How to Sell Online: 7-Step Guide To Sell Products Like A Pro

Written by

Darren DeMatas



Written by

Darren DeMatas


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As ecommerce sales continue to grow, opportunities for entrepreneurs and merchants to start their own online businesses are increasing. A good website builder can help them get started. If you’re thinking about entering the ecommerce fray, there’s a lot you need to know to be successful when you sell online.

In 2023, the number of digital buyers is 2.64 billion; by 2025, sales are expected to grow nearly 50% to $7.4 trillion.

How to Sell Online

It’s more than figuring out what to sell on an ecommerce site. It’s also establishing your target audience, choosing a business model, leveraging online marketplaces, accepting payments, figuring out shipping, marketing your products, and handling customer service.


What Products to Sell Online

When starting an ecommerce business, it’s crucial to carefully consider your product category and the best shipping options for your ecommerce sales. The first step is to narrow down your options by considering what you’re passionate about and what you know about. Once you know what you’re interested in, research the demand for that product or service online since not all product ideas are created equally.

You can use Google Trends, Exploding Topics, or other keyword research tools to see how popular certain terms are. Trending products are great, but online sellers shouldn’t base their entire business on them. The trends of online shopping change too frequently.

Another critical factor to consider is competition. Suppose there are already a lot of businesses selling what you want to sell. In that case, you’ll need to find a way to differentiate yourself. Try offering unique products or services your competitors don’t. You may also focus on a niche market that isn’t as saturated.

How to Establish a Target Audience

Establishing your target audience is challenging, especially if you’re just starting. But it’s essential to take the time to think about who you want to sell to and why. Once you understand your target audience of online shoppers, you can start to build your ecommerce store around their needs and preferences.

Define Your Ideal Customer Base

Think about your ideal customers. Who are they? What do they need or want? What are their demographics? The better you understand your target audience, the more focused your marketing strategy will be.

Do Some Market Research

Once you have a good idea of your ideal customer, it’s time to do some market research. There are several ways to gather information about your target market, including asking questions in online surveys, conducting focus groups, and customer interviews. This research will help you understand your buyer personas‘ needs, wants, and buying habits.

Build a Customer Profile

With this information, you can create a customer persona. This profile should include everything from demographics to psychographics and should be used to guide your marketing efforts.

Craft Your Business Plan

The process of selecting an appropriate business model is vital in the realm of ecommerce.  This significant step in utilizing data analytics can determine the ultimate success or failure of your online enterprise. In truth, your business model is the engine that powers your ecommerce operations, dictating critical elements such as your products or services, pricing strategy, target audience, and marketing and sales approach.

Business Models

Now that you understand the basics of starting an online business, let’s delve further into the various types of ecommerce business models you can adopt: 

  • Private Labeling: In this model, you work closely with a manufacturer to create a custom product under your brand name. You have control over the product’s design, packaging, and pricing.
  • Dropshipping: With Dropshipping, you sell products from various suppliers without handling inventory or delivery. The supplier is responsible for delivering the product on your behalf to the customer.
  • Retail Arbitrage: This model involves buying products at low prices from retailers and reselling them online at higher prices. Your profits lie in the price difference.
  • Wholesale: The wholesale model involves purchasing large quantities of products directly from manufacturers or distributors at a discounted rate and reselling them online.
  • Print on Demand: As a print-on-demand merchant, you collaborate with a supplier to custom print designs on products only after a customer places an order. This model is commonly applied to clothing and accessories, art prints, and home decor items.
  • White Labeling: In a white-label model, you take an existing product, rebrand it, and sell it as your own. It’s similar to private labeling, but there’s no need for customization or design change in the product.

Choosing the right model for your business largely depends on your objectives, capital, and the resources available to you. Start by assessing your business goals and gradually move towards a method that fits your individual needs.

Once you have a good idea on their business model, you’ll be better equipped to finalize your product selection and business model.

Competitive Analysis

Neglecting to invest time and energy into establishing the right model can present roadblocks down the road, slowing your growth and even harming your brand reputation. By the same token, it’s equally essential to scrutinize your marketplace competitors. 

Nail Down Your Brand And Product Pricing

Now that you have decided on your product, it’s time to focus on crystalizing your brand and settling on product pricing. This step is crucial for success in online selling.

In a sea of ecommerce businesses, it’s your brand that will set you apart. Your brand’s identity is more than just a logo; it embodies your vision, mission, and values. It’s what customers associate with your business.

