I often get asked the question, “What does it take to run an online e-commerce business?”
I like to reply with a question of my own, “What are you prepared to give?”
If you are looking to quit your 9 – 5 and jump straight into online retail, then I have some bad news for you. E-commerce takes a HUGE investment of time, energy, and money. And that’s just the set up phase. Appleby Games started in 2018, and we now have a steady stream of online sales traffic. But this wasn’t always the case. I have spent countless hours researching the value of thousands of games, toys, and collectibles, and then re-researching weekly, or in some cases daily, to gauge ebbs and flows in the market. Gaming and hobby products are similar to the stock market: dollar values change frequently, primarily driven by current trends. These can change as quickly as the next “big” Netflix series, so monitoring what’s “hot” is a fulltime occupation in itself. And that’s before processing stock, sales, packaging, posting, messaging, emailing, social media presence, and…..the list goes on.
A second question I am often asked is which particular product lines sell the best? To help answer this question, I’ve compiled a list of Appleby Games Sales from this past week.
Some patterns immediately jump out. The bulk of video games sales are shared among three categories: PS4, PS3, and XBox 360, in that order. These are followed closely by Pokemon TCG Cards, and then XBox One games. Action Figures and Funko Pops! sold well also, and this will only increase as we soon expand our range tenfold. Interestingly, the two highest ticket prices for the week were BOTH premium collector’s toys: the beautiful VGM026 Batman and the Resident Evil: Village Collector’s Edition.
The volume of sales illustrate that the rewards are there if you are prepared to put in the hard work. And I’m not just talking about financial rewards. Every day I share my office / showroom with some of the coolest collectibles and pop culture icons out there. And more of these arrive daily as others depart.
But my message is simple to those hoping to get into the business. Firstly, count the cost. Research. Discuss. Consider. Then decide. If all of the ducks align, then go for it.