Start a Business Selling Online

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: December 10, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Business
Approved Course is reader-supported. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission.

Are you looking for a way to start a business selling online? Do you want to work from home or at least work for yourself? There are many ways to start selling online as a business.

When you want to sell a product online, you should know what you’re getting into first. It’s important to choose the right avenues and decide what you will sell. Let’s look at some of the things you should know if you want to start a business selling online.

Do Your Research First

Before you start a business selling online, you need something to sell. It needs to be an item or items you want to sell and can profit from. Of course, this also means you will need a supplier. There are some good places to find products you can sell online including:

After you find the right products to sell and a supplier, you can start looking at how to sell your products online.

Top 5 Avenues for Selling Online

1. Your Own Website

There really is no better way to sell online than with your own website. Even if you use other avenues to start a business selling online, you should have your own website, too. Of course, with your own website, you will need to market to sell your products.

Marketing your website with a blog, social media, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click ads can be a great option. You can run ads on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites to drive traffic.

One thing a website of your own gives you that other platforms don’t is the ability to build a list. You can get people to subscribe for upcoming sales and discount notifications. This can be a very powerful tool for the long-term of your online selling business.

2. Amazon

Of course, selling on Amazon is a great way to start your business. Some online sellers only use Amazon and nothing else. While there is certainly some risk in only using one platform, Amazon can provide plenty of sales for your business.

With Amazon, you will pay them to host your products. Make sure you factor this in when setting your prices. You will also be competing with anybody else selling the same or similar products on the site.

3. eBay

One of the top sites for sellers buying items from garage sales, thrift stores, and auctions is eBay. This site allows you to choose between a Buy it Now format and an Auction style listing. You can even allow buyers to make an offer on a product you want to sell.

If you plan to buy used goods and resell them, eBay will likely become your best friend. This site allows you to create listings for one single item or for multiple items, if you have more than one of the same things. It can become a great platform to help you start a business selling online.

4. Etsy

Known as one of the top online marketplaces for hand-made goods, Etsy is a great place for many types of sellers. You can sell everything from seeds you harvest from your garden to customized t-shirts on this site. If you’ll be making the product yourself, Etsy is likely the best marketplace for you to start a business selling online.

Just like any platform, you will pay Etsy to list your products. Make sure you factor this into the overall cost when setting your price.

5. Facebook Marketplace

You can list your item in the Facebook Marketplace and sell it locally. This type of option works great if you plan to sell larger items that are not easy to ship. Instead of shipping the items you plan to sell, you can meet buyers in a public area and make the exchange. Of course, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can use this marketplace to drive foot traffic into your store, too.

All of these options give you a good avenue to sell your products. There may also be local websites or other smaller marketplaces that fit with your product. Finding the right ways to sell your products is a big part of starting a business selling online.

5 Excellent Types of Selling Businesses to Start Online

If you’re not sure which type of product to sell or what type of selling business to start online, here are five ideas to get you started.

Shoe Business

You can go into many different niches in shoes or carry them all. The best part, shoes can be sold on Amazon, eBay, and your own website. Everybody needs shoes and many people are looking for specific shoes.

You can specialize in the trendiest options or you can choose to sell gently used name brand shoes. There are many ways to go about selling shoes online and this can be a very profitable option for your business.

Vintage Goods

Many older clothing items and other items are very popular again in today’s world. It’s amazing how styles go out and then come back as vintage. If you love vintage clothing and other items, you can open up a vintage boutique online.

Men’s Ties

A great option for your online selling business is men’s ties. These are very light and easy to ship. Plus, there are a variety of options for neckties and bowties. With men’s ties, you can buy them brand new or find name brand ties at thrift stores, garage sales, and other sources to resell.

Some ties sell for well over $50 and you might find them at a thrift store for just $3. This can be a very lucrative option if you want to start a business selling online.

Anything Collectible

People love collectibles. From collectible video games to sports memorabilia, there are several opportunities in this category. You can sell rare items you find for a steal at garage sales or other collectibles you can get from a supplier.

No matter what you decide to sell, if it’s a collectible item, there’s a market for it. Many collectible items will have a very loyal following, such as comic book lovers and those that follow a specific sports team.

Video Games

People love video games, both new and old. Sometimes, you can find these games at thrift stores, garage sales, and auctions for a steal. New games can be bought and resold, as well.

Regardless of the avenue you choose with video games, they can sell a pretty penny. When you resell video games, the shipping is usually lower, too, since they are smaller and lighter. Some games are rare and harder to find. If you can find them, they can make you a good profit.

These are just a few of the businesses you can start online if you want to sell a product. Basically, anything you can buy for a low price and resell for a higher price will allow you to start a business.

A Few Ways to Recognize a Good Product

It doesn’t do you much good if you find a product to sell, but it will only sell for a little bit more than you pay for it. Instead of finding this out the hard way, you can use a few tools to help you decide on the right product.

Amazon

When you want to buy something to resell, check the listings on Amazon. If the product is listed for a high enough price, you can probably jump into the marketplace and make a profit. However, if it’s something that costs you $10 and it only sells on Amazon for $12.50, it’s likely not worth your time.

eBay Sold Listing

A great way to see if something is worth selling and how much it will sell for is with the eBay sold listings. You can do an advanced search for the product and check the “sold listings” box in the options. This will give you a list of the same product or similar products that have recently sold and the price. This is one of the best tools to use to determine how much a product will resell for.

Google

Of course, if you’re dealing with a product you want to sell, you can search for it in Google to see what others are selling it for. This can help you get an idea of what it might sell for outside of Amazon and eBay.

When you want to start a business selling online, you need a plan. Use the information in this article to help create a plan, find a product, and choose the right way to sell your product online.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!