Let’s face it- selling products the traditional way is a complicated process.
Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar or online business, selling the ‘normal way’ is tough. You need reliable wholesalers, you need to stock inventory, fulfill orders, deal with complaints and handle warranty issues. Just to name a few.
Not to mention, you need a place to store and sell your inventory. Which often requires leasing property, insurance, licensing, hiring staff… you get my point.
The list goes on and on.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to selling products the traditional way. All of which takes time and there are often heavy costs involved.
The good news is, selling products online does not have to be that difficult. Not at all. In fact, it can be incredibly simple depending on how you go about it.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to sell products on the internet, without stocking any inventory whatsoever. Zip. Nada!
Full disclosure, this method may be simple, but it does take a solid effort to get results. I won’t sugarcoat it. But if you’re willing to put the work in, making money this way is very achievable. And the costs are extremely low in comparison to most methods of selling.
Read on to see what this method is and how it works in detail.
How To Sell Products Online Without An Inventory
The method of selling products with no inventory I am going to be showing you here is called affiliate marketing. Specifically, affiliate marketing with a website.
Which is essentially selling products online for other companies.
In a nutshell, this method is about building a simple website, getting traffic to it through search engines like Google, and promoting other companies’ products as an affiliate.
The idea is to link your visitors to other people’s products (within your site) which enables you to earn commissions when they buy. Once you have everything set up correctly, the system tracks who bought what, and through what affiliate link. So you always get the credit for people you refer to buy something.
As for what products you can sell, they can be physical OR digital products. There are literally millions of products you can promote as an affiliate, across countless niches.
I’ll get into more detail shortly. But for now, here’s a quick recap…
- Choose a niche
- Build a simple website
- Get free traffic to your site
- Promote other people’s products
This is a simple, yet lucrative process and in my opinion, it’s the simplest way to sell any product online without inventory. I know this because this is how I earn a full-time income online myself.
Ok. So now that we have the overview out of the way I’ll explain this process in more detail. Don’t worry if this stuff sounds confusing right now. That’s normal. Anything new takes time to learn and get your head around. But it’s worth taking the time to learn this if you’re serious about the no inventory business model.
Step 1- Choose a Niche
The very first thing you need to do is choose a niche. This is really just another way of saying “choose a group of people you want to sell products to”.
Although it’s worth noting that this method is more about helping people than selling. The foundation of your website and business is going to be on helping people solve a problem. Everything else falls into place from here.
Anyways, you want to start with a broad topic (preferably something you’re interested in yourself) and identify the different groups of people that exist within this space. Money can be made within practically ANY niche you could think of, so starting with an interest is a good approach.
The reason we choose a niche is that you do not want to be trying to ‘sell to everyone’. This is a mistake. You don’t have to go too narrow, but you do want to define your audience.
Let me give you a quick example. Say you are interested in health and fitness and want to sell products in this niche. Cool. But ‘health and fitness’ is too broad. So we need to ‘niche down’ further from here…
- Health and fitness
- Weight loss
- Natural ways to lose weight
- Weight loss
Health and fitness is one of the biggest and most profitable niches online. So it’s a good place to start if you’re interested in this topic.
That being said, there’s also a lot of competition here. So by breaking it down into one of the many sub-topics like ‘weight loss’ we move closer toward lower competition pockets of opportunity. Then, within the ‘weight loss’ sub-topic we can niche down into tons of other ideas too. Such as “natural ways to lose weight” as shown above.
You could still consider “natural ways to lose weight” as a fairly broad site, and you can go deeper if you want to. It’s up to you.
In any case, this is a quick overview of the process to show you how it works. When you start to break these niches down you will come to see the massive opportunities that exist within the online world. Endless possibilities.
Step 2- Build a Simple Website
Once you’ve chosen a niche, the next step is to build a simple website. This is (without a doubt) the easiest part in the process. Many people think it’s difficult but with the technology we now have access to, it couldn’t be easier.
