How To Sell Online

Getting Started

Selling products and services on the internet has become easier, but by following a few tips you can greatly increase your chance for success. You have lots of options, depending on the products you are interested in selling and your geographical location. The key is to first determine the best outlet to sell your products. This article will deal with the different on-line selling options available.

Before you consider selling on your own, it may be best to begin selling on popular, well-trafficked sites, giving you the exposure of a larger consumer buying base. Do a little research to find out what products similar to yours are selling on line. This will give you an idea of which "store" to use and how to price your products. If you do establish your own selling site or "storefront", you can link to it from the major on-line selling sites. That way your loyal followers will get to know your site in a familiar environment and begin to come there on their own.

Where should you sell on the internet?

For a great part that depends on what you are selling. eBay has long been recognized as the leader in on-line auction and "buy it now" listing sites. You will get good exposure for your items, but you'll pay for it. You can expect to pay 8.75% of the sales price up to $25.00. Cost percentages decline as the cost of the item increases. Keep in mind that some auctions have so many listings, yours may get lost, notably CDs and DVDs (Unless they are a rare or one-of-a-kind collectible). It is better to sell regular CDs and DVDs on on Amazon.com. eBay is especially good for selling antiques and collectibles. High quality auction antiques sell best if you have a large select buying base, which eBay's huge following can offer. But beware: the cost of shipping very large antiques may make eBay prohibitive. Also, if your collectibles are not rare or old you may do better by listing them on Amazon.com which also has a good membership base and doesn't charge for the listings.

Selling large items, such as appliances, furniture and exercise equipment, is best handled locally. You may try listing in the classified section of your local news and commercial organizations. craigslist is a super on-line selling outlet for large items that you wish to sell in your local area. craigslist buyers can search within their region and come in person to pick up the item. This eliminates shipping costs and offers the buyer the ability to see the item first hand. The classified listings are free, and with 40 million visitors each month in over 500 cities, your ad on craigslist can be extremely effective. This is especially helpful when selling musical instruments or cars, or any item that the buyer will want to "test drive".

If you want to sell handcrafted jewelry and craft items, definitely check out Etsy. This site is beautifully designed and offers a wide selection of unique handmade items from over 150 countries. It's a great place for connecting buyers to sellers for the type of items you won't find on other sites..

If you have a rare work of art to sell, skip on-line selling altogether and go with the pros. Sotheby's Sothebys and Christie's Christies auction houses can add your item to their art auctions and achieve a much higher selling price from highly qualified buyers.

Clothing is often best sold in local consignment shops. They will probably accept your items on a seasonal basis. Donating to charities is another good option, helping the community while giving you a tax deduction. If you have desirable vintage clothing eBay is probably your best bet, unless you live in an area of the country (like LA) that has specialty stores for vintage and celebrity-worn clothing items.

Jewelry eBay is probably your best bet, but only if you already have a good rating with the site. Would you buy precious jewelry from an unknown seller through the internet? Rare jewelry may be best sold by Sotheby's and Christie's.

Listasaurus.com is another all-purpose classified site worth considering. It allows ads and even videos of your listings and in some cases they even pay you a nominal charge for listing an auction item.

How to list your item

The title you give your listing is critical - it often determines the traffic it will receive. As people browse the site, they will find your listing because of the key words in the title. For example, if you are listing a guitar, include the brand, model, descriptive name and unique selling point within the listing title, for example, Vintage Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar. Buyers looking for a certain item will find yours before those with more general titles. In creating your listing be sure to include a detailed description (condition, color, size, brand, unique features). Thoroughly clean the item, making it look as new as possible. Photos taken with a good camera can be an important sales tool. Conversely, poor quality photos will hurt your chances to sell. A general photo, plus others to show details or alternate views, may bring more interest to your items than others in the category. Your listing and photos should clearly show any flaws. Potential buyers want to buy from sellers they trust. Remember, one misrepresented sale, even if unintentional, can forever tarnish your reputation on an internet selling site. Make sure you price your item competitively and state reasonable shipping costs. If you are shipping a large or heavy item you may want to tell buyers you will charge the actual shipping charge of the item. This can protect both the buyer and seller. Offering free shipping can also be a great marketing tool for some items..

Selling on your own

If you do decide to establish your own storefront as a stand-alone on-line shop, or as a link from eBay or other sites, you will need to set up a website. It should reflect the style of the products you are selling, be easy to navigate, offer an easy-to-use reliable payment tool, have a way for visitors to invite friends to your site and give them a way to offer feedback about the experience. You may want to go for an open source option. Shopify Shopify.com, osCommerce oscommerce.com and Yahoo! Merchant Solutions smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ecommerce can help get your business up quickly and relatively easily.

Don't forget to check out Boomerater's shopping database for great products recommended by other Boomers.