You can make a lot of money selling stuff on the internet! Everyone knows that. But… there is more to it that just selling something. You first have to understand that not only is there a learning curve, but it will also take time, patience, persistence, hard work and creativity. Your ultimate goal for selling things on the internet is to be able to get to a point where you are selling consistently. You don’t want to sell like crazy one day and then nothing for a month. You want to sell just about the same day in and day out and achieving that goal will take a little research.
Market research tells you which products are selling and why and which ones aren’t and why. Market research should start as soon as you start selling and be an ongoing part of your business. Learn everything you can about marketing and the basics of business. The more you know the more confidence you will have in your decisions. Try and keep up with the industry and the basic trends. A good source of information is reports from government agencies. Reports from agencies such as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report contains details about many sectors of the economy. Then, you will need to look at actual sales figures to see what items are selling and how much they are selling for. Look for the success rate and what percentage of the merchandise actually sells and the average end price of the sale. This will tell you how much you can sell the product for and how much profit you can make on it.
Another great source of information is eBay. Check the listings on ebay of the products that you are interested in selling. This can also determine the level of competition for items, as well as the average price. Research what other sellers are doing to move product and become active on forums and chat rooms to see what sales ideas are divulged.So, in order to achieve the success you are looking for, the following is a list to get you started and moving in the right direction. Learning while selling is the best avenue to get the research you need to get to the final goal.
In the beginning, you have to figure out where you are going to sell your products or services. And there are many many choices. It is better to choose two or three and concentrate on those sites while you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Platforms such as ebay, etsy,craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon and Bonanza are all free to list so these should be the easiest to get started. SaleHoo, Mercari, and Artfire have a monthly service charge and you can sell on those later when you have expertise. The experience will teach you the basic skills of managing an online store. So, the best way to get that experience in online retail is to look around your own home and find something that you can sell and ship easily. This can be collectibles like comic books, old books, software, video games, DVDs or dishes and knick knacks. Small items like watches, antiques, and old tools sell quite well. Once you’ve identified something that you can sell, list it on eBay, craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
How you describe the item and write the title will make all the difference in the item getting seen. You will need a good title, a clear description, and a good picture of the item. Before you list, look (research) and see what other people are writing as the title of a similar item to yours. Then, make yours better. Whatever you are selling, make sure that your picture is sharp and you can see the item well. Don’t put a vase in the middle of ten other things that are not for sale. Just have a nice picture of the vase alone. Make the picture look as professional as possible. Look at the setups of photos in decorating magazines to get ideas on how you should try to arrange your photo. Crop the picture and adjust the different elements such as color and contrast and highlights. If it is possible, add more than one picture in your listing. Do a super close up for details and add more pictures if there are any knicks or chips. You want the buyer to know exactly what they are getting before they buy. And then, keep tweaking your listings. You will always want to attract new customers so, if you are selling the same product over and over again, change the words in your title just slightly to see how many new viewers you get. Any listing can be made better. Change the title, description, and photographs whenever you get a new idea. Keep looking at your competitors’ listings, and if you see something you like, recreate it. Make several variations of the same listing to see which one sells best. If possible add a customer’s testimonial. People love to read what others have experience with a product before they buy. Just send an email to a satisfied customer and ask them to write a testimonial for you and your site.
Next, you will need to set up a way for people to pay you. Paypal is the most popular method of online payment. Setting up a PayPal account is free, and you don’t need to have any money in the account to get started. Debit cards, charge cards, prepaid cards, direct debit, bank transfers, phone and mobile payments, checks, money orders and cash payments are also other means that can be set up on certain platforms to accept payment. You will have to make sure that these different ways are acceptable and that the customer has a way to pay you through those services.
Sales management is a very important skill to learn when selling online. The first rule is to get paid. So many people have learned this rule the hard way when selling. You will need to learn how to verify a payment, and most important, never ship an order until it’s been paid for. Most online payment platforms will let you know when you get paid. And when that happens and only when that happens, then you can get on with fulfilling the order.
Fulfilling those orders are imperative to maintaining consistent sales because you have to have the merchandise in stock when the customer orders. That means you must restock your inventory by ordering more merchandise. A smart rule is to restock when you have sold 50 percent of your merchandise. It ensures that you only order more when something is actually selling. This allows for inventory to be there when someone orders an item. You can use the profits from the first 50 percent to cover the next order. If you are doing very well with a certain product, you should order more that that 50 percent the next time. The more you order in the wholesale world, the more the price per item will go down which increases your profit.
One of the nicest things about selling online is that you can constantly tweak or experiment with the different pieces of a platform, listing or wording. You should always be trying out new ways of increasing your sales. Try different sales platforms such as Amazon, SaleHoo and Craigslist. See what kinds of items sell on each. Some platforms such as Etsy are for the artistic and others are for the everyday. There is ebay and Ebid for the auction types. And then you can find the niche marketing platforms if you have specialty items. These are dedicated to selling your specialty merchandise.
When you have sold items for a while and feel that you have the confidence, it is time to set up your own retail website. By setting up your own site, you will be able to keep more of the profits because you won’t have to pay fees to marketplaces such as eBay, etsy or bonanza. You can control the email list and backend, which gives you greater marketing freedom. There are many services out there that can help with web hosting, domains, and website construction. Many of them provide detailed lessons on many aspects of ecommerce, including sales, drop shipping, and website building.
So now you are ready with a box full of goodies and you have written your listing. All you have to do is hit publish and you are in the selling zone. Start selling and keep selling! if you run out of items from around the house, go to garage sales, estate sales, flea markets, thrift stores, and charity events and look for additional merchandise. Fair warning… this process becomes addictive! Just make sure you don’t sell the dog or the kids!
The key to spreading your online visibility and establishing business credibility is a well-built website that reflects your products and services in an organized, modern, and aesthetically pleasing design. We at Everest Direct Mail and Marketing, can help you boost your online presence by creating an original website, fit to your business’ specific needs. We know that no two businesses are alike – so we won’t just throw your content into a basic pre-created template. Our experienced web designers will work with you to make sure each page reflects your products, services, and anything else you’d like to include. We guarantee we’ll provide you with a website you will be proud of, that reflects your professionalism, pride, and hard work you put into your business.