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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Opening a new ecommerce+shop in Italy: folly?

    I have reached a point where my job doesn't really make me happy anymore - and I'm not talking about my employer, I'm talking about what I do - so I'm thinking about doing something different. Seeing as I've become pretty passionate about fragrances, it would be an obvious choice for me to see if there's anything that might provide me with the means of paying my mortgage etc.
    Basically, the idea is to setup an ecommerce site for niche and/or hard-to-find fragrances, selling both full bottles and decants/samples (AusLiebeZumDuft-style), with some community-oriented features and, if and when it becomes doable, a little physical shop too in my town (near Milan, soon to be very close to the 2015 Expo). To avoid entering a competition I can't win, I'd steer clear of Sephora-class fragrances, while I'd like to be able to eventually deal in end-of-attic stuff etc.
    One thing I can't and won't do is the "discount" store - if you want to sell stuff here in Italy, especially with the current situation, it'd better be expensive and as "exclusive" as you can make it.

    The million dollar question is: am I crazy? The 500k dollar question is: are there case histories to let me understand what kind of investment would be required, what kind of prospects etc?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Opening a new ecommerce+shop in Italy: folly?

    If you feel the urge that bad go for it! You're dong your homework first. Good move. Good luck!

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening a new ecommerce+shop in Italy: folly?

    If it's your passion, go for it. You only live once.

  4. #4
    Basenotes Plus
    Diamondflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening a new ecommerce+shop in Italy: folly?

    Do your research. Figure out your target clientele & work out if it's feasible. If you don't have the necessary experience, rope in someone who does. Passion will take you only part of the way, calculated business decisions take care of the rest. If you fear failure, don't do it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Opening a new ecommerce+shop in Italy: folly?

    Good luck from me too!
    Apart from the absolutely necessary business plans, strategies, financings, researches etc., I'd say that there is potential in this kind of business line, simple because niche, exclusiveness, limited edition appeal on one hand genuinely exists and becomes more visible to an increasing number of possible consumers, on the other hand, however, it is still largely underrepresented.
    Plus, the community-oriented aspect might also be an extra point in a winning strategy.

  6. #6
    Basenotes Junkie Nosebud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening a new ecommerce+shop in Italy: folly?

    I am in the same boat as you. I work in pharmacy, and I am sick of it. I know I don't want to be a pharmacist, and I don't think toxicology will be much better. I have been seriously considering enrolling in a school of perfumery. It is scary wondering if my passions can support a family of four.
    All I can do is what you are doing: see what kind of business makes you happy, come up with a business plan, and see if it is feasible.

    I wish you luck on your endeavor, and hope it makes you happy!

  7. #7
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: Opening a new ecommerce+shop in Italy: folly?

    First off, thanks everyone for the replies - I guess we are all a little biased on the subject =D but it's still encouraging to see you guys think there's a chance this might work.
    After some more thought, I realized that there are actually two parallel strategies that might prove successful. Beginning with the online/ecommerce site could be wise simply because I am a web designer/programmer by trade and I could design (and implement) the features myself, if required.
    At the same time, I realized that franchising would be another good starting point - I could "shop around" to see if any of the interesting names have some kind of franchising program, so that I might start with some good know-how and the right contacts, instead of reinventing the wheel and having only my business sense (whatever there is of it) as a guide.
    Does this make sense?

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