Making online sales in the UK

Your own website, Amazon, Ebay, ETSY… You can make sales anywhere, as long as it fits your product. These websites all have their pros and cons. But you must have a website.

Murat Buyurgan

I have been living in UK for couple of years. Some of the people, well, maybe most of the people reading this magazine are doing so as well. As far as I have observed, almost everyone who settles in UK automatically starts to think of the same 3 business models: “opening up a cafe”, “making sales in market” or “making sales in Amazon/Ebay”. Opening a cafe is rather expensive and requires high level of start up investment. Market or internet sales doesn’t really require that much of investment at the beginning, so it is easier for entrepreneurs, who want to find new ways of making money, to start making sales this way.
As someone who’s actually making sales in Amazon and Ebay in UK with more than 20 years of experience in digital marketing and E-Commerce consultancy in Turkey, I feel like I have useful information for people who want to get into online sales arena.

Capital… How Important is it ?
Capital structure and financing is important no matter the size of the company. It is imperative to thoroughly analyze the product you want to sell. In addition to the amount of money you are going to pay for the products, you have to analyze logistics, marketing and running costs. Taking everything into account, you should at least have 6 months’ worth of capital at the ready, which will keep both you and your company afloat while you generate little or no profit.
If you take the right steps, you will probably start to make at least some profit at the end of the first month, from the products you’ve sold. But, making money over product’s unite rate won’t be enough for you. What’s important is your total turnover and a rise in profit.
Where Should I Make Sales Online ?
Your own website, Amazon, Ebay, ETSY… You can make sales anywhere, as long as it fits your product. These websites all have their pros and cons. But you must have a website! Even if you don’t make online sales, create a website so that your potential clients can reach you more easily. If you are planning to make online sales, you can start with a website on Shopify. Customers of Amazon, Ebay and ETSY all have different preferences and habits of shopping, so you have to make the marketplace that fits your product best, a priority.

How Do I Find Products to Sell ?
Despite Brexit, English economy is still not fragile. Admittedly there is a downward tendency on macro level, but it won’t be a problem for your business. Actually, there are more opportunities than ever for a new entrepreneur. Because of this, you won’t be facing shrinkage in market and you won’t be facing the problem of not being able to sell your product.

You can find information about the amount of sales made on Ebay. The numbers there will give you an idea. But you have to be careful about the amount of time it took for that product to reach that specific number of sales. For example, when you see a product that has sold 5000 units, it is equally important to find out how much time it took for that product to reach that number.
You can make clearer and more predictable analyses in Amazon. You can find out about the monthly sales numbers of any products by using some technical softwares.
High sales numbers may look like an opportunity, but there is a competition there. Low selling products will have less competitive markets. If you don’t have any products and are looking for something to sell, the most important thing you should know about marketplaces of Amazon and Ebay is that you shouldn’t start with something that is brand new and barely exists anywhere yet. Customers of Amazon and Ebay usually tend to buy products that they have already used before. Just find out which products sells more, and then decide the size of your stock.

How Do I Start Making Sales on Amazon ?
You can set up an Amazon seller account as a Ltd company or a private company. Your seller account can be a basic or a professional account, which will vary in price. If your product is handmade, you can apply to “Amazon Handmade” account.
Turning a basic account into a professional one or starting up as a private company and than changing into Ltd company is hard and it will waste your time, effort and performance. So “let’s get the ball rolling and see what happens first, I can change things later” attitude is not really a correct one if you are starting your Amazon seller business.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), can be described as your procedures being handled by Amazon workers in Amazon warehouses. First, products arrive at Amazon warehouse, and then put up for sale, on Amazon. When a customer buys a product, Amazon workers pack it up and deliver the package to the customer. Amazon is responsible for handling the refunds as well as getting the payments for the products from buyers. After Amazon gets its commission, the rest of the money goes into your bank account. Amazon makes these payments on a regular basis automatically.
Explaining why everyone should use the FBA model is an article on its own. Which is why I am going to make it as simple and short as I can; with FBA, you don’t have to rent a storage and you don’t have to deal with packaging and shipment every time you receive an order. Most of your time will be spent in front of your computer, managing your business by yourself. The time you save will give you an advantage to make more sales, so, FBA model will be a better way for you to start your business.

In this article, I’ve tried to explain the basics of what you should be careful about, before you start making sales online. Every product’s, every market’s and every entrepreneur’s potential is different. It is beneficial for you to get ideas and tips from people who are experienced and has got the know-how. Best entrepreneurs don’t waste time. They accumulate experience and they use it to grow their business. Which is why my advice for you is; take an action.

You can make your sales through Amazon / your home / warehouse. My advice would be to choose the Amazon FBA model.

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