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How to Start an Online Business – What You Need to Know

These days there are oodles of ways that people like you and me can make money from running an online business in the comfort of our own homes.

Some people make money online by providing a service, like a dating site or an auction site (like eBay!). These people make their money from collecting membership subscriptions, or by taking a commission on everything sold on their auction site.

Some people make money by taking online surveys.

Another way to make money online is through affiliate marketing. An affiliate marketer helps to drive traffic to a merchant site, such as Amazon. If someone he or she sends to Amazon makes a purchase, then the affiliate marketer earns a small commission.

One of the most popular online businesses is online selling, or eCommerce as it's also commonly known. eCommerce simply means selling goods online for profit, and it's a great way of making money from home for people from all walks of life. SaleHoo members having success with online selling include stay-at-home-moms, retired bankers, college students and everyone in between. Here are the basics on how online business works and how to start an online business.
How Does Online Selling Work?

Online selling involves buying wholesale goods and reselling them to consumers on an auction site like eBay or an eCommerce store for a profit.

Plenty of sellers make their entire living from online retail. In fact, there are over 800,000 people making a full-time salary (or a lot more!) on eBay alone. These guys sell anything from consumer electronics to clothing, home ware, entertainment and pet supplies!

The great news is there are still plenty of opportunities to make money online selling all kinds of stuff. And guess what? By signing up for SaleHoo's newsletter series, you're one step ahead of a lot of your potential competitors, as we'll be sharing a ton of professional sourcing and selling tricks with you over the next few weeks.
The Best Things about Starting an Online Retail Business:

You can work from home.

There are few startup costs, and huge potential gains—it's a great investment!

You can sell something you are interested in and deal with customers who have similar interests.

You can work your business around your current lifestyle. If you're a busy parent, you can work while the kids are in bed or at school. If you're a college student, you can get busy on eBay when your course load is light, then hold off when your exams are getting close.

You can be your own boss.

You can set your own goals: Top off your salary by earning an extra per week, or get serious and earn enough to leave your current day job!

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Common Challenges Faced by Online Sellers:

Consistently putting in the amount of hours necessary to achieve your goals. Some new sellers think they can make thousands of dollars by spending just a few hours per week on managing their listings. Others struggle to remain focused.

Getting your listings noticed by buyers—some sites such as eBay are fiercely competitive.

Finding good suppliers. If you don't know what to look for, it can be easy to fall prey to online supplier scams, where con artists pose as legitimate suppliers offering wholesale items.

Motivation. Getting started can be daunting and for some new sellers—there is a lot to learn.

Time management. Some sellers find it difficult to find the time it takes to properly manage their business, deal with buyers and ship items.