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One of my most popular eCommerce podcasts was where I explain the difference between being an online seller and an online merchant so thought I’d expand on it today. Hope you enjoy.

Online selling is a great way to start your eCommerce career. This may include buying products from garage sales, thrift stores, retailer stores, wholesale clubs and even other online websites and then re-selling the same items mostly on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. I’d guess that most eCommerce sellers start off this way. I started this way back in 1998 and you can hear some of my eCommerce war stories in my eCommerce Story-time series.

Online selling is the easiest way to get into eCommerce and so therefore it’s also the most competitive. It’s the most fluid environment and the most competitive. All these forces cause things to change every second of every day. It’s like moving the cheese if you know what I mean. Because things are constantly changing, so are you. You’re constantly searching for new products, constantly adjusting pricing and constantly reacting to your circumstances. Most online sellers will feel like they are never totally in control of their success long-term.  Sure maybe for a short while, but long-term eludes them.

I explain online selling to my coaching clients as a “Copy/Past” model. Copy here and paste there. I also explain online selling to be like going whitewater rafting. It can be a rush and it can be exciting in the beginning. Things are moving much faster than you can keep up with and the challenge of staying upright is enough to keep you excited and running with 150% adrenaline. However, at some point you wear out if you don’t get the necessary time to rest. Unfortunately, online selling doesn’t allow you time to rest. It’s like a never-ending whitewater rafting adventure where your success requires your 150% attention and effort ALL THE TIME!



This is why many burn out at some point and choose to transition into becoming an online merchant. Most don’t really understand what’s going on in this way but I’m here to add clarity and wisdom to the equation. Becoming an online merchant is a totally different ball game. It requires MARKETING, it requires STRATEGY, it requires VALUE ADD and it requires the use of your right brain. Some people have the skills, some people can learn the skills and some people will never cross this bridge successfully.

To become an online merchant you must put on your marketing hat and focus on the big picture. You must think strategically about how you’ll stand out in a crowd and be “Unique and Desirable” at the same time. You must get creative and ADD VALUE to your product offering and if you add value successfully, you also add profits. That’s the beauty of becoming an online merchant is you learn the ART OF CREATING PROFITS OUT OF THIN AIR.

This is the part of running my own eCommerce business I love the most! I love adding words “The message” and increasing value. I love bundling items together where the value add is greater than the cost. I love building brand value where customers fall in love with what you created “Your baby” and tell their friends your baby is cute, your baby is fun, your baby is worth extra money.  They become your biggest fans for your baby.

This is the MAGICAL SIDE OF ECOMMERCE and in my opinion the most enjoyable part of eCommerce. I love helping online sellers transition their business into becoming online merchants. It’s not always easy as some sellers are still on the “high” side of chasing the cheese as an online seller and so I’m unable to help them at this time.  They will call me back later down the road.  Some sellers are sooooo burned out they wish we would have started down this journey years ago and simply happy to be starting now. Some sellers become an instant success with just a little guidance they’re creating their own brand, creating their own bundles and enjoying the new profits they created out of thin air by selling smarter.

Where are you at? Are you ready to transition into becoming an online merchant?  Do you have what it takes to become an eCommerce marketing genius? If so, give me a call and I’ll help you along the way.

Cheers to selling smarter!