5 Pitfalls When Selling Stuff Online?

Selling stuff online is a great way to make some extra money, but it’s not always as easy as you might have at first imagined. There are pitfalls which might reduce your profitability, make it harder than it needs to be or even stop you from ever getting off the ground.

But if you knew all of these pitfalls before you even started, you could make sure you avoid them couldn’t you? Well here you go then – the top 5 pitfalls to avoid… enjoy!

1. Not Doing Any Research

So many people decide what they want to sell and dive head first into it. But how do you know that your product will actually sell?

Sure you might love toys, but are you sure your toys will actually sell? Don’t under estimate the appeal of the strong brands such as Toys R Us or Whoever.

Look at your market and be honest with yourself.

2. Not Developing a USP

It’s all very well looking at your competition and deciding “If they are selling then why can’t I?”… But if you don’t have a clear unique selling point, why would your customers leave the established competition to buy from you instead?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “If I can just get 1% of the market…”

3. Not Testing Your Market

Whatever you want to sell, you will need some stock – but don’t spend hundreds on stock until you have tested the waters.

Why not try a dry test; set up your website or whatever and start selling. Anything you sell you can buy from retailers to fulfil orders. Okay, so you’ll make a loss on those first few sales, but you will get a better insight which could save you thousands.

4. Don’t Get Tied Into a Merchant Account

If you want to take money through a website, you will need some form of merchant account – but they are not all created equally.

Make sure you don’t get tied in to a contract that could cost a lot of money to cancel if you decide to shut up shop. Read the small print and don’t let the banks con you out of even more money.

5. Upsell

You’re never going to make much money just selling the same product over and over – once you have tested the waters with one product, try a small run of some related products to see what sells and expand your range.

If you can double the amount every customer buys you will more than double your profits very quickly.


Selling online has a steep learning curve, but hopefully this has given you a few things to be mindful of. I’m sure you will find plenty of other mistakes to make, but if you are hardworking and resilient there is no reason why you can’t make a little extra money online.

This article was written by Muzammil Bashir. Muzammil has been working with the Editor at Merchant Account Forum for the last 2 years. She loves to write and give online business advice to new and growing businesses. Visit this site for merchant accounts reviews.

2 thoughts on “5 Pitfalls When Selling Stuff Online?”

  1. John:

    Another pitfall that I would like to add to Muzammil’s list, actually it’s a dual pitfall. It seems to be common than I originally thought and that is not building a list and then not connecting with their list.

    Take care!

    – Rick

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