Sell online

10 tips to sell online successfully in 2024

Here is how to sell new products, build a business, and reach a vast pool of customers.
Amazon online store showing a variety of products

How to sell online

Clothes, books, art, antiques, food products—you name it, you can probably sell it online. Whether you want to specialize in sporting goods or electronics, here’s how to get started:
A man and woman standing in a warehouse looking at a tablet

10 tips for selling online successfully

Clothes, books, art, antiques, food products—you name it, you can probably sell it online. Whether you want to specialize in sporting goods or electronics, here’s how to get started:


Figure out what you want to sell

What products will sell best online? What niches could be most profitable for you? To determine what online business ideas are right for you, explore your interests and zero in on your strengths.

One way to get product ideas is to see what's already performing well for other online sellers by visiting the Amazon Best Sellers list. What makes these top products enticing to buyers? For example, take a close look at:
  • Price: Is there a specific range these fall within, showing affordability (low price) or great value (higher price)?
  • Reviews: What are buyers saying about the product—negative and positive? Take notes on what to do and not do.
  • Seasonality: Are these products seeing higher purchases because it's the holidays, winter time, or summer (e.g., bathing suits, winter coats, etc.)?
  • Size: Is this product large and/or heavy? If so, it might be costlier to ship, cutting into your profitability or sellability (if you price too high to cover shipping rates).
Use this information to identify products that sell well and interest you.

Who will the product appeal to? As you think about your ideal audience, you might find yourself drawn toward a particular niche, such as home decor or pet supplies. The more specific the niche, the more specific your audience. This can bring clarity and help simplify your product selection process. But keep in mind, the smaller the niche, the higher the chance you might not reach as wide an audience. You might also be limited in the amount and types of products you can offer, as you become more specialized.

Check out this guide for tips on validating product ideas. You can also get inspiration from this list of business ideas. You’ll hear from over 40 entrepreneurs who’ve found success across different niches.


Source products

Once you’ve zeroed in on products you might want to sell, the next step is to figure out how you’ll procure them.

You might build or craft products from scratch, or work with a manufacturer to design items according to your specifications. Some sourcing methods, such as wholesale, might require you to keep track of inventory, while others, like dropshipping and print on demand, can allow you to operate without a dedicated space for storage.

Whatever option you choose, you can use Amazon to set up an ecommerce storefront and even manage inventory using Fulfillment by Amazon.

If you want to work with a supplier, here are a few things to consider:
  • Quality: Make sure the supplier you choose is reliable and provides quality products. Check customer reviews, ask for samples, and read through their terms and conditions.
  • Price: Compare prices between different suppliers to get the best deal. Don't forget to factor in shipping costs, as well.
  • Delivery times: Find out how long it takes for the supplier to deliver orders. This will help you set realistic expectations for customers.
  • Customer service: Check to see if the supplier offers customer service and how responsive they are to inquiries.
  • Returns policy: Ask if they accept returns or if you have to handle this on your end. If they do, determine if there's a restocking fee.
  • Inventory: Can the supplier handle large inventory loads? Ensure they can scale with you.
  • Shipping: Find out what shipping methods they offer and how much it will cost you to ship orders to customers.
  • Packaging: Check to see if the supplier offers custom packaging options, such as branded boxes or bags.
  • Branding: See if the supplier offers any branding options, such as custom labels or tags.
  • Bulk discounts: Ask if the supplier offers any bulk discounts for larger orders.
Take the time to research suppliers and compare offerings to make sure you're getting the best deal possible and providing customers with quality products. Learn more about working with suppliers in this guide to inventory management.


Choose your sales channels

What are you trying to sell? Who are you trying to reach? Your answers can help determine which channels to use to best reach customers.

You might want to use your own website, set up shop on an established selling website like Amazon—or do both!

You can design and build an ecommerce store from scratch, or use a tool like the Amazon Stores builder to create a custom, immersive ecommerce website experience. An Amazon storefront comes along with built-in infrastructure for processing payments, managing customer reviews, and more. It also gives you an analytics dashboard so you can track sales, reviews, prices, and other key performance metrics.

Social media can also be a great sales channel, if your audience spends a lot of time on sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Live-stream destinations like Amazon Live can even allow you to engage with shoppers in real-time for product reveals, personalized product recommendations, and other interactive sales methods.

