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Online vendors use channels such as eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, other online shopping carts or their own e-commerce websites. As an online vendor, here are some of the things you should look out for:
Online Auction Businesses for Stay-at-Home Moms
Internet Based Moms is a website full of great information for busy stay-at-home moms who are looking to start online businesses. Among the pages of information about Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and other such online businesses, Internet Based Moms provides great information about starting online auction and/or resale businesses, the do's and don'ts and the how-to's.
Check out their section on Online Auctions and how to be successful with them.
The Ins & Outs of Starting an Online Resale Business
Resale Insider is a Status Based Guidance System designed to help you obtain what you need to start an online resale business.
The site includes information and tools for starting up an e-commerce site, provides e-commerce help and online auction tools. Definitely worth a look!
Check out the site at http://www.resaleinsider.com
Setting up an e-Commerce Website
Not everyone is very internet savvy or possesses the skills to design and set up his or her own e-commerce website. Luckily, there are hundreds of companies out there who offer easy to use out-of-the-box e-commerce systems for a great price.
While not everyone can afford to invest in their e-commerce website right off the bat, there are equally robust free solutions available to you. One of the easiest systems to use that can get you up and running in just a few hours is WordPress, with the WP e-Commerce plugin. Wordpress is a free blog content management system that allows you to build very professional looking sites using existing templates designed by professionals. Just choose your template, follow the instructions and you'll be on your way to your own website.
Integrating the WP e-Commerce plugin to your WordPress site will give you the ability to have a shopping cart on your site, and can even be integrated with PayPal to collect money from your customers easily and quickly, all on the internet, all set up within a matter of hours by web savvy individuals and newbies alike. There are dozens of plugins that will turn your WordPress site into an e-commerce store. Spend some time to look around online and compare and contrast the pros and cons of each before you choose.
Check out this website that gives you a crash course in designing an e-commerce store using WordPress.
The following articles describe actual small business owners' experiences selling liquidation products online, the challenges they faced and hints and tips they recommend to others in this business.
Craigslist Tips, Tricks & Resources
Craigslist is one of the greatest places to buy or sell items on the internet. Most people use it to sell personal belongings they no longer want, swap belongings for other goods or services, find jobs, buy a car and a myriad other transactions.
GetRichSlowly provides some general tips for selling on Craigslist that include:
Learn how to Sell on Craigslist
When thinking of selling online, most people think of selling items on eBay or Amazon.com, but few think to start a veritable resale business using Craigslist. While Craigslist is a very powerful tool for selling personal items that you no longer need, it can also be a great way to start an online home-based business. Advertising on Craigslist is free (unlike eBay or Amazon), and there are no fees to pay once an item sells. However, there are some things to take into account before launching into this venture. The following link will take you to a free eBook written by another partner of ours, and will teach you the ins and outs of selling on Craigslist.
Learn how to:
Access the Craigslist listings for your area and start selling today!
Best Practices for Selling on Amazon
According to Morningstar research, Amazon continues to be one of the leading online marketplaces and is reported to be growing at 2 times the rate of e-commerce year over year, and is estimated to be generating over $200 billion in revenues by 2017.
With over 102 fulfillment centers worldwide, Amazon is now the place most consumers start their product search, especially if they have a specific product in mind.
The site offers sellers a captive audience, with Amazon Prime memberships estimated to be in excess of $10 million. According to Morningstar, Amazon Prime shoppers shop more often and spend more per order than any other group of online shoppers.
Based on these statistics alone, selling on Amazon is guaranteed to expose your products to an international customer base and provide additional exposure for your resale business.
Most categories on Amazon are still open to accepting new sellers. While certain categories may be restricted and require an application to list items, in most cases, new sellers are accepted within a few days.
The following are some best practices to ensure successful sales on Amazon:
Featured Merchant status is primarily given to professional sellers (versus individuals) who meet certain performance-based requirements. Once you have been selling on Amazon for a few months, you can submit a service ticket to ask them if you are on track to obtaining Featured Merchant status.
Obtaining Featured Merchant status allows your listings to come up higher in Amazon searches for a particular product, and allows your listings to eventually end up in the Amazon "Buy Box," the blue box that comes up automatically on the right side of the screen for any search conducted on the site. The seller who ends up in the "Buy Box" invariably makes the most sales as customers may not take the time to "view more offers" and simply purchase the first one Amazon suggests.
A common misconception is that it is impossible to get your products into the Amazon "Buy Box." ChannelAdvisor, a cloud-based e-commerce solution provider, suggests that getting into the "Buy Box" is possible once you achieve Featured Merchant status. While the exact algorithm Amazon uses to determine sellers and products that benefit from "Buy Box" placement is proprietary and changes often, the criteria for obtaining Featured Merchant status include:
Repricing products is also a way to remain competitive on the marketplace and ensure your listings get the most exposure. Since the "Buy Box" tends to highlight the most well-priced product, you will need to do continuous research on your listings to make sure you are not overpricing the items in comparison with the others offered on Amazon. ChannelAdvisor offers a repricing tool that tracks the price changes for similar items on the site, and adjusts your listing's prices up or down to remain competitive within the marketplace.
Offering free shipping also makes your listings stand out and is seen as a best practice to become a Featured Merchant.
Signing up for Fufillment by Amazon (FBA) is also a criteria that will help you achieved Featured Merchant status. Fulfillment by Amazon means they warehouse the products for you, pick, pack and ship your orders and provide customer service to your customer base. You list the items and they handle everything else. This way, they can control the shipping and handling speed as well as the customer experience they offer. Since Amazon's priority is customer satisfaction and retention, using FBA works in your favor.
Some additional benefits of FBA include:
Despite the number of sellers on the site, the marketplace continues to grow at a rapid rate and continues to present ample opportunities to get your products exposed to a large number of buyers. Amazon provides good seller support, and many tools are available on the market to aid you in listing products, keeping track of your feedback and seller performance, and allowing you to sell more volume without warehousing the goods yourself.
Read more wholesale and liquidation industry articles and helpful articles in our articles section!