how to sell things online: a simple step by step guide that you can follow to start selling online.
It is hard to compete with giant ecommerce sites with a small budget. If you can’t compete with them why not join them. Online market places like amazon allow third-party vendors to sell on their site.
Based on statista report The ecommerce giant amazons’ amazon prime members reach 103 million people by March 2019 which was 95 million in June 2018.
amazon prime is a paid subscription that user access to get services like free two-day delivery, Two hour delivery for a fee through Prime Now, etc. And, on average prime subscriber spent 1,400 U.S. dollars on the e-retail price per year.
This stat shows how big and popular these ecommerce platforms are. The good news is more than half of the paid unit sell is by third-party vendors, not Amazon itself.
this data is supported by statista report with a figure that clearly shows how Amazon is a thriving digital marketplace. last year 54 % of paid units were sold by third-party sellers.
And according to vox 19 percent of professional merchants on amazon made more than $1 million sales and more than 80% of Amazon sellers are selling on other platforms.
if we look at all these stats we can easily see the potential of selling on those market places. But, how do you start selling in these market places?
how to sell things online
here is a simple step by step guide that will get you started.
Step 1: pick what you sell
Picking the right product is the most important part of your journey that determines whether you are going to lose or win.
To pick your ideal product you have to check out the profitability of the product, demand for the product, and the intensity of the competition.
Where can you find the product idea?
Products related to your hobbies
List products that are related to your hobbies, and do further research on these products. Selling products that you are interested in may have its own advantage as you have some expertise related to the product.
Products related to best seller products
Bestseller products are lucrative for established sellers who are already selling them but not for starters. The competition will be high as so many people already competing on them. But, you can target products that are complementary or similar to the bestselling products but with less competition.
You can check out this best seller product on popular market places like Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, and Alibaba.
Products that are suggested by market research
You can do your own market research or use tools like Salehoo labs. You can filter products based on sell rate, average retail price, and competition for a range of products.
If you have no idea what to sell, you can target sub-niches of this popular product niches like kitchen supplies, sports accessories, baby supplies, pet supplies, and outdoor accessories
Step 2: find the right suppliers to sustainably sell things online
After you find your product, it is time to find your supplier. you can find your supplier on Alibaba, AliExpress, and other major online marketplaces, at local trade shows, by reaching out to your local wholesale suppliers, searching on Google using keywords like “(your keyword) wholesaler”, and using wholesaler directories like SaleHoo, 4WholesaleUSA, etc.
You can find manufacturers the same way as a wholesaler. However, you have to do your own background check to examine if they are a good fit for your business. the good thing about manufacturers is, You can get the best price from manufacture than wholesalers in most cases.
You need to list your potential supplier and contact them professionally. You should know that the best supplier gets contacted by lots of sellers, so you have to make a good first impression and you should look like a serious buyer.
Negotiate to get the best deal
If you want good profit, you have to look for the best deal, to get the best deal you have to contact lots of suppliers and negotiate as much as you can.
One leverage you can use to negotiate is ordering in bulk, however, this may not be the option when you start.
Step 3: set up your business
After you select your product and supplier it is time set up your business.to set up your business legally you can do this.
Choose a unique business name that fit your service, and registers your business following your local guideline.
registering a business may differ from country to country and state to state. You may have to consult your local lawyer about how you register and Apply for sales tax Id (or reseller license) or read a local business registration guide.
some people push legal formalities till the end or never want to register their business. you don’t want to do all the hard work and end up getting a hefty fine for not setting up your business the right way.
The rules and the required license depends on your location(your government), the type of products you sell and your business need. it is wise to make an informed decision that considers what applies to you.
Note: you don't need to be a registered business to sell on Amazon but it is possible your local governments want you to register your online business.
If you sell on your own platform you may have to set up payment and other issues. You may use payment integration services by Paypal, Stripe, etc.
Step 4: choose platforms to sell things online
This depends on what you sell, what you want to achieve, and how you want to sell. There are lots of popular platforms you can sell your products, to list a few:
eBay is a great place for selling all kinds of products such as used goods, items purchased from liquidation sales, etc. The price on eBay can be lower than Amazon.
Amazon has a screening process before you start selling on their platform. You can sell products at a higher price than eBay. They have more traffic and people will see you as a store on amazon.
Amazon also has FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) program in which you can ship your products from your supplier to Amazon warehouse. And amazon store and ship products for you.
Etsy is a marketplace for handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. The items on this site are mainly products like jewelry, bags, clothing, home decor and furniture, toys.
Bonanza is another player in the game with more than 25000 sellers offering products in the category of fashion, collectibles, home décor, etc.
On your own website having, your own store may give you greater freedom, less competition, and no seller fee. However, it has its own disadvantage and cost related to setting up and maintenance.
Step 5: market your product
Good marketing starts with a good marketing plan, plan how you can market your store.
Use a high-quality photo, so many people decide to buy based on the photo. Use a high-quality photo at all angles and highlight important features.
Ask customers for a review, so many people want to see reviews before they buy, positive reviews increase your sell.
Provide excellent customer service and all the information they ask. And as well, be polite and respectful.
Try to pick up on trends before your competitors, the online world is changing rapidly you need to change with it.
You have to use all the marketing channels available.
Start a blog: blogging is still one of the best ways to do content marketing, you can drive traffic and it can help you convert customers over time.
Use social media to market your store: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter be active and share interesting and engaging photos and content.
Start youtube channel: videos are more engaging than any other content and utilize them to build your online presence.
Try to get media coverage: if you can get the mainstream media attention that will be great free marketing.
Use discount and give away: rewarding your customers and offering give away can attract more traffic and attention to your business.
The purpose of this guide is to help you start selling in an online marketplace .instead of procrastinating and overcomplicating things it is better to just start simple and small. start selling online now.