How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (2023)

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Merchandise can be a great way of making money and engaging with your audience. Here, we’ll explain exactly how you can make and sell merchandise online.

Engaging with your audience is key for any brand or public figure. Nobody wants to feel like they’re dedicating their time and attention to someone or something, and getting nothing in return. So, if you’ve managed to build up a loyal audience or fanbase, then the likelihood is you’ve considered selling merchandise online as a way of creating engagement and community – not to mention making some extra money, too!

Merchandise can be a great way of connecting with fans, and is a marketing tactic in its own right. After all, if you sell a t-shirt that features your brand or logo, and someone wears it out in public, they’re practically a walking billboard for you!

Merchandise is also a great way to inject your brand into people’s lives. Whether that’s clothes, pens, mugs, phone cases, or everything in between, branded merchandise allows you to be on literally anything and everything that people touch and use.

But with so many merchandise options available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. In this article, we’ll talk you through every step of how to successfully sell merchandise online – let’s go!

How to Sell Merchandise Online

  1. Design Your Merchandise
  2. Make Your Merchandise
  3. Create a Merchandise Store
  4. Showcase Your Products
  5. Price Your Products Fairly
  6. Package and Ship Your Products
  7. Create a Marketing Plan

#1. Design Your Merchandise

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The first thing you’ll need to do is decide exactly what type of merchandise you want to make and sell. With so many different options, the possibilities are endless. So, take a look at what your competitors or similar brands are creating – both for inspiration, and to see if there’s a gap in the market.

The best way to make sure you’re creating merchandise that people actually want to buy is by asking your audience directly. Go straight to your audience via platforms such as Twitter or email marketing, and ask them what sort of merchandise they would like. Would they prefer a hat or a scarf? Would they like t-shirts or sweatshirts? You can also ask them more in-depth design questions, such as the type of designs they would like to see, as well as the colors and themes they would be most likely to purchase.

You know your brand better than anyone – so, once you’ve got an idea of the type of merchandise you want to create (and exactly what it is your audience would want to buy), you can begin mocking up designs. Remember to stick to your existing brand colors and themes; this merchandise is a reflection of you and the brand you’ve created, so you want to ensure it’s instantly recognizable.

Top tip!

If art isn’t your strong point, consider bringing in a professional designer to help you. If you do bring in an outside designer, remember to brief them as accurately as possible. Clearly explain exactly what you want, and provide as much context and imagery as possible. Consider creating a mood board full of your ideas and audience feedback to help make the designer’s job as easy as possible.

#2. Make Your Merchandise

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Once you’ve decided on the merchandise you want to make – and have finalized your designs – you’ll need to get started on making the products. There are different ways you can make your merchandise that will depend on factors such as your budget and timescale.

(Video) Sell clothes online in 7 easy steps

The two most common options for creating merchandise are:

Print-on-demand service

A print-on-demand service is low cost, low risk, and easy to manage. You can select a print-on-demand partner (examples include Printful and Printify), who will automate production, shipping, and fulfillment for you. Whilst this is often seen as the easier option in terms of workload for you, the negative side is that the product and customization choices are often limited.

How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (3)


Another option is to find a manufacturer for the specific product that you’re looking to get made. Using a manufacturer to create your product means you’ll need to take care of other tasks – such as shipping and fulfillment – yourself, or source another third-party company to help you. Using a manufacturer to create your specific product gives you far more options when it comes to creativity – however, it’s considerably more time, cost, and labor intensive.

#3. Create a Merchandise Store

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Now that your products are well on their way to being in your hands, you need to start thinking about how you’ll actually sell them. It’s all well and good to have boxes of merchandise – and an audience who wants to buy them – but you’ll still need a solid platform to make sales. This is where you’ll need to learn how to build an ecommerce store to showcase and sell your merchandise.

Setting up an ecommerce store (an online store to sell your products) allows you to overcome hurdles such as geography and extensive overheads, which often come with opening a bricks and mortar store. Instead, an ecommerce store offers you flexibility, plus the chance to reach as wide an audience as possible.

Ecommerce stores are easy to use and customizable, and come with stellar help and support to boot. Plus, with a range of scalable pricing plans, there’s an option for every budget and skill level. Some of the most popular ecommerce store platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix.

How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (5)

Further information:

  • Shopify Review
  • BigCommerce Review
  • Wix Ecommerce Review

#4. Showcase Your Products

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In order to encourage people to actually buy your merchandise, you’ll need to ensure you’re presenting it to them in an irresistible way.