I personally choose to use WordPress because it’s simple, easy to work with and SEO friendly (good for getting traffic through search engines).
You can learn how to build a free website for affiliate marketing here. You’ll also snag some bonus training on choosing a niche and setting your site up through that link too.
Step 3- Get Free Traffic To Your Site
This is where the majority of time comes in with this method of selling products online. You can have the best site in the world, but if no one visits it, it’s useless.
It’s kind of like a traditional store in that sense. You need people to come into your store, or in this case, your website.
This is where many people struggle. But it’s very easy to get high quality, free, targeted traffic when you know how.
Ok. So how exactly do you get this traffic then?
You get traffic to your site by creating useful and relevant content. You figure out what people are searching Google for (keywords) and target those keywords within your content. So it’s relevant to what the person is searching, and useful to them in some way.
Your aim is to find low competition keywords too, because this makes it easier for you to get traffic. So you essentially go after the ‘low hanging fruit’ when choosing keywords.
Again, this does take time. But the value of this traffic cannot be overstated. Done correctly, and over time, you can develop a steady stream of targeted buyers coming to your website, day in day out, without spending a SINGLE cent on advertising.
Step 4- Promote Other People’s Products
At this point, you’ve chosen a niche, built a simple site and you’re getting traffic through search engines. Awesome! Now it’s time to make money (AKA the fun part).
As I explained earlier, you make money by promoting other people’s products as an affiliate. So the idea is to promote relevant products on your site that you know your visitors will love.
The way you find affiliate products to promote is through an affiliate network. Such as Amazon Associates, ShareaSale, ClickBank, or any number of affiliate programs.
These programs are 100% free to join and make sure you get paid what you are owed, on time. There are literally millions of products you can sell as an affiliate. It comes down to what is relevant to your niche and what your visitors will like most.
You can promote physical products or digital products too. It’s up to you. The good thing about digital products is the commission rate is often higher. In many cases 50% or above. But selling physical products online through trusted sites like Amazon has its advantages.
So how do you promote this stuff on your site?
In a nutshell, you get your affiliate link from the affiliate program and place those links on your site. So that when people come to your site looking for helpful content, which you give them, a percentage will click on those links and buy the stuff you’re promoting.
Some people create a simple site and add banners or text links in various positions throughout their site.
Others link people to a ‘central review’ or ‘top 5 products’ article, which contains their affiliate links for people to buy.
I’ve even seen some people set up a no inventory online store using plugins like WooCommerce. Which integrates perfectly with WordPress. So instead of linking people to your checkout page as you would if you were selling directly, you link people to the vendor’s product page with your affiliate link.
There are many ways you can go about this. But the basic premise is simple- use your affiliate link to promote relevant products on your site.
That’s really all there is to it.
Once the person leaves your site and goes on to buy from the vendor- your job is DONE. You don’t have to worry about billing, fulfillment, warrantee, inventory- none of that stuff.
Affiliate marketing is ridiculously simple when you get your head around it. Your entire job is really just getting traffic and connecting that traffic to relevant offers.
Pros of This Method of Selling
- The simplest way to sell products online going
- Very high (passive) profit potential
- Extremely low startup and running costs
- The skills you learn are transferable to selling your own products too
- Wealth of opportunity within millions of low competition niches
Cons of This Method of Selling
- It takes time to get your site profitable
- The profit on a ‘per sale’ basis for physical products is often lower (5-10% commissions)
- You have to write a fair bit of content at first to get traffic flowing
Affiliate marketing is simple, profitable, and it just plain works. It allows you to focus on marketing and giving people value through your site, while the vendors handle the ‘selling’ aspect.
It’s the simplest no inventory business model I’ve ever come across.
I guess you could say I’m somewhat biased since this is what I do myself. But I think the pros far outweigh the cons of this business model either way.
If you want to sell products online, without stocking any inventory, then affiliate marketing is well worth looking into.