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How to Make Money with E-Commerce in 2022 - Over 10 Methods

Updated: Jul 20


Electronic Commerce, or E-commerce, has been one of the biggest revolutions of the last few decades.


It is the act of trading goods using the internet, and it allows consumers to purchase almost anything that is available for sale, from the comfort of their homes.


It also allows the more entrepreneurial of us to set up online businesses with almost no financial outlay required.


Whereas before we would have had to purchase a physical store or market stall, we now only need to purchase a website, or sign up to one of the many online marketplaces available to us today.


Before, we could only sell to the local population that happened to visit the store. Now, we can sell our wares nationally or internationally with ease.


And with this relatively new invention, comes a multitude of new methods of trading, which I have listed below.

 

DISCLAIMER


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you.


Any information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation.


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Please read our full disclosure here.

 
How to make money with ecommerce - E commerce ideas to make money

How to Make Money with Ecommerce 2022 - My Top Strategies


Arbitrage on eBay


Arbitrage means buying and selling commodities in different markets, taking advantage of the price difference to make a profit.


So, eBay arbitrage is selling items on eBay that we’ve bought cheaper elsewhere. These products could have been bought at a physical shop, online, on Amazon or another marketplace.


Charity shops and car boot sales are a good place to pick up bargain products that sell well on eBay. But regular retail stores and their online counterparts can be great too.


Types of products that sell well on eBay are books, clothes, vehicle parts/accessories, antiques, and collectibles. Just make sure that you research whether the product is profitable and sells well before purchasing.


You can start eBay arbitrage today, with 0 financial input. Start looking around your house for things you no longer need and get them listed. Use the money that you make to buy your first arbitrage products.


Arbitrage on Amazon


Around 50% of all online purchases in the US are made on Amazon (30% in the UK), which makes it one of the best online marketplaces to start your e-commerce business.


This essentially works the same way as eBay arbitrage but the difference here is that we have the option of using Amazon’s fulfilment service, called Fulfilled By Amazon, or FBA.


This allows you to send all of your stock into Amazon’s fulfilment centres where it is stored until an order is placed by a customer. Amazon then pack and ship your product to the customer, and deal with any customer service. They charge a fee for each product, based on the size and weight.


This makes Amazon FBA a top business model for someone wanting a more hands-off approach to e-commerce, like myself. It’s currently my main source of e-commerce income and I believe it will be for the foreseeable future.


Products that work well on Amazon are books, toys, games, and beauty products.


Here is an example of a book that I purchased for £2 at WHSmith and sold on Amazon for £18.49, making around £9.00 profit after Amazon fees.


Amazon order screenshot showing sale price £18.49.  how online shopping sites make profit
Amazon FBA: high return on investment sale

You can get started with this today, with no money. Set up a free Amazon seller account and sell some old items from around your home to generate your start-up capital.


Check out our blog post on how to make money using Amazon here.


Arbitrage with an Online Store


If you want to start an arbitrage business, but don’t like the competitive environment associated with Amazon and eBay, then maybe your own online store would suit you better.


On Amazon, there might be 10 different sellers selling the same product – in this situation the cheapest offer is likely to get the sale.


Having your own store makes it harder for customers to shop around, as they would have to find the same product on a different website. As long as your price is reasonable, more customers will just purchase from you rather than look elsewhere.


The disadvantage here is that you have to direct the customers to your online store (on Amazon, most of your customers are already there).


However, there are a number of ways to get the traffic to your site: good SEO (search engine optimisation), social media marketing, and paid adverts (such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads).


You can set up an online store pretty cheaply using Shopify or 3dcart.


Wholesale Arbitrage


This strategy can work with either of the online marketplaces or with an online store.


Rather than buying and reselling products from retail stores, you buy from wholesalers instead.


Usually you will have to buy in bulk; depending on the wholesaler, there may be a minimum spend of a few hundred pounds, or they may have a minimum order quantity (MOQ) for each product.


This strategy will require more capital outlay because you have to buy in bulk; however, this usually means that you can purchase products at more competitive prices, increasing the profit when you sell them on.


Wholesale will often be the natural progression for your business after retail arbitrage.


 

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How to earn online e commerce - HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH ECOMMERCE - 11 METHODS
 

Dropshipping with an Online Store


Technically also a form of arbitrage, dropshipping allows the seller to sell products to customers without ever having previously handled the product.


First, you find a product from a retailer or from a specialist dropshipping supplier (recommended). Then you list the product on your online store at a price that is high enough to make some profit (don’t forget to add on delivery fees).


When someone purchases the product on your online store, you then order the product from your supplier to their delivery address, and you pocket the profit.


We recommend using a dropshipping listing service such as Hustle Got Real, which will help you list your products, avoid stock discrepancies and even automatically process orders. It's completely free for the first 30 listings.


The only start up capital required here is the subscription fees to your online store provider, usually about £20-30 per month.


Dropshipping with a Marketplace


If you really want an e-commerce business that truly costs nothing to start up and very little effort, then this is the one.


You can start this immediately; it takes minutes to set up and you could have your very first sales coming through TODAY.


I'm using eBay as my marketplace, you can also use Amazon but they're a lot stricter on dropshipping.


You will need an eBay business account (free), an eBay lister such as Hustle Got Real (30 listings for free) and a dropshipping supplier (most are free to sign up).