To do this, there are three key skills you’ll need to master:

Writing excellent product descriptions

Your product descriptions need to be convincing, attractive, and accurate. There’s no point lying or exaggerating, as this will just mean that customers will be disappointed when the product they receive doesn’t live up to their expectations.

Try to avoid product descriptions that are too long, or full of complex language and jargon – and don’t be tempted to include classic cliches. Everyone thinks their product is the “best thing ever”, but users aren’t stupid. Instead, make sure your product description includes as much information about the product as possible and effectively conveys what makes it so unique.

How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (7)

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Photograph your products

You want your product imagery to be an accurate representation of the merchandise you’re selling. Product photography is key to making sales, as people are unlikely to be willing to make a purchase without having at least seen a photograph of the item.

When taking photographs of your merchandise, you want them to be high-quality. Think about things such as lighting and location, and try to offer different angles and images of the product in situ so customers can get a true sense of what they’re purchasing.

How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (8)

Product categories

Product categories make it easier for customers to find the product they’re looking for, without having to go through every single item on your ecommerce store. You can create categories based on product type (clothing, accessories, stationery), price range, or even design.

When categorizing your items, think about what you would want to find if you were a customer. If you were looking for a jumper, would you want to be presented with just jumpers – or would you like options for different clothing and accessories, too? Remember, some products can appear in multiple categories – they don’t have to be limited to just one.

How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (9)

#5. Price Your Products Fairly

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One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when it comes to selling merchandise online is in the pricing of your products. If you set the cost too high, you’ll alienate your customers – and if you make it too low, you risk ending up in the red.

When deciding on the right price for your products, some of the key things you’ll need to take into account are:

  • The wholesale price of the product – how much did you pay for it?
  • Competitor prices – what are similar online merchandise sellers charging for these types of items?
  • Overheads – how much have you had to spend on elements such as storage and staff?
  • Market research – how much are your target customers actually willing to pay for specific products?

Top tip!

Consider the idea of charm pricing. Research shows that consumers pay more attention to the number on the left-hand side of the decimal point than the right – which is why so many products are priced at .99p. In the subconscious mind of a customer, £9.99 sounds like a much better deal than £10.00!

#6. Package and Ship Your Products

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Packaging and shipping your products might not be the most fun part of creating and selling merchandise online – but it is very important.

We’ve all been there before. You order something online, only for it to take ages to turn up, or – when it does show – it’s poorly packaged, or has been damaged in transit. You don’t want your customers to experience this!

We know that people would like free shipping (who wouldn’t?!), but you need to determine whether this is something you can feasibly offer. If you’re keen to offer gratis shipping, consider upping the cost of your products slightly in order to cover your shipping costs – or offering free delivery as a reward when customers spend over a certain amount.

Flat rate shipping is a great choice if your products are all of a similar size and weight, meaning you can charge the same flat fee for every order. However, if you want to offer more real-time shipping rates, the best way to do this is by integrating your store with a shipping service.

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It’s important to do your research when choosing a carrier to ship your products. Make sure you determine how trustworthy they are, the speed at which they can deliver, and their own company policies for the types of products they’re willing to carry. Popular carrier services include FedEx, United States Postal Service, and DHL Express.

When it comes to picking your packaging, remember that it actually serves two key purposes. Not only does it need to get your merchandise to the customer safely and undamaged, but it also acts as further marketing for your brand.

Make sure your packaging is sturdy and well-sealed, while being the right size, and as light as possible. Once you’ve covered the practicalities, you can start to think about the creative stuff; the colors, patterns, and designs that you can feature on your packaging to add to the customer experience.

How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (12)

#7. Create a Marketing Plan

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You’ve got your merchandise, picked your packaging, confirmed your shipping, set your prices, and populated your online store. Now, you just need people to buy your products! Nobody can afford to not invest in marketing, either with time or money – it’s the only way to get your brand out there in front of the people who will be likely to convert into customers.

We’ve listed some of the key product marketing tactics for you to consider below:


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website to appear in search engine results. Incorporating everything from backlinks and keywords to user experience and page load speed, SEO determines how well search engines will rank you on their results pages. The higher you’re ranked, the more likely you are to get visitors to your website – and eyes on your merchandise!

Social Media

In today’s digital world, social media is a major part of marketing plans. Social media is a great way of connecting with your audience, allowing you to talk directly to them, and build communities of like-minded fans. You can use social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to showcase your products, offer behind the scenes content, and send out exclusive deals and promotions.

