CoolMarket, Amazon, eBay, Etsy… what do we all have in common? We are all online stores that cater to e-shopping. What is e-shopping? Simply put, it covers any purchase made online - whether goods or services. E-shopping, and by extension, e-commerce, has turned into a booming industry due to technological advancement and the convenience it offers. Not only does it benefit consumers - but it also opens a host of business opportunities for people who want to either have a passive income or focus solely on retail e-commerce. 

Thanks to the digital age, everyone wants to know how to make money online and the business ideas are plenty! There are a host of online businesses you could start but the most common is an online store. Wondering how to go about starting your own? Check out these tips.



Do your research: Just by reading this article, you’ve already started! Starting an online store should not be a decision you make on a whim. Ensure you have a proper plan that is backed by sound information. 

Know your market: This will inform almost every decision you make once you begin. From the products you sell to where they are sold, from how you advertise to how you interact with your customers. Take time to understand who you’re going to reach so you don’t miss out on great opportunities to build a relationship with them. 

Find your Unique Selling Point: What do you have that no one else does? Is it lower prices? Great customer service? Unique products? Whatever it is - use it to your advantage! 

Select a website builder or reputable site to list your products: You can choose to create a site from a template offered by Weebly or Shopify which will allow you total control over your store. You can also find other web stores to list your products on. The latter is a great way for you to start off and test your product as well as build a reputation for your company. It also takes the pressure off you having to find secure payment options.

The options for a platform to host your business are as varied as are the types of items you might choose to sell. Here are the most popular free and paid options you can consider when looking to start your own store. 


Paid:

Amazon 

Amazon offers two listing plans - the Individual plan is $0.99 per item sold and attracts an additional cost for referral fees and variable closing fees. The Business Plan is a monthly subscription of $39.99, not inclusive of the referral fees and variable closing fees. There is also an additional charge for storing items in Amazon’s facilities. 


eBay

Fees for listing are $0.35 or $20 - depending on the category and the percentage charged after sale ranges from 2% - 12% of the cost of the item when sold. There are also fees for adding an item to multiple categories, a percentage taken from the shipping cost and relisting an item among others. 


Etsy

Etsy keeps things fairly simple by adding a calculator to their site that allows sellers to work out their expenses. As of 2019, their fees are - $0.20 for a listing, 5% transaction fee, and 3 % + $0.25 payment processing fee.



Free:

iOffer

Unlike those above, iOffer does not charge for listings but rather takes a percentage of the cost of the items sold. They do, however, offer a premium listing service at an additional cost. 


CoolMarket

On our site, all listings are free. There are no charges for items that aren’t sold - in fact, we don’t get paid until you do. Once sales are final, we receive a small commission from the transaction. We offer product setup and cataloguing, customer service, payment fulfilment and even reports on your sales. And dare we say it again? At no initial cost to you. 


Whether you’re an entrepreneur who works from home business or a company trying to widen your reach, we’re sure these tips and information will come in handy! Let us know what kind of online store you would love to start and maybe we can help you get the ball rolling.