Some sellers focus on a single sales channel, while others use a mix of both. Experiment to see what works best for your needs, based on your business model. And don’t discount local sales channels like classifieds and advertising on radio or television. What you do offline can help boost your business online.


Check listing and selling costs

The cost to sell online will vary with different sales channels. Be sure to pay attention to fees, costs, and other charges as you decide on options for your business.

Some stores will charge a small fee to list products, while others offer free listings. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different fees you’ll come across:
  • Listing fee: typically, a flat fee to list on the site, either per item or a monthly charge
  • Selling fee: a percentage of the selling price (may include shipping and handling)
  • Payment processing fees: sometimes charged if you accept credit cards
Expenses can add up. If avoiding fees is your top priority, then a plan that charges you fees at the end of the sale (like the Amazon Individual plan) can cut costs.

In the Amazon store, choose from two selling plans:
  1. Individual: $0.99 per item sold + additional selling fees (ideal if you sell less than 40 units monthly)
  2. Professional: $39.99/mo + additional fees (ideal if you sell more than 40 units monthly and want to run ads)
Some additional fees might include:
  • Category fees: A percentage of each sale, depending on the category (for example, baby products incur a fee of 8% if the total sale price is $10 or less)
  • Fulfillment costs: If using FBA, fees are based on size and weight (for example, the fee for products 15" x 12" x 0.75" or smaller and weighing 6 ounces or less is $3.07 during non-peak times)
  • Inventory fees: These can vary depending on factors like product volume, size, and weight, and how long products sit in storage


Decide how you will handle shipping

Shipping time can make or break a sale. A survey of U.S. shoppers found:
  • Free delivery is the most important factor for 83% of shoppers when ordering online
  • More than half (54%) have abandoned online shopping baskets because of delivery costs
Consider how much it will cost to ship an item and how far you are willing to ship it. Some sellers are happy to ship products internationally and will benefit from stores like Amazon with a worldwide customer base. Other sellers prefer to deal locally and only allow orders to be picked up or dropped off within a small radius.

Some stores may have a shipping and processing time expectation if you are going to ship items, while others will ship products for you. This can eat into your profit but may also save you time and hassle.

How shipping works on Amazon

When a customer buys a product, either Amazon can ship the order to the seller with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), or you can fulfill the order on your own. Many Amazon sellers use a mix of the two. Learn more in this guide to ecommerce fulfillment.

Amazon Prime shipping

Many Amazon customers look for products with the Prime badge because it indicates fast, free shipping. Using FBA to ship products is the easiest way for sellers to get the Prime badge for most offers.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

When sellers sign up to sell in Amazon stores, they’re automatically enrolled in FBA. If they decide to participate, they send inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers, and Amazon handles shipping, customer service, refunds, and returns for those products.

Seller fulfillment

Some products aren’t ideal for FBA. For instance, certain hazardous goods don’t meet fulfillment center requirements, and some seasonal products might incur excessive storage fees. Other sellers may already have a logistics network in place, or other business reasons to fulfill their own orders.


Take good photos

Good visuals help customers see the product in detail before they buy. To create excellent visuals for products:
  • Take photos in a well-lit area
  • Choose a plain background
  • Avoid photo filters
  • Include multiple photos showing different angles of each product
  • Avoid picturing other products not included in the order
Where possible, add a video of the product to help customers visualize the product. Great photos and videos are some of the best ways you can increase sales and reduce returns.

Most stores have specifications available for product photography, including Amazon.

Here's an example of a great product image with a plain background:
Screenshot of great product image with plain background
Find more guidelines for product imagery here. You can also use the Amazon Seller app to edit photos for free and double check all images meet Amazon requirements.


Be descriptive

Think of product listings as virtual salespeople who work around the clock for your online business. So be sure to include helpful and accurate information to help shoppers make sound decisions.

This includes adding quality images and listing details about features and benefits. The goal is to help customers understand what they’re buying and show why they should buy it from you, instead of a competitor.

Here are some tips to make product listings more descriptive:
  • Use clear, concise language
  • Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may confuse potential customers
  • Use SEO best practices to help product listings rank in search results
Here's an example of a product listing that highlights key features and benefits:
Screen shot of product listing that highlights key features


Research the right selling price

Prices can entice shoppers, give you a competitive edge, and guide your business's profitability. The goal is to set the right price so you earn high profit margins (your take-home pay).

