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Three Places To Sell Your Products Online

*July 2012 Update: A Google announcement in May 2012 states that Google Merchant Center products feeds will now become part of Google Shopping and will be managed through your Google Adwords account.  This means that the previously free product feeds will no longer be free. You can read the announcement here.  Thanks Lori (in the comments below) for the update!

Selling your products online can give your local small business a reach far greater than your retail store would ever allow. You may see thousands of businesses, big and small with their own E-Commerce websites set up and you think, “That’s where I need to be”. So you do the next logical thing, you set up (or pay someone) to set up an E-Commerce store on your website, upload all of your products, and wait for the orders to start pouring in. So what usually happens? Nothing. Very little visitors, little to no sales and an online catalog of products that now need to be maintained. Great, now what?

Selling your products online has many challenges

  • Their is tremendous competition in the online space and getting your products to stand out and be found is a challenge
  • Like most small business websites, you probably do not have the “Authority” that other, better optimized websites have
  • Selling online requires a knowledge of internet marketing. Many are easy to learn, but they do need to be learned

You Can Sell Your Products Anywhere

Selling your products online does not have to be a zero sum game. Just because you are selling products on your website, it does not mean you  cannot use other platforms to sell that same product. Think of it like this, you own a small retail store in your town that sells doggy apparel. You contact Walmart one day about your product and they agree to give you a very small amount of shelf space in their pet department. You are still selling the same products, but you now have a very big brother helping you move those doggy sweaters.

Places To Sell Your Products

Listed below are three options to consider for selling your products online. They can be used in addition to your own website and will give you an opportunity to cast a much wider net online and to help drive sales of your products. There are many other options available to sell online, especially in certian niches, but below is a great starting point. I did not go into much detail about each service in this article so i suggest you thoroughly research each of them before you start. It’s also a good idea to start with one, and add additional services slowly as they all require some form of product maintenance.

 

Ebay Stores

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Allows you to quickly and easilly set up a customizable storefront on Ebay. Think of it like setting up a stand at an outlet mall or flea market, except that major retailers also have stands set up there. Some key features are:

  • You can have your store set up in a day, the website building tools are meant for “non-techy” people
  • Ebay provides tools to help manage your listings
  • You can promote sales and special offers on your Ebay store.
  • You can track sales, visitors and product pages views

Amazon

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Amazon lets you sell your products through their own website. Since Amazon is currently the largest online shopping site in the U.S.(according to Alexa.com), it’s a great place to begin selling your products. Depending on your niche, there can be some stiff comepetition, but for the cost and marketing reach you gain it’s still a very good option. Some key features are:

  • It’s easy to upload your products
  • Amazon takes care of the entire shopping experience for your customer
  • You get notified when an order is placed. You can either ship it directly or pre-arrange for Amazon to ship for you
  • There are no listing fees or monthly charges. You pay a fee for each sale plus some smaller transaction charges

Google Merchant Center

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While Google Merchant Center does not allow you to directly sell products through a specific website, they do allow you to upload your product information so that customers can find you through Google Product Search. Google product search allows people to find products through a simple Google search. Some key features are:

  • It’s free to upload your products, you just need to register with Google Merchant Center
  • Google is starting to mix in Product Search results with regular search results
  • It can can drive traffic directly back to your website

Get Started Today

As you can see, there are many different ways to sell your products online apart from your own website. All of the above companies allow the small business owner a great opportunity to expand their reach on the internet. If you do try out one of these services or have any questions, i’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below!

 

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Gary Shouldis is a father, husband, business owner and avid blogger. He is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company helping small businesses grow their online presence and bottom line. When he’s not working, you can usually find him being chased through the park by his 4 children.

18 Responses to Three Places To Sell Your Products Online

  1. Johnny B. says:

    I like the parallel you drew there, getting the big guys to give you a leg up. Good tips, once again! Thanks.

  2. Ellen says:

    I joined the online bandwagon when my secretary told me about the good things that could happen to my business. She is sure right about that. I highly suggest businesses to go online to reach more customers.

  3. Brianna says:

    EBay is a great way to sell your products. We just have to make sure that we are transacting with our customers in a very secure way. The internet is really a powerful tool.

  4. Mitch says:

    I never tried Amazon but would like to. I always hear about Ebay and other websites to sell your product. All along I thought Amazon is a complicated site to sell your products. Thanks for this post, I am relieved and happy to try it.

  5. Faith says:

    I tried my best to make my business or products visible on the internet. I can get more customers plus provide more opportunity to expand. I always want to reach other countries to serve them too.

  6. Lori G says:

    These are great opportunities for small businesses to get their listings seen. However, Google Merchant Center product listings are now tied to AdWords and they are no longer free. This is a new policy as of Summer 2012.

    The options for small business just keep getting smaller.

  7. I have to mention http://www.urnet.co no monthly fees , no upgrade fees , this website has an auction , E store , mitunes to sell music, with a fully customize profile your store front no store will look the same ,

    It’s simple this is your website 100% free you run it like it’s yours. urnet.co is the best deal.. the best profit you can make

  8. Hello, I currently use Google merchant and have to say its has brought me most of my traffic. I’m going to look into Amazon and eBay stores as soon as I finish reading this article. Thanks for the advice. You can also list your products on thefind.com for free. It has not brought me the same amount of traffic as Google merchant but is still a pretty nice comparison shopping site to list products for free.

  9. Hi, I have a website and i dont know how to get it more well known. There are over 53,000 of my plush woofi designs sold, and I know if more people knew how the program works he could be bringing comfort to so many more people. As we hear stories constantly of his comfort. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks for checking out the site and thanks for the comments. I looked at your site, love the concept of it. I think one of the challenges you have is an outdated and cluttered website, it took a few minutes of navigating to find the what I was looking for. It’s also loading slowly, which turns people off. I think a website refresh and a clear message would be a great place to start. Let me know if you have any questions, cheers

  10. Nabeel Kamal says:

    Hi Gary, I have two sites in business since 1993. Trying to expand my business activity with more than listing and selling on eBay. Any recommendation will be appreciated.
    have a blessed day.

  11. No.1 article and it gives me all the information to do business through online stores. Thanks a lot.

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