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How to sell in online marketplaces

Choose the right online marketplace and create listings that make sales.

On this page

  • Market your business properly in online marketplaces
  • Choose an online marketplace that suits your business or product
  • Create an effective listing
Small Business Victoria's Understanding Marketing, Marketing for Growth, Your Business in a Digital World and Developing Your Online Strategy workshops can help you develop a marketing action plan to focus your effort and resources in the right areas, including market research, online activities and customer service. Find a workshop near you.

There is an array of online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, Big Cartel and Eventbrite that provide businesses with a channel to make high volume sales. As the popularity of these marketplaces increases, so too does the competition. Using the right marketing strategies and tactics on these channels is key to setting you apart from the pack.

There are various aspects that influence how successfully your product will perform in a particular marketplace, so it is important you sell in the channel that is right for you.

Choosing the right marketplace for you

When assessing which marketplace is best for you and your business, consider the following:

  • how well does this site rank when searching for similar products and services?
  • will customers go to this site? If they do, will they be persuaded to buy other products?
  • what options exist for setting up a business page that includes your brand?
  • What fees are charged? Are ongoing monthly fees included and/or per transaction charges?
  • how easy is it to update on your products online?
  • how well is the site promoted in other forums including offline forums?

Create effective listings

You need to make sure you've listed your products well. When putting your listing together ask yourself:

  • does my title describe the product well? Is it unique and does it include keywords? Use the same technique as you would for good search engine optimisation.
  • are my photos or logos clear and well lit? Do they relate to my product? Do they fit the marketplace's specifications for images?
  • does my description clearly describe my product? Have I explained how it would benefit a customer? Did I include my business name?

Selling via an affiliate website

Selling through an affiliate business website can increase your reach to potential customers. It involves placing your product or service on another business’s website.

An advantage of selling through an affiliate is that it can expand your market place, particularly if the affiliate has a popular site. Disadvantages include your product typically being included as an advertisement or the affiliate site may take a percentage of any sales via their site.

Case study: Setting up an online retail store

'You have to think of different ways to market yourself, and that is the way we approached our move to an online business.'

Christine Metcalfe, The Ark

Read more about Setting up an online retail store 

The Ark business owners at their shop