Selling products online is a great way to make some extra income or launch a full-time business. You don’t even need your own website to do it.
In this guide we’ll look at how to sell products online without having to build a website.
1. Identify the products you want to sell
The kind of products you want to sell will dictate where it’s best for you to sell them. For example, if you want to sell electrical goods from a wholesaler, you’ll use different selling platforms to someone who sells hand crafted candles.
If you’re not sure what you want to sell online, you can use this article to help you brainstorm product ideas.
2 Identify the selling platforms you want to use
Here’s a brief overview of the platforms you can use to sell products without a website. It may be best for you to sell on more than one of them.
Amazon is massive and that’s both an advantage and disadvantage for anyone using it.
Its huge reach means that your products will have a massive potential audience. However, you’ll also face huge competition.
If you plan to sell products on Amazon, you’ll probably need to identify a niche that can’t be easily filled by others. That may mean going as far as developing a unique, patented product.
That’s because if you’re selling products you’ve bought via a wholesaler, you may find yourself being undercut by bigger firms who can afford to sell products at a loss to drive competitors out of the market.
However, plenty of people make a significant income from Amazon so if you’ve spotted a gap in the market go for it.
Amazon also lets people sell handcrafted items, so if that’s the kind of product you’re looking to sell it’s a platform you should at least consider.
You can learn about setting up an Amazon seller account in this guide.
Ebay is often thought of a place to sell unwanted items second hand, but it’s more than just that.
You can also sell new items via eBay and you don’t have to use the auction method if you don’t want to.
Like Amazon, eBay has a large audience which means there are plenty of customers out there, but also plenty of competitors.
This guide explains how to get started selling on eBay.
If you’re planning to sell handcrafted items, then you should strongly consider Etsy. It’s the go-to place for this kind of product.
Etsy has a large audience but because it’s focused on unique items you may find it easier to stand out from the crowd.
That said, it can still be hard to get your products seen by people in popular categories.
Facebook is a relative newcomer to the online selling market, but it’s now well established.
Like eBay, the Facebook Marketplace is often thought of as a way to get rid of unwanted items, but it can also be used by people looking to make a living out of selling online.
Facebook has a huge user base, which means that your products could reach a significant number of people. The downside is, you’ll struggle to expand that reach beyond those platforms.
This guide explains how to get started with selling on Facebook.
3 Work out pricing and shipping
Obviously, your goal will be to make a profit from your sales, so you need to work out the costs you face so you can set the right prices.
You’ll need to take into account the cost of buying or creating the items you sell, along with the charges levied by your chosen selling platform(s) and shipping costs. If you’re planning to spend money on advertising your products (and you’ll probably need to), that’s also a cost you’ll have to factor in.
On top of this, you’ll also need to work out the actual logistics of shipping. How will you keep track of orders and make sure they’re sent to customers in a timely fashion?
4 Develop a plan to market your products
Even though you’ll be selling your products on platforms with substantial audiences, you’ll still need to put work into makes sure people see your products.
This can be done by developing an engaged social media following and promoting your products to them, or through paid advertising, or through a combination of both.
All the platforms we’ve looked at here have their own paid advertising platforms which you can use and you may also want to investigate the possibility of promoting your products through other ad platforms including Google Ads.
Remember, if you’re spending money on advertising, you’ll need to make sure you don’t erode your profit margins.
You can learn how to get started with social media marketing in this guide, while this guide looks at the basics of paid advertising.
Why you should consider creating your own website to sell products
Although it’s more than possible to sell products online without a website, you should strongly consider creating one.
Having your own website means:
Having control over what you do online
If you’re selling products on someone else’s platform, you’re building a business you don’t have full control over.
That means a change in the rules could mean your business comes crashing down.
With a website, you can build a home for your business over which you have control.
Being able to build a brand
Selling on someone else’s platform limits your ability to build a brand. You’re confined by the limits of that particular platform, plus you’ll also be competing for attention with the brand whose platform you’re using.
By creating your own website, you’ll have more freedom to express yourself as a brand. It will also be easier for you to engage in other important aspects of brand building such as aftercare and email marketing.
If you can build a brand, you’ll increase your chances of getting repeat customers. If you can do that, your marketing spend will be more effective.
Remember: You don’t have to choose between selling on somewhere like eBay or your own website. You can do both. In fact, GoDaddy Online Store offers integration with eBay, making it easy to list products for sale on the auction site.
Selling products online without a website can be a great way to get a business started. But if you’re serious about building a long-lasting brand, you should strongly consider setting up your own website to help grow your business.