Selling Products Online
In our current day and age, there’s quite literally hundreds of ways to make money. The current job climate, despite some improvements, is still a little dire. Jobs are hard to come by for most people, and even those with creative skills face a tight environment where they compete with people of the same level.
Still, if old traditions are anything to go buy, one of the most effective ways of making money is to sell products. Historically, people gathered in the town’s marketplace to sell items, ranging from shoes to lamps to priceless artworks. And with the advent of the Internet, everything changed.
The new frontier for the marketplace is the world wide web. And what better way to make money than selling products online?
Picture this: you’re new to the world of product selling. You have no way of setting up a stall. You have a whole range of antiques or self-made products you’re willing to sell to make some extra cash. And you have no clue on how to start.
That’s where the online marketplace comes in. And it’s not just one place, you have a whole world to choose from: eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Gumtree, and many more.
E-commerce has a lot to offer, and here’s a brief rundown on why that’s the case. The example website used is eBay.
How does it work?
E-commerce is simply trading in products or services through computer networks, such as the Internet. Various technologies are drawn upon such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, and inventory management systems, among others.
The businesses that compromise the realms of e-commerce, typically consist of clichés along the lines of:
– Etail: another word for “virtual storefronts” with an online catalog, sometimes gathered into a virtual mall.
– The ability to buy or sell via online marketplaces.
– The implementation of business-to-business (B2B) buying and selling.
– Secure business transactions i.e. Paypal.
More specifically for the sake of this article, an online marketplace is where consumer transactions are processed by the marketplace operator and then delivered and fulfilled by the participating retailers or wholesalers through what is known as drop shipping.
How do I sell products online?
To get started, click the Sell button. This is located at the top of most eBay pages. The system will then guide you through the process of listing your item step-by-step, right down to helping you find the ideal category. Selecting the appropriate category is important as it helps buyers find your listing.
1) First thing’s first – You must establish an eBay seller account. To do this:
- Verify your phone number (eBay.co.uk) or authenticate your identity (eBay.ie).
- Decide on an automatic payment method for paying your seller fees (a small amount of money that eBay requests whenever you make a listing) and eBay Money Back Guarantee reimbursements in case of particular issues.
Ensure your Feedback Profile is open to the public. Without this, how will buyers feel confident enough that you are someone they can trust to sell them something?
Select the payment methods you’ll accept from buyers. These can range from conventional means such as credit card, to old school methods such as
Get PayPal Verified. PayPal is one of the more secure methods to send or receive money online.
2) Research! – Before you begin selling items, it’s a wise idea to do some research, especially concerning a starting price, listing format, and a category. This will help you create a good listing and get the best investment for your item. It will also help you to avoid any unwanted complications with buyers.
3) Set up a Q&A – Whether it’s before, during, and after a sale, the potential buyer will have questions. It’s only human. When they do, they click the “Ask a question” link somewhere in your listing. It’s important on your part to respond quickly and thoroughly.
Thus, this keeps the buyer interested in your listing, saves you a whole heck of time, and positive feedback is more likely when the transaction is complete.
4) Create the listing – When you’re ready to sell a product, eBay swiftly helps you create your listing with recommendations based on buyers’ research of similar listings. The site claims that their recommendations are designed to help you sell your items at a faster rate and at a better price.
Listings can be styled as auctions or a fixed price listing.
Listing upgrades can be added, such as highlighting text, font styles, and picture enhancements. In turn, your product will stand out and possibly attract buyers.
5) Manage the listing – so far so good. Be sure to check your listing every now and again. You can do this from accessing the Sell section of My eBay, which shows up after you log in to your eBay account.
From here you can change anything about the listing, set preferences for postage and packaging, and set member-t0-member communications in order for buyers to contact you directly.
6) Wrap things up – once your buyer completes checkout, you’ll receive a notification e-mail. If no specification is noted for postage and payment details in your listing, the buyer can instead request this information directly in checkout.
If the situation calls for it, contact your buyer directly if you haven’t heard from them 3 days after listing’s end. Also, make sure to receive the money first before sending the item over.
Pack the item as securely as possible, post it over and leave feedback for the buyer.
With eBay, it varies. The marketplace allows sellers and buyers to engage in a virtual auction. A seller pays a small fee to put up a listing, and an item’s rarity, quality, and selling condition will affect how the auction plays out. For example, an ultra rare book from the 1800’s may be worth an initial bidding value of $500 (£310.72), and bidding will commence. Wealthier buyers will offer staggering amounts, and a race to win the item at the very last minute will ensue, further racking in profit for the seller.
Again, earnings through online selling will differentiate depending on items sold. A “buy it” now option and some creative marketing from the seller will allow them to sell conventional items such as PCs, televisions, ceramics, shoes and more without too much effort.
Competition will be intense on eBay, as multiple users can offer the same items. The rarity of an item will drive a larger income for a seller, especially if it is impossible to discover the product elsewhere. Various IT companies, including those abroad in Japan and China, will offer similar prices, creating an unbalanced platform for international sellers.
Knowledge and Experience
One does not need to have a large amount of experience or knowledge to sell products online. eBay handles most of the legal process, the rest relies on the seller’s common sense and ability to interact with buyers. A general understanding on prices, basic marketing strategies, and fair play is required to ensure safe and easy transactions.