With the internet, countless online stores have emerged and online sales have become the largest industry. Not only web shops such as Amazon make big profits, many private individuals and new small companies also sell a lot of stuff on the internet. And there are still niches enough to start with. In this article you can read how to do that.
How to sell products online.
Selling stuff online has a very low barrier. You don’t need commercial premises or a large inventory. And having your own website to sell your stuff online is in principle not necessary for many products, although having your own site is of course better. If you do not have a strict minimum amount for your products, such as second-hand items, you can also sell these at online auctions.
If you want to sell something once, for example because the children have outgrown their toys, or because you have cleaned up the attic, it is best to choose a simple marketplace or auction site. Examples of marketplaces you can use are Amazon, eBay , Etsy and Sears. Well-known auction sites are eBay, WebStore and ePier. If you have products that are suitable for bidding, you could use one of these auction sites and there are many more. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay a commission.
What can you sell online?
What stuff you want to sell is entirely up to you. Anything you have in the garage, in the attic, or anywhere else that you no longer use is possible. Even for a used mattress or old toilet bowl you can find buyers online, although you will earn money faster with a used car or other more valuable items. Are you not concerned with stuff from the garage or attic, but you want to earn income online by selling new products? In that case having your own site and combining it with other sales channels would be better.
You can sell almost anything online.
Sometimes you just run into a good idea. Because on the internet you can quickly sell a lot with a small assortment. For example, many websites are available for used cars, and a large number of car companies sell more cars through online auctions than through their own company.
There are many more products that you can easily sell online. Curious what you can sell? Order Champ is a B2B marketplace for wholesalers where shops can buy. Ideal for discovering new products and suppliers!
Selling online without your own online store.
Online sales platforms allow you to sell a lot based on the commission you pay to the website. The costs of this can add up considerably, but at least you can be sure that this will also result in turnover.
Online visitors do not guarantee that you are selling anything.
This is no different on a sales platform, but you can lift on the reputation that has already been built. Millions of people come there every day. If you want to sell something, chances are that this is easier and cheaper via such a platform than if you want to bring your products to the attention of the right audience via your own site.
Although you can of course combine both. Your web shop is ideal for regular and returning customers. New target groups are easier to reach via online sales platforms. If you can point out to those people that you also have your own web shop, for example via a folder in the shipping packaging, you can ensure that they order directly from your web store next time so that you earn more and at the same time build up a fixed customer base.
Sell through your own website.
Most people like to have something for themselves. So they would like to have their own online store. Of course, there are also people who do not want to bother too much with legislation or technology and prefer to sell online via a marketplace or other sales platform, but that is a minority. Then, why are all those sales platforms so successful? Well, they simply have a large audience.
It is easy to orientate yourself online, but selling something online is more difficult. People do not visit ten physical stores for one product, but dozens of them visit online without buying anything. So if your own web store receives several tens of visitors a day, this is not a guarantee for daily orders. If you want to sell via your own platform, it means that you have to invest in marketing for a longer period of time, in order to build brand awareness and trust.
So, to get close to the numbers you can achieve with online marketplaces with your own website, you will have to spend money on marketing. And even then the question is whether it will work or not. Your own online store can be interesting if you can build up repeat customers or brand awareness. A simple internet shop is often enough. Sometimes having your own stock is not even necessary, for example if you can find a supplier who offers dropshipping. With dropshipping the barrier is really low to start selling via your own web shop!
How much does my own web shop cost?
You can of course go to an internet agency and ask for a quote for an online store. But if you don’t have a lot of money and can spend some time, you can also look at what you can build yourself. The following providers can assist:
Light Speed Ecommerce.
Light Speed offers a complete e-commerce platform. Both novice and advanced merchants simply start an online shop ‘in the cloud’. The standard package includes hosting, maintenance and telephone support. With a template engine and API, this software is also suitable for entrepreneurs who want even more.
Shopify offers everything you need to start a web shop without technical knowledge. You can design the web shop the way you want. After your request, you can immediately start designing your store.
By far the cheapest and most popular solution is WordPress.org, not to be confused with WordPress.com. WordPress.org can be obtained free of charge if you buy a web hosting package from one of the many providers such as A2 hosting. WordPress includes numerous free e-commerce, shopping, web shop and online payment plugins that enable users without technical knowledge to quickly build their own web store inclusive of al the necessary components.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Some frequently asked questions about online sales are:
Can you just sell everything online?
You can sell almost anything online that you can also sell on the street. So, for example weapons or protected animal species are not allowed.
Can I sell second-hand items?
Of course, a lot of people sell second hand stuff! Clothing is popular, but you can also give furniture or other products a second life. As long as the buyer knows it is used, and you are honest and clear about the condition or history of the product.
Can I make a lot of money with this?
You can but a web shop proves quite difficult in practice. So it is not the easiest way. Selling via online sales platforms is not that easy either. The best thing to do is to set up your own website/web store and then combine this with selling your products via online auction sites and/or marketplaces. This strategy has proven to be the most successful in practice. So, finally you know how to sell products online. Good luck!