Registering your business is a critical initial step to set you on your way to building a successful ecommerce empire. It brings legitimacy to your business and offers you a multitude of opportunities, ranging from financial advantages to legal protections. However, it also brings some key responsibilities such as setting up taxes. In the world of ecommerce, no business entity can evade the necessity of dealing with taxes, especially when it comes to managing revenue. 

While establishing an ecommerce store, you need to make sure you’re familiar with online sales tax laws in all the states or regions you’re selling to, to keep your business Dealing with taxes for an ecommerce store isn’t always straightforward, but it’s a vital part of operating your venture. A well-thought-out tax plan can save you money and prevent unnecessary complications down the line. 

It’s worth noting that registering your business isn’t just a benefit for you – it’s a requirement for dealing with suppliers. Most suppliers require a business license and tax ID to initiate any business. They typically do not engage with individuals, as they want to ensure their products are being sold through a legitimate business. Therefore, being officially registered makes your online store more appealing and trustworthy to your potential suppliers, giving you access to a broad range of products and services to sell online. In the end, establishing a company is all about managing cash flow and taking the right steps at the right time. Once you get off to a good start, there’s no limit to what you can achieve in the world of ecommerce. Good luck!

 Setting the right price point is crucial for maximizing profit margins and finding the best way to sell your products in this highly competitive ecommerce industry. Finding the balance between profit, revenue, and consumer appeal is crucial for maintaining a healthy income and cash flow. Risks of overpricing include losing potential customers and negatively impacting profit margins, whereas underpricing might devalue your product. 

  1. Cost-based Pricing: The most straightforward method where you add a profit margin atop your product’s manufacturing cost.
  2. Competitive Pricing: Setting the price after scrutinizing your competitors’ prices for the same product. Keep it competitive while ensuring your profit.
  3. Value-based pricing is a strategy that involves setting the price point of a product based on the perceived value it offers to customers. This requires understanding your customers thoroughly.

A strong brand identity and a well-thought-out business plan will separate you from the sea of competitors.

Product Marketing

Product marketing is where your branding comes to life. High-quality product photos play a key role in this area. Consumers are visual creatures and quality images and video can significantly impact a customer’s buying decision. Consider hiring a professional to help you with your product photography.

Provide multiple, professionally taken images from different angles for each product. This helps potential customers understand what they’re buying and can even remove any doubts, they may be feeling about purchasing, especially when they visit your product pages. 

Apart from captivating imagery, product descriptions are just as pivotal in selling a product online. Incorporate detailed, yet concise descriptions for your products. Include essential details such as features, benefits, and technical specifications on your product pages. To foster trust and authenticity, avoid over-hyping your products. Rather, uphold honesty and transparency in your descriptions. 

Sourcing your products is certainly a primary concern. A reliable product source or supplier guarantees the availability and quality of your merchandise, directly affecting your online store’s credibility. Opt for suppliers who align with your business values, maintain consistent quality, and punctually deliver products. Remember, the quality of your products is reflective of your brand, and conducting thorough research on potential suppliers is a significant step toward building a successful online business.

Places to Sell Stuff Online

There are tons of places to sell online. It’s best to start small and expand your store to other sales channels as you grow.

Your Ecommerce Website

Your own online store is the best place to start selling. Using an app like Shopify, BigCommerce, or Nexcess Storebuilder is ideal for beginners. The best website builder depends on several factors, including the type of product, your business model, level of desired control/technical skill, budget, and product catalog size.

All you need to get started with your online business is a domain name and a well-crafted website design, and you’ll have a home base for your online business. You’ll pay a monthly fee but won’t have to worry about the technical aspects of maintaining your website.

No matter where else you sell, you can always direct your marketing campaigns to your main online storefront.

You’ll need to spend some time on search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing to drive traffic to your own website. This is why selling on other platforms can be helpful when you’re getting started.

Social Commerce

Facebook (and Facebook Marketplace)

Facebook is a popular social media platform with millions of daily and monthly users. You can sell on Facebook with a Facebook Shop – that can link directly to your ecommerce platform for easier order management.

Facebook Marketplace

If you’re not ready to create a Facebook Shop or just want to get rid of a few extra things you’ve got around the house, you can use the Facebook Marketplace to sell directly to another Facebook user.

Our guide to selling on Facebook can help you get started.


If Instagram is one of your favorite platforms, you can also link your Facebook Shop to Instagram and sell there. Read more about how to sell on Instagram.

Online Marketplaces


Over 200 million people worldwide have Amazon Prime accounts, and millions more visit the site regularly. It is the world’s largest marketplace, so it’s worth adding to your long-term marketing strategy to reach global markets.

