Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
The internet is such a great marketplace for new businesses. For almost no money and little or no overhead, you can promote a product to many customers at the same time and sell your products online.
There are many ways to sell products online. This article will focus on the easiest way to get started -- by using established websites to list your products. The reason I suggest this method is that you save time and money, and you get access to their huge audience instantly.
Building your own ecommerce website is certainly do-able, but if your product is unproven and you have limited resources, put your money into product development and marketing first. When you have built a market and proven that your ideas are moneymakers, then create your own website. By then, you will know that your product does have an audience, and you will also have made some money to pay for the website and ecommerce necessities such as shopping cart software.
To get started selling online, you first need a Paypal account. Paypal is easy and it is free to set up, but it takes a few days for them to verify your account, so do this now. Once you have a Paypal account, your customers can pay you electronically with credit cards or echecks, or their own Paypal funds. Otherwise, you have to wait for checks or money orders, or get your own credit card merchant account which is, in my opinion, too expensive and not necessary for an online start-up. Read the info on the Paypal site about fees you will pay to use their services. Look at these fees, as well as the fees charged by the storefront you will be using as a cost of doing business.
Next, start visiting various online sites that you could use to sell your product. There are loads of them. Search for “sell crafts online” or “sell dog sweaters online” to find appropriate vendors. Here are some of the more popular:
eBay—has a huge audience or customer base. A great place to start. Audience is mostly looking for bargains. Search for items similar to what you are selling to see what they are selling for before you list.
Etsy—sells handmade items. Artists and crafters sell here.
Amazon—it’s not just books anymore.
Craigslist—great if you have a product you need to sell locally, like things that weigh so much that shipping is prohibitive. Free in many areas, too.
CafePress—imprints images you create on dozens of products, ranging from t-shirts to clocks to aprons.
Once you choose one or two places to sell your products, you need to take photos of the product, write a compelling description and post your ad. Then, send an email to everyone you know telling them where they can find your “store” and asking them to help you spread the word. You can also put it on your social networking pages like Facebook or MySpace.
Take the first steps today by doing some research and getting some steps started. Don’t let anything hold you back. Find the time, ignore the negative self-talk, and step out there!
If you have a dream, you also have the ability to make it happen.
Click here to get your Paypal account.
Click here to open a storefront on eBay.com