product research and find your first bestseller. Once you have a Chamber of Commerce number and start buying your stock on Alibaba.com, AliExpress, or through a European distribution partner, you can also create a successful business for a relatively low risk. We take the guesswork out of e-commerce, but you are still at the helm.

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