Amazon makes it easy to sell stuff online. They have a streamlined process for listing and shipping products, and they take care of all the payment processing for you. This makes it simpler and less time-consuming than selling through other online channels, especially when considering the competitive sale price.

Check out our guide to selling on Amazon to learn more.


Ebay Homepage

One of the most popular places to sell stuff online is eBay. People from all over the world use eBay to buy and sell items. You can sell nearly anything, including clothes, electronics, and equipment on eBay.

Our guide on How to Sell on eBay will make it easier for you to get started.



Poshmark is an excellent way to reach more potential customers if you’re selling clothes, jewelry, or accessories. Check out how to sell on Poshmark to learn more.



Mercari is another platform like Poshmark but offers more product categories like sporting goods, toys, and handmade items, making it a versatile option for various markets. Additionally, it provides a convenient package for sellers and buyers.


Etsy Homepage

If you’re selling handmade products, Etsy is a dedicated online marketplace that you’ll want to use. Like with eBay, you’ll pay listing fees for each product you list.

Additional Guides To Online Selling

Accepting Payments

As a business owner, you’ll need to accept various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can do this via platforms like PayPal and Shop Pay for various shipping options (if you have a Shopify store). If you also accept credit card payments in-store, like if you have a pop-up shop, you’ll need a card reader, which you can usually get free or cheap from your payment processor.

No matter how you accept payments, you’ll pay transaction fees on everything except cash. Consider the transaction fees when you choose the credit card processor you’ll use.

Shipping Your Products

When you’re selling a physical product, unless you’re dropshipping, you’ll need to figure out how to get parcels to customers. If you have brick-and-mortar stores, you can offer in-person pick-up to cut shipping costs. If you’re selling digital products, simply deliver via email.

When starting out, it may be easier to ship orders on your own with a flat-rate shipping solution like USPS priority mail. But, as the business scales, you may find the order volume is just too much to keep up with yourself. Using software can help you get the best shipping rates.

To keep shipping costs down, consider partnering with a 3PL that can pass shipping carrier discounts on to you, such as ShipBob or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). You’ll pass the fulfillment tasks to experts and won’t have to worry about warehouse inventory management. When possible, look for a carbon-neutral shipping option, so you can promote your commitment to the environment in your marketing efforts.

Product Promotion

You can market and promote products with:

Focus on creating high-quality content to draw in new customers. Whether it’s blog posts, social media posts, or even just product descriptions, quality content is essential for engaging potential customers and convincing them to make a purchase.

Track your analytics results and analyze your performance, specifically conversions, site traffic, and sales. By regularly evaluating your marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to identify what’s working and what isn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Customer Service

Your job isn’t finished after the sale. To ensure customer satisfaction and build audience loyalty, you must stay in touch. Periodically send customer surveys, and figure out how you’ll handle returns, refunds, discounts, etc. with unhappy customers so you can maintain a positive reputation for your small business.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best website to sell stuff will vary depending on what you’re selling and your target market.
However, some popular websites for selling products online include eBay, Amazon, and Etsy.

Etsy may be the best option for you if you are selling handmade or vintage items. If you sell new or used products, then eBay or Amazon may be better choices. Ultimately, choosing a website that will allow you to reach your target market and sell your products successfully is important.

Sites like eBay, Amazon, and Walmart will charge seller fees. You may not have to pay anything to create product listings, but you will pay a percentage of your sale for using the service. There are many ways to sell products online for free. Post your product on classified ads websites. Create a blog or website and include a link to your product page in the sidebar or the posts themselves. You can also create social media accounts devoted to promoting your product and post links and content regularly for effective promotion.

To sell stuff on the internet, you must set up an account with a marketplace or classifieds site. Then you can start creating listings for the items you want to sell. Be sure to include clear pictures and descriptions of the items and your contact information.

Once someone expresses interest in buying an item, you can arrange for payment and shipping. This is a great way to sell and finalize the sale price. You can also set up your own ecommerce business website, but it takes time to drive traffic and earn sales.

What Will You Sell Online?

Before you start to sell online, take time to validate your business idea. Research profitable products and business potential. Most importantly, develop a business plan and competitive analysis to help you figure out where you’ll fit into the market. Detail the types of products you’ll sell, your marketing spend, and your advertising strategy. The more you know upfront, the better off you’ll be.

About the author

Photo of author
Darren DeMatas
Darren has an MBA in Internet Marketing and 10+ years of experience marketing retail, manufacturing and Internet marketing corporations, 7-figure brands and startups online. Follow him on TwitterLinkedIn

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