The Little Black Shirt Sales: $4500+
Let’s get started with the selling realization.
If you take this idea or any of the other ideas that are posted here on AJP.com, and sell it, I can’t guarantee you’ll make the same amount. You could make a heck of a lot more or a heck of a lot less. That seems pretty obvious, but I just want to make sure it’s stated so everything is super clear and I can sleep better at night knowing I’ve just laid this all out. These ecommerce reports are a way to get you thinking about your products and what you can do to produce a product, source a product, and then sell the product. This is not to brag or boast about sales. This is simply to inspire you to get out there and live your dreams because dreams cost money. Become a doer and make things happen.
These LBS (aka Little Black Shirts) were black long sleeved shirts, were sold on November 25, 2011. That was a heck of a long time ago, BUT what I wanted to point out in this report is the ‘pre-sale' approach. Pre-Sales are a sure-fire win to high margins…but proceed with caution.
This will work if you can:
- Pre-coordinate with a local shop or local manufacturer and can guarantee they'll get you products (if this part is not nailed down…it'll be a hot mess waiting to happen) and
- Let your customers know that it will ship in about a week after the sale.
Let's start out with where I got the shirts. There is a local shirt shop in California where I could get each shirt for $3.25. To get a sample in my hands for lifestyle pics, I needed to order the minimum quantity that was required. It was 2 small, 2 medium, and 2 large. I was willing to put up a total of $19.50 to get this product staged. Now their minimum order was $50, so I went ahead and ordered other styles for another sale, but this sale was focused on the black style.
This was the first year of PickYourPlum, and I didn't have the cash to hire a model, so I stepped in and asked my (non-photographer) husband to take my picture but leave my face out of the photos. After all, I was living on about 2 hours of beauty sleep due to a growing business and 4 little kids at home.
Walking down memory lane on this pic, I didn't wear lipstick and don't remember how long it had been since I'd washed my hair. BUT the thing I had going for me was I had a killer orange/red tree in my backyard for the backdrop of this picture.
The night before the sale went live, I called the shop to ask the quantities they had in stock. I also asked about their shipping time so I could let my customers know. Three days to ship to Utah, and they confirmed they had thousands in stock. This perfect little storm was about to roll out nicely.
Day of sale:
- Gross Sales $4,567.41
- To fill all the orders I ordered 262 of each size for $2,262.00 plus shipping ($78.25) for a total of $2340.25
Gross Profit: $2227.16
Yup. I'll gladly make over 2k in a day.
(Note: I put the gross profit as I did have overhead costs. Everyone's overhead will differ, so I'm not including my overhead. But I'll let you know that my overhead was pretty low, and we called this day a great success).
So let's do a little re-cap on the pre-selling idea:
- Only order what you've sold (only invest on the samples for pictures).
- Make larger margins due to less guessing on inventory.
- Maximize your sales. If it's hot, you want to sell as many as you can. Pre-sales allows you to not guess on inventory. Sell as much as you can (as long as the vendor has the product)!
- Chance that it is delayed in shipping, and that causes gray hair (I know this due to personal experience).
- Chance that your products will be sold out before you buy them. If a vendor didn't count his inventory correctly and can only send you a fraction of what he/she promised that can wreak havoc on your customer service. Triple-check that your vendor/manufacturer knows their quantity. The more you do this, the more you'll know who you can trust.
- Not a unique product. If the vendor/manufacturer is holding stock, then chances are they are selling it to others. The bummer on this is that others can/will easily copy your hard-thought-out product, and that can and will be a bummer. Remember you got there first, so ride the wave and make as many sales as possible.
- Call the company 24 hours in advance to confirm their quantity.
- Would highly NOT recommend this with China (things tend to always go wrong – customs, shipping errors, broken products) a recipe for disaster.
- For crying out loud, iron the dang shirt! I'm not sure how social media didn't tear me up for that one. Ha!
- Remember, it's a pre-sale! Don't buy inventory (or you are not doing the pre-sales approach). Nada!