Consider the costs associated with sourcing and selling goods, such as procuring and storing inventory, advertising, processing payments, and taxes. With these numbers in hand, you can calculate your desired margin and set a price accordingly.

One way to get a sense for price ranges and develop your own pricing strategy is to analyze competitor prices. But where do you get this data? Here are three tactics:
  • Perform some research using Amazon search, browsing categories and drilling down to products that could be valuable for your business.
  • Use the Amazon Seller app to monitor competitor prices and use comparison points like match low price and Featured Offer price.
  • Use the Automate Pricing tool to set prices dynamically, based on market demand.
See how the products you want to sell compare in value to other similar products. Then, decide whether to decrease your rates (win customers over with affordability) or add value to justify the cost (e.g., by adding more color options, or creating a bundle).


Package items with care

Make sure the right products arrive without damage or missing parts. If you’d like to outsource the packing and shipping process, along with handling customer returns and refunds, enroll products in FBA, and Amazon packaging specialists will take care of the rest.

If you’re fulfilling orders yourself, here are a few tips for top-notch packaging:
  • Use the right sizes: Boxes, envelopes, and other forms of packaging should have enough space to fit the product and any additional packing materials. Too much room can lead to damage.
  • Include cushioning materials: Protect items during shipment with padding like bubble wrap, foam peanuts, or air pillows.
  • Seal the package securely: Use strong tape to seal the box shut so it won’t open during transit.
  • Include a packing slip: This goes inside the package and should include the customer’s name, address, and order details.
  • Label the package correctly: Make sure you use the correct shipping label with the customer’s address and a return address to prevent items ending up at the wrong location.
These steps can help ensure customers receive orders in perfect condition and increase your chances of getting positive reviews.
Icon: lightbulb

Pro tip

Add a personal touch

A thoughtful gesture like a small sticker or handwritten note can go a long way to earn repeat business.


Focus on delighting customers

The golden rule of selling online? Take a customer-centric approach.

Start with the customer and work backward. What types of customers are you trying to attract? Are you looking to cater specialty items to a community of enthusiasts? Or do you want to attract a variety of customers and have the widest reach possible?

Pay close attention to customer reviews

Customer reviews can help you—or hurt you. Reviewers are candid, and many buyers read reviews before deciding to purchase: According to RetailWire, research shows customers trust online reviews as much or nearly as much as recommendations from family and friends. Don’t ignore reviews; instead, be sure to monitor, analyze, and respond to them.

Look at answering questions as an opportunity to build rapport with a potential buyer. While it’s OK to take a few hours or a day to respond, don’t let requests sit unanswered in your inbox for weeks. Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with the right way and wrong way to get product reviews and avoid policy violations.

To help monitor reviews, you can use Amazon's Customer Review Insights tool to gauge customer sentiment for a particular product or niche. Use this to understand customer needs and continue to improve your catalog.

Reward repeat customers

Do you get orders from the same customers month after month? Help them feel appreciated with a simple note by offering a small discount or adding a bonus gift to their order. This will encourage them to keep coming back.

Check out this ecommerce business guide for more guidelines on how to start and grow your venture.
Additional resources

Ecommerce start guides

Whether you’re looking to start a new brand, expand an existing brick-and-mortar business, or increase ecommerce sales, here are some resources to help support your path to success.
Find profitable product ideas
Find solid product ideas that customers actually want to buy.
Build an online store
Get tips for setting up an ecommerce storefront.
Source products
Finding the right wholesaler for your business can be challenging.
Fulfill orders
Guide to fulfillment: grow your online sales channels
Get product reviews
Increase brand loyalty and drive repeat sales with Amazon’s customer reviews tool.
A woman at a laptop looking up how to star selling on Amazon

Selling with Amazon

If you want to sell products and build an online business, Amazon provides tools and reach to help you launch and grow online sales.

Entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes thrive on Amazon. More than 300 million customers shop in Amazon’s store, and every day, customers browse, purchase, and review products sold by third-party sellers right alongside products sold by Amazon.
In 2021, American SMBs averaged about $200,000 in sales per seller, up year-over-year from about $160,000 in 2020 (source). Globally, Amazon sellers increased sales by more than 55% between April 2020 and January 2021. During the same timeframe, the number of small businesses that surpassed $1 million in sales increased by more than 40% year-over-year (source).

Learn the lingo:


Sellers are independent companies or individuals who sell their products in Amazon’s store. This relationship is considered “third-party” since Amazon is not the seller of record. Instead, the seller is.
Generally speaking, sellers are either resellers or brand owners—or both:
  • Resellers find popular products that already exist and offer them in Amazon's store.
  • Brand owners manufacture their own products or source goods to sell under a private label.
If you’re a brand owner, enroll in Brand Registry to gain access to a suite of brand management tools and support. If you’d like to build a brand, but don’t have a trademark, check out IP Accelerator to speed up the process and qualify for Brand Registry.

What to sell on Amazon

Some products are easier to sell online for new entrepreneurs than others. Generally, it’s ideal to start your business by selling products that are:
  • Are easy to package and ship
  • Have branding potential
  • Are affordable for customers
  • Have a long shelf life
Some product categories are open to all sellers, some require a Professional seller account, some require approval to sell, and some include products that cannot be sold by third-party sellers. You can explore product categories on the Sell page.

Restricted products

Prior approval may be required to list products in certain categories, and some products may not be listed as a matter of compliance with legal or regulatory restrictions (for example, prescription drugs) or Amazon policy (for example, tobacco products). For detailed information, see the Restricted Products Help section.

Selling programs

Amazon selling programs can help you reach niche audiences around the world—simplifying your operations, cutting through red tape, and reducing the amount of time you need to spend researching new markets.

Amazon Business

Amazon Business is a B2B shopping experience used by over 5 million businesses worldwide. If you sell B2B, Amazon Business is a great way to reach business buyers and grow sales. This ecommerce channel is home to over 1 million customer accounts worldwide, over 150,000 sellers, and more than 10 billion in global annualized sales (source).

Amazon Handmade

The Handmade store is available for artisans to sell handcrafted products to millions of Amazon customers worldwide.

Joining the Amazon Handmade program has several benefits:
  • List products for free and only pay a fee when you sell
  • Create a custom profile
  • Global reach for your creations on
Artisans from over 80 countries are selling their craft with Amazon Handmade (source).

Global Selling

Simplifying aspects of selling internationally, Amazon Global Selling allows you to sell worldwide. Learn how to expand globally and reach hundreds of millions of customers around the world.

We were able to double our sales selling internationally.
Elena Casteñeda, Bling Jewelry, New York City (source)

And more…

Amazon works with millions of small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S., including sellers, authors, content creators, developers, delivery businesses, IT solution providers, and more, helping them reach customers, grow business, and pursue entrepreneurial ambitions.
New Republic brand owner building an Amazon store

Build a store on

Amazon Stores allows you to create and customize a dedicated brand destination at no cost. Feature your brand and products in a multipage, immersive online store with your own web address.

Amazon Stores

The Amazon Stores builder allows you to create and customize a dedicated brand destination at no cost. Feature your brand and products in a multi-page, immersive online store with your own web address.

Product pages

A product detail page is where customers view a product sold on Amazon. If you’ve shopped on Amazon, you’ll probably recognize the product detail page. It’s where customers can find relevant information about a particular item.

When multiple sellers offer the same product, Amazon combines data from all the offers into one product detail page to improve customer experience. You can propose product information on a product detail page and request detail page reviews if you think the information is not correct.

A+ Content

A+ Content enables you to describe product features in new ways by including a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements which may result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales when used effectively.
A warehouse with boxes and computer with Amazon apps and services

Tools to grow your online business

Amazon has tools and service providers to help your business operate more efficiently, automate key workflows, and scale. When you sign up, you join a community of online sellers with support for meeting your goals and finding success in ecommerce.

Seller Central

Seller Central is your go-to resource for selling on Amazon. It’s a portal to your Amazon account and a one-stop-shop for effectively managing sales. Amazon Seller Central helps you navigate your selling account and grow your business on Amazon with helpful tools and content, all from one convenient dashboard.

