There are a lot of ways to sell out there. Which one is best? There are a few things to keep in mind no matter what type of selling option you’re looking at:

  • You don’t have to commit to only one option. Sometimes a combination of two services can create the perfect single option. Whether you sync your items between a marketplace like eBay and your webstore or only use one service for one type of items, another for the rest, keep your options open.
  • Only pay for something if you really need it. There are a lot of good, free options out there but there are also things worth paying for. Before you open your virtual wallet, make sure it’s worth the financial investment to pay for it instead of going with a free option.
  • There’s always a trade-off. Positive or negative, there’s always an advantage to ever disadvantage and vice versa. When a service dazzles you with some amazing feature, remember that they’ll be a downside too. In the same way, an annoying flaw may turn out to have a silver lining you didn’t notice at first.
  • Keep your mind open. There are a ton of options out there and the best one for you may be the one you initially ruled out. Test and try a variety of tools until you find your perfect one.
  • Most things come down to marketing. The most beautiful and smooth running store in the world doesn’t do you any good if no one ever visits it. Marketing and promotion is a huge topic but an important one because, no matter where you sell, you’re going to need to get people to your booth, site or webstore. Some marketplaces (eBay, Amazon and Etsy being the prime examples) give you a leg up with this and with greater independence comes greater need for marketing. Never forget the need to get buyers to your store as you figure out the best tool to sell with.
  • Focus on working towards independence. Whenever possible, most your business towards independence. Try not to put yourself in a situation where you’re completely reliant on something, be it a payment processor, marketplace or service. Policies change, sites go out of business, fees increase, outages happen and you want to put yourself in the best position to be free to run your business where someone else’s change can’t cripple you. Complete independence may be impossible but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eyes on that prize.

This is an excerpt from Beyond Amazon, eBay, and Etsy: free and low cost alternative marketplaces, shopping cart solutions and e-commerce storefronts.