How to Sell Merchandise Online in Just 7 Simple Steps (14)


Public Relations (PR) is key for any brand. Getting the right people to talk about you can make or break your success. Network with key industry contacts and start forming relationships with key influencers, publications, and journalists in your niche, while encouraging them to write about your brand and merchandise. Sending out press releases and sending products for review are two key ways to get your brand featured in your target publications.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to directly reach your audience. Offer them the chance to sign up to newsletters when they check out, or even provide an incentive to do so, such as “10% off when you sign up to our newsletter”. Don’t be tempted to spam people’s inboxes though – rather, only send out email newsletters when you have something to say, or new products to show off. Newsletters are also a great place to include bespoke offers or exclusive content for your subscribers.

Selling Merchandise Online: Summary

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Selling merchandise online can be a great additional revenue stream. But, more than that, it can connect you with your audience in a new and exciting way.

Creating merchandise can be the perfect avenue for increasing your creative output, and cultivating a community of like-minded fans who can feel like an important part of your brand’s story.

To recap, when looking to sell merchandise online, the key things to think about are:

  1. Design Your Merchandise
  2. Make Your Merchandise
  3. Create a Merchandise Store
  4. Showcase Your Products
  5. Price Your Products Fairly
  6. Package and Ship Your Products
  7. Create a Marketing Plan


How do I sell merchandise? ›

How to create your own custom merch
  1. Learn about your audience.
  2. Brainstorm cool merch ideas.
  3. Design and mock up your products.
  4. Find a manufacturer or print-on-demand partner.
  5. Generate word of mouth.
  6. Leverage your existing channels.
  7. Sell on marketplaces.
  8. Retarget your existing audience.
13 Apr 2022

How can I start selling online? ›

How to successfully sell online in 9 steps
  1. Find a niche or competitive angle.
  2. Establish your target audience.
  3. Decide which products to sell.
  4. Create an online store.
  5. Choose your sales channels.
  6. Set up payment processing.
  7. Choose your shipping methods.
  8. Promote your products.
7 Sept 2022

How can I sell my product fast? ›

How to Market a Product: 24 Effective Marketing Tips to Skyrocket...
  1. Know Your Audience.
  2. Start with Niche Marketing.
  3. Build Strong Customer Relationships.
  4. Elicit an Emotional Response.
  5. Personalize the Experience.
  6. Creating Gift Guides. 2 How To Sell A Product.
  7. Guest Blogging.
  8. Reuse Customer Generated Content.
13 Jun 2019

How do you sell a product to a customer examples? ›

Steps to selling
  1. Find customers. Research your potential customer base. ...
  2. Plan your approach. ...
  3. Make initial contact. ...
  4. Confirm specific customer needs. ...
  5. Select the appropriate product or service. ...
  6. Make the sales presentation. ...
  7. Handle objections. ...
  8. Close the sale.

How do you sell a product interview answer? ›

Here are some strategies to follow as you answer this question:
  1. Be Positive and Enthusiastic. ...
  2. Emphasize the Features the Interviewer Will Value. ...
  3. Don't Be Afraid to Ask a Few Questions. ...
  4. Be Ready to Sell. ...
  5. Probe for Reservations About the Product or Service. ...
  6. Make an Attempt to Close.
19 Jul 2021

What are the 4 types of merchandise? ›

4 types of basic merchandise
  • Convenience goods. Convenience goods are necessary items that people require for basic survival and health. ...
  • Impulse goods. Impulse goods are items that customers buy without originally planning to when they entered the store. ...
  • Shopping products. ...
  • Specialty goods.
11 Mar 2022

How do I start a merchandising business? ›

How to start a corporate merchandising business
  1. Do market research and select products to sell online. ...
  2. Develop a business plan. ...
  3. Create a brand name and logo. ...
  4. Find suppliers. ...
  5. Choose the right structure for your business. ...
  6. Consider legal requirements. ...
  7. Market your business.
17 Feb 2021

What are good merch ideas? ›

  • Hats and Bandanas. People love hats. ...
  • Custom Mugs. Coffee, tea, or something else entirely if you're a rebel… ...
  • Socks. Yes, socks. ...
  • Totes. Totes are extremely popular (and one of our very favorite influencer merch ideas). ...
  • Fanny Packs. ...
  • Artbooks. ...
  • Lyric Books. ...
  • Notebooks.
16 Aug 2022

What is the best way to sell? ›

How to Sell Anything
  1. Make it about them.
  2. Do your research before reaching out.
  3. Build rapport first.
  4. Define your buyer.
  5. Contribute first, sell second.
  6. Ask questions, and listen.
  7. Be mindful of psychological quirks.
  8. Approach them on their level.
4 Jan 2022

