How to Sell Things Online
Updated on July 28, 2007
How to Accept Payments
If customers can't pay you, you won't make money. Skip the expensive merchant accounts. Start with a service that has no setup fees and no monthly fees.
If you have an online business, you need PayPal. True, there are other payment acceptance services, but PayPal is impressive, and many people feel very comfortable sending money through PayPal.
Be Professional, Get a Website
Having your own website makes your one-man business seem much larger and much more professional. Just make sure you design your site in a professional theme, as well. It doesn't take much to setup a website. First, you'll need a domain name and a website host. Here are some of my favorite:
Where to Sell
You can sell products and services directly from your website, but it will be a challenge to get visitors to your website. A better idea, sell your products and services on a website that already has tons of traffic.
If you haven't heard of it, you've been living in a world without electricity. eBay is an online auction / marketplace, and you can sell almost anything there. I have several family members who search yard sales and thrift stores for super inexpensive items and resell them on eBay for a profit. I also know people who make their own arts and crafts and sell them on eBay. I've met entrepreneurs who buy wholesale products, assemble them into kits or gift baskets, and sell those.
Half.com is now an eBay company, but it's still as good as it was when it was an independent company. At Half.com you can sell used books, movies, music, and games. It's much easier than eBay because Half.com determines how you should price your products, calculates the shipping, etc. I highly recommend it for anyone who is intimidated by eBay.
Amazon.com has special programs for independent sellers, like you.
CraigsList is basically a giant classified ads site. It's perfect for selling products or services in your local community. You can easily deliver objects that are difficult to ship, or have your customers pick them up.
How to Ship / Deliver the Goods
PayLoadz is perfect if you are selling items that customers need to download. Once the customer pays, they immediately have the ability to download the product. PayLoadz also has a storefront where they will display your products, and their services integrate with eBay.
Lulu.com is great if you want to produce print on demand products, like books, music CDs, software CDs, calendars, etc. However, your customization options can be limited, depending on what you want to create.
Most of the time, this is the cheapest method of shipping goods. You can get tracking and insurance for a reasonable price, and if you use Priority shipping, they'll come to your home or office to pick it up for you.
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