How To Get Started With an E-Commerce Side Hustle

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ecommerce side hustle

The biggest myth about getting started with an e-commerce side hustle is that you have to quit your day job and go all-in on this venture. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I am grateful for not jumping the gun and quitting my job when I originally started in 2014. I took the slow road by started off doing the side hustle thing.  You can easily run with a side hustle, grow the business until it’s big enough, and then quit your job with no stress.

In short, by putting in just a few hours each week (either after work or on the weekend), you could eventually scale a small e-commerce operation into a full-time job. In the meantime, you could pull down an extra $100 to $1000 per month, depending on how many items that you are selling online. The more time you spend on developing and marketing your online store, the more money you could eventually make.

The starting point, of course, is deciding what product (or products) you are planning to sell. It’s best to start off in a niche area where there’s not a lot of competition, or where you can offer some truly unique products that aren’t found anywhere else. The important thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t have to sell handmade or hand-crafted items, just items that people want to buy. You can sell items available readily anywhere on the web and curate them as part of an exclusive collection.

After all, do you really think that people who are selling on Amazon or eBay are selling their own products? No way. A lot of first timers start off selling using the drop shipping model. This eliminates a lot of the risk of buying inventory and being left holding the bag if the seller can’t turn it over.  While Amazon or eBay are fantastic platforms for buying and selling, there’s just one little problem for anyone interested in an e-commerce side hustle: you don’t really own your own online store. Instead, you own a storefront that you’re essentially leasing from these e-commerce giants. That’s why many individual sellers are embracing platforms like Shopify. For as little as $29 per month, you can create a fully operational online store that looks and feels just like any other e-commerce store on the Internet. You own this store and can brand it however you’d like. Even better, Shopify handles all of your checkout, shipping and payments, too, so you’re freed up to focus on what matters: selling as much of your products as you’d like. In other words, you don’t have to worry about setting up a credit card merchant account or anything difficult like that – Shopify handles it all for you.

There’s one more huge advantage to using an e-commerce platform like Shopify – you can easily expand the number of sales channels used to reach customers. For example, you can integrate Shopify with Facebook, Amazon or Pinterest. You can create “buy now” buttons for any other websites that you operate.

You can immediately see how powerful this is – it means you can use social media to drive fans and followers to your online store. With Shopify, you can also create blog content right on your online store. So you could easily create a feature like, “Best 10 skin care products to buy as a holiday gift” and then link that blog article to your online store, which, of course, happens to sell all 10 of those products? Genius.

And then, as your e-commerce store scales, you can upsize to the higher Shopify e-commerce packages, giving you even more control over the look and feel of your online store. If you’re just starting out, Shopify has plans that start as low as just $29 per month. So even if you’re only making a profit of $10 on every item you sell, you really just need to make 3 sales each month to break even! It’s no wonder more than 500,000 business operate via Shopify – it’s a great way to get your side hustle on selling something that you love, and make money on it at the same time.

Recently I came across a podcast by Chris Guillebeau called the Side Hustle School, this is a daily podcast where Chris talks to people just like us doing the side hustle thing making $100-$20,000/month doing their side hustle.  The podcast has lots of nuggets about how to generate and idea, getting started and getting sales.

 Chris Guillebeau Side Hustle Project

If you’re more of a reader check out his book called the ‘Side Hustle: From Idea To Income in 27 Days

Side Hustle From Idea to income in 27 days

I hope you enjoyed this article,  leave your comments about your side hustle and reach out to me anytime at tarsenault@shopidd.com.


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