Starting up requires a skill and if you have a skill of making creative products, handmade, crafts or arts etc and want to sell them to the world you don’t necessarily need to have your own retail store or for that matter your own eCommerce website. There is a horizontal model in which you can exhibit your products on websites which allows you to put you products on their website and charges you only when the product is sold. And this concept is called as online Marketplace.
How this Online Marketplace selling works?
If you have gone to any Mandi or Russel market or Soul Sante in bangalore you will know what is called as market place. In the mandi model, people who own the marketplace do not keep any inventory but let their premises be used by third party vendors. The premises owner takes care of marketing and logistics.
In an online market place the website offers all the eCommerce options of billing, shipping, customer support and payment while sellers take care of manufacturing inventory. The good part is these websites don’t charge you any money for exhibiting your products on their website but charges only seller fee when the product is sold, which is somewhere around 3%-10%, sometimes it depends on the category of the product that you are selling. If you wish to have your know eCommerce website will cost you around 4000- 16000 per year and setting your own retail store also will be an extra expense, which you can avoid and just concentrate on product manufacturing and selling.
How to go about this?
First of all there are 100s and 1000s of such online marketplace available on internet. posting your product in many website will cause a chaos and you may be spending most of your time in upload pictures and descriptions of the products. Best way is to do a research on the target audience of each such websites. There are websites which are specific to locations, i.e if you want to sell your products to US, UK and European market then you can choose the websites which are famous there. Some website are category specific, and one very famous and old website in handicraft products is Etsy. And for Indian Market there are companies like Craftsville, shopo, Aniika and Kraftinn listed on Startupfreak, read about the founders of these companies here. Check out top 29 online marketplace for handicrafts in the world.
Some of the leading online marketplaces in India are shopclues and Buytheprice which has various categories to list your products in. Flipkart and Jabong also will be launching their own marketplace in India soon.