Start an Online Store From Scratch
In today’s day and age it is very easy to start a business selling online, but with so many places to start it is often confusing to know where to go to online when you want to start an online store from scratch.
I hope in the following post to show you some ways to get selling online and some of the most useful places to start your business empire…so let’s start with the most easy one and give you a rundown on a few more you may not have heard of…
Many people have an ebay account to buy and sell things, but some people do not realise that you can in fact create an online store where you hold all of your items for sale..Before starting an ebay shop it is useful to pick an item that you are thinking about selling that fits into a certain niche. It could be antiques, electronics or maybe even roller blinds or toilet seats! It helps to be very specific and also if you can pick a product that customers will return to purchase again and again… then that is even better.
Register as a seller and business user.
If you haven’t already done so you will need to register as a seller and then as a business user. Ebay has guidelines for starting an online store and it would be wise to stick to them.
Once you are registered you have the opportunity to build an online shop and customise it..please be aware that to open a shop you must have a verified PayPal account and have a feedback rating of at least 10.
You are now ready to sell, and depending on what you are selling you have some advantages to being a business user on eBay, including having your items listed further up the lists and being able to make them more eye catching for people.
Once you get going it may well be worth looking into buying your stock from a wholesaler as the prices will be cheaper or maybe importing from another country. A couple of good places to search for stock are alixpress and DHgate. Both of these stock many items which can be delivered to you from overseas.
Amazon is a very easy way to sell products online and is similar to eBay although I believe has a few advantages. One being that you do not have to type in endless amounts of information in order to list your product. You simply type in your ISBN number and set the price…make yourself a cup of coffee and wait for someone to buy your item. Ok so it’s not that simple but it is an easy way to sell items and if you intend on having multiple items it is going to make your life so much easier than having to type out tons of info on each product.
If you have a niche rare product that amazon does not already have, then you may want to take up the upgrade option which costs around $40 per month.
Another nice little feature with Amazon is that you do not get charged a list price until your product sells. Another thing which you may want to consider is that Amazon clientele tend to be people who would rather buy new or nearly new products and unlike eBay, Amazon does not have an auction style approach..something which I kind of like and makes you feel more like a shop! for more information on amazon marketplace and for some great books on the subject just click this link Amazon Marketplace
Shopify has over 90,000 stores online and is still growing. Unlike Ebay and Amazon Marketplace Shopify lets you start an online store from $14 per month and has other price plans as and when you need to scale your business. There is also a free trial of Shopify that doesn’t require you to give any credit card or payment details etc.
You can choose from a number of different themes in Shopify which really does mean you will have your own online store that looks great and requires no programming skills to run. The whole process in Shopify literally walks you through what you should be doing every step of the way and makes it really easy to set up. There is even phone support and a blog attached to your account which is a much needed add on for content marketing purposes.
Although there is a price attached to this platform in my opinion it is well worth the money if you are serious about opening an online store.
Moonfruit is essentially an easy way for you to set up a website or start an online store from the comfort of your own home. If you have not already read my how to build a website for free post using moonfruit you can take a look at it here. The other great thing about Moonfruit is that a bit like Shopify you can create your own shop using a number of different themes. Listing your items is easy and you do not need any programming skills as it is all a drag and drop system. The only thing I will say is that it the operating system and stock taking etc behind Shopify is probably a little better, but Moonfruit is a cheaper option if you are on a budget.
Why not dropship!
Dropshipping is a way to sell goods but not have to stock all the items yourself. The company who’s items you are selling will stock and send the items all under your shop name. Sounds good right?..well beware!..the first thing you will see is that there are many people offering dropshipping if you type in dropshipping into google. Most of these companies charge a yearly fee and say you can sell the items and make huge profits etc etc..here are a few do’s and don’ts to avoid being scammed when thinking about dropshipping.
1: DO NOT buy any so-called lists of suppliers from anyone off Ebay. These are all things you can find yourself with a little bit of work.
2: DO NOT sign up to any of these companies offering you deals for an annual or monthly fee. If a company thinks you are a good fit for them they would not charge you to promote their products. These companies are merely middle men and you can often find most of the items they are saying you can make a profit with using their suggested RRP much cheaper on eBay than you could ever compete with.
3: DO look at local or niche companies and see if they are interested in teaming up with you and dropshipping.
4: DO research thoroughly before looking at Dropshiping, it can be a nightmare!.
Don’t get me wrong you can make money from dropshipping so long as you are willing to put the work in but if you are just starting out I would suggest giving dropshipping a miss until you have gotten used to selling a few items and take a look at the options i have mentioned.
When thinking about starting an online store from scratch it is important to check out all of the options. I have listed a few here and I hope that they were of interest to you. If you have any questions then please as usual drop me a comment and if you liked this post please feel free to share it.
Thanks for reading