The internet has opened up pathways for anyone to earn additional income. There has been a dramatic shift away from people picking up extra work, over time and second jobs – now we have the side hustle.
“Side Hustle is defined as earning money from something we do outside the 9-5, usually following a passion or something that is exciting and interesting enough that we can take a leap, invest the time and see if we can turn it into a money-maker.”
Mixing passion with research is a great way to start turning a hobby into a business and making sure there is a plan and a backup plan. It’s important to know what you are aiming for and what success looks like before you head out of the blocks.
Three main places come to mind when thinking of e-commerce:
Ebay is a marketplace platform that allows sellers to sell at any scale. Create a shop within their site and you can begin selling immediately. You can list up to 30 items for free before a listing charge applies and for those items you do sell, Ebay takes 10% of the total sale value (this is the product cost + postage cost).
It’s a great place to get started, even if it means clearing out your wardrobe to sell items and test the process. Practise writing great listings, dealing with customers and shipping.
As with all online selling, reviews can be a powerful tool – Ebay allows seller reviews and products reviews so it’s simple to build a good reputation and customer base to engage with.
Over 1/3 of Amazon sales are through its marketplace and has similar perks to Ebay with small sellers just getting started. When selling less than 35 products per month it’s basic plan applies and over this, Amazon recommend the professional plan with comes with a £25 per month subscription fee.
Remember that if you’ve done some initial seller testing on Ebay, there will be more tweaks to be made on Amazon as the customer base may be different for your items.
You can continue to ship items and deal with returns or you can set up your listings to be ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ – additional fees are in place of course, including for items sold and warehousing. It is a route worth considering if your sales volume is increasing and you don’t want to spend all day in the post office. It also helps sales, as those products held in Amazon warehousing can be listed as Prime goods.
The key tool to take e-commerce to the next level and make it exactly what you want. A simple selling platform that can cater for almost any budget while still providing the fundamentals of any site built-for e-commerce.
Pay for a theme or use one of the free templates and set up your store. Input your product images and description with its extremely friendly backend and optimise the site with various plugins and tools.
Using Shopify does require a certain level of technical knowledge so it’s highly recommended to use a Shopify Partner to build a store that converts when people land on it. Your vision can be brought to live and transferred to you before the monthly fees apply. Leaving you to find more great products and perhaps create a blog to write with passion about the products you love to sell.