You can log in to Seller Central to monitor sales activity and manage aspects of your Amazon business: inventory, update pricing, communication with customers, reviewing performance, contacting support, adding new products, and more.

Selling Partner Appstore

The Selling Partner Appstore is where you can find Amazon-approved third-party apps, integrations, and other software solutions to help with your unique business needs, from automated pricing and listing tools to product research. Many applications focus on automating time-consuming and tedious tasks like product research, filling out tax forms, or building custom reports.

Service Provider Network

The Service Provider Network is a directory of third-parties, vetted by Amazon, to help you manage and grow your business on Amazon. From shooting great images for your products, to improving your chances of increasing sales in the Amazon store, Amazon service providers can assist with every step of selling online.

Seller University

Make use of more than 3,000 courses on Seller University, a home for educational resources to help brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs learn how to succeed selling in Amazon stores.

Amazon Seller App

Manage your ecommerce store remotely with the Amazon Seller app. You can create listings, track sales, fulfill orders, respond to customers, and more—all from the mobile device of your choice.

Perfect Launch

Sellers who use the Perfect Launch playbook of five programs generate 6.3x more first-year income than other sellers and access over $50K in potential benefits (source). Try it to get started with A+ Content, Fulfillment by Amazon, pricing automation, and more tools exclusively available to Amazon sellers.
A business meeting discussing advertising on Amazon

Boost sales with advertising on Amazon

Increase brand visibility and improve online conversions with targeted advertising solutions. Check out this list of 15 ecommerce marketing techniques, from optimizing every stage of the customer journey and running product ads, to blogging and marketing on social media sites.

Amazon also offers specialty ad solutions to help find, attract, and engage Amazon customers. Sponsored ad campaigns are easy to set up and appear in highly visible placements within shopping results or on product detail pages.
Sponsored Products are ads for individual product listings on Amazon. They appear within shopping results pages and on product detail pages.
Sponsored Brands showcase a brand and product portfolio. They feature a seller’s brand logo, a custom headline, and a custom selection of products, appearing in shopping results pages and helping drive both sales and product visibility.
Sponsored Display is a self-service advertising solution that helps advertisers reach relevant audiences across the shopper journey, with ad placements that appear on and off Amazon.
You can also use advertising, promotions, deals, and coupons to help increase sales, launch new products, generate reviews, clear inventory, boost product visibility, and more:


Sponsored Display is a self-service advertising solution that helps advertisers reach relevant audiences across the shopper journey, with ad placements that appear on and off Amazon.


Run flash sales to encourage people to take advantage of lowered prices.


Distribute coupons in shopping results, product detail pages, and customer Shopping Carts.
More resources

Ecommerce growth guides

Once you’ve set up an online storefront and start seeing sales come in, set your sights on growth and scalability.
Optimize listings for search
Find solid product ideas that customers actually want to buy.
Boost product listings
Get tips for setting up an ecommerce storefront.
Manage inventory
Finding the right wholesaler for your business can be challenging.
Grow your brand
Guide to fulfillment: grow your online sales channels
Access customer behavior analytics
Increase brand loyalty and drive repeat sales with Amazon’s customer reviews tool.
Ready to go from idea to first sale? Check out the Perfect Launch playbook for a winning formula on how to launch a store in 90 days.

Selling online FAQs

How can I start selling online?
If you want to sell on your own website, make sure to set up systems for payment processing, shipping, and customer service. Then promote products through email marketing, search engine optimization, and other digital marketing strategies.

You can also try selling through social media, or set up shop on an established ecommerce website like Amazon with global reach, built-in infrastructure, and advertising options.
Whichever route you choose, here’s a checklist for successful selling:
  1. Perform product research to make decisions about what to add to your catalog.
  2. Figure out how you’ll source products—whether you want to make items by hand, work with a manufacturer or wholesaler, or use another sourcing method.
  3. Experiment with selling channels until you find one or a combination that works for your business.
  4. Calculate listing and other types of selling fees to make sure you’ll be able to achieve healthy margins.
  5. Decide on shipping methods. Ship items to customers yourself, or work with a fulfillment solution like Fulfillment by Amazon.
  6. Craft convincing listings complete with enticing photos and helpful information so shoppers get an accurate understanding of products.
  7. Set prices by researching the competition or using an automated pricing tool.
  8. Package and ship orders so customers receive the right products—on time, and in the condition they expect.
  9. Focus on delighting the customer in order to win repeat purchases from buyers who’ll return again and again.
If you want to get products in front of Amazon shoppers, sign up to build a store. If you have a brand, enroll in Brand Registry.

