EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3157 - September 20, 2013     1 of 5

What Online Sellers Would Do with Fifty Thousand Dollars

Email This Story to a Friend

What would you do with a cash infusion? People might say they would pay down their debt, invest it, or splurge, say on a vacation. As an exercise, EcommerceBytes asked readers what they would do if they received $50,000 for their businesses. Were online sellers investors, savers or spenders? The results are in.

We asked, "What would you do with $50,000 to invest in your online retail business," and let respondents check all the options that applied. One might expect the number one answer to be spend it on advertising and marketing. But the number one answer was actually to invest in inventory. "To make money, you have to sell the stuff, in order to sell the stuff, you need the stuff," explained one respondent.

To go along with the investment in inventory, a great number said they would also improve inventory storage and hire additional full-time or part-time employee(s).

Respondents had much to say about what a cash infusion would mean to them and to their businesses. "The first rule of any business, is that you have to have items to sell, which could be expanded if I had warehouse space." They said they would also hire additional help to free them up to work on sourcing products, which would also help the economy, and next on the list would be to launch a website.

Another seller said they needed to hire another employee to handle increasing volume and growth, "but to do that we need more space, hardware, and facilities," and commented they had no need for a vacation: "Doing what you love all day, every day is a vacation in itself!" Others sounded a bit more weary - new shoes for tired feet were among the items on one reader's wish list, while another needed a new pair of wheels to replace their 10-year-old vehicle.

A potter and vintage retailer said they would invest in equipment. "I would love to purchase a Kiln so that I could fire my own pottery, right now I have to drive a total of 180 miles to get my wares fired plus pay for kiln space. I have been blessed to pursue my vintage passions to supplement my shop and would really like to be able to step up my inventory."

Some people said the money would help them get their business off and running, and others said they needed manpower to scale or at least get caught up. " I would love to be able to hire someone to scan/photograph all my backlog and then write out the basics for listing the items and then uploading them. I have thousands of items in a backlog of inventory that won't sell until it is listed somewhere. I get worn down by physical problems so can't do as much as I would like as quick as I could so be able to hire help would be terrific, even if for only a couple months, that should get me caught up."

Several readers commented that they had a long list of priorities, and clearly they could put $50,000 to good use. But as one wrote after reviewing his list, "$50K doesn't go as far as it used to."

Thanks to readers for sharing their thoughts in the survey and in the accompanying blog post.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to and either link to the original article or to
All other use is prohibited.