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online business

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
ljh
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online business

Postby ljh » Tue, 01 Apr 2008 11:50 am

I am a final year NUS student and i would like to start a online business. May i know is there any legal issue that i need to take note. For example, register for a company in order to sell things online?

And i will be most likely selling stylish clothes. Do u all have any business advice on this idea? and do u all think this idea is workable in singapore? Thanks in advance.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 01 Apr 2008 1:51 pm

Generally, if you have your own business (sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited, etc) you must register your business with the ACRA. It doesn't matter what sort of business it is. If it is being run from Singapore and you collect your revenues in Singapore you need to register.

Getting the word out that your online store exists is your really big problem. You might consider doing what others do and that is to create your business, then sell on Evil Bay or Yahoo. This allows people who are searching for clothing to discover you and then your website.

I have read that online clothing sales are picking up, but for specific, well known brands. I think that online clothing sales is a very difficult proposition as a start up, but then again I may not know anything.

ljh
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Postby ljh » Tue, 01 Apr 2008 4:05 pm

Thanks for ur reply. It is very useful. So do u have any suggestion for a start up for a online business? your help is much appreciated.


Anyway, anyone knows how is the market of online buyers in singapore? Is there any statistics available to show this?

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Tue, 01 Apr 2008 4:29 pm

ljh wrote:Thanks for ur reply. It is very useful. So do u have any suggestion for a start up for a online business? your help is much appreciated.


Anyway, anyone knows how is the market of online buyers in singapore? Is there any statistics available to show this?


Ideally if you are selling outside of Singapore, you should look at light weight items, due to postage costs.

Items that are popular and like Computer thumb drives, good branded watches, if you can get them at a good price, especially the far out ones from Japan...

Clothing is difficult, although it really depends on your market, remember that Singaporeans are difficult to do business with online, and don't like to pay, by credit card...

If you research evil bay.com.sg you will also see, sellers with very poor reseller feed back, that isn't good at all....If you are selling, you need to be 100% honest, and be very customer orientated, to please them to get positive feed back...you drop below 98% on transactions of less than a 1000, it will most certainly effect your future sales.

What i have noticed because i have purchased a few items, in Singapore, people cheat, and they have no ethics, whatsoever....personally I would never send cash to a Singaporean, that didn't have excellent feedback.

I have also noticed jewellary items in Singapore, quite cheap, so you could sell wholesale, especially to the west, many students supplement, their studies, by selling jewellary on the streets, although you need to be competitive with price, and have an eye for what is fashion. Get yourself a paypal account too and beware of scammers.

Singapore online market is rubbish! no good at all, not worth bothering about, but for the amount of time it will take your online service to be branded, you have nothing to lose, just don't count on making a living from it.

Best of luck

ljh
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Postby ljh » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 12:11 am

ok, so let's say i want to sell clothes, and i already have the product. What is the best way to sell all the product? Rent a pushcart in some shopping centre? Distribute it to other shops?
Please advice...thx.

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Postby spoon72 » Tue, 08 Apr 2008 9:14 am

I do agree that singaporeans are very conservative when it comes to online shipping, it's a different mentality, probably because singapore is so small . I am making a decent living on ebay and singapore buyers make up of perhaps 1% of my sales. ALthough i believe the singapore yahoo site is much more popular then ebay.com.sg

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Postby spoon72 » Tue, 08 Apr 2008 3:39 pm

Dear ksl

Thanks for the PM, but i am unable to reply due to my "newbie" status, I do not have a website , what i have is 100 % on ebay. I am selling movie related costumes, replicas, collectibles etc

I do have a few buyers in the UK who purchase wholesale from me to resell over in the UK market.

I do not wish to reveal my ebay ID over here due to certain reasons, you can email me directly at : spoon72@starhub.net.sg if you are keen to know more about my stuffs.

regards

ljh
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Postby ljh » Wed, 09 Apr 2008 9:13 am

spoon72 wrote:I do agree that singaporeans are very conservative when it comes to online shipping, it's a different mentality, probably because singapore is so small . I am making a decent living on ebay and singapore buyers make up of perhaps 1% of my sales. ALthough i believe the singapore yahoo site is much more popular then ebay.com.sg


Thanks for the reply. It seems that it is not advisable if i only target on singapore market alone. Think you are doing quite well in ebay, so could you please advice, what are the important things to take note if i want to start selling things on ebay? for example shipping issue when i am selling to ppl from other countries. And what are factors to attract ppl to buy from you rather than other seller? thanks.

