Last updated on 07/13/2022
I create my own products: How can I sell them online?
In this article, you will find the questions you should ask yourself to start selling your own products online in the best possible way.
This article does not give you an idea of what you can sell online, but how to sell it. So you must already have an idea or already create your own products.
Why sell products online?
It’s cheaper and easier than you think. With the new digital tools available on the web, you don’t need advanced technical skills or to break the bank. Turn a spare room or garage into an office or workspace, use your own equipment, read a few articles like this one to educate yourself and you’re ready to go.
What will you need?
You will need a laptop and a printer. Invest in a high-speed internet connection to avoid headaches. Then, you need raw materials and/or ingredients to craft your products from home.
Make sure that what you produce can be sold legally.
For example, cosmetics or food require sanitary standards to be respected during production.
Depending on the country where you are living, you will have to declare your income and probably pay taxes on your sales.
Apply for a tax identification number that will allow the government to establish the taxes associated with your sales.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, there’s one important question you need to ask yourself before launching your business so that you don’t get lost.
Launching on your own e-commerce site or marketplaces?
You can sell products on online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Facebook marketplace or directly on your own website, with the possibility to reach customers all over the world.
By selling from your own e-commerce website, you do not need to pay a share of the selling price to the marketplace, which increases the amount of profit you make. However, you will be responsible for data security and secure payments if you handle and store customer data, such as credit card information.
Sell on Marketplaces
Marketplaces provide easy access to tools such as product category listing, payment, emailing and customer communications, even storage and inventory management. They expose your product to millions of customers who visit their website every day.
The barrier to entry for selling on an online marketplace is low. Once you have your product, all you have to do is:
- create an account
- put the product on sale with a description, a title, a price and some images
- define a delivery method (how your product will be delivered)
- accept payment from a customer
- prepare the product for shipment.
For those who want to start selling quickly and are not afraid to compete with millions of other sellers because they know their products are unique, this is a good choice.
The downside is that you will have to pay a share of your profits to the marketplace and you will often be competing with hundreds of small rival businesses selling similar products.
Competition can drive prices down, reducing your ability to make a profit. There are always new competitors popping up who will undercut your prices to get more customers.
Amazon’s search algorithm changes regularly, so your products may appear one day, but not the next.
Most importantly, you don’t have the customer data and control over the customer experience when they place an order.
Sell on your own e-commerce website
The creation of your own website will not require any technical skills. Saas like Shopify allows you to create an online store easily and quickly. You will be able to create your own logo, insert product images, a description of your business and yourself, the history of your products, how they are made, how to interest visitors, and add a payment gateway within a few hours.
Your own online store allows you to collect information about your customers by collecting their emails for example, and sending them content about your products. You can have a direct relationship with them via instant chat or on your social media. You can then create a brand around your products.
The downside of creating your own website is that people won’t naturally come after your launch. You will have to build a community , by launching an Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest page for example, or invest some budget in ads to give your website some visibility.
Whichever strategy you decide to use, it will take time and/or money.
Inventory and storage can also be a problem. Selling from your own e-commerce may mean storing products in your home. You will need to set aside time and space to pack and ship products once they are sold.
Now let’s see what questions you need to ask yourself when making this decision.
Your initial budget
If you have no budget at all and you want to make sales quickly, it is better to start with marketplaces.
The website will still require an investment, to buy a domain name, pay a subscription or web hosting per month or per year, create your visual content, launch advertising campaigns to attract traffic to your website…and so on.
Are you a marketer, designer, developer – or do you know how to sell like Jordan Belfort? Then your own online store might be a better choice, because you will know how to attract users on your website with your skills or create a beautiful website.
If you like to learn on your own, the website is also a better choice because you will learn how to do everything yourself for the launch.
The marketplace really allows you to delegate this work.
Time to spend on it
If you don’t have that much time for this activity, the best choice is the marketplace, particularly Amazon because Facebook marketplace will require you to process orders manually. You can send your products and let Amazon do the rest of the work. However, keep in mind that if you can’t sell your products quickly, Amazon may add warehousing and storage fees,so send a small amount at first.
On the other hand, your own e-commerce website will require time. If you don’t have a budget for paid marketing, you will have to build a strategy around SEO or Social Media which can take time to get results.
Your products are now selling and you want to expand your business.
Have you enjoyed this entrepreneurial experience?
If the answer is yes, once you have your first sales, you can reinvest the revenue you have earned in marketing campaigns. This will allow you to grow your business and even turn it into an e-commerce brand!
If you believe in your products, have had great feedback from your first customers, and understand how to sell online, you’re ready to learn and accelerate your business.
Plan a digital marketing strategy
This article will be limited to questions to ask yourself for an online product launch.
Go read our articles that cover digital marketing to help and educate yourself.
Here are also the links where you can learn more about marketing campaigns on different Ad platforms:
Google Ads: https://ads.google.com/intl/en/home/
Pinterest Ads: https://ads.pinterest.com/
Facebook Ads: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads