If you’re looking to make money from home and want to know how to start selling online, this step by step guide to selling online will be a sure fire way to help you achieve your goal. I will lay out everything you need to know to get started.
First, let’s take a look at the benefits of selling online:
- There is no limit on how much money you can make
- Flexibility to be home (even with hollering kids in the background)
- Selling online would be an adaptable addition to any venture you’re already working on.
These are just a few of the benefits to name as there are so much more but I will save that for another post.
Related Read: How I made $400 in my first month selling online
Now, onto the simple guide to selling online, I promised you.
Step 1 – Pick Your Passion
Pick a niche you are passionate about. It’s the same scenario like when you start a blog. Only this time you’re choosing a physical product.
You also want to pick something other people are passionate about. Something that sells. Say you’re passionate about two things, Batman posters, and clothes. Both of these topics would be feasible, the only thing is you will need to broaden and niche down on the other.
With Batman posters, you could broaden your niche by selling Batman items which could include clothes, posters, toys, and pretty much anything Batman. If you want to sell just posters than you can sell superhero posters which gives you way more options.
With clothes, you will need to be less broad by choosing a more specific category like women’s clothes. You can then add multiple categories like tops, bottoms, dresses, and hats.
To you see what I did there? Find something you are passionate about and what sells than look at the bigger picture.
Step 2 – Where to find your products
In the beginning, to get your feet wet for selling tangible items, you can do so by cleaning house. Walk around your house gathering items you and your family don’t use anymore. Because you’re just starting out I recommend selling smaller items especially if you’re having to ship these items once they sell.
Depending on what you’re selling, there are many places to get things for cheap and resell once you run out of your own items.
Here a few ideas:
- Thrift Stores
- Yard Sales (leftover yard sale stuff for free is the best)
- You can even sell stuff for your friends and family and earn a percentage
- Online (For example you buy something cheap on Amazon and turn around and sell it on ebay)
The sky is the limit. Always keep your eyes open in order to get the best deal and make the most profit.
Step 3 – Where to sell online
Now that you’ve figured out what you want to sell and how you’ll get your hands on a supplier, now you need to decide where you are going to sell all your lovely items.
In short, you can choose one platform or even a couple platforms. When I first started I noticed I was having a hard time selling certain items on one platform so I moved them to a different platform where they sold much quicker.
I compiled a list of the most popular places to start selling online this year. These platforms are easy to use and hassle-free (even for beginners).
Okay, let’s move forward with this guide to selling online. Since you have chosen a platform and product you can now prepare your items and listings to publish.
Step 4 – Take high-quality photos
Using a high-quality digital camera, position your items neatly on a solid background. Lighter items on a black background and darker items on a lighter background.
For clothing, you can even use a mannequin to showcase your pieces as it helps your prospective buyers get a better idea how the item will fit.
Tip: For clothing make sure the item is wrinkle-free. Again, make sure the background is free of any distractions.
Step 5 – Create product descriptions
Anywhere you go online, you can’t escape the power of keywords. Make sure the title and description include all pertinent details needed for the buyer to make a decision.
Just think, if you were looking for a cat sweatshirt, would you search for cute cat sweatshirt or would you search for women’s size medium cat sweatshirt?
People don’t need all the cute buttery adjectives, they need keywords to find the best match for them like this cat sweater with a descriptive headline.
Step 6- Decide on a price
I have good and bad news for choosing your product price. The bad news, this takes some research. The good news, it will only take a couple minutes of research. These are the questions you need to find out:
- What are other people selling this item for?
- How much has this item already sold for?
- Are you willing to price your item at this price?
Looking at these variables will give you an idea of how much you can sell your item for. If the item is selling below what you want for it, consider holding the item until it’s in high demand or maybe choose another platform to sell this specific item on.
I’ve had to this before so I didn’t have to settle for a price I wasn’t comfortable with.
Step 7 – Shipping Your Items
Yay! Your item just sold. Now it’s time to get shipping. Don’t let this part intimidate you like it did for me. Once you ship a couple items, you will begin to get the hang of it. Trust me! I’m post office illiterate.
Here are some of the tools and supplies you may need for an efficient shipping experience:
- If you’ll be shipping your items yourself, you will need an accurate digital scale to weigh your items. I use a Weighmax digital postal scale and am very pleased with it.
- Packing supplies. For lightweight clothes, you can simply use polymailers. They are lightweight and very affordable. They come in solid colors or even unique designs like these unicorn polymailers or these cute flamingo polymailers.
- For larger and bulkier items you may need extra shipping supplies for protection. The post office offers free boxes and envelopes for priority mail which can be used for items over 1lb (check the USPS website for details since I am not all that familiar with shipping over 13 oz). Also, you may want to consider self-adhesive shipping labels instead of paper and tape. In the long run, when you’re selling multiple items per day, these will save you time and money. And I am all about saving money (and time).
Step 7 – Providing Elite Customer Service
Throughout the entire process, awesome customer service should actually take priority over the money. The money is great but if you have an unhappy customer, this can affect your money in the long run so don’t mess this up.
Here are some good tips to keep in mind:
- Answer all questions a customer may have in a timely and professional manner
- Decide if you’ll be offering a return policy ahead of time but even then if you made a mistake on your end because you listed the wrong size of an item or missed a stain on an outfit you were selling, make sure to make this right.
- If you’d like you can even make each purchase with a personal note or positive feedback to the customer showing your gratitude.
Every mile you take to exceed the customer’s expectations will benefit everyone in the long run.
That’s a wrap! Your simple guide to selling online.
Are you looking for other ways to make money online? Check out this free list of money making online business you can start today.
Did this simple guide to selling online answer all your questions?