Setting up an eBay or Etsy account is easy. All you need is about five free minutes to enter your info and payment option for fees. The hard part is figuring out what you would like to sell in a very competitive environment. That takes time and effort, trial and error. You have to find products that you are knowledgeable about, but that have a chance to make enough profit to be worth your while as well.
What are the basics needed to get a fast start selling online on any of the available platforms? Here are five things I see as the most helpful to a newbie on eBay or Etsy.
5. A good understanding of shipping policies from all the shipping companies you will be using. Being able to talk things over with the folks at the post office or your FedEx driver will help you with tips to make things go more smoothly.
4. A competitive spirit is a big asset. There are literally millions of people trying to sell online. They are your competition. Business is not easy. Best be ready to kick some butt if you want to survive. That doesn’t mean you can’t build relationships with other online sellers. Doing that can make you both stronger by sending buyers to each other.
3. Shipping is a big factor in selling online of course. Any way you can save a quarter or a dollar will add up. Boxes cost money so if you can find a place that trashes their boxes, you can recycle those. That could save you a few hundred dollars a year over buying the boxes at retail cost. Shipping services provide “free” boxes but they are usually for the more costly shipping options.
2. A digital postal scale is vital to your shipping process. A bathroom scale won’t work usually as it does not get down to ounces. You want to be accurate on your shipping estimates so you don’t lose your profit in the mailing process. A scale lets you know the costs before listing the item.
1. A source. Where are you going to get the goods that you will offer for sale? Will that source be there forever? Do the prices stay steady there or are they volatile? Can you find multiple sources to protect yourself against big price hikes or in case your main source goes belly up? A great source of products will make or break you in the online world of selling. A source of free items is the best. You just have to find items that are useless to one company and would gladly like for you to haul them away. For example, old pallets, cardboard, junk computer parts, etc.
Hope those tips help you out along your way to becoming a dominant online seller. If you hit the big time and get featured in Inc. Magazine, just be sure to mention my name:)