During my sixty-day maternity leave, I decided to organize and purge my excess stuff as much as I could while nursing my CS wound. However, my CS wound did not allow me to lift heavy things, reach up to the cabinets and dig into my closets so I settled into organizing and purging those within my sight and easy reach. There are two ways in which I chose to purge my excesses, one is through #BlissfulGiveaways. That was my first time to do a blog giveaway and it was a fun experience even though I did not have many participants. Well, not yet. Let’s see on the next giveaway I’m planning. Please watch out for that! The other way for me to dispose of my excesses is through online selling. I sign up to an online store platform, took photos of my stuff, upload them and write descriptions and instructions. Easy-peasy? Not exactly! But, still, the hardest part is chatting/talking with potential buyers. And, since this is my first time to try selling online, I am ecstatic to share the things I’ve learned in the short time I was in operation.
First, let me tell you again how I set-up my online store.
- Sign-up with an online store platform. There are many platforms available nowadays such as eBay, OLX, Shoppee, and Carousel. I put up my online store with the latter because it was too simple. If you’re not into signing up with any of what I mentioned, you can create a Facebook account/page or an Instagram account for selling purposes.
- Take nice photos. If like me, you are selling pre-loved items, you need to take photos with good lighting and clean and pleasant background. Try curating and learn the art of photo taking in a flat layout. Also, take photos which showcase the best and worst qualities or conditions of your products. Yes, even the worst ones. Honesty is the key for smooth transactions and good reputation.
- Upload the photos. Given the slooow Internet connection that we have here in the Philippines, I suggest you schedule the uploading at the time when the signal in your area is strongest, say early in the morning or very late in the evening. Knowing when to upload saves you time, energy and sanity. Nakakainis kaya kapag mabagal ang Internet.
- Describe what you are selling. In writing descriptions, always remember to be brief, precise, honest and clear with your wording. Include information that you yourself as a buyer would want to know. Useful information includes size, length, authenticity, and condition including flaws if any.
- Put clear and easily understood instructions. Usually, this includes payment options, delivery options (courier and/or meet-ups), shipping fees and the best time to contact you if you are not 24/7 online.
- Price your stuff. Well, only you can decide about the right price tag. Just be realistic and fair, although it’s never wrong to profit especially that you’ve already spent time and energy.
- You are good to go! Congratulations!
This post was supposed to be about the lessons I’ve learned about operating an online selling business for pre-loved stuff, instead, I wrote about the basic of putting up an online store. And, it’s been quite long and meaty already. So, let’s just reserve the lessons in operation for my next post. In a study abroad, it was feared that the brick and mortar stores would soon be an ancient thing with the rise of e-commerce and online shopping and harsh and endless technological developments. Retail apocalypse has been happening in other parts of the world as I write this and that is exactly why we need to embrace this new retail set-up and gear ourselves for what the future holds. Indeed, I consider this a valuable experience.
Do you have an online store? Any tips you want to share with us? If you don’t have one, will you consider joining the bandwagon and sell online too?