What words attract customers? ›

10 Powerfully Persuasive Words Your Customers Want to Hear
  • Free.
  • Exclusive.
  • Easy.
  • Limited.
  • Get.
  • Guaranteed.
  • You.
  • Because.
2 Aug 2016

How can you attract customers? ›

5 Tips for Attracting New Customers
  1. Identify Your Ideal New Customers. ...
  2. Use Direct Response Marketing to Attract Customers. ...
  3. Give Something Away to Entice New Customers. ...
  4. Give Your Business a Face Lift to Increase Sales. ...
  5. Get The (Right) Word Out.

What do you say when selling? ›

Here are 15 selling words for marketers to consider:
  1. Now. "Now" means at the present time or moment. ...
  2. Amazing. "Amazing" describes something that causes great surprise or wonder. ...
  3. Fix. The word "fix" refers to mending or repairing something. ...
  4. Save. ...
  5. Simple. ...
  6. Exclusive. ...
  7. Money-back. ...
  8. State-of-the-art.
1 Jun 2021

What is the first step of selling? ›

The first step of the selling process, prospecting and qualifying, involves searching for potential customers and deciding whether they have the ability and desire to make a purchase.

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

How do you answer do you have any other offers? ›

If you're wondering how to best answer when a recruiter or hiring manager asks you if you have other job offers, the answer is... Answer honestly. If you've got other job offers, tell them. If you don't have any offers, don't invent them.

What are the 5 R's of merchandising? ›

The 5 R's of merchandising are the right products, at the right place, on the right time, in the right quantity at the right price.

What is merchandiser role? ›

Merchandisers are responsible for everything that happens to a product from the moment it is delivered to the store to the moment a shopper picks it up off the shelf. They monitor product appearance and supply in various stores throughout their designated geographic area.

Why merchandising is the best? ›

Merchandising makes several important contributions to your store. It increases sales by making a store appealing to your customers. It improves profitability by generating more margin dollars. It controls costs by improving the productivity of the salesfloor as well as each employee.

What is a type of merchandise answer? ›

The top five types of merchandising are product, retail, visual, digital, and omnichannel. Though classified into five different categories, they are primarily interrelated. For example, visual merchandising is correlated with product merchandising.

How do you create a product line? ›

We've put together 5 important steps to take if you want to start your own product line for your business and make it successful.
21 Oct 2019

How do you make money from merchandise? ›

There are 3 main ways of selling merch these days: buying wholesale, drop-shipping your merch, or opening an online store with a merch supplier and selling from there. These methods are great for anyone, whether you're an eCommerce expert or a complete beginner.

What Youtuber sells the most merch? ›

How Much Merch Do Youtubers Actually Sell?
  • PewDiePie : $6,834,645.
  • Dude Perfect: $2,957,950.
  • VanossGaming: $2,281,315.
  • DanDTM: $2,207,725.
  • JuegaGerman: $1,956,575.
  • Markiplier: $1,783,195.
  • Collins Key: $1,780,780.
  • Atta Halilintar: $1,426,575.

How do you make an influencer merch? ›

The easiest way to make money selling merch as an influencer is to sign up with a merch company that will handle production and delivery for you. You simply create a design and promote your product.

How can I learn sales? ›

How to Improve Sales Skills
  1. Attend sales training.
  2. Implement roleplay.
  3. Practice public speaking.
  4. Find a mentor.
  5. Ask questions.
  6. Become a lifelong learner.
  7. Improve prospecting skills.
  8. Review your sales calls.
4 days ago

How do I sell something without selling? ›

10 Tips to Sell without “Selling”
  1. Put your heart into it. ...
  2. Ignore the nay-sayers. ...
  3. Sell yourself first. ...
  4. Listen! ...
  5. Show them you're selling quality. ...
  6. Maintain contact, especially after the sale. ...
  7. Maintain a positive and happy attitude. ...
  8. Put your customer before the sale.

