It's ber months when I started, and I have tons of items inside my closet, I need extra cash for the holidays, you know, "Walang pasok, walang baon" (Trans. No school class, no cash allowance) :)
I saw several Multiply accounts selling online goods before. From planners to coffee drinks, thrift clothes and brand new too! some also sell gadgets here. I even saw Alodia Gosiengfiao's account selling Canon Necklace Charms (she's offering meetups before!).
So I decided, why not maximize our internet connection and PC at home, and try the same thing! I finally find a time to declutter my closet, some come with tags pa but doesn't fit me, either too big or too small. Upload a lot of photos, answered several inquiries and wait for my first item to sell.
I was able to sell my very first item online, it was a blouse. I met this girl in Gateway after my PUP class. I'm happy that it was my first transaction. I even registered for a verified account, it was worth it! and more transactions after that... Multiply.com shut down by May 2013.
So here I am sharing the important things I learned from years of online selling. When I started, I wasn't able to find a local site that shares something like this so I decided to share my own story here on my blog. I hope I can help someone in the future :)
- Time for Online Selling Can you do it full time? Planning to do it part time? Well if you're a beginner I suggest to do it part time first UNTIL you know that you have already a steady income that can help you live and help your commitments/bills as well.
- Your Gadget Partners and a reliable internet connection This is online selling, of course, you'll be needing these items. Get your nice digicam or your phone to take photos and upload to your chosen platform.
- Product to sell Identify the product you like to sell, do you like to resell with or without capital? Sell your preloved items or even your excess items you do not need anymore? Sell your own product like your own craft, own cooked cupcakes, etc, Always look for a better supplier, for RTW garments, I highly recommend going to Taytay Tiangge
- Identify the selling platform/s Choose your platform, creating a website for your store would shell out your wallet, you can try this if you already have a lot of buyers and products as well.
- Mode of Payments How can the buyers pay for their orders? via Paypal, Bank Deposit? let them know which bank accounts you have. I prefer to mention them those bank accounts you can access online or in your phone so you can easily check deposit payments. If you do not have yet bank accounts, you may opt for money remittance. This is a great option especially for provincial areas whereas banks are limited for them.
- Communication This is important in online selling, interested buyers ask a lot of questions about the item, mode of payment, even if you already post the answer in your account. Most of them are lazy to read long captions >.< Let your buyers know that you have a preferred way to get in touch to you such as Viber, WhatsApp, take advantage of the free facebook messenger, calls or SMS. The more option, the better, BUT it would depending to you if you can also handle my #1 item.
- Choose your Courier Another important thing to consider. I have tried several couriers already and you may check out my stories here: Philippine Couriers I've tried. I've tried almost a lot, I check them by sending and receiving parcels and how they manage customer service for package tracking or what I hate the most but uncontrollable, a refund for lost parcels. We can try different couriers depending to the items we're sending to our clients or if what courier does our client prefers. In most cases, my clients are fine with my chosen courier.
- Beware of SCAMMERS and JOY RESERVERS Never send an item to your buyers without a payment. Verify, Double Check payments to your bank officer if it was really debited to your bank account. If your item is not yet on hand or pre-order, I highly suggest not to accept reservations without payment, however, how can the buyer trust you in that way (I'll be talking about it in another post soon!). Did you know that I experienced some buyers sending a FAKE bank deposit slip? Haha! Yeah, good thing I checked it first and called the bank officer for verification.
- How can I trust you? This would probably a hard question to answer for beginners in online selling especially if they do not have any feedbacks yet or a first transaction. Personally, first, let them think that they're not forced to make an order to you. Second, offer meetups to these people (if both parties can do it), in that way, they can meet you personally and see the items before paying it or you can also offer PICK-UPS to your area. :p
Make sure to take nice crisp photos for your products, buyers love photos with right details and complete captions (e.g. size, usage, warranty, sometimes even reason for selling especially for gadgets). I personally think it's better to sell products you know you're expert with. If you're an ex-patisserie, why not offer baking tools and ingredients to your buyers? It would also be helpful for them in a way that they can also ask you about how to use these ingredients - additional points for customer service!
Choose sites like Instagram, Facebook (you may use your own account or create a new account) or create a facebook page, OLX, eBay, TipidCP for phones, TipidPC for computer related items and many more. Start with 1 platform first, I highly recommend Instagram, because we can crosspost the photo to other sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr - meaning more viewers, possible clients!
Now, start developing your extraordinary marketing skills to cater more potential buyers. And also, if you're ready, you can also have your shop, legally registered. Right now, I can see a lot of online sellers, unlike before that there's less competitors. Just think in what way you can stand out from the other sellers! :)
I wished I was able to share these guidelines to those who want to start their own online store.