How do you sell online without a store or marketplace? In today’s issue, Don Heiden, the Auction Professor, discusses using PayPal buttons on message boards, specialty sites, classifieds sites, social platforms, and in emails. There are fees, but only if and when your item sells.
In today’s reselling world we have far more options than at any other time in history. The number of platforms keeps growing, year after year, as new and different options are added to the fold. When I first started out as a reseller I only had a couple of options. Yahoo Auctions was my first foray into online reselling, well over 20 years ago. But then I found eBay and things changed quickly from there.
eBay is still one of the biggest reselling platforms out there, right along with Amazon, but more sites have sprung up across the globe offering ever growing opportunities for resellers. I have tried most of the options available to see which ones work best, which is something I would always recommend to everyone in this industry. It pays to keep your options opened, and to not have all of your eggs in one basket.
Having tried so many sites and options, I have found that some sites work much better than others. I have also found out that some items will always sell far better on one site over another site.
These days it is also possible to sell without even using a platform at all. One such option is using some of PayPal’s selling tools to also sell your items.
PayPal offers Smart Payment Buttons, which is a simple way to drop a link that will allow a person to buy your item straight from you.
We’ve used PayPal buttons to drop bulk lots and many other items to subscribers of ours in Facebook and Patreon and to our email subscribers.
I am an artist as well, and produce my own postcards, posters, etc., of my artwork, and I drop buttons for those a lot on some fantasy sites, etc.
Other people review items on their blogs – such as an expensive camera – and then they will use the button to sell the camera in the blog posts.
(Note there are some platforms and boards that don’t allow you to post a PayPal button or link, so know the rules ahead of time.)
PayPal offers several different button options, depending on your needs, and where you plan on posting the PayPal button.
All the buttons appear to work the very same way. Once a buyer clicks on the button, it connects up with PayPal Orders Application Programming Interface, or API for short. The API basically is the link that connects your PayPal button to PayPal’s payment system. Once the API connects, it sets up PayPal’s Checkout processing, and the buyer will be able to pay you directly from their PayPal account to your PayPal account.
The buttons are extremely easy to post, and I personally have not had any issues using them. Currently PayPal offers 8 different button options to sellers, but we have only used three of those options. The Smart Buttons, Sell on Social button, and the Buy Now button all work pretty much the same, but I have found the Sell on Social button to be by far the best option for me.
Smart Buttons and the Buy Now buttons do not have an option to add a photo, so those are designed to post under items you already have images available. A good example of this would be a blog post you run where you are talking about a specific item, and you want to be able to sell that item on the page.
With the Sell on Social button, you can add images to the button, and it would be a standalone option you could post anywhere without it needing any other images or info. We have used this option many times and have had good success with sales from this button.
Other button options PayPal offers are Add to Cart, which allows you to literally add a cart option to a webpage or blog post. The Donate button enables you to collect donation either as a one-time payment or as a recurring payment.
The last three button options – Smart Subscribe, Subscribe, and Automatic Billing – are all fairly similar, and can be used for recurring charges. The most interesting of these three is the Automatic Billing button. With this last option, it allows you to do recurring charges of the same item, but with fluctuating prices. This option works best for those items you have that change prices from month to month.
There are fees associated with using them, of course. Basically, most average sellers will only pay the 2.9% standard PayPal processing fee, plus the usually 30-cent per transaction fee. The processing fees, though, could vary depending on what you are selling. Items or services may cost you more than the fees I mentioned, so I would also recommend researching the total costs associated with which ever option you choose.
PayPal also offers many other options to get paid, such as PayPal.Me, Invoicing, and the old reliable Request money options. One last option worth mentioning is the QR Code, which allows a buyer to make touch-free payments to you.
All of these options do not promote your items, or steer traffic to your items, so you would need to bring the customers to you. But, if you have an established website, blog, or followers, you can add a new revenue stream to your business very easily with PayPal’s Smart Payment Buttons.