Selling Products Online Without Inventory: 4 Methods That Work
With over 1.6 billion websites online, starting a new one can be daunting. Especially if you want to start a new business venture.
And what if you want to sell products online? What if you don’t have the money, or room, to invest in products to keep lying around the house? What are your options?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the tried and true methods for selling products online without inventory. And, some of these methods require a very low, or no fee for your startup.
Let’s compare some of the options!
1. Multi-Level Marketing, or MLMs
Multi-level marketing, or MLMs as they’re often called online, aren’t for everyone. That’s because a lot of people don’t like how you have to either recruit people into selling with you or sell to your friends. But, for other people, they’re a dream come true, and a way of earning some serious cash.
And, you can create websites online where you can sell sans inventory. Most MLMs will create a website for you that you can direct your customers to. But, if you want to go the extra mile, you can make a website that actually attracts new customers to you.
If your MLM sells a must-have product, take advantage of that and find new people to sell to. Creating a keyword rich site will help people find you, and the ultimately, order from you.
Except for a couple of MLMs, all the inventory is stored in one of their warehouses. You can pick it up yourself and distribute it, or customers can choose to have it shipped straight to their door.
You don’t have to do anything but reap the rewards of having someone buy the product.
Most people will have to pay an initial fee to join the MLM, and may have to pay training costs after that.
2. Sell Print on Demand
Websites like Zazzle and CafePress give you the option of making your own goods. For example, if you really want a mug with a photo of your dog on it, or a t-shirt with your son’s picture, you can easily log onto the website and make it in just a few clicks.
But, there are people who have an extraordinary talent for making these virtual-to-life gifts, and those who don’t have a clue where to get started. If you love the design, especially creating apparel and things like notebooks and other office supplies, this is the place for you.
There are several of these companies, and each will take a percentage of your sales. Since they’re print on demand, you won’t actually need to have an inventory. Instead, you can set up shop right on the website, and someone who orders your product will then have it shipped to them from the site.
If you’d rather integrate the site into your own, or create a new site for your designs, you can do that, too. You can take a commission and then place your order with the company once you receive the money from your customer.
3. Third-party fulfillment centers
Third-party fulfillment centers are a little bit like drop shipping companies but have a few key differences. These fulfillment centers can stock your products, but ship them for you. For example—if you create products by hand and want to sell them without having the inventory take up space in your home, you can use a third-party fulfillment center.
Or, you can make your orders directly from the manufacturer and send them to the third-party fulfillment center for them to package and send the products to your patrons.
Of course, there is a price-tag associated with using this kind of service, but it takes the extra pressure off of you when it comes to finding the product, packaging, and shipping.
Finding the right fulfillment center can be tricky, but in the end, it is worth it to save you the headache.
4. Drop Shipping
Drop shipping may seem like third-party fulfillment, but it is, in fact, a little bit different.
Drop shipping—known as “turn-key”—means all you have to do to reap the rewards is to turn a key. You don’t literally do so, but in this instance, turning the key refers to taking orders on your website and then making a commission.
If you choose to dropship, you’ll likely do so with a company that has a support system. You can decide what you’d like to sell on your website, and then customers will place the orders. The orders go through to the company itself, and the company will send them out.
You don’t have to do anything but collect the commission on the sale.
How is this different from a fulfillment center? Well, at a fulfillment center, you can stock your own products. For example, you can create a make-up palette with a make-up company. You’ll then have the palettes shipped to the fulfillment center to send to customers.
A drop shipping company doesn’t give you the flexibility to sell your own personal products. But it does give you the flexibility to set your own prices and choose what you want to sell.
Selling Products Online Without Inventory: The Bottom Line
If you’re looking at selling products online without inventory, there are many options to choose from. The four highlighted above are just a small sample of what you can sell without even setting foot in a warehouse. There is still a 5th option that can give you the opportunities to start a successful business, with low startup costs and without inventory that reunites at least two of the option described above.
This option is Yakkyofy.
Yakkyofy is the only all in one platform that gives you all the services of a drop shipping app plus the possibilities of a fulfillment center.
Thanks to our software, you can easily connect multiple stores Shopify or Woocommerce with our catalog and import products to sell, but you can also order with few click personalized products with your brand and keep them in our warehouse for FREE ready to be ship as soon as an order arrives on your store.
Plus, thanks to the integrations with Shopify and Woocommerce, all the order fulfillment process is completely automatic.
All the info are passed to us without you do anything. So with Yakkyofy, you can easily open a successful business, with no inventory and without worry about anything regarding sourcing or logistics.