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Published On: Mon, Jan 28th, 2019

4 Online Selling Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Online selling is a very popular way to make some money these days, as everyone has something to offer. Many do this for additional income, while others take it on as a personal business. Whether you decide to sell online full- or part-time, this business is not without its drawbacks. Here are four pitfalls of selling online and how you can avoid them:

photo 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

photo 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

1. Not Putting in Enough Time

Online selling, while convenient, will still take up a lot of your time. This is one of the first disadvantages you might encounter. You’ll have to take pictures of your products, write descriptions for them, post them online, answer customer questions, process transactions, and finally mail them out. You’ll also have to do accounting to keep track of your sales and make sure that you’re still actually making money. If you’re going into online selling as a replacement to a 9-5 job, you’ll have to be your own boss, and it’s highly likely that you’ll be the only one doing everything.

You can avoid running out of time by managing yourself well and creating and sticking by a schedule. Planning your day around the things you need to do can let you get a lot done without sacrificing other commitments. If it gets to be too much to handle, you can always ask or hire others to help you.

2. Not Making Money

If you’re just getting into online selling, there’s a big chance that you won’t make money for a good while. Starting a business requires capital, and you’ll likely spend a pretty penny stocking up and getting ready to sell. Aside from this, before you even start selling, many popular marketplace websites such as Amazon and eBay have selling fees. So every time you make a sale, part of your sale goes to your marketplace host. Whether you like it or not, you’ll start in the red.

There are a few things you can do to spend your money wisely and get it back as soon as possible. First would be to find the best source of your products or materials. You can save a lot of money by finding the best bulk deals. Next would be to research your selling platform. If you don’t like selling fees, you’ll have to find another place aside from Amazon and eBay that have an audience for your items. Finally, it never hurts to have extra money saved up. Businesses are risks, but you shouldn’t risk everything you have. Keep some money in the bank or under your mattress to keep you afloat while you wait to breakeven.

3. Not Delivering on Time

One of the most common problems that online shoppers face is late deliveries. As the seller, this falls under your responsibility, and you should do everything that you can to make sure their packages arrive on time. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can give your customers exactly what they paid for.

First off, you should invest in using reputable and reliable mail couriers to deliver your items. Not only will their services be much more professional, but they will often offer tracking services so you can track your packages as they’re being delivered. You should always have your packages tracked so you can update your customer on where their parcel is. By doing so, you can protect yourself if they lose your package during delivery.

4. Not Securing From Fraud

Finally, some people are really out there to take advantage of online sellers, and you may encounter customers who want to scam you. Because you can’t immediately tell a genuine buyer from a shady one, the best thing you can do is protect yourself. Make sure you completely describe the item as it is, and provide a lot of good quality photos. Some buyers cancel their credit card payment claiming the item was not as described. Documenting your item well can give you enough evidence to appeal fraudulent chargebacks.

Other scammers will falsely claim that their package never arrived and demand for a refund. Buying a tracking number for your packages can help you avoid this situation. Finally, one of the best ways to protect yourself from scammers is to check the credibility of your buyer. If they have no feedback and something seems off, proceed with caution. Remember that a lot of buyers are actually legitimate; however it doesn’t hurt to be safe rather than sorry.

In the end, online selling, like any other business, can be risky and comes with its own disadvantages. However, nearly all of them can be avoided with proper research and some business sense. If you read up and prepare yourself for the commitment of online selling, you’ll be able to easily overcome these hazards to eventually setup a successful online store.

Guest Author: Gabby Roxas

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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