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How to sell in online marketplaces

Choose the right online marketplace and create listings that make sales

On this page

  • Choose the right marketplace for your business
  • Create effective listings to attract sales
  • Selling through an affiliate website 
Small Business Victoria's 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's an array of online marketplaces such as eBay, Alibaba, Amazon Marketplaces, Etsy, Big Cartel and Eventbrite that provide businesses with a channel to make high volume sales.

As the popularity of these marketplaces increases, so 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's important you sell in the channel that's 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, and 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

To ensure you've listed your products effectively, ask if:

  • your title describes the product well – is it unique and does it include keywords? Use the same technique as you would for good search engine optimisation.
  • your photos or logos are clear and well lit, and do they relate to your product and fit the marketplace specifications for images?
  • your description clearly describes the product and explains how it would benefit customers'? 
  • you've included your 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 taking a percentage of any sales made 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