One of the biggest challenges people face when trying to start a business is having to deal with inventory. But did you know that you can sell products online without inventory?
Having a store with inventory can be a problem! Imagine inventing a type of gadget that you are sure to buy from your website. But then you have to pay money to have it made, pay to have it stored somewhere, and pay to have it shipped.
If you don't start selling a lot of these devices soon, you could suffer a huge loss and a whole lot of products that you would rather not have!
So why deal with all of this? Why not sell products online without inventory? Go digital instead!
Ideas for selling products online without inventory
By developing your own eProducts, you have a unique advantage over traditional stationary companies that still rely on physical products.
One example that we can all refer to is the music industry. In the past decade, online retailers who sell music online have significantly surpassed those who still insist on selling physical CDs.
The same applies to computer software. Almost no one gives you a physical disk anymore. This is how this media works now and it is much easier for the sellers!
We'll show you how to build your own e-inventory business. We then share some success stories from people who have done this.
During my career as a blogger, I've seen several marketers develop and sell their own products online without having to worry about inventory.
And they have the income reports to brag about. The following are some incredible examples of success stories where digital products have proven to be a great idea for residual income.
So how can you skip inventory and build your own e-commerce business?
1. Create an eCourse
Do you have knowledge of a topic that offers others added value? For example, have you paid off thousands of consumer debt?
Or were you successful in designing and selling T-shirts? Maybe you've learned some great parenting skills. Or you have learned how to reduce your expenses and save a large percentage of your income. Make a list of the skills you have that can help others.
Then use a website like Teachable to easily create your online e-course.
2. Create designs for t-shirts and other items
In 2016 my eldest daughter created some fun designs for t-shirts. She opened a free Redbubble account and uploaded her designs.
She was 16 years old at the time and just wanted to have some fun with the minimal graphic design skills she had learned. So she uploaded this design and a few others and let e-commerce do its job.
Redbubble sells their designs on t-shirts (their best-selling item), mugs, pillows, tote bags, and more. All she does is advertise a bit and sit back and collect regular checks.
And she has a lot of fun getting checks from Redbubble every month. The money goes directly to her PayPal account and she saves it for "fun money".
The great thing about websites like Redbubble and CafePress is that you only upload your design. They take care of inventory, printing, shipping and customer service.
You also don't have to pay anything to upload your designs to these websites. Both companies only take part of the sales and give you the rest.
Your job is to create great designs and market those designs so people can find them. Share them on social media websites like Pinterest or Instagram or on your personal Facebook page.
The more people know about your great designs, the more people have a chance to buy them.
3. Write an eBook
Another way to share your knowledge is to write an eBook. You can write a non-fiction book and exchange historical events or instructions.
Or you could write a fictional eBook and use your imagination to share entertainment with the masses.
To get started, you need to write a great book. Truth: If your book does not contain valuable or engaging content, it will not be sold.
Once you've written your book, you can easily publish it online. You can publish with Amazon through the Kindle Direct Publishing program, or use dozens of other eBook publishers.
You want to make sure your eBook is formatted correctly. Amazon KDP can help you with this, or you can pay an outside party to format it for eBook publishing.
Better yet, save some money and learn how to format your book yourself for publishing eBooks.
Make sure your book gets promoted on social media and other places after it's published. Amazon KDP offers members a great book to learn how to promote their book.
Follow the suggestions in this marketing book if you want to maximize sales. Great content and great marketing means a lot of sales.
* Note: Successful e-book authors will tell you that you need to start a successful blog to write a successful book.
Your blog will be a foundation, a kind of springboard for your book. If you share your blog content and find that a lot of people are reading your information, you have already created a marketing group for your book.
4. Create an eProduct
eProducts are another option for selling without inventory. You can sell eProducts in a number of ways, including:
- Downloadable computer software
- Create an app
- Create a system or website theme
- Sell downloadable, printable art
For example, this Etsy shop, Faith and Farm Life, sells downloadable digital prints for the home and office for just $ 5. Buyers receive digital prints in five different sizes for which they can buy frames that match their home or office style.
And the seller doesn't have to worry about shipping or inventory.
There are other ideas too. The goal is to create an article that makes it easier for other people to work online or in real life. Think of apps that help people reach goals or make life easier.
