How to Sell Online When You Don't Have Money for Inventory
Gather in close people because I want to talk to you about starting an online business with NO money.
In fact, this is one of my favorite topics, because it’s seriously how I got started. That’s why I’m totally excited to tell you about some of the first products I sold.
Buying products when starting an online business with no money calls for ingenuity!
Now before I get rolling, I do need to say that there are some expenses associated with starting any business, like a business license and all that stuff. So what you and I will be chatting about is starting an online business without having a lot of money to invest in inventory, websites and all that stuff.
Okay, so let’s talk products.
One of my very first ventures into e-commerce and online business was a website called Pick Your Plum. (I’ve since sold it to some AMAZING people.)
Anyway, I didn’t have the money to invest in products, so I had to look for things that were:
1. super inexpensive
2. easy to get quickly
3. something people would buy if I showed them how they could use it
And you know what? A lot of time that meant looking for products in unexpected places.
So in my searches, I found a company called Uline, which is a company that sells tons of shipping supplies.
But here’s the thing: I wasn’t looking for things to package my products—I was looking at things I could use as products themselves.
One of the things I saw were small linen and jute bags. Not exactly exciting on their own, but they met all three of my criteria, so I bought a crazy small sample of them. When they arrived, I took some paint I had handy, stenciled a heart on them, tied them up with a little ribbon (again—something I already had sitting around) and snapped some photos.
Guess what happened? I sold a RIDICULOUS amount of them!!!!
The key was knowing Uline could get me things fast enough (2-3 days) that it removed the need to invest in tons of inventory. I could order exactly the amount I needed once orders had been placed, get them packaged into sets…AND get them to my customers within a week. Happy vendor, happy customers and happy ME!
I did it again and again and again with products like
• poly bags
• gable boxes
• bakery bags
• CD sleeves
And that was just with Uline!
I also found other “non-traditional” sources that offered items that met my criteria—including wood I found behind our shed.
(Click to read the whole story.)
The important thing was that by selling these products I was able to build up my business and my bank account. That meant, over time, I had the money to invest in more expensive products and expand what I offered my customers.
So remember—starting an online business with no money is absolutely possible.
I’ve done it and I’ve taught a lot of others how to do it too. If you want to know more—including how my girls started a hugely successful business before they were even in high school—check out my free Masterclass now.
What are ya waiting for?