E-commerce Store: The Good, the Bad, and the Things that Make Me Glad This is Passive Income

After more than a year of running my e-commerce store I thought it would be good to write and share my experience with this side project.

The Good

No promoting

I don’t have to do any promotion to sell products. The platform does the promotion within the site and even buys Google ads for certain keywords.

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Didn’t Pay For it!!

Very little work

The only work I do for the store is the design work and coming up with the search tags for visibility. Everything else is handled for me. There are designs I put up in January of 2017 that have sold but I haven’t done anything to make more sales since I put them up.

Will be selling for years to come

My designs are based on TV shows. My most popular design is a reference that is at least 10 years old. The design still averages 1 sale a day. My designs will sell for years to come and will be selling long after I’ve forgotten about this side project.

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Spent no money

The start up cost for me to setup the store was nothing. The store has been profitable since the first sticker I sold.

The Bad

Can’t control the product pricing

The money I make on my designs is based on a percentage of the manufacturing cost. Then, the platform adds their profit that they want to add onto the price of the product. This means I could price something at $20 and the customer has to pay $25 for it.

Competition

When a potential customer uses a search tag for one of my designs the search shows a bunch of other people’s designs along with mine. This reduces the chance of them buying one of my designs.

Scalability issues

If I ever wanted to scale up my store to make more money I would need to handle everything that the platform currently handles. While I would be making money I would have to spend more money and the money I would be making wouldn’t be passive income.

UX issues

The platform has a ton of user experience issues. For example, to check what design has sold or how much I made on a sales, I have to go through four steps. Uploading a design and editing it for customer viewing is a similar amount of steps. Not a big problem but simple things that don’t have to be an issue at all.

Product Control

On this platform I don’t have full control of the product. I am limited to what is offered by the platform. One design would have made a great shirt if the shirt could be the same color as the background of the design. But the color was not offered as a shirt. The design was only able to be offered as a sticker.

The Things that Make me Glad this is Passive Income

The designs can easily be taken down

All my designs are based on TV shows, these shows have production companies that own the rights to the shows. Sometimes one of my designs violates copyright. If it does the platform takes it down. This is frustrating because I spent time making the design and posting it on the platform.

Having a boss

I post my designs on a marketplace and in order to make this venture worthwhile I have to follow their rules. This could be something such as designing something to fit their products instead of how I like to design it.

The platform can bury my work

As previously stated in my last article, I started using the platform as a way to check if my designs violated copyright. This creates more work for them and they don’t like that. If the platform decides that I’m creating too much extra work for them they can shadow-ban my account and I would stop making money without the chance to do anything about it.

Conclusion

Keep in mind every platform is different and this is my experience with one of them. You may have a very different experience if you use another platform.

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Author: supremerumham

Alex. 22 year old graphic designer, future Indie Hacker, passive income builder, and programmer in training. This where I will write about my new projects and ideas

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