Or software programs that do the same.
Here are three real success stories of people getting rich by selling products without inventory online.
Success stories for digital inventory
1. Selling eBooks with Steve Scott
It's pretty difficult not to know the Steve Scott name when it comes to eBooks. Steve's e-book series is widely regarded as one of the most helpful titles for topics like blogging tips, marketing strategies, self-help, time optimization and more.
His monthly income reports are even more impressive than his e-book portfolio. Try it out! Within a few years, Steve no longer earned a few dollars a month, but more than five-figure earnings a month! In May 2014 alone he made $ 65,643.53! This is more than some people do in a whole year!
The nice part – his entire book business is sold electronically on Amazon. No piles of hardback books waiting to be sold in his garage. Every time someone buys one of their e-books, the file is automatically transferred digitally!
You can learn one thing from Steve Scott's e-book business: the more books he produced, the more successful he seemed to be – both financially and in his own niche.
To paraphrase it from one of Steve's books, you won't get rich if you only sell an e-book. You need to create several great pieces of content.
This way, someone who only reads one of your works and loves it will be hungry for better advice – and then you will have the opportunity to make multiple sales.
Steve also repeatedly emphasizes the importance of creating an email list. even if it sometimes means giving away your next book for free or almost free.
With an email list, you're sure to get a captive audience that you already know and trust. It just makes selling your next digital product so much easier.
Here's another example of someone who knows how to sell products online without inventory.
2ndStart an eCourse with Brian Dean
Backlinko was a blog that came pretty much out of nowhere and still became one of the most credible sources of blogging advice.
Although author Brian Dean publishes on the website about once a month, his articles quickly become the subject of much discussion and are shared across the blogosphere.
His secret: epic posts. Most of his articles are about as long and doable as a well-written e-book. And yet he passes the advice on for free.
What is the motivation behind it?
Brian has been offering exclusive eCourses on backlinking and marketing strategies for bloggers since 2014. The results? He reported about it in a podcast with niche pursuits “Every start brought more than six-digit numbers. and I had some starts this year. "
It's not bad if you don't sell a physical product! All he sells is what he knows about blogging and people queue up to buy!
Why are people willing to pay out a few hundred dollars for blogging advice? Because they know that if Brian gives away such great things for free on his blog, he will surely have great things in his paid courses.
By putting their best work on the market and establishing themselves as an authority figure, people pay for teaching them what you know. Although it takes a little time to prove your worth and build trust, the end result can be worth the investment.
3rd Create an eProduct with Spencer Haws
Are you a great computer programmer or programmer?
No? Then don't worry!
Niche Pursuits' Spencer Haws didn't either. However, that didn't stop him from developing one of the best and most widely used keyword research tools on the market, Long Tail Pro.
Long Tail Pro enables users to determine which keywords are searched most frequently on the web. The competitiveness of these keywords is then further quantified so that you know which keywords are the easiest to find.
After blogging for a few years, Spencer recognized certain patterns and attributes that made one page appear higher on Google than another.
Although no one really knows the secret behind Google's ranking algorithm, he was so confident in his site ranking skills that he paid to develop a software program that would help others meet the same challenges.
Although Spencer has never really revealed exactly how much he makes from his Long Tail Pro sales, he has made general statements that his online income is "more than he earns in his old job" and is in the five-digit range per month.
The lesson: You don't have to know everything yourself to develop a good e-product that other people want to buy and use. You just need to know that there is an opportunity and be the one who works to create it.
Skip the inventory and go digital!
A solid business doesn't always have to be about selling physical products. You can definitely sell products online without inventory if you have something that people want.
Just like real products, it just has to be something of quality that people would be willing to exchange their hard-earned money for. If you want to get really good sales, it is vital to fill a demand with your supply.
This is especially true if you want your company to survive in the long run, in recessions and so on. Having products that people need or want in good and bad times is crucial for steady sales.
And if you don't have inventory, you can keep your overhead and operating costs to an absolute minimum, and that just means making more money for you!
If you'd like to learn how to start building your own website, check out our free blog start guide here. This link shows you how to start a blog in a maximum of 15 minutes and make money with it.