How to make money online in 2021 with no selling experience
With COVID-19 continuing to impact our lives, many of us have found ourselves out of work or furloughed and struggling to get by. And in times of economic need, many people turn to other areas of getting paid such as selling goods, in order to make ends meet.
While we’ve all dabbled with selling the odd item on eBay or Gumtree in the past, lots of people who are no longer in employment, or who are on limited salaries while their companies furlough them as they continue to weather the economic fallout, have turned to online selling to boost their finances.
Web sales are skyrocketing as a large percentage of people around the world continue to stay at home and are reluctant to shop in physical stores. And with many shops still grappling with the fallout of lockdown and keeping their doors shut—or even worse, having gone under completely due to diminished footfall—online shopping has become the most convenient way to purchase the goods you need.
If you think that selling online might be a possible source of income for you in 2021, you’ll need to do a little homework first.
So, let’s talk about some basic information that you’ll need to consider.
What do I need to start selling online?
From the onset, you’ll need to have an idea of what you want to sell and how you plan to sell the product or service. You’ll also need a brand—or, at the very least, a name.
When it comes to names, choose wisely. Bear in mind that something that’s cool and trendy in the moment can get dated very quickly. And something quirky means your potential customers may not understand what you are selling.
If you have wracked your brain, then enter “business name generator” in Google. When you’ve decided on a business name, then ensure that your website domain name is the same, so people can easily find you if they can’t remember or don’t know your URL.
When looking at what to sell, you can create and market your own products or someone else’s products by charging them a fee. If you’re skilled in handicrafts, you could produce your own items and use places like Etsy or eBay to showcase them. Or you could buy goods and resell them at a profit if they are in demand.
But it’s important to think about what you like. What are you interested in? Could you turn a hobby into a money-making scheme? Do you love music? What about old vinyl? Do you love sports? Are sports goods of interest? What’s your expertise? Are you a great photographer? Have you thought about selling camera equipment? Think about what interests you most as you’ll remain focused and enjoy it.
Also, are you going to be a sole trader or a limited company? Do your research. If you choose to be a limited company then you’ll probably need to hire an accountant to make sure you don’t overpay or underpay your taxes.
What’s the best way to sell online?
Once you know what you’re going to sell you’ll need to have a think about how you’re going to host your online business.
Will you have your own website? Will you use an eCommerce platform like Amazon, eBay or Shopify? Or do you intend to just use your smartphone and go down the social media route using the likes of Facebook or Instagram? Let’s look at some of your options.
What’s a web builder?
If it’s a website that you need, there are many sites out there that are easy to use and can help you create the perfect space for your venture. Web builders such as Wix, SquareSpace, WordPress, Weebly and GoDaddy offer professional looking templates which you can easily build on, even if you’re a novice.
Some things you should be considering are what you’ll be doing on your site – other than selling. Will you only have an eCommerce site to sell your goods or will you offer extra content such as blogs or image galleries and will you need forms for subscribing?
Whatever you decide, you’ll need some high quality images.
Typically, you build your online store with blocks of content that you can drag around a page and drop into place. So you don’t need to worry about having web development or graphic design skills. Using a web builder platform is like putting a simple jigsaw together.
When choosing your web builder consider things like cost, ease of use, and flexibility so that you can create what you have in mind. Also consider whether there is any support offered if you need assistance with images and videos for example.
Have a custom-made website
If you decide that having a website designed to your specification from scratch is the ideal route to attract shoppers and get paid for selling, you might need to hire a designer who can create something tailored to your specifications.
There are many advantages with this such as being able to have full control over how you want your brand to look, particularly if it’s your own goods you are planning to sell. You’ll be able to build relationships and loyalty with customers and fully control the user experience.
You will also avoid costs such as listing fees. There will be an outlay for registering a domain name and getting your site onto the web—which is called hosting—so this will often be an annual fee.
But bear in mind that if you are going to set up your own site, you will need to drive traffic to it which means you will need a well thought-out marketing plan. You will also be responsible for packaging up your goods and shipping them to customers.
Use online marketplaces
Think about which site is more tailored towards the products or services you are looking to sell. There’s little point in trying to sell car batteries on, say, Etsy.
In terms of usage, the major marketplaces, such as Shopify, are fairly straightforward for you to sell your goods on and accept payment for them.
The only downsides are that you will be limited around the look and feel of your site as you won’t have huge scope for creativity. And you will be vying for the attention of customers with thousands of other sellers therefore achieving the ideal price point can be tricky.
How will I get paid?
You’re going to need a payment gateway for transactions. A payment gateway provides the technology that allows merchants to securely accept payments from credit or debit cards, bank transfers and digital wallets like Apple or Google Pay – from customers for the items they purchase.
A payment gateway, like Fondy, will authenticate your shoppers’ billing information, authorise funds for each customer’s payment method, approve requests and allow your business to issue a confirmation number and also ensure that you receive payment.
The Fondy gateway offers more than 300 local and international methods of accepting payments, including credit cards, online banking, and digital wallets as well as a fast checkout process, whether you’re selling via a website, CMS, hosted site or mobile app.
How it works
- Your customer pays for their item through your checkout page and selects their preferred payment method such as debit/credit card, PayPal etc.
- As the transaction takes place, their data is encrypted for security purposes.
- The payment information is sent to the issuing bank for authorisation.
- The payment will either be accepted or declined depending on whether there are enough funds available.
- The payment gateway notifies the seller (merchant, which is you) of the transaction status.
- The payment is then settled between the gateway and the bank and you get paid. (Note: For any payment gateway service, you will pay a processing fee on a transaction basis or a monthly payment based on transaction volume.)
Other ways of getting paid
While you start to plan your sales venture, also think about other ways you could make some cash in the meantime. We list some money earning ideas here:
- Google AdSense
If you’ve already got a website, sign up for a free account, add a unique tracking code to it and let Google do all the hard work while you get paid.
- Link up with affiliates (Affiliate marketing)
Promote a product or service to the visitors on your site and in return you’ll get paid a commission if something is purchased through a specific link.
- Add banner ads
If you’re a blogger you can create ads and get paid whenever someone clicks on one.
- Link up with affiliates (Affiliate marketing)
- Publish premium content
- Review products
Companies will pay you in cash or goods to review their stuff.
- Set up a ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ page
- Offer freelance blogging and writing
- Sell your website
Now that we’ve given you plenty of food for thought, what are you waiting for?