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Postby ksl » Wed, 09 Apr 2008 10:46 pm

ljh wrote:
spoon72 wrote:I do agree that singaporeans are very conservative when it comes to online shipping, it's a different mentality, probably because singapore is so small . I am making a decent living on ebay and singapore buyers make up of perhaps 1% of my sales. ALthough i believe the singapore yahoo site is much more popular then ebay.com.sg


Thanks for the reply. It seems that it is not advisable if i only target on singapore market alone. Think you are doing quite well in ebay, so could you please advice, what are the important things to take note if i want to start selling things on ebay? for example shipping issue when i am selling to ppl from other countries. And what are factors to attract ppl to buy from you rather than other seller? thanks.


1. Costs, make sure you get them all accounted for, including paypal, or anyother payment system you use, also packaging materials, ebay fees, postage..

Some people have a standard postage fee, a little higher, than normal, to boost, the margins, you may have to sell some items at a loss, in the auction....it's not a good idea, to put high reserve on goods. it puts people off, bidding.

Expensive watches at over 1400 sing $ i have purchased at 700 sing $, and resold to UK for a 1000 Sing, although it doesn't go long before others jump in selling the same, then price is pushed down.

2. Check the ebay market out for products, competition and see, how you can be more attractive, on quality and price...

3. Give excellent service

4. Very light products cost very little in postage, and westerners will buy

5 choose the catogories very carefully...to get maxium viewing.

6. You don't have to hold stock, providing you can get it very quick, pack it and send it, within 24 hrs.

7. Most important of all, is your feedback.....any negative feedback, will cost you dearly....so make sure you do all you can to get positive feedback, even giving a refund, if it means saving your reputation

8. Be very honest, with your advertising, do not try to, cheat...it will cost you your business in the long run.

9. Always be polite and friendly, to make it a pleasent experience to deal with you.

10. Your pricing strategy is important in the buy it now, deals...have some special deals, to attract customers, very low mark up on some products, with higher mark up on others, and extra couple of $ on the postage will help you keep prices low on the buy it now deals, but do not abuse it. Consumers will complain to ebay, if they think you are over charging on postage.

11. Always have more than one supplier, so you are free to bargain the best buying prices..Practice your negotiating skills, to improve your purchasing skills, if you can sell sand to an Arab, you will be pretty good!

Maybe others can add to the list! It's enough to get you started.

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Postby spoon72 » Sat, 12 Apr 2008 9:39 am

I think ksl said it all .

Basically do your research, goto "ebay pulse" to check the current top selling items, most popular searches etc. FYI , the top singapore ebay sellers are all into watches, i know one local seller with over 60,000 feedbacks, his daily sales is over US$10,000

Being a singapore seller does have it's unique advantage, we have very good and competitive shipping infrastructures. For shippping , I am getting discounted rates from DHL global mail and DHL express.

Singapore sellers does have a better image on ebay as compared to other asian sellers from china, hongkong, thailand etc, thus for the same product with the same price and shipping, a western buyer will be more willing to buy from us then say a chinese seller.

Feedback is indeed very important, i would suggest you to build it up first by buying and selling low value products before venturing further.

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Postby kwokhua » Sat, 12 Apr 2008 10:54 pm

It depends on the kind of online business that you wish to set up. If it is an online store selling goods and exhibits, then perhaps, you can get any of the professionals to set up your website for you. Nowadays, there are plenty of freelances available on the clasifieds, it is real easy to get one to create your website for you.

If you are just interested in being an affiliate marketer, it is even easier. You need to firstly get a good education grounding on internet marketing especially on finding a niche area, creating your own website offer and driving traffic to your website.

Thou Shalt Succeed. :-)

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Postby ljh » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 10:37 am

how do u all think about what have taught in this website?
creating a website and sell articles? does it work?

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Postby Winxkid » Mon, 09 Jun 2008 10:17 pm

ljh wrote:how do u all think about what have taught in this website?
creating a website and sell articles? does it work?


so, what do you have to offer? stories articles or ?
petsgdirectory.blogspot.com

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Postby MikeDirnt » Thu, 12 Jun 2008 11:07 pm

ljh wrote:ok, so let's say i want to sell clothes, and i already have the product. What is the best way to sell all the product? Rent a pushcart in some shopping centre? Distribute it to other shops?
Please advice...thx.

dont you want to work in a field relevant to your qualification? just curious
Guides and information -> Singapore Stocks

xernstx
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Postby xernstx » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 8:38 pm

I am one potential customer that wishes Singapore had a more robust online shopping market.

As an American who became accustomed to buying everything on Amazon, BestBuy.com, even Craigslist I've been disappointed by the lack of 'real' items available.

I'm guessing the economies of scale one finds in online business in countries of 300M (US), or 100M+ (Japan, France, Germany) just don't apply with only 5.5M people. Pity, I miss ordering toothbrushes online!


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