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eCommerce for the Aspiring Ninja I - Intro to Online Marketplaces

eCommerce for the Aspiring Ninja I - Intro to Online Marketplaces

ecommerce marketplaces

Hi there, fellow ninjas! Are you looking to add an eCommerce presence to your sales arsenal? Or maybe you just want to improve your existing internet sales? Wholesale Ninjas is here to give you some help! This is the first in a series of posts about being successful in the world of e-commerce. We're kicking it off with a discussion of online marketplaces, the biggest current trend in eCommerce.

Online Marketplaces

It used to be that you needed your very own website to sell online. This is a fine solution for many sellers since it provides a sales channel with full freedom and control, but it also saddles the owner with a myriad of responsibilities -- hosting, site design, and maintenance, just to name a few. There are also all-in-one solutions to setting up an eCommerce site, for instance, Wholesale Ninjas is powered by Shopify. However, even assuming that you get your own website up, you need visitors in order to cash in. This means marketing, social networking, and the dreaded acronym SEO (search engine optimization). Not all owners have the time, technical savvy, and supply of headache remedies to go this route. Luckily for them along came the trend of the online marketplace, a centralized website managed by some larger entity which invites small business and mom-and-pops to hang one's shingle under their eaves. With as little as an email address in some cases, you can join a vibrant community of sellers and consumers and get instant visibility for your products and services. Marketplaces run by Amazon, Walmart and others are already visited by millions of shoppers and guarantee you will get eyeballs on your product listings. 

What marketplaces are there and which should I use?

There are a variety of online marketplaces that you can quickly start selling on. Everyone knows that you can but almost anything on But many people are still surprised to hear that most of the sales on Amazon are for goods sold by independent merchants. Even if Amazon itself sells a product, you can obtain the "Buy Box" and be the default source of sales if you've got the right price and a good seller rating. Walmart's online marketplace works much the same way. Ebay is a great place for merchants, too. Again, there's often a misconception with this site as people may think Ebay is just for selling junk out of your garage. But plenty of professional small business make a great living with their Ebay storefront. Lesser known marketplaces are Jet and Wish. These both use novel gimmicks to drive sales and are popular with different audiences (Wish in particular is popular amongst teens and kids).

Which marketplaces should you be on? All of them! Diversity is key in online selling. Since each marketplace has its own community of consumers, you'll reach far more people if you have a presence on many marketplaces.

Choose your products

Some products are better than others for online sales. While big-ticket items like laptops, phones and other electronics can turn nice profits, the risk for fraud is greater than with cheaper items. Hot toys are generally cyclical and you'll have to stay ahead of the trends. We at Wholesale Ninjas find that the best items are common, everyday items like hygiene products and personal care. These items are in constant demand, with little variation due to the season or economic climate. It's helpful to choose light products as well, to save on shipping fees. Cosmetics is a great choice here, as these are small products and like personal care items are always in demand, especially if you have brand name goods.


Tune in next time for the second part of our series!

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