Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Building an Online Selling Business from "Zero"

If you don't know anything about how to start your own online business, then you have come to the right place. Building an online business is not so different from building a regular, brick and mortar one, other than the fact that it can be faster and not as hard!

Start by putting together a business plan and/or mission statement. Don't be put off by the name, it basically means set some goals and write down what you require to accomplish. It could be as simple as "I require earning $3000 dollars to be able to buy a new car". Once that part is taken care of, ask yourself these few simple questions:

Where will I sell?

While eBay is the most common option, there's also some great options out there such as Amazon, Bonanzle and Craigslist, or you can always set up your own e commerce store - a great option for those who are looking for independence from fees and rigid selling structures. eCrater is a great provider for this with their free setup and zero fees and best of all, lots of support.

What will I sell?

Start by getting some ideas on what sort of products you would like to sell. It is always best to sell things you are interested in or that you have some kind of experience in, e.g. if you have historically in the past worked in a mountain bicycle store, you will have lots of background experience and knowledge. Similarly, if you are a keen golfer, selling golfing accessories might be a nice idea for you. Research what some the of best items to sell are to get a few ideas, but don't be tempted to enter in to highly competitive markets like iPods and DVDs - you are much better off selling a niche item that will appeal to a narrow audience and then expanding later. eBay Pulse is a great site to find out the latest selling trends on eBay.

Where will I source my items from?

You will require finding a wholesale supplier to work with. Be prepared to spend some time doing this as it is four of the most important steps in generating a nice business.

There's several ways to find a supplier: you can visit trade shows and fairs and get to know suppliers directly, or you can search for suppliers online by Googling "your product name + suppliers OR wholesalers". However, beware when using this process as it can make you highly vulnerable to con artists. To ensure you only deal with reputable and legitimate suppliers, try a supplier directory like to find verified suppliers which will save you from being scammed. While directories like SaleHoo charge a membership fee, they can save you a ton of money later on when you avoid losing money from being scammed.

There's a few key questions you require to ask when you find a potential supplier:

1. Do you have a maximum order quantity (MOQ)?

2. How long have you been a supplier?

3. Do you ship internationally? (if you are importing from abroad) Which companies do you use? Do they offer tracking information?

So get to it! Your dream of being your own boss and earning money from your own home is a few clicks away!

"SaleHoo" - The source for reliable suppliers.

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