I have used both Banggood and CJ Dropshipping as dropshipping suppliers and have found both to be very good.


When someone purchases your products on eBay, simply order the product from your dropshipping supplier directly to the customer address, and pocket the profit.


Ecommerce profit margins differ between strategies. Dropshipping is probably one of the lowest, but when you compare it to the other strategies, it's much easier and the advantages (such as not having to hold stock) far outweigh the disadvantages.


Check out our full guide to eBay Dropshipping.


Print on Demand


Print on demand is a form of dropshipping where you design your own products and list them on your store.


You can add your design onto generic products such as face masks, trainers, t-shirts or mugs.


List your newly designed product on your eBay or Shopify store and when a customer purchases your item, simply order it from your supplier to the customer’s address.


The item will be made to order with your design printed on, and shipped to your happy customer.


Having your own design reduces competition by being a completely unique product that nobody else is selling.


Tip: use sites like Fiverr to hire a freelance designer to create some unique design ideas for your print on demand products.


Sell Handmade Products


Another way to reduce competition in your business is to hand-make a completely unique product.


Products that lend themselves well to handmaking include jewellery, gift boxes, bath bombs, soaps, candles or personalised items and more - the list is endless.


Most of the items are cheap to get started with, and you can upgrade to better equipment when money allows.


Sell them on eBay, on Shopify or Etsy – the market place for handmade items. You can usually get a higher price for these kinds of items on Etsy.


Having your own range of products also allows you to build a brand, rather than selling existing brands. In the long run, it’s your brand that will make you the big bucks.


Related Post: How to Get More Views and Sales on Etsy


Create a Private Label Product


A private label product is basically a brand-new product that you design and have manufactured – it will bear your brand name and logo.


It involves finding a product that sells well, redesigning it and adding your branding, and then working directly with manufacturers to have the product produced.


Private label works well on Amazon but will also work on eBay and Shopify. Just bear in mind that you will have to order a large quantity of this product so unless you have somewhere to store it, then Amazon may be the best option as you can keep it at the fulfilment centre.


Again this strategy allows you to build your brand from the start. However, it is one of the most expensive models to get started with. You will have to buy a large quantity of your product (probably at least 500 units) to get started with.


Sell White Label Products


White label products are usually purchased directly from the manufacturer but will have no branding on them at all. It’s a completely generic product such as a t-shirt, backpack, or mug. The same generic product will be sold to multiple other resellers.


For example, a manufacturer may sell the same brand of soap to 10 different retailers. Each retailer will market the soap as their own brand of soap.


Purchase in bulk to get the best discounts and add branding to help build your own brand. However without having the product improved or modified in some way, it can be difficult to differentiate yourself from the competition.


Create and Sell Printables


A printable is type of digital product. It can be purchased, downloaded and printed – hence, it’s a printable.


You can sell these on eBay, Etsy, your Shopify store or your blog if you have one, and they are great, because you can create them from your computer for free, and once they’re created, you have an unlimited quantity so no having to store or manage stock.


So what makes a successful printable? Well, like any product, it needs to fulfil a need for your customer, and it needs to be a reasonable price.


A printable could be something like a checklist, calendar, workbook or template etc. Or it could be a combination of items that are sold as a pack, for example I might put together an e-commerce starter pack that contains my bookkeeping spreadsheet, my profit tracker, and my sourcing list.


There are unlimited options here to produce a printable worth selling.


Online business ideas 2021 - unique business ideas

 

Is E-Commerce Profitable?


Of course! Some of my fellow Amazon sellers make tens of thousands of pounds per month doing strategies like Amazon Arbitrage. It will probably take you a few years and a lot of effort to get to this point, but realistically, you could make yourself a comfortable living within the first year.


You get out what you put into it - but eventually you will hit a wall on what you can do by yourself - that's where outsourcing becomes important in order for you to be able to scale your business.


Tips for Success


Don’t give up! Persistence is key with any business venture. You only fail if you quit.


“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything” – Theodore Roosevelt. Mistakes happen, don’t worry about it. Mistakes are a sign that you are trying something new, learn from them and carry on.


Be creative - the above strategies are outlined only briefly, there are many ways to differentiate yourself from the competition, such as:

  • Bundle items together on Amazon, such as a musical instrument with a case, or a cricket bat and ball. Create your own listing so that it eliminates competition for your specific bundle.

  • Apply for permission to sell in restricted categories on Amazon (such as beauty). There is less competition in these categories.

  • Pay someone on Fiverr to come up with better designs for your print on-demand products.

Do your research - become an expert in your chosen strategy and you cannot possibly fail.


Diversify – set yourself up with your main strategy, and then start working on another. A combination of strategies is the best way. I personally do Amazon arbitrage, eBay dropshipping and also selling handmade items on Etsy.

Summary


E-commerce can work in a variety of ways; the invention of the internet has brought about a huge number of creative techniques for trading goods, that were otherwise unavailable.


I dare say that more strategies will be invented in the future, maybe in even in 2022. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit about and wait for them to come along – creativity is the best way to differentiate yourself from the competition, so why not come up with your own?


Not liking the sound of e-commerce? For unique online business ideas and more ways on how to make money online, check out this blog post:

Side hustle ideas for full time employees - Online business ideas from home


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