Think before you act – read my three simple ‘don’ts’ and you could save time, money and increase your profits

I regularly receive email updates from many of those whom are either subscribed to my eletter or are members of my home study programmes or Source Report subscription site and I always love to read these updates – particularly when so many of them are positive and upbeat.

However earlier this week, I received an email from a gentleman who I have been in contact with now for a few weeks and for what I think is the first time ever, his tone was a little bit downbeat.

I won’t mention any names, so lets just call him Simon, and to cut a long story short Simon had been disappointed when he received a wholesale order from his supplier as it had arrived with some damaged packaging. It smelt a bit musty and generally looked like it had been hanging around in a damp basement for a little too long.

Simon went on to say that he had actually managed to smarten up the packaging himself but was annoyed that he had had to spend his own valuable time doing this.

And I could totally see his point. These were brand new products he’d ordered yet they arrived a little worse for wear, which meant that he subsequently had to spend his own precious time making them look presentable.

However, Simon shouldn’t have done this.

If you ever receive a delivery of broken, battered, soggy, dirty or ripped goods then remember that you are the customer and you deserve to receive what you have paid for.

1. Don’t accept below par goods. You, the customer, are always right!

You don’t have to sign for the stock – you can simply refuse delivery. Simply tell the courier the reason you are refusing delivery, make sure they make a note of the reason for refusal and they will take the parcels back to their depot.

You should then contact the supplier and let them know the situation and work through a solution from there. If your order has been made through a manufacturer on Alibaba then you will have ensured that you are using Trade Assurance and so your money will be safe and you will be covered.

If you do take delivery, ensure you contact the supplier immediately and let them know your concerns. Take dated photographs (use a smartphone for this) immediately of any damage to keep as a record.

In the event of either of these scenarios, the supplier should replace the stock or refund if no replacements are available.

So you must never feel that it is your responsibility to patch up damaged goods, nor that you are under obligation to accept items that are not on par with what was originally advertised.

You want to achieve the best possible prices for your items so that you make the best possible profit, and damaged packaging could ultimately mean you end up with a lower sale price for your stock through no fault of your own.

If you are in any way dissatisfied with an order, you are the customer, so make it known and get the issue resolved to protect your reputation and your profits.

2. Don’t accept inflated prices that eat into your bottom line

Talking of profits, the second point my usually positive correspondee updated me on was his delivery situation!

He had been to the Post Office to dispatch several large orders and found that each package was going to cost him £12.98 to send – and that was 2nd class. And we’re not talking about huge, heavy packages here – just over 2.5kg in fact with dimensions that fit Royal Mail’s medium parcel rules. So £12.98? That is quite shocking, but actually I wasn’t surprised.

Since Royal Mail have increased their prices year on year and dissected their categories further, it can cost an arm and a leg to post anything that isn’t basically completely flat and small. So Simon had quite rightly told them that he would find another way to send his parcels and promptly left. Good on him!

In fact, Simon then decided to take some advice that I had given recently and that was to use the My Hermes delivery service. They are by far the most competitive service in my opinion at the present time and in fact this was proven when Simon told me how much they charged him for the very same items that Royal Mail wanted to charge him £12.98 each for.

It cost just £6.79 for the same parcel and that includes a signed for service! That’s a difference of £6.19 that went straight back on to his profit for that item. All Simon had to do was drop the parcels off at a local ‘drop-off’ point and My Hermes did the rest.

If you want to check out My Hermes this is their web address:

So, Simon’s email did in fact end on a positive – he increased his profit margin simply by carefully choosing a service to dispatch his goods. If you are still using Royal Mail then it pays to shop around and now is the right time.

3. Don’t feel that you have to match the ‘big boys’ with your product choices

Still on the topic of profits, did you know that you can make just as much money, and very often more money online, by selling products in lesser known categories rather than the ones that all the big boys go for?

It’s very easy to be drawn in to thinking that you have to try and break in to the iPhone market for example rather than concentrating on a smaller niche market such as ‘crochet hooks’ – don’t knock it, crochet items are hot products!

To put it another way, you might think that the only way that you can make lots of profit online is to stock those sizzling red hot items that everyone wants to sell – like iPods, TV’s, mobile phones, designer clothing and handbags and so on.

But seriously, that is just not the right way to go about things because in fact, the deeper you dig into a niche, the less competition you have and the more potential profit you can make.

As you can imagine, my example of crochet hooks are not exactly the type of product that you might first think of as being an item that is either hot or that you could start selling online and building a successful business with – but plenty of sellers are quietly getting on with selling in this very niche and others like it and making a very comfortable living.

Sometimes it’s the things that are going on in the background that are worth paying attention to! Ok so you may have to sell 100 crochet hooks compared to just one plasma TV to generate the same turnover – but your profits are very likely to be more because the profit on one plasma TV will be absolutely tiny compared with the profit on 100 crochet hooks!

Running a successful online business relies on generating decent profits and it’s easy to take the comfortable routes – not complaining, not bothering to research cheaper delivery options, trying to jump on the big boys’ bandwagon and so on.

So next time you find yourself taking the ‘easy’ option, just stop and think for a moment. Is there a way you can save either time, money or headaches by stepping out of your usual, comfortable routine? I’m sure you’ll find there is!

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!