One of the top questions I get asked about the cell phone case market, or any market online is “But what about other sellers?”, or “What about competition from China?”. That thinking right there is what keeps most people from starting a business. The fear of competition. But the fact there is competition is good, it means there is a market. Competition will keep you on your feet and force you to improve your business as much as possible. It is in a way, natural selection.
Well most of the business world is like natural selection. Some companies deserve to fail but do not, ie; “To big to fail”.
To anyone who asks me the question about competition, I reply usually that competition does not stop burger joints/pizza companies from starting because there is a similar store less then 100 meters away.
We would all like to have a business where we have no true competition, but the world does not work like that. Even the biggest monopolies in the U.S. face competition from new business trying to introduce something new to the world.
Competition is good
As I wrote in this post about the Syrian Army, the lack of serious competition led them to a major defeat at the battle of Idlib. Taxi companies had complete monopolies in every city of the world. Uber comes by and tears them apart. If the taxi companies had true competition, it would have kept them on their feet and forced them to innovate. Now it is to late.
If you think you will start a business and never face competition, you are wrong. There is to much people in this world to not think someone else is in into the same thing as you, and once you start making money, others see that and try to get in it by starting a competing business.
So if you are selling a cell phone case online and see that others are selling the same case, I would say buy the case too and sell it. Two things will happen, either you will be forced out by a price war, or your competition will be. I can tell you it is usually the competition that gives up. When I first started selling online, I would avoid other sellers and try to focus on a niche. I decided I would try to break into existing markets and challenge other businesses. Since my goal was to eliminate them through price wars, I would not focus on making profit. What I found is that about 75% of competitors drop out. They either use a computer model and see that the same design is not selling like before, or see that there is no point fighting me for a such a small amount of money. I would win and get the listing after they ran out of stock. From there I would raise prices. Funny thing is that others did the same to me.