5 ECommerce Business Opportunities With Low To No Startup Costs

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Oct 31, 2018

Oct 31, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

There are over 4 billion people around the globe who access the internet regularly. Of those people, a staggering amount shop online.

eCommerce: The practice of selling goods and services over the internet.

Companies like Amazon routinely do 2 billion dollars a year in profits thanks to eCommerce. Other big players in the marketplace have similar success.

The best part? eCommerce doesn't only provide opportunities for multi-national corporations. Everyday people just like you are making 6 - 8 figure salaries selling stuff online. The only trick is finding the right business opportunity.

Therein lies the focus of this article.

Below, our team of business experts are going to share with you what we think are the best eCommerce business opportunities that require little to no capital to get up and running!

1. Affiliate Marketing

We're going to start off our eCommerce business opportunities list with a money-maker that costs nothing to get up and running, affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people's products online. The process looks something like this:

If an online hardware store just released a new power drill, they might reach out to affiliate marketers to help them sell their product. When they do, each affiliate marketer gets a unique link to the power drill's product page.

Armed with that unique link, an affiliate marketer would then proceed to spread it everywhere. They'd post it on social media, on hardware forums, send it out via email, etc.

When people click on their unique link and purchase the power drill, the affiliate marketer would get a portion of the sale (for example, 5% - 10%).

5 - 10% on a single product may not seem like much but a good affiliate marketer has tons of products they're sharing through their marketing channels all at once. That means at any given moment tons of their products could be sold which would equal steady and sometimes very high pay.

If affiliate marketing interests you, a great place to get started is through Amazon Associates. To take your marketing game further, reach out to individual businesses you'd like to become an affiliate for and ask them if they have a program in place.

2. Self-Publishing

Even in today's age of video, people still love reading. Look no further than the millions of copies the books on this list have sold to solidify that fact.

If you're a talented writer and have information people want to consume, self-publishing is an excellent eCommerce business opportunity that again, requires no money to get started.

While getting your book printed into hard copies can have a steep upfront cost (unless you're working with a publisher who is taking care of those expenses), selling your book in a digital format can be free and is an increasingly popular means of book consumption among consumers.

Learn more about self-publishing eBooks here.

3. Course Sales

People are information hungry. They want to learn how to build their businesses, how to become freelance writers, how to cook... the list is endless.

If you have a great personality and a knack for teaching, you can leverage the power of eCommerce to sell digital courses online which is free to do and can net you a large income.

Online course platforms like Teachable boast having paid out over 100 million dollars to teachers on its platforms.

To grab your chunk of that eCommerce cash, you simply need to find your favorite online platform, publish your course, and promote it to get paid signups.

4. Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is an eCommerce favorite in that it focuses on moving physical inventory without actually needing to touch products.

Sound too good to be true? Trust us, this is among the more legitimate and popular eCommerce business opportunities there are.

With drop shipping, you set up a store online. This store can be set up through your own website or through a popular eCommerce platform like Amazon or eBay (read more here about pricing items to sell on Amazon).

Once your store is set up, instead of selling merchandise you have in your home ready to ship, you'll sell merchandise that you have an arrangement with a 3rd party to provide (for example, the item's manufacturer).

When people buy a product from your store, the receipt forwards to your manufacturer who then ships it to your customer. You will then get a portion of the profits as the middleman.

Given that you don't need to acquire physical products for drop shipping, getting involved with this eCommerce business can have no start-up costs!

5. Blogging

Many people who are interested in eCommerce have asked us, "Is blogging dead?" Nope. Far from it.

As a matter of fact, many of Google's top search results still surface from blogs. And boy oh boy, do bloggers know how to make money online.

With blogging, you'll need to pick a niche, have an engaging voice, and market your material like crazy. Once you build a following, you have a lot of levers you can pull to start making eCommerce revenue.

You can sell advertorial space, backlinks, products, advertisements from Google, services... the list goes on.

There are some start-up costs with blogging in the way of getting set up with a web host and purchasing a domain but those expenses are nominal.

Wrapping Up eCommerce Business Opportunities With Low To No Startup Costs

From drop shipping to blogging to affiliate marketing and beyond, there is no shortage of excellent eCommerce business opportunities out there for people like you to take advantage of if you're interested in making serious money online.

Our recommendation is to pick one of our suggestions above that you feel most connected with and try your hand at it. Also, remember, eCommerce businesses aren't built overnight.

Stay consistent and watch as your revenue starts to grow!

For more of the best business building and career orientated information online, check out more of our content in the Washington Post National Jobs Directory.