eCommerce for Beginners Course Lesson 3 - Top eCommerce Business Models


Hey guys, this is Trevor from eCommerce Paradise.

This is Chapter three of the eCommerce for Beginners Course.

For chapter three, I'm going to discuss how to start an eCommerce business, specifically different types of eCommerce business models.

There are quite a few business models that have been found to work well over time and a couple that I've made a lot of money with. So, I'm going to tell you about those.

I'm going to start with the physical product business model first, and then we're going to move into the digital product business models. I'll also be discussing also the service-based business models.

We'll focus more on scalable businesses, which are physical products and digital products.

The first one is the physical products business model. I've been seeing a lot of people doing it these days. It basically means importing from China. You go to China and get a manufacturer with a factory that creates the things you want to sell online here in the States. You buy in bulk, and you warehouse them somewhere here in the States. Different warehouses do fulfillment. You can send them to that warehouse and have them shipped out when you make someone makes order online. It's pretty simple.

Now, one of the key factors here is the private labeling of those products. That means putting your brand name or brand logo on those products to make them more trendy and more appealing and to build a brand image as well.

One of the most well-known ways to fulfill those orders and sell them online even is to use Amazon's fulfillment by Amazon, otherwise known as FBA business model. What they do is they have a huge platform for selling. If you make a great product, get good product pictures, create good product descriptions, do great reviews, and do a lot of promotions, you can actually rank at the top of the Amazon organic listings for certain keywords in their little eCommerce search engine. And they'll fulfill your order for you. They'll take your returns to deal with customer service. It's an excellent passive business model.

All you have to do is the product development to ship it to Amazon. And of course, set up all the listings.

It is a very popular business model. But the downside of it is that it takes a little bit of extra money to start than it does in the other eCommerce business models. Obviously, this is because you have to buy the stock, the packaging, and you have to probably pay copywriters, photographers, and videographers to create content for you. You also have to pay people to do the promotions if you aren't skilled with that. There are some great online courses for that online.

The next one that I've seen a lot of people do with eCommerce is to create your own product. It could be some homemade goods or maybe some woodworking units or something like that. Something that you create your own, and sell it on an online platform called Etsy. Etsy is a kind of homemade goods platform. It's really cool.

I've seen everything from skateboard tools to custom earrings. Stuff like that all over the place on So if you are that kind of like homemaker or craftsman, you can create your own product. Go to and sell it. They'll keep a commission percentage of that. But they'll also market it to their marketplace and email it to their email list for you. So it's pretty cool.

Another way to sell products online is to create your own brand of clothing. You can do that easier than ever now using print on demand fulfillment centers and Shopify. However, I found that the cost is a bit high for the products for print on demand. So it's cost-prohibitive, and it's hard to sell a t-shirt for 30 bucks. So I found that it's actually better to start by testing different designs. That way, once you find a design that sticks. You should go to a manufacturer and have them printed for you.

Another way to do it with the same business model is with a platform called TeeSpring. TeeSpring is a place where you do more of a product Kickstarter and put a product up for sale like an image or a trendy T-shirt, and then a bunch of people will buy it. And if you get over 30 to 50 purchases on that shirt, then it'll ship out to everybody, and you'll make some money. And it's actually pretty cheap that way because they don't ship until people buy in bulk, which makes a lot of sense.

Moving into the next one, Kickstarter is a great platform for all these different types of innovative products. You see everything from new and cool electronic devices to key chains. There's tons of cool stuff, and a lot of electronics these days are on Kickstarter. People are creating all sorts of amazing little devices. And what happens is that it's hard to buy these things in bulk from China. So if you want to raise your capital upfront, it's probably a little bit riskier to do it that way. The less risky way to do it is to make sure you get the orders first and place your order to any manufacturer in China. And that's what Kickstarter is for. So, you know, if you don't want to go that route of creating your own product, you're trying to presell a product.

You can always start by just putting up an online store and getting suppliers and do a thing called drop shipping, where you sell the product first one at a time. Then you ship the product one at a time on a wholesale dealership contract. And it works really well. You just have to understand how to do website design really well. Do the conversion rate optimization, drive targeted traffic, and then do the follow-up and stuff like that, because you are an online retailer. So you have the responsibility of doing customer service and sales and follow up and stuff like that. It's a really good business model. I did that. I think it's really good and it works really well.

