Many new e-commerce businesses don’t succeed because they fail in the first step: validating their idea. The idea behind having an online store is incredible as it sounds, but if no one wants what you sell, who’s going to buy from your business?
With the right products, platforms, and marketing strategies, you can make money selling online. Whether you want to make some extra cash by cleaning out your closet or start a side hustle by selling products you create yourself, there are plenty of ways to sell online.
While selling is the most prominent aspect of an online sales business, there is more to it. You also have to consider what to sell, where to sell it, build a website, and market your business. Understanding how all of this works will help your efforts on how to sell online.
Avenues for Selling Online
When it comes to making sales online, your avenues are nearly limitless. Every day, newer platforms keep springing up to assist in connecting you to potential customers. Here are some of the most well-known websites for selling online:
Auction Sites and Online Marketplaces
Thankfully, there are a few good options for selling your products online: Shopify, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. These marketplaces are a great way to sell items that are hard to find anywhere else and sell them for premium prices. For example, you can sell a vinyl album of your mom’s favorite band on eBay. The item is desirable and unique; therefore, many people will bid on the item and drive up the price.
Another benefit of auction sites is that they have a built-in audience of potential buyers that visit the site regularly to buy other items. The largest platform, eBay, has a couple hundred million users worldwide that visit its site several times per week.
Thus, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re likely to want to take advantage of these auction sites to give your products maximum exposure and reach customers worldwide. The most important thing is that you don’t need a website, and the process is fast, so it’s perfect if you want to make some extra cash quickly.
However, both auction and online marketplaces come with their downside. This is because selling on such platforms is not set up for selling one item at a time.
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace: The Ultimate Guide.
With over 244 million monthly active users, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to sell your products. Amazon has become the most popular method of buying things online for many people, and there’s a reason for it. Amazon has made its selling platform so convenient that ordering something is one click away. You can easily create an account on their site and begin selling right away–no application process or approval is needed.
2. Active Campaign
Active Campaign is one of the most popular marketing automation software that helps to manage and automate marketing operations. It has email marketing, marketing automation, and sales automation. It is a handy software that helps to automate business operations.
If you have something vintage looking to sell (or if you’re vintage of sale items), then Etsy is probably where you should be selling. Etsy is an online craft marketplace that focuses on handcrafted goods and other unique items. It’s a great place to attract buyers explicitly looking for handmade goods to get the best price for your product.
Similar in concept to Amazon but focused more on auctions rather than direct sales, eBay offers an easy-to-use platform for anyone wanting to sell their products online. They also provide marketing tools like email templates and a streamlined checkout process that makes it even easier for buyers.
5. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace lets you list your items before an audience that uses Facebook regularly. This provides a degree of trustworthiness with buyers familiar with your profile and knows you have a good reputation among your friends. You can also use their business pages feature to set up an online store for free.
If you’re looking to sell digital products online, ClickBank might be a good tool. This platform is popular with online marketers and is the preferred choice when selling digital products like books, courses, and memberships. ClickBank can be an alternative to the Amazon marketplace, focusing on physical goods.
The Carpe platform is a marketplace for selling beauty products. You can use it to sell makeup and skincare products straightforwardly. You can also buy items at a discount as a seller, making it easier to purchase expensive items or buy extra quantities of less-pricey items to resell them.
Carpe has a referral program that allows you to make money by referring the app to your friends. With the click of the button, you can quickly generate a unique link that will ensure you get credit for any sales your friends make on their first purchase.
You’ll have 30 days after receiving an item for returns, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on reselling an item if something goes wrong with shipping or if your customers aren’t happy with what they receive from you!
You can indeed sell your stuff to neighbors to be neighborly, but this is rarely the best option. If someone is selling things on click2sell, they have a shopping cart full of goods and is prepared to ship them to you quickly. You can also make your payment online, which protects your personal information. Buying from a person on click2sell will take less of your time than if you tried visiting all the nearby neighbors selling similar items for sale.
click2sell is an ideal way for people who want to buy and sell used goods at a reasonable price. It makes it easy for sellers and buyers alike because of its convenient format. Sellers love click2sell because they don’t have to worry about travelling from house to house with their items and waste gas. Buyers love how easy it is to enter what they’re looking for, read about what’s available, and then pay for their purchase and have it shipped right away.
