If you are looking to become a seller online or rather if you’re looking to get into online retail business, registering online is very easy and the quickest way to do so. eCommerce in India is booming. According to a study conducted by Google India, there are at least 100 million Shoppers in India. This number is increasing day by day as now we are in the era of digital world. Companies like Flipkart, Amazon India have already crossed billion dollar valuation. If you have a product to sell, this is perhaps the best time to start selling it online. Here is an ultimate guide to teach you how to sell online in India.

Before You Start Selling Online

1) Calculate the costs involved in selling online
Selling online in India or in any country for that matter involves various costs. Its important to first find out if you can make good profits after considering all those costs. There are various types of Cost involved in selling online. Lets look at some of the important costs:
(A) Shipping Cost – Visit your nearest courier or shipping company and find out how much it would cost to ship your product in various parts of India. This is applicable only if you desire to ship the item by yourself. Normally the shipping charges depend on the size and weight of the product. Incase if you desire that Market place ships your products on your behalf here is the table that will help you figure out cost. This may vary as per their terms and conditions.

(B) Packaging Cost – Packaging today, especially when goods are being transported across cities, states & borders is the biggest concern for retailers/sellers. Depending on the type of product you are planning to sell, you will need to consider the packaging cost. Check the different packing material and calculate how much you will need for one product. Calculate the total cost per product accordingly. Damaged goods/wrongly packaged goods are “the” biggest reason for customer returns & dissatisfaction. Many marketplaces provide packaging – depending on the fulfillment options chosen.
Here is the comparison chart –

Again The Packaging Cost May Vary, As per terms and condition of each marketplace.

(C) Storage Cost – Depending on the product, you might need to rent warehouse or some storage space for your products. Find out this cost as well. Some online marketplaces like Amazon let you use their warehouses at a small fee.

(D) Marketing Cost – Like any other business, you will have to tell the world that you have arrived. Surely, there are free ways to promote your business but at some point of time you will have invest in paid marketing channels. Google’s AdWords is a good platform to start with online ads and it also offers tools to calculate the costs. (Note: This is optional) 

2) Find out if its profitable to sell online

Now that you have a fair idea of different costs involved in selling online, you can do quick math to find out the profitability of your venture. Here is a simple formula : Profit Margin= Selling price – (Sourcing Cost + Packing & Shipping + Transaction Fees + Marketing Cost + Variable Costs).

If your profit margin is positive, you are good to go ahead and start selling online. If its very low or negative, you should think about minimizing the costs.

3) Create digital catalogue of your products

Assuming you have passed the profit margin test, its time to take the next step. You will need to create a list of products in a spreadsheet. Later you will be able to import that list to eCommerce marketplaces or self hosted shopping cart. This list should contain Product Code (or SKU), Product Name, Description, Category, Selling Price, Discount (If any), Brand, Colour and other applicable attributes.

Once this is done, take 3-4 good quality photographs of the product from different angles, preferably in white background. Product images play a vital role in online selling, so its recommended to take help from a professional. In some case, you can get these photos from the manufacturer as well.
(Again Taking help from professional for photo is optional, You can also Google the image of the product)

Now let us all Discuss about the Payments
When do you get paid? Each marketplace has a different payment policy and pays as per them. Marketplaces like eBay for instance, disburse the full amount as soon as the product is received by the customer or in some case after 14 days from the date of receipt confirmation of the product by the Buyer. On the other hand, Snapdeal makes the payment only about 3 weeks after product dispatch date.

Last but not the least – support from the marketplace is a huge factor, especially when starting out.We want to choose a marketplace which not only provided with pre-signup support but also while selling – in dealing with returns, payment, cancellations, etc. Many marketplaces provide support and training to its sellers. Its important for the retailer/seller to know all the policies , learn and understand the basic selling tricks before they upload the product live for selling online.


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