But it's not for everybody because it does require a lot of time and effort to do. It takes time and effort to start up and time and effort to run. So it's great for beginners, though, and I think anybody can do it as long as you have a good business. If you have a good credit history, you can get a credit card, and you can place the orders.

The last thing I'll talk about for the physical product business model is for people who don't have good credit but want to start an eCommerce business.

Price arbitrage means you'll look for online retailers that have products for sale. What you do is to market those products on eBay by placing those products on product listings. eBay is a free platform to use. If you do make a sale on eBay, you keep the profit, and you ship it out from the retailer to the consumer.

Usually, you're selling it a little bit higher price than the retailer would sell it for. So you do have to, change the listing around a bit, make sure that people don't, go out and price shop that product. But that business model works pretty well. And you need to have a little bit of patience and a lot of persistence to get it going.

Those are the physical product business models.

Now we'll dive into some digital product business models. The first one that comes to mind is the Amazon Kindle business model.

Amazon Kindle is pretty simple. It would be best if you write an e-book that's somewhere between 5000 to unlimited words. Don't write anything shorter than 5000 words.

Once you do get an e-book written, make an e-book cover. And once you have all that done, you can actually upload it for free to the Amazon Kindle Publishing Library, and you can charge between 19 cents to nine dollars. And once that is up, you can promote it yourself, or you can just wait for Amazon to try to sell it. Many publishers use keyword research and search engine optimization to get people to buy their products. And it works really well.

Book is a passive income venture. Like any other business model takes a long time, takes a lot of persistence, and you might not make a lot of money upfront. It's all about volume. It's creating multiple books, as many as you possibly can to get out the door and get people to buy them and read them.

The next one I got here is to create online courses. What you are watching right now, or the video you watched before reading this is a sample of an online course.

If you're the type of person that likes to talk in front of the camera more than you like to write, online courses are great because you can do a lot more with video than you can with writing. You can reach a wider audience. People would rather sit and listen to videos than read a book or read the written word. It takes less energy. So I think online courses are great and they're more valuable. You can charge more money for them.

People are willing to spend money. You have to think of it just like a book, have to have chapter sections and different parts of those chapters, and get the title together and put it up. Package it neatly with a nice little cover and make an intro and a sales letter. But after the work is done, it's just passive. And you can answer questions for people that take your course. I think it's a great way to make money online. And it would help if you thought about doing it.

Choose something that you're experienced with, and break that down into a bunch of bullet points as to what you think people need to learn. Create the videos, create slideshow, videos, whatever you want to create. Create something that teaches the learning material appropriately and just get launched.

You can use platforms like,, or just YouTube. Once you get a thousand subscribers on YouTube, you actually charge people to watch your content. You can do online courses there, too.

Another great way to go is if you have any experience with creating software and have a great idea for an app. Software is a great way to go as well, but it does require some upfront capital. It depends on whether you're really skilled enough to create a prototype or not, or at least you can come up with an idea for a really good prototype. But if you can show to people and pitch it and get some investor backing to hire a developer and create the app and manage it, then that's a great way to go. Apps are on the way to the future as far as eCommerce goes. I definitely recommend that.

I hope you enjoyed this.

Go ahead and see our other videos on YouTube, eCommerce Paradise.

We'll see you in the next session.

eCommerce Paradise was created by Trevor Fenner of Seattle, Washington in 2015 to help you, the entrepreneur, to start and scale your own eCommerce business selling high-ticket products online with the drop shipping fulfillment method so you can make more profit per sale, have a sustainable and evergreen online business, get started with very little upfront investment, and live a location independent lifestyle. Trevor owns multiple 7-figure High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce stores and is a digital nomad, traveling the world while working remotely with the help of his team of over 10 virtual assistants from around the world. Trevor is currently located in Bali, Indonesia. Trevor is also a passionate skateboarder, surfer, scuba diver, photographer, environmentalist, outdoorsman, fitness and tattoo enthusiast.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate referral links. I will get a commission from the vendor when you make a purchase after clicking them at no added cost to you. As a result, many of them also provide you with a special discount just for using my link. You can go directly to their support if you have any issues with their software or product.

Resources for Starting A High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce Store

These are the resources I've created to help you start your own high-ticket dropshipping eCommerce store:

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