Ways You Can Sell Products Online

Many people want to make money, especially in this day and age with unemployment rates at an all-time high. There are thousands of people just like you who want to start their own business or to figure out a new way to make money online. There are many ways you can make money online but if you haven’t tried to sell anything on the internet before, then you need to learn a few tips before you get started.

Figure Out Products That People Want to Buy

The first thing you should figure out when you want to go into business for yourself is what you want to sell to consumers. Do you want to sell health and beauty products, supplements, electronics, vehicles, books, or any other tangible product that consumers would be interested in? There are thousands of products that you can choose from in a variety of categories. People who want to make a lot of money online should figure out what type of popular products are available where they can sell and make a profit on.

Research Affiliate Marketing Programs

There are a lot of affiliate marketing programs that are available online that you can join. You will promote and sell a company’s product and when a web visitor clicks on the affiliate network URL and purchases the product, you will earn a commission on the sale. There are many large affiliate network companies that will allow you to sign up and become an affiliate marketer.

Create a Website and Sell Products

If you want to become your own business owner, you can always create a website that allows you to sell products online. You should choose a product that you will stand behind and are passionate about. Since you’re in business to make money, you should find products that are popular with consumers today. For example, you can sell electronics or health and beauty items. These products are always in demand by consumers. You can also sign up on other websites and create your own storefront so you don’t have to buy a website and domain URL.

It Takes Time

There are thousands of products and companies out there that want people to sell their items. People need to be careful with certain types of companies as they may tell you that you can earn thousands of dollars immediately, when the reality is there are few that are able to accomplish this in the beginning. When you are starting to sell products online, just be patient because you’ll need to create a brand and name for your company to draw customers in to buy what you have to offer.

Get Your Brand Visible By Designing Promotional Products

Marketing and branding shouldn’t have one focus. While getting yourself seen on and creating sales through the internet has increased over the last decade, the physical world should not be ignored. Although the return of investment from print advertising has declined, branding through promotional products is still an effective approach for getting seen. Instead of adding your logo and name to any common product, however, consider the items used to promote your business. The items displaying your logo should be moderately associated with your services or products, or they should be general use products that nearly everyone will need.

Finding the right product depends on your industry, as nearly all items can be transformed through an imprinted logo. If your business sells garments, for example, don’t go with paperweights displaying your name. Instead, consider an industry-relevant product such as, in your case, garment bags for traveling.

General products, however, can also make an impact, too, but the product displaying your logo should be one nearly anyone can use. Tote bags, mugs, and pens, because of this, are some of the more popular promotional products for all businesses.

While being industry-specific or all-around useful helps with getting seen, part of branding involves a recognizable image. When thinking about the logo displayed on all products and the color of the products themselves, choose shades that can be instantly identified with your brand. Creating promotional products is not an occasion to be unique. Instead, you want to create an item that everyone will quickly associate with your company or organization.

A third factor to consider is the consumer. Who are you targeting? While many promotional products go to the public, your employees or customers can also display your product. For the general public, consider promotional products that can be quickly and easily be distributed. For your employees or customers, think about items that will be useful on a daily basis.

Selling Products Online – Simple Steps For Success

In this day and age, selling products online should be a part of every business owner’s marketing strategy. The Internet has completely changed the way we communicate with others, and by utilizing the Internet for your business, you have the potential to have hundreds, even thousands of customers from all over the world finding you online on a daily basis. The problem is that most people do not know how to set themselves up online, and even those that do still fail because they do not know how to market themselves. In this article we’ll explore the basics of selling products online.

If you’re going to be selling products online, you first need a website or a blog. You can build a low-cost blog (you just need to pay for hosting) through platforms like WordPress, or you can go with a fully functioning small business website for about $30.00 a month through companies such as Site Build It. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of building a website here, but know that there are lots of companies out there that provide the necessary tools to get you online quickly and painlessly, even if you have no technical skills whatsoever.

In addition to having your own website, you also need to market yourself. This might seem like a very daunting task, but it’s actually not that difficult. In fact, you can choose to do all of your marketing online for free if you like. I suggest getting started with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which are just a few of the social networking sites that you can use for free to advertise your website and the products that you’re selling. You can then branch out by learning techniques such as article marketing, search engine optimization, and pay per click advertising if you don’t mind paying for your marketing.

Okay, so you have all the necessary tools and resources to build your site and advertise yourself, but it can still fall apart on you if you mess up the next step, which is creating your content. This is the biggest obstacle that prevents small business owners from succeeding at selling products online. They create site content that is nothing more than a giant advertisement for their product. They make wild claims and shout at people in their advertising. They do nothing but pitch and sell in everything they do. Let me put it to you straight: if you start selling products online in this way, you will more than likely fail. People will ignore you. The search engines will ignore you. People will think you’re a spammer. You could even be banned from the websites that you’re using for your marketing. People do not want to hear your sales pitch. Companies like Google and Yahoo do not want to hear it either. So don’t even bother trying to sell in this way online.

So is it even worth selling products online? What do these companies have against people trying to make money anyways? It’s easy to think negatively about this and assume the powers-that-be are just trying to stick it to the little guy. But this is not the case. The reason this is discouraged is people do not go online to be pitched to. People flock to the Internet to obtain information. Yes, people do go online to make purchases, but they do not like being sold to.

So what’s the solution? How do you really go about selling products online? You need to give people what they want, which is information. You know that your product is a good thing, so you need to prove that to others.