Apps to Sell Items
Besides online marketplaces and auction sites, you can also look to apps to help you get sales. Several selling methods abound, and here are a few picks to consider:
OfferUp is another popular selling app. While it doesn’t have as much traffic on its platform, sales listings are free with no additional fees charged when you get paid out as a seller. It also features a messaging system that allows sellers to communicate with potential buyers and discuss pricing, shipping, and other transaction factors. Like eBay, it also has an option for local delivery or pickup only.
This app allows you to buy and sell locally and grows in popularity. It’s easy to use, so this app may be the right choice if you’re not a technical person. Please take a photo of your item(s), upload it, write a description, and set the price. If someone buys your items, you’ll meet them in person to exchange money for the product.
Letgo also allows users to list their products locally by taking a photo of an item from within the app and creating a post. The app will use your location to post it to buyers near you automatically. This removes the need to enter any zip codes or city names. You can also send messages through chat so that potential buyers can ask questions about an item before committing themselves financially or even physically.
How to Receive Money from Selling Online
Now that you know how to create a good listing and have learned about the options for selling online, it’s time to find out how people can pay you. The exact ways that you may receive payment will vary depending on where you are selling your item, but in general, there are several common ways to get paid:
– Credit cards
If the item is being sold through an online marketplace like eBay or Etsy, they may ask whether you’d like to accept credit cards. You can also accept credit card payments by setting up a merchant account with a bank or other financial service provider.
If someone is buying your item locally, they may offer to pay by check. Checks should be made out only to the person who owns the bank account in which the money is being deposited.
This is another way of getting paid when someone buys something from you locally. Make sure to keep track of cash transactions so that your records are accurate at tax time.
Online Selling Tips
These tips can help you sell your products or services online more effectively and efficiently. They provide you with excellent tools for selling online, allowing you to reach a wider audience and make more money from your efforts:
1. Find a Niche
Your niche will most likely determine whether or not you will be successful with how to sell online. If you’re selling something that potential customers can easily find or purchase somewhere else, you won’t be able to sustain your business for very long. The more people are trying to make money off the same product, the harder it will be for anyone person or company to achieve profitability.
On top of this, it’s important not to sell something that will only appeal to a small niche market.
2. Find a Product to Sell
The product you choose should be able to fulfil the following requirements:
- You should be able to buy it for a low price.
- The product must be able to sell it for a profit.
- You should be able to sell many of them.
- It should not cost you too much money to deliver it.
3. Find a Supplier for Your Product
Use a supplier directory to find the product you want to sell. There are plenty of options available, but here are two great ones:
· SaleHoo: This is an online wholesale directory and community for retailers. You can get the latest lowdown on suppliers, prices, trends, etc.
· Wholesale Central: This is a B2B directory that helps wholesale buyers find wholesale suppliers and products. When you find a supplier, please follow the link to their website, where you can do business with them directly.
4. Register Your Business with the Government
Whether you choose to set up an LLC, corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, registering your business with the government comes with many benefits. It saves you time and money by giving more credibility to your business. Some of the advantages include:
- Maintenance-free legal compliance with federal and state tax agencies.
- Setup a separate bank account for your business earnings and expenses.
- Ability to open a line of credit in the name of your business.
- Potential tax deductions that can lower your income tax liability each year.
5. Build Your Online Store
Choose the right online store platform or means. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to do your research before deciding. E-commerce platforms allow you to easily upload products and manage your inventory without having any technical knowledge. Apps also mean you can reach more potential clients with relative ease.
6. Open a Merchant Account
A merchant account is a bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. A merchant account is established under an agreement between an acceptor and a merchant acquiring bank to settle payment card transactions. The critical difference between a regular bank account and a merchant account is that the funds settled from credit card transactions are placed into a separate, designated holding area until they’re paid out according to the terms of your processing contract (usually weekly).
The fact is that selling online is hard but doable. You need to offer a product/service of value, you have to be good at marketing, and you need to know how to drive sales. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, nor does it happen overnight. If you want to make money online, be ready for real work. that said, it can be pretty fun to learn how to sell online as well as rewarding.
You may also like to read our latest article, Shopify: How to Sell Online with the eCommerce Giant.