What to Sell Online and Where?

What to Sell Online and Where

What to Sell Online And WhereMarket a physical or digital product on line is one of the best ways to get off the 9 to 5 work bandwagon and on the online marketing path. There are several choices out there and many things to consider and take into account to decide which one to chose. In this article I will explain what choices are available to market something online. You need to consider all your circumstances to make a sound decision. I will try to cover all the possibilities and what advantages and disadvantages each bring with it. Some people can leave their 9 to 5 jobs in a short period of time and others may take a year or two but it is possible. There are many

factors that will determine the period it takes to succeed which we will not discuss in this article but in a future one.

What to sell, physical or digital products?

What to sell online, digital or physical products can be broken down into subsections to see which one suits you better. I’ll show you what each one requires.

Physical products

Sell your own products

  • Get it manufactured or manufacture it yourself
  • Storage costs
  • Shipping logistics
  • Large upfront cost

You source a product from a supplier

  • Large upfront cost
  • Purchase it bulk
  • Storage costs
  • Shipping logistics
  • About 5% loss of the bulk shipment due to shipping and handling damages

You source suppliers that are doing dropshipping. Dropsipping is when you have the product purchased on your store and already paid for, then you pay your supplier for the product and get them to send it to your customer. You do not see, touch or handle the product you already sold.

  • Zero upfront cost
  • Zero storage cost
  • Zero shipping logistics
  • Product delivery timing depends on suppliers
  • Returns and warranty could be complicated
  • Quality control is more complicated

Print On Demand (POD). This is very similar to dropsipping with the exception that the product on offer has your unique design on it and can have extra customer customizations on them such as text or graphics that is made for order. These product can be mugs, T-shirts, shoes, wallets, jewellery, canvas wall art and so on. We have more and more of POD companies available every month.

  • Zero upfront cost
  • Zero storage
  • Zero shipping
  • Product delivery timing depends on suppliers
  • Returns and warranty could be complicated
  • Quality control is more complicated
  • The pod company may charge a monthly fee between $30-$199 but a lot of them do not charge anything. The vast majority of the ones that charge are around the $30 per month mark.
  • You need to create the printable designs or pay a designer to do it for you
  • The POD company may only support certain shopping platforms which may force you to use a certain ecommerce platform. For example it may support Shopify but not WooCommerce.
  • Shipping times will depend on where the production happens. Most of these POD companies are US based but their manufacturing can be withing the US or overseas, most of the time China. The later should not be a deterring factor because every major company has Chinese operation but will have longer delivery time.

Digital products

Sell your own digital product such as a software, online course or ebook

  • Time consuming to develop yourself, even if you have the know how
  • Pay someone to develop it is also time consuming but while in development you can do your own thing
  • Paying for development can be costly
  • Once developed and tested no additional costs
  • Digital delivery, no logistics
  • Need to provide some sort of support which can be
  • live chat over internet
  • phone support
  • support web pages
  • email
  • Must have a website to be able to provide the support and access to the digital product
  • Market it yourself and take 100% of the revenue or use affiliates to market it for you and pay the affiliates 30%-70% of the revenue. It is usually 50%. It can be a combination of self and affiliate marketing.

Purchase the ‘white label rights’ of a digital product. This means that someone developed the digital product and you have the rights to resell it and keep 100% of the revenue. Usually you can attach your own brand to these kind of products and sell them as your own.

  • Can be large upfront cost
  • No need to wait for development it is ready to be marketed
  • Usually the support for white label products are by you or a combination of you and the supplier that sold the white label rights to you.
  • Access to the product could be from your own website or from the seller, usually from the seller’s.

Become an affiliate for a digital product. There are a few sites that provide such a service where you can search for digital products to market as an affiliate. These services will provide you with all the statistics about the product you want to market to help you decide if you can successfully market the particular digital product. Once you select one or more, then you need to apply for the marketing rights from the owner of the products.

  • Seller need to approve your seller rights
  • Zero upfront fees
  • You get a commission of 30%-70% of the revenue.
  • Digital delivery by the software suppliers
  • You do not need to support it, the digital product owner does
  • You do not need create sales pages, it is already created by the product suppliers

What I have not mentioned anywhere in this article is the marketing costs. That is because in any of these cases you need to market whichever is your choice so it will be an expense regardless of your choice. Marketing is a topic of its own and we will not go into that in this article. Basically you can use for marketing any or a combination of social media platforms such as Facebook which is getting more and more expensive by the minute, but others are available too. Email marketing is another avenue.

Where to sell?

Usually there are two ways to sell products online and which to use will depend on what type of product you are selling.

Selling physical products

You can use any of the ecommerce platforms that supports your products or you can create your own website. You need to be aware that they all will charge various fees and usually need to use plugin software to expand the capability of your store. Plugins can range from free to a few $100 per month. Even the $10 per month plugins can add up because you usually use a few. The platforms also can charge you a % of your gross revenue as a fee on the top of the monthly platform and plugin fees. Ecommerce platforms are relatively easy to setup but not designed for conversion hence you will buy the different plugins to increase your conversions, in another word sales. Some ecommers platforms are listed below. Ecommerce stores can have many restrictions.

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Bigcommerce
  • 3D Cart, Magreto
  • Zen Cart

Create your own store using a hosting service. This is a yearly fee, of course, and the fee will depend on traffic.

  • You have complete freedom with the shop design
  • You can develop your website using WordPress and various plugins. These plugins are usually once off or yearly cost or even free. The plugins on a WordPress website make the site setup and configuration relatively easy without knowing any coding.
  • Pay someone to develop it which can range from a few $100 to ridiculous amount but usually a few $1000.
  • You are free from the restrictions that the ecommerce platforms impose on you. (Two of my stores were shut down by Shopify and even today I do not know why because ‘security’ reasons they will not reveal it. The second one was in the second day of its setup process, not even published and Shopify pulled the plug on it. There were no illegal products on them at all. You need to be aware that it can happen without warning and all your work is lost.)

Digital products

If the digital product is your own

  • On your own website
  • If applicable then offer the digital product to affiliate marketers and they will sell it for you. You pay a commission of 30%-70% of the revenue to the affiliate marketer. A % of something is better then 100% of nothing.
  • In either case your will pay some hosting fee.

Affiliate digital product

  • Do not need your own website but you could create one. It is hosted on the product owner’s website
  • You get a commission of 30%-70% of the revenue.


As you can see there are quiet a few options available for any prospective online business owner. Your selection should be based on your circumstances, what suits your personality best and what you want to sell. This is only scratching the surface and compacted into a short space.

What Did You Think?

Share your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for reading.



One thought on “What to Sell Online and Where?

  1. mua máy làm máy giá rẻ says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something.

    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but
    other than that, this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

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