Find more tips for starting and growing your business online in this guide.
What is the best store for selling stuff?
There are several channels you can use to sell items online. Common choices include social media, ecommerce websites, and your own website, if you have one (or have the resources and skills to build it).

Consider the type and amount of products you want to sell, then pick one channel or try a combination of several to see what works for your business model.

With Amazon, you can list products in multiple categories with the ability to reach millions of shoppers worldwide. You also have access to powerful tools, resources, and support such as Fulfillment by Amazon and free, two-day Prime shipping.
Is it profitable to sell on Amazon?
Selling on Amazon can be very profitable. Data from Amazon’s Small Business Empowerment Report shows that more than 65,000 American sellers had over $100,000 in sales in 2020. The number of American sellers that surpassed $10 million in sales increased nearly 40% that same year.

If you’d like to be part of the growth ecommerce is experiencing, Amazon's selling plans give you the option to pay per sale (Individual selling plan) or a flat monthly fee (Professional selling plan). You can decide which option is best for you based on your business model.
Where can I sell my stuff online for free?
You might be able to list products for free using social media or online classifieds. You can also create your own selling website—but keep in mind, your time is valuable and it requires skills and investment to create a seamless online shopping experience.

Alternatively, you can build a storefront for free to connect with millions of Amazon shoppers worldwide. To start selling, pick between the Individual selling plan ($0.99 per item sold plus additional fees) or the Professional selling plan ($39.99 per month plus additional selling fees).
What does it cost to start a store on Amazon?
You can build a store for free. Then, choose a selling plan:
  • Individual plan: $0.99 per item sold + additional selling fees
  • Professional plan: $39.99/mo + additional fees
The Individual plan might be ideal if you want to list just a few products here and there. With this option, you don’t incur any costs or fees until a product sells. Many sellers start with the Individual plan and then graduate to the Professional plan as they scale and move more inventory.

Some of the additional fees you might encounter can include category fees, fulfillment fees, and inventory fees. These depend on factors such as the types of products you want to sell, size and weight of products, and how much storage space you’ll require.
How much does it cost to sell on Amazon?
You can set up shop on Amazon by signing up for an Individual selling plan, where you pay nothing until the first sale. Then it’s $0.99 for each sold item plus additional fees depending on your logistics. Another option is the Professional selling plan, where you pay a flat fee of $39.99 per month, no matter how many products sell.

Both plans come along with additional fees depending on factors such as how much inventory you want to move, how long you’ll require storage space, and where you’re willing to ship products.

If you want to use Amazon’s fulfillment services through Fulfillment by Amazon, you might need to account for fees per sale based on the size and weight of the product, the shipping destination, and other variables. If you opt to fulfill orders on your own, be sure to account for packaging materials, shipping rates, and other factors like the time it will take you to fulfill orders.

Did you know?

FBA is cost-effective.

On average, FBA is 30% less expensive for standard shipping methods than other major third-party logistics providers, and an average of 70% less expensive than comparable two-day shipping alternatives (source).
How can I sell on Amazon for free?
You can start selling on Amazon at no cost by creating a free online store and listing products under an Individual selling plan. You pay nothing until an item sells, at which point you’ll pay a flat rate of $0.99 per item sold.

If you expect to sell more than 40 units per month, you might be better off with a Professional plan at a flat charge of $39.99 per month, no matter how much inventory you move.

Both plans come along with additional fees, which can vary depending on factors like the product category you choose and whether you decide to fulfill the products yourself or use Fulfillment by Amazon. With the former option, you’ll probably have to pay for shipping supplies or third-party fulfillment. FBA fees are based on variables like the size and weight of products. So the larger and heavier it is, the more it'll cost.
How do beginners sell on Amazon?
Here’s a checklist to help you get started:
Check out the Perfect Launch playbook for sales growth in your first 90 days of selling in the Amazon store. You can also learn more in this beginner’s guide.

Start selling today

$39.99 a month + selling fees