Recently, I was in a waiting room… well, waiting. Another “waiter” engaged me in conversation and we inevitably got into the “what do you do for a living” conversation. As I explained that we helped merchants sell online, a boatload of misconceptions came to light; so I thought I’d put them down as myths and try to dispel some things that the general public might think.
Myth 1: It’s easy to sell online
This is my favorite myth and most often comes from friends and relatives who think that because you work from home, they can drop by for a “few minutes” or interrupt your work day with favor requests. Oh, and the ever favorite –“Can you sell this for me?”
It is not easy being an online merchant. You have to wear so many hats that you could be a one man/woman fashion show. You need to know the product, the industry, and the rules of the site where you are selling – which can change on a dime. You have to be procurement, merchandizing, shipping manager, and accountant; and if you hire help, that has its own set of problems.
It is not easy, and anyone who thinks it is should spend a week following your around (if they don’t drop from exhausting the first day).
Myth 2: Anyone can be an online seller
It takes a certain type of person to be an online seller. First, you have to have nerves of steel. You cannot let small let downs or issues with buyers “get to you”. It takes a lot of patience. It takes a person who is a self-starter and who is going to enter each day and enjoy all the aspects of being their own boss, including long hours and plenty of disappointment.
Myth 3: It’s too late to start selling online
Some say that it’s too late to get started selling online and this is just not true. If you are willing to put in the work of sourcing products and building your own website and dealing with changing eBay market or the Amazon criteria, then you can be successful. It isn’t instant success, but a slow and steady daily effort that will bring you the most rewards.
Myth 4: Online Sellers make a lot of money.
People really do think that online sellers make a fortune because they have very little overhead. Or they heard stories of someone selling a baseball card for $20,000 that they got for $1.00.
First, there is plenty of overhead. Advertising and management expense just replaces leases and mortgage expenses. It costs to sell online – Vendio charges sellers to minimize the work involved in selling, eBay charges sellers to list an item, PayPal charges sellers to process payments, shippers charge to ship the items and the list goes on, and on.
So if a seller DOES make a great purchase and make $19,999 on an item, there is nothing wrong with that profit as its probably a once in a lifetime good deal and it will be a long time coming before the next one.