Once-Treasured Things Can Go

Preamble: This just happens to be one article (or ‘writing’) of mine I chose to ‘bring out’ sooner or later. I guess that ‘sooner or later’ is now. I am parking this ‘article’ here for now as it is an expression in writing of something I felt strongly about. I am not sure whether I will move it to my other site: LifeBeginsAt5pm. I probably would . . .

This was actually a message I sent to email addresses submitted at my e-commerce ‘online store’ site by visitors. These are the exact words except – for obvious reasons – I do not show the related domain names here now.


I note your email was submitted on a visit to our site _____.com

I am writing to everyone on the list to thank you firstly for your visit and your interest


Upfront, I would like to inform you that I am not going to promote this online store anymore for reasons I mention below in this message

Firstly, I would say that _______ is a good e-commerce platform. And, together with the ______ app, you have practically all you need for an e-commerce function and its process.

My ‘hang-up’ is with my product sourcing and the feasible or expected markups for profit

Let me give you 3 examples

I get a product through A_________ that costs $30.21
A typical e-commerce platform would suggest $60 as an appropriate price point for a product source at a cost of $30
I offer the item at my site for $57.81

I get another product through A_________ that costs $20.05
I offer this at my site for $42.13

So, the selling price would typically be derived from a markup of 100%

It has been suggested (by a certain e-commerce platform) that for cheaper products costing, say up to $5, ‘you may find success’ by marking them up 4-5 times (i.e. 300% to 400% markup), which means that, for an item that costs $5 you’d be selling them for $20 – $25.

I don’t know about other sellers. Speaking for myself, I will never feel nice if I made a profit of 300% off you or anyone. But I do realise however that sellers do have to cover other costs e.g. shipping, hosting etc. But just imagine the bottom line is: I buy something for $5 and then sell it to you for $20 or $25. It’s just not the way I want to do things

Also, together with the previous 2 examples, and with so much awareness about the existence of A_________ (and how it operates) – and I may be insulting your intelligence if I think you don’t know – why would you (or anybody) not go direct to A_________ to buy the item … and without paying for the 300% markup or even the 100% markup?!

When I first got attracted to the much-hyped ‘e-commerce’ craze and the ‘build your own online store’ vision, I was happy (and proud) to build _____.com from scratch. With the 3 examples nagging on my mind, I once reset all my percentages to a point where I would be making as low as just ‘$3 here and $3 there’ (hoping of course that site visitors will notice my low prices and I get ‘volume’) – but when some suppliers set (and dictate) the shipping rates, I found that I would be even making a loss just to get a product to a customer. I quickly reset my markup percentages and tried to follow the ‘norms’ that I believe most sellers and dropshippers use.

Anyhow, don’t want to take more of your time here. I’ll conclude by saying it looks like this will not be my business model anymore. You could say I am not cut out for this.

After I get this message off to all of you who have so kindly submitted your email at my site, I will be putting this store and/or domain up for sale, and move on to ‘better’ things online.

Thank you all for your time and support

Peter Chai

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