I’ve sold a crap-ton of things online over the years. Physical stuff, digital stuff, services, software…..so I know a bit about this.
But a lot of people still have trouble trying to sell even ONE thing online.
But don’t fret, your Uncle Neville is here to help you out!
So awkwardly come sit on my lap, and I’ll quickly explain the 4 different ways I’ve personally used to sell stuff online (depending on your situation):
I’ll make each of these quick-n-basic.
Even if you’re NOT planning on selling something online right now, I suggest you read this email and save it for future reference (or forward to someone who can use it):
IF YOU’RE SELLING: an ebook, Excel file, video, piece of software…..
(Setup time: 5 minutes including sign up).
The best and fastest way to sell a single file type of product is GumRoad. It’s retardedly simple (is that politically correct to say anymore)??
When I would sell my class notes in college, I sincerely wish I had something like GumRoad, because it totally automates the whole paying/delivering process.
You see….the DELIVERY process is always hardest. I could easily accept PayPal payments, but then I’d have to manually send people their purchase through email. GumRoad does all of this without you lifting a finger.
All you do is upload the file you want to sell to GumRoad, set the price….and you’re literally done. Wanna see it in action??
I did a project called the ProblemSolvingChecklist which was a veerrryy short PDF document meant to sit on your computer desktop.
(this image is just linked to GumRoad directly where people can buy)
Even if I wanted to sell it through email because I have low website skills, all I have to do is include this short link, and it’ll take you directly to the sales page:
I sold hundreds of these through GumRoad in this manner.
GumRoad Pro’s: Insanely fast and easy to use. Amazing for selling/delivering individual things.
GumRoad Cons: They don’t accept PayPal.
IF YOU’RE SELLING……a small amount of something or consulting services:
(Setup time: 5 minutes)
I’d suggest PayPal for selling ANYTHING in small amount. You can put little buy buttons anywhere on a website or email, and pretty much EVERYONE already uses PayPal. Usually when buying a digital product I PREFER to pay with PayPal since it’s super-easy to request a refund if needed, and I don’t have to enter my credit card info (not concerned about safety, it’s more a laziness thing) :-P
Like if I made pet hamster costumes as a hobby and wanted to sell them myself, I’d just stick up a PayPal button, like this:
Just go to PayPal –> Merchant Tools –> Make Button
….and you can set the price and style of your button to get paid!
(btw…I knoowww I knowwww I spelled “Hamster” wrong).
So STILL TO THIS DAY I have some old digital products that are sold through PayPal, and not integrated into a fancy delivery system. I get the persons order, and manually send them access through email. Don’t be afraid to be ghetto!!
IF YOU’RE SELLING……a bunch of physical stuff:
(Setup time: 1 hour)
If you want a legitimate eCommerce STORE on the internet that sells a lot of items, has a built in shopping cart, inventory tracking etc….then I would suggest using one of these three:
NOW…..I know you’re gonna want to compare them all, but you’re too lazy. FORTUNATELY your old Uncle Neville has you covered, and has extensively used all three of those platforms (I’ve used a ton other too, but these are the best services I’ve seen).
Shopify by far is the easiest and most intuitive to use (and the fastest). It’s also got a huge app store so you can tack on functionality as needed.
BigCommerce and Volusion were both very good….but much more clunky to use and modify. They were just “harder” to use that Shopify in general.
*One thing I loved about BigCommerce was it’s digital delivery. You can deliver digital goods and it was VERY VERY seemless. With Shopify I’ve had to find some work-around apps that don’t integrate quite as well as what BigCommerce has.
But if you’re just selling normal stuff, I’d highly recommend Shopify
(I personally picked Shopify for my NevBlog Store).
IF YOU’RE SELLING…..a book.
(Setup time: 5 minutes)
Amazon.com is THE place to get a book…..so why not put your book on there??
It’s SO FREAKIN EASY TO SELF-PUBLISH A BOOK nowadays. Especially through the Kindle platform.
And just a side note, every time I’ve released a book, the Kindle version greatly outsells the physical version. Usually on a 3-to-1 ratio. Other author friends have told me the same findings.
So the Kindle version is usually cheaper, but you sell SO many more books. And it’s all digital, so there’s no worry about shipping.
You can take any story, blog series, or article you’ve made, and turn it into a Kindle book. Just save it as a PDF file and upload it to https://kdp.amazon.com. BAM….you’re a self-published author! See my recent book on amazon:
In addition to Kindle, I also used CreateSpace to make this book physically available, but so far the Kindle version has FAR outsold the physical version. I personally prefer the physical version, but the people have spoken!
Bonus places to sell:
You can now start hosting specific things on specific services. These services offer you a marketplace to sell in, and also handle the payment stuff for you (kinda like eBay does all the work for you). Here’s a quick list:
-Selling an educational course? Upload it to something like Udemy or Skillshare.
-Selling designs for 3D printing? Upload your designs on Shapeways.
-Selling unique crafts? Post your stuff on Etsy.
-Selling your computer skills? Post yourself on eLance.
The downside of these services is you lose some degree of control of how you sell your stuff, because you gotta play within their rules. Obviously they also take a cut of your sales. But these are great tools to use if you don’t have the skill or desire to take everything in your own hands.
So there you have it my young child (you can get off my lap now)…those are a couple ways to start selling stuff online quickly.
Don’t over think stuff too much though. You can almost always just use a simple PayPal button to accept payments for damn-near everything.
Old Uncle Neville
P.S. If you tell me what you’re trying to sell in the comments, I’ll respond and give you some advice on where to start! Or just lemme know how YOU’VE sold something online quickly, I love hearing those stories and techniques.
P.P.S. I made this entire blog post from my pool! I hosted an “8am-early-morning-creative-writing-session-from-the-middle-of-the-pool” party. It’s awesome to sit and write around OTHER people who are writing also. Fun mixed with productivity! Image credit to Corina. There were 5 of us working out of the pool for 2 hours: