So you want to start an ecommerce store but you have exhausted all of your money on inventory and there’s nothing left in your bank account to develop a website. You know it’s necessary to have an internet presence to move your product but you have no idea on what to do or how to get started. Fortunately for you, there are many options available to you. Below I will discuss several different ways you may not have thought yet of to get your product seen, units moving, and your business found. I’ve created a list of great ways to get your products online and sold in order from the most complex to the easiest. Let’s begin.
The first place you can try is Amazon which is the largest ecommerce marketplace online. You can register as an Individual Seller or as a Professional Seller. Professional Sellers get more perks such as being able to list in restricted categories, you can offer product bundles, and you can list items that aren’t currently selling on Amazon. There is a monthly fee but the listing fees that an Individual Seller incurs is waived. Additionally, you can take advantage of the FBA option. FBA is Fulfillment By Amazon. They handle your shipping, customer service,and product fulfillment. There are fees associated with using the FBA option but that’s simply the cost of doing business. Sellers who use the FBA option report having outstanding results and definite increases in sales.
Selling on Ebay is very easy and extremely straightforward. All you need is a valid credit card, debit card, or bank account. You should become PayPal verified if you plan to become a serious seller. If you plan to sell things here and there, then that isn’t particularly necessary. While you can sell anything from cars to socks on Ebay, there are many fees and the fees vary depending upon what you are selling. You can find a list of the various fees here. Despite the fees, Ebay offers a set number of insertion fee FREE listings every month which means your listing fees are waived for that set amount of listings which is great! Who doesn’t like free?!?? Regardless of that, you will still incur the Final Value fee and, no matter where you list, you can’t run from that fee. It’s like your shadow?it follows you everywhere you go.
Listing on Bonanza is super easy! You can directly import your listings from Ebay Etsy, and Amazon or you can upload an inventory file which saves you a lot of time. The beauty of Bonanza is there are no listing fees. You will still have the Final Value fee (Bonanza has to make their money somehow) but the listings themselves have no fees whatsoever.
Additionally, Google begins crawling your product listing immediately which offers you more visibility right away. While this all sounds great, there is a downside. Bonanza does not have a wide audience so you will have to direct your customers to the website on your own. Also, Bonanza has a lot of mixed reviews so make sure you do your research before you get started. I personally have not had any problems with Bonanza but do your due diligence.
One of my favorite e-commerce platforms is Spreesy. I’m not crazy about their storefront because it looks very bland but it definitely does the job. If you sell a product that has several variations, Spreesy affords you the ability to give your customers options. I love Spreesy especially because of their Social Commerce option. What is Social Commerce, you ask? Social Commerce is a shoppable post which you can share on either Facebook or Instagram. When a customer sees your post and they want to buy your product, all they have to do is comment with their email address and then Spreesy automatically sends them an email invoice and then you’ve got money! It’s really that simple and you’ve gained an email for your marketing list and you’ve increased your social reach.
It may sound strange that I’m suggesting Pinterest as a selling platform but you’d be surprised. Selling on Pinterest is very easy. Simply upload a photo and write a short blurb or description of the product in the provided field. I’m not suggesting you sell the product there but just tell customers what it is. Then in the URL field put the link to the item you are selling be it from Ebay, Amazon, or wherever you get the most traffic. If your photo is interesting enough, customers will click on the photo and be directed to your product where they can purchase it. Pinners on Pinterest demand high quality photos so you can falter there. Photos that are longer and more vertical tend to do well on Pinterest so keep that in mind. When it’s all said and done, Pinterest is a great way to get high visibility because Pinners will pin and repin and repin and their followers will do the same.
These are just 5 ways you can sell online without a website but there are a variety of other platforms that you can use such as Shopify, Wix, and Bigcommerce. In my experience, the options I have listed above are the easiest to use and cost the lease. I’m all about the bootstrap business models so I like to focus on options that every and any kind of entrepreneur can use. I do suggest using all of these e-commerce platforms at once. You want to flood the market which gives you higher Google rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Lastly, remember that the business doesn’t end with the sale. In fact, it actually begins with the sale. It is cheaper to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new customer so you must work to engage your customers regularly or they will forget about you.