The best time to do business is during the holidays because people splurge and spend money on gifts and purchase items for personal use as a treat or reward for a whole year of hard work.
If you want to start an online business, there are many marketplaces you can choose from. However, there’s a big difference between a private and a business seller in terms of the volume of product on sale, listing practices, and customer handling.
As a novice, you can test the water by starting as a private online seller. If you’re interested in becoming a business seller, you can take advantage of financial services offered by companies, such as Capstone, to help you start and grow your business.
Let’s find out how to start an online business so you can start earning during the holidays.
Find the Perfect Platform
There are many success stories on eBay and Amazon about sellers who started an online business as a hobby.
You can also sell your old stuff to declutter your home and earn at the same time during the holidays. In return, you can use the money to monetize your dream online business.
When researching the perfect marketplace to sell your products, you have to consider the following:
- Seller requirements (e.g., tax documents for those who want to venture as business sellers)
- Seller tools (e.g., Turbo Lister to list items faster)
- Listing policy. Find out the required image size, category, and recommended price range of your product).
- Selling fees (e.g., listing fee, final value fee, and charges for product gallery enhancement)
Get Seller Training
Any startup investment needs training. Before you start selling online, you need to equip yourself with the right knowledge, skills, and attitude of a good seller. Get free seller tutorials online by checking the “Seller Basics” of major marketplaces.
Here are some tips to train yourself in becoming a good seller:
- Check the terms and conditions before selling
- Know the best listing practices of successful sellers
- Choose a trusted and reputable shipping and delivery company or courier in your area to ensure your customers will receive their orders on time
- Research how to handle customer queries and concerns
- Know the best time to sell specific items
Know the Best Products to Sell
What are the most in-demand products during the holidays? Find out what products customers love to purchase online and those that you’re comfortable marketing online.
By doing so, you’ll be able to contact suppliers and earn more because of a faster sales process. It’s good to start selling one product niche you’re confident to promote and sell online.
Here’s how to determine the best products to sell online:
- AMZScout can help you find the best brands and suppliers for the items you’re interested in distributing and selling online.
- Use the search engine and find out the best-selling products for a specific target audience, such as students, professionals, and seniors.
- Visit eBay and Amazon, the two major marketplaces, and check the most trending items
List Your Items
Once you have chosen a platform and products to sell, you can start selling your items online. Ensure that you list items correctly to avoid customer confusion and conflicts in the future. A listed item will make your customers happy, which helps in building customer loyalty.
Here are some tips to list your items:
- Be specific with the description and condition of the item (e.g., put the size or exact measurement; specify if the item is new, used, opened, or sealed)
- Include clear photos (as many as the platform allows). Include pictures of all sides or angles of the product to show the look of the product clearly. It will avoid “not as described” customer complaints.
- State any flaw (e.g., cracks, marks, or tear) of an item through the description section and photos, most especially for second-hand or used items. It will save you and your customer’s time, money, and effort handling a returns process.
Starting an online business takes one step at a time. You need to do thorough research first, create a seller account, undergo training, and apply the essential things you have learned on the actual sales process.
Don’t get frustrated or disappointed right away. Continue learning even if your sales are doing good because the needs and wants of customers continuously change. Once you know the ins and outs of your online business, you can expand, create your website or store, and try new and innovative ways to keep customers coming back.