What is easy to make and sell? ›

13 Easy Things To Make and Sell
  • Sweet Treats. Cookies and candies and cakes, oh my! ...
  • T-shirts. If you're not exceptionally creative, t-shirts may be the ideal things to make and sell. ...
  • Bath Bombs. People love artisan bath bombs. ...
  • Candles. ...
  • Jewelry. ...
  • Subscription Boxes. ...
  • Enamel Pins. ...
  • Lip Balm.
4 Jan 2022

How can beginners make money online? ›

How to make money online as a beginner
  1. Get involved in market research. ...
  2. Become an online tutor. ...
  3. Sell your clothes and other belongings. ...
  4. Become an affiliate for your favorite products. ...
  5. Start a dropshipping business. ...
  6. Transcribe recordings. ...
  7. Rent out your stuff.
13 Jun 2022

What is your product idea? ›

A product idea is a concept or plan for a new item that a company can produce and sell in a particular market. It outlines the purpose of that item, its features and some key design elements. Many product ideas involve mechanical or engineering components, as a manufacturer uses its resulting design to build an object.

Which platform is best for selling? ›

Sell on marketplaces
  • Amazon. Amazon is undoubtedly a reliable and go-to website that attracts more than 20.6 million people each month. ...
  • Bonanza. This Seattle-based company is a relatively new face in the E-commerce world; however, it's doing incredibly well. ...
  • Chairish. ...
  • Craigslist. ...
  • eBay. ...
  • Etsy. ...
  • 9. Facebook Marketplace. ...
  • Nextdoor.
1 Oct 2022

How can I sell my stuff online for free? ›

Where can I sell my stuff online for free?
  1. Facebook Marketplace.
  2. Craigslist.
  3. Nextdoor.
  4. VarageSale.
2 May 2022

What is the cheapest way to sell products online? ›

WordPress combined with WooCommerce is the cheapest possible way to launch an eCommerce store if you already have a WordPress site. You can add it to your site and sell as many products as you want for free. You only need to pay if you want extra payment gateways or other advanced features.

What's the best online selling site? ›

The Best Sites to Sell Online: 10 Marketplaces for Selling Goods or Running a Business
  • eBay.
  • Etsy.
  • Bonanza.
  • eBid.
  • Ruby Lane.
  • Poshmark.
  • Facebook Marketplace.
  • Craigslist.
2 Aug 2022

How do I get customers for my online business? ›

How to Attract Customers to Your Online Store: Summary
  1. Create an aesthetic website.
  2. Optimize your product listings.
  3. Use high-quality product images.
  4. Market your store using email marketing, social media, and SEO.
  5. Provide an excellent customer experience and support service.
19 Jul 2022

What is the most sold item in the world? ›

The most sold item in the world is clothing and fashion items. This ranges from women and men's outfits to children's clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. People love their clothes, and fashion isn't going anywhere!

What can I sell for money? ›

What Can You Sell to Make Money Fast?
  • Old clothes. If you're looking for things to sell to make quick cash, your clothes just might top the list. ...
  • Sneakers. Have some cool sneakers you want to get rid of? ...
  • Jewelry. ...
  • Watches. ...
  • Your wedding dress. ...
  • Baby items. ...
  • Home décor items. ...
  • Holiday decorations.
8 Sept 2022

How do you sell things to people? ›

How to Sell Anything
  1. Make it about them.
  2. Do your research before reaching out.
  3. Build rapport first.
  4. Define your buyer.
  5. Contribute first, sell second.
  6. Ask questions, and listen.
  7. Be mindful of psychological quirks.
  8. Approach them on their level.
4 Jan 2022

How do you price used items? ›

50-30-10 RULE: Near-to-new items should be sold for 50 percent of their retail price; slightly used items at 25-30 percent of retail; and well-worn items at 10 percent of retail.

What is online selling called? ›

E-commerce platforms help business owners set up an online shop in little time. These platform operators also help merchants list and sell their products, manage inventory and accept payments.

Where can I sell my new product? ›

13 Best Sites to Sell Your Products Online
  • Shopify. 2 “Sell Anything” Marketplaces.
  • Bonanza.
  • Amazon.
  • eBay.
  • VarageSale.
  • Handshake.
  • Ruby Lane.
  • Etsy.
18 Oct 2021

Where is the easiest place to sell online? ›

Facebook Marketplace

It is the fastest and easiest way to sell used items online. Listing your things on Facebook Marketplace feels like writing a Facebook post. Take some photos with your phone, add descriptions, and you are good to go. Facebook algorithms will take care of the rest and find local buyers.

What is the best place to sell online in 2022? ›

7 Best Places To Sell Your Product Online in 2022
  1. Shopify. Shopify is a custom eCommerce platform and a well-equipped content management system (CMS) allowing anyone to set up and manage a business website with a monthly subscription. ...
  2. Amazon. ...
  3. Walmart Marketplace. ...
  4. Target Plus. ...
  5. WordPress. ...
  6. eBay. ...
  7. Etsy.
26 Apr 2022


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