Kev Asked: selling solar panels online – a good idea?
so…do you think an online store dedicated to selling solar panels/systems will be a good business idea? Since green energy is the 'hottest' growing business area recently with usage growing about 30% per annum and investors putting all their money into solar energy, wind farms, biofuel, etc.
I think when you sell solar systems online this will be the most appealing business model to the end customer…especially if you offer free installation on orders of say $1000. I mean homedepot and walmart sell panels but buyers will have nor the skills nor the enthusiasm to install them. Factories on the other hand are perhaps the best business model for this thing – but unfortunately will cost a lot and at the moment I have about $60k at most to invest in some small business.
Speaking about competition, there are just 3-4 online shops at the moment, such as solarhome.org and their prices seem too high – for instance the very best price on the market currently per watt is less than $0.8 while their prices start at $2.35 – which is some difference…of course the price of $0.8 is wholesale…but even then. If I manage to sell them for $1.5 and offer free installation i think there will be some buyers. 10x!
the best ideas start simple in a garage and grow. With solar panels there would be no need to invest in them to sell them. there are companies already with millions of dollars in solar panels in a warehouse. You need to find the costomer, get the order and then order from the factory. What you do not want is a ware house full of inventory just sitting somewhere doing nothing. This costs you money. If you can find a way to get customers, take orders and then call the factory this makes more sense. Finding people with large chunks of cash for an outlay ofa complete solar panel system is not going to be easy. Finding home owners who want to make payments is reality, but if they do not pay, you cannot repossess your solar panels can you?
So save your money and keep your eyes open. I agree with you, I think solar energy is going to become more popular but without knowing what the growth rate is every year and a lot more reserarch you need to get a lot more hard facts, and the price of solar panels needs to come down a lot. both of which may happen down the road