I want to show you how you can start a simple business online. Before we get down to it though allow me to ‘manage your expectation’. You will be able to start a business. It will be online (Internet based). You will put a product up for sale online and when a purchase is made, you will receive payment and you will fulfill the order sending the product to the purchaser. That is a simple online business. If you are already doing it (not just I know how to do it) then move on to a better question. We can deal with other questions related to an online business but for now let’s start a simple online business and let’s not be distracted by the many questions that you now have.
Your mission, should you accept it, is to put up a product for sale on eBay. Before you protest, take this as just your first online business. At the end of the exercise, you would have gathered and assembled the basic tools needed for an online business and would have the basics for enhancing or creating new businesses on other platforms.
You will need a place to host or set up your store and in our case we will use eBay. You will also need a way to get paid for the sales that you make and for this you will need a PayPal account. Registering for both of these is easy and free. When you have completed these registrations, you will be able to purchase anything listed on eBay and to pay for most online purchases including eBay purchases with your PayPal account.
These accounts will enable you to accomplish the next step which is to sell on eBay and to receive funds for these sales through PayPal.
Step 1: Create an eBay account.
An eBay account allows you to both make purchases on eBay as well as to place products on sale at eBay. To open an account with eBay simply go online to the eBay home page and follow instructions there. You will see the Registration Link near the top of the page which says “Welcome! Sign in or register”. Click on “register” and make your application for your eBay account.
Besides personal data required, you will need a user name. Pick a user name which is generic (ie not too specific) with some care, one which is short and unique, one which allows you to list just about anything. Do this first before you complete the rest of the form. Try EZ2.TRADE.UK (for example) for a start and you will soon get the hang of it.
Congratulation, you can now list and sell on eBay.
Step 2: Create a PayPal account.
A PayPal account allows you to make payment where ever PayPal is accepted. You can also accept payment from anyone as long as he has a credit card or a PayPal account. To register for a PayPal account, you will need to have a credit card to facilitate payment between you and your PayPal account.
Register online at PayPal. Choose an account type that allows you to sell online and receive payments. Having a PayPal account is free, you pay a fee only when you receive payments. You will need to graduate to a premium or business account to receive funds online, do what it takes to get to this level. Its all free, PayPal charges you only when you are receiving funds.
Step 3: Sell an item on your newly created eBay account.
You can now list your own product on your eBay shop. You can also duplicate any product on eBay that you are prepared to sell. At this stage, the objective is to create your online business machine with at least one product listed.
For a ready to go product check out the eBay store of ez2.trade that is listed in eBay Singapore (ie eBay.com.sg). Once you know the user name of the store owner (in this case ez2.trade) you can locate the store by appending the user name to the URL shop.ebay.com.sg/merchant/USER_NAME.
The pH test strips at ez2.trade is an easy to ship product suited for the eBay market place. If you do make a sale using this listing, simply buy the test strip off the store and ask the owner to ship product to your buyer. If you are listing your own product, choose an item that is light (say up to 300gm) and easy to ship by the postal service
Note: while you can list on eBay at little or no cost, there is a charge by PayPal who will charge a fix cost and a percentage on the transaction amount. Make sure you factor this in to your costs.
You now have a simple online business. If you do make a sale from the listing of pH paper, simply purchase the same item from ez2.trade and provide them with the buyer’s address for the drop shipment.
This is only a simple start, but you now have an online business and with your learning curve kicking in, you will begin to see new possibilities in simple online businesses.