This post is a combination of making money on and offline. I will use my multiply store as my business model since I earned some money from it selling things I like. But first, what is multiply?
Multiply is a social networking site where users can upload unlimited number of photos, videos, and mp3s, as well as normal text blogs. They have the option to make their uploads viewable to everyone, selected people in their contact list, or everyone in their contact list. This social networking started gaining popularity in the Philippines 3 to 4 years ago. I’m guessing budding entrepreneurs noticed this trend so they started uploading their products to the site and created/joined seller groups in order to advertise. They also spammed university groups but the other members were tolerant because it’s an easy way for them to shop. Multiply wasn’t so tolerant though. They shut down the accounts of active sellers, especially the spammers. However, I noticed that multiply doesn’t do that anymore. Some of the sellers have followings and were even featured in Philippine television and newspapers. I suppose the multiply crew got wind of that and just gave up on the sellers. Besides, more users for them means more advertising revenue.
As I said earlier, I have a store there. I used to ignore multiply but I joined when I saw the income potential. I joined late in 2006 and I named it “Miss Eerie’s Market” (mseerie is one of my nicknames). I sold some of my old items and offered some cute Japanese items for pre-orders. I advertised my site to different groups and I overdid it which led to my account being unusable. I couldn’t reply to inquiries or post more photos of my goods. Good thing multiply didn’t completely shutdown my site. I quickly made a new account and transfered everything there. Painstaking since I had to add all my contacts to the new account. I also had to inform everyone what happened to the site. Ever since the move, everything have been smooth-sailing, well except for a few bogus buyers.
I became a seller not for the money. It’s more of a hobby for me. But since I have more than a year’s experience, I think I can offer sound advise to those who are interested in selling goods online. So to those who want to sell online, I suggest the following:
- Make your multiply store eye-catching
- Do not overprice your products
- Offer different modes of payment. I suggest G-cash and 1 bank account
- Only offer meet-ups with those you know personally
- Join multiply sellers groups
- Advertise your site. Advertise your new products.
- Never ever spam
- Do not advertise through PMs. People always get annoyed with that.
- Add contacts even if they don’t look like potential buyers. You never know.
- Set up an order form which will serve as a contract
- Try to sell unique items
- Answer inquiries promptly and politely
That’s all I could think of at the moment. You can sell your used books, clothes, or CDs if you have nothing new to sell at first. Once you get money from your used items, you can use that to buy brand new products. If you have relatives abroad, you can ask them to send you bargain items from sales there. Or better yet, when you travel abroad, be on the lookout for potential items to sell when you get back home.
I hope this post will be helpful to some of you budding entrepreneurs out there. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions regarding this topic. Also feel free to visit my store and add me to your contacts!