For example, let’s say you sell health supplements. Instead of having a website that just pitches the product, create your site all around the topic of health. Talk about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and provide tips on ways to improve your health. Show them that you know what you’re talking about. Provide them with highly valuable information. In your marketing, advertise the free tips and resources you provide to your visitors. Give them a sampling of the information you provide on your site. People are more attracted to this type of approach than any pitch you could come up with. When people come to your site, and see all the great information you provide, you will begin to build a relationship with them. Once you’ve built that trust, then you can recommend products to your audience on other pages in your site. When you immediately start pitching, people put up their guard. But if you gently lead them in, people will sell themselves and want to know what you can recommend for them. Always be drawing people in with information, instead of pushing them away with sales pitches.

Selling products online is a great way to boost your business. But if carried out incorrectly, it can hurt you. It’s not just about having a flashy website and a good product. You need to know how to attract an audience that is eager to hear what you have to say. If you follow these methods, you can become a pro at selling products online.

Pricing Your Products

In our scramble to find a way to offer the lowest prices on the Internet, we often overlook the basic steps that we should be taking BEFORE we even offer a product for sale.

We also overlook something even more important: you don’t HAVE to have the lowest price in order to make great sales. Following are some things I do before and after determining my bottom line. I sell by having products drop-shipped for my sites, which works VERY well, but these steps should be covered no matter your distribution method.

Should you be selling this item now?

Snowboards don’t sell well in the summertime. You may have a hard time moving a pair of roller blades in January. Don’t waste your time and your site space marketing products out of season. Ask your supplier for a little historical information regarding the best time to sell their products. Believe me, to everything, there IS a season. They have the figures. If they don’t want to share this info with you, find another supplier.

Identify your costs

Profit isn’t just the difference between wholesale and retail. You have other costs to consider. Think about every penny you spend in order to get that product to the customer’s door, and plan accordingly. For example, your merchant account probably costs you about 2.2% plus 30 cents per transaction. On an item you’ll sell for $20, that’s 74 cents. Don’t forget that calculation when pricing the item. Are you warehousing the item? How much is that space costing you per item per month? Did you spend money stocking up on shipping materials? How much per unit? What about advertising? Monthly hosting costs? You may need to project some estimated sales in order to arrive at some of these figures.

This may seem very complicated, but it’s really not. Just take the figures one at a time, and you’ll arrive at a wholesale cost plus an amount that, when added together, becomes your initial ESTIMATE of “cost of goods sold”. Identifying all your costs is critical if you want to price your products properly.

Check out the competition

Search on the item you plan to sell. Check out the competitors’ prices. But DON’T get caught up trying to beat the wrong competitor. You need to stay within your “venue”.

My stores are built in Yahoo Shopping (http://store.yahoo.com). 90% of my traffic comes from there. When I seek out my competitors, I look for other businesses like mine ONLY in Yahoo Shopping. Then I compare.

If I’m thinking about selling a product, and I get 1,500 hits in 400 stores on that item in Yahoo Shopping, forget it. If I get a hundred hits in 20 to 40 stores, I’ll look into it further.

So check out the competition, narrow down your product list, make a note of the five lowest prices you find, and then ask yourself another question:

Is anybody going to buy this thing?

This doesn’t have much to do with pricing, but it should be said.

When considering products, there’s unique, and then there’s too unique. Yak Cheese may sound like something that nobody else has for sale on the ‘Net. There’s a reason for that. If you sell more than 3 boxes a year, I’ll EAT some.

Unique is Rain Barrels made in Maine. It’s Exotic Cheeses imported from Italy. Silk Parisian Lingerie. Things you don’t see every day, but would be proud to give as a gift.

Then there’s “common”. Everybody and their grandmothers are selling Alabaster Figurines on the Internet. Do they sell? Sure, in a limited fashion. Do you want to sell them? Not if you want to make any real money.

In my experience, unique products, like Rain Barrels and Parisian Lingerie, DO sell. So do Coleman Sleeping Bags, and Conair Hair Dryers. BRAND NAMES sell. Look at your potential product, and ask yourself honestly if YOU would buy it on the ‘Net.

Set your price

Take the five lowest prices you collected on a product in your list that has survived the above. Calculate your estimated cost, then subtract that from the lowest price. If you don’t see at LEAST 15% profit, don’t bother.

If you do, there are a couple of ways to proceed. You can undercut the lowest price in your “venue” by a bit, and hope to “kick off” the product and get yourself noticed. Chances are, though, that the following week you’ll find that someone has undercut YOUR price by just a bit. That becomes a losing game.

I generally set up a couple of “loss leaders”. These are desirable items (in my general product line) that I sell dirt cheap just to bring in customers. Then I price the rest of my products at the second or third lowest price in my venue. The customers come in for the loss leaders, and then I can market everything else to them via email. I spend a lot of time making my site look better and easier to navigate, and pay a great deal of attention to my customers.

That makes me more reputable in the eyes of the customer. You’ll find that people don’t mind paying just a little more if they feel comfortable in your store. They don’t like to worry that they’re buying from a “hack” who may not deliver. Nothing says “hack” like a cluttered, confusing storefront.

Follow up

After you’ve sold an item for a month or two, revise that “cost of goods sold”. Measuring past performance is just as important as setting the correct price to begin with. If sales drop, recheck your competition. If that’s not it, drop the product, or shelve it until the “season” comes back around. Don’t get sentimental about your products, and NEVER just let your store sit there in limbo once it starts to make money. This is a dynamic business; stay on top of it!

A last word (or three)

Retail pricing on the Internet is so fraught with permutations that it would be impossible to cover everything here, even if I KNEW everything. The steps above are just the basics of a process that works for me. Hopefully something here will strike a chord and work for you as well. Patience and persistence are the keys to a successful Internet business, so hang in there, and don’t quit the day job for at least a couple of weeks. ;o)

I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.