When I was 19 years old, and I gave the ‘making money online’ thing a go, and I had no money to my name. With a bit of trial and error, I found a method that you can use to make money online without spending anything right in the comfort of your own home.
The method isn’t really scalable, and it won’t make you rich, which is why I don’t still do it today, but if you’re new to the online world and you want to make a few thousand rands a month without risking any money at all, then this is the perfect way for you to get started. On top of that, it can be done at home with nothing more than an internet connection, and a working computer.
In this step-by-step beginner’s guide, you’ll be advertising a single Aliexpress product, (a Chinese online store that ships a wide variety of affordable products world-wide,) on BidorBuy, (our local ‘Amazon’). It should be fairly simple and you won’t need any money in any of these steps.
Here’s an outline of how you can make money online without spending anything:
- Open a BidorBuy Sellers Account.
- Open an Aliexpress Account.
- Choose a Product on Aliexpress To sell on BidorBuy.
- Gather Information On Your Product.
- Create Your Fist Listing Page.
- Keep Your New Client Happy.
Ready to dive into the details? Great grab a coffee, pen, and note pad, and let’s get started.
01. Open a BidorBuy Sellers Account
The first step is to open a basic sellers account with BidorBuy. This account will allow you to sell products on an auction, or as a ‘Buy Now’ item.
- Click on the register link here.
- Insert your personal details.
- Click on the big blue ‘create account’ button at the bottom.
- You’ll get an email from BidorBuy to activate your account. If you can’t find it, check your spam folder.
- Click on the ‘activate’ link in the email.
Done! You now have a BidorBuy seller account and you’ll be ready to sell when we get to that stage in this guide.
02. Open an Aliexpress Account
Right, so now it’s time to open an Aliexpress account. Aliexpress is a huge online market place that offers a variety of products at really affordable prices. Most ‘stores’ on their online platform will ship to anywhere in the world including South Africa which makes using them perfect for dropshipping.
Opening a buyers account is extremely simple.
- Visit the Aliexpress website here.
- Hover your mouse over the ‘account’ menu item at the top right of your screen.
- Click on the red ‘join’ button.
- Insert your email address and password.
- Then finally click on the ‘create account’ button.
- Check your email for an activation link. Remember to check your spam folder if you can’t find anything.
You’ll now have an Aliexpress buyer account. Remember you’ll just be buying products here for your BidorBuy clients.
03. Choose a Product on Aliexpress To sell on BidorBuy
Now that you have a BidorBuy account and an Alieexpress account, you’ll need to find a product that you are going to sell on BidorBuy. This is probable THE most crucial step. If I’ve learned anything in the past four years in online marketing, I’ve learned that the product you select makes all the difference.
Choose the right product, and a child will be able to sell it for you, choose the wrong product, and some of the best online marketers in the world wouldn’t be able to sell it. So pay attention here!
Questions you can ask yourself to help you choose a product.
- What personal items do you use in your day to day life?
- What are some of your hobbies and interests?
- Did you come across any products on Facebook that got your attention lately?
This is just a starting point, but just keep it simple. I like to focus on products that are either based on hobbies or products that people NEED.
While there’s an endless amount of products to choose from, here’s a few products that I would stay away from to help narrow it down.
- Clothing and shoes. These products are known to have a high return rate because there’s a big chance that the clothing won’t fit the client.
- Electronics is another product category I stay far away from. Simple because they break easily, which again, causes a high return rate.
Once you have written down some basic ideas, now it’s time to start narrowing it down. Here are further ‘filters’ you can use to help.
Find a product that you would use yourself.
The more interested you are in the product, the better you’ll be at selling it. A beginner’s mistake is trying to sell a product they know nothing about.
Make sure there is a demand for your product on BidorBuy.
Check for similar listings. If other people are selling the product you have, then chances are there’s demand. If there are no similar products on BidorBuy, then there’s a high risk that there’s no demand. So in this case competition is a good thing. Of course, there is a chance that you might have found a gap in the market. However, never trust your gut. A quick search on Google Trends can either confirm or deny this gap.
Check on google trends if the ‘gap’ is legit.
Here’s how to check if there is demand in South Africa for your product.
- Go to google trends.
- Type in the product name. In this example, I’ll be using ‘Moringa.’
- Then click search.
Google trends will give you a figure between 1 and 100. 1 being unpopular, 100 being extremely popular. In my example, I get a popularity score of around 36.
This doesn’t tell you much on its own, so to get a sense of exactly what ’36’ means, you can compare your product to another product that you know is popular.
- To do this, click on “add comparison.”
- Then add a product that you know is popular in South Africa. In my example, I’ll use Nike shoes. This will give you something to compare your product results.
- Compare the results.
Now, remember, all you’re trying to see here is if there is a gap in the market. If your product is not on BidorBuy, and it has a low google trend rating, for example, below 10, then I’d probably stay away from it.
However, if your product is extremely popular as shown on google trends, and there are very few people selling a similar product, then it could mean you’ve found a gap in the market.
Make sure the product actually works.
If you can, order the product and test it in your home. It might cost you a few hundred rands, but man, I can’t stress this enough, it will give you so much more knowledge and confidence in the product, which will make selling it so much easier. If you genuinely have NO money, then you’ll have to rely on the reviews shown on Aliexpress.
Some Aliexpress specific tips that will make selling a lot easier.
- Make sure the Aliexpress store you chose ships to South Africa. There’s nothing worse than selling an item on BidorBuy, then realizing that the Aliexpress store that sells the product doesn’t ship to South Africa. Don’t make that mistake.
- Choose a store that offers free shipping to South Africa. In my experience, shipping costs can take up the bulk of the product costs, so if you can, choose a store that offers free shipping. If you don’t find any, or if you find the ‘free shipping’ products take too long, then make sure you add the shipping fee into your BidorBuy pricing structure to avoid paying for shipping yourself.
- Try to stick to the same Aliexpress store if possible. Over time you’ll build rapport with them, so you’ll be in a position to ask for discounts, etc. They’ll be more likely to look after you.
04. Gather Information On Your Product
So you’ve found a great product on Aliexpress, and you’re ready to sell? Awesome. Before you do, though, you need to gather some information about the product.
Study the product.
To be able to sell effectively, you’ll need to understand the product. If you followed my advice and chose a product that you’re already familiar with, then this step should be easy. Here’s are a few steps you can take to increase your knowledge of the product.
- Look at the product from all sides, find out how it works, and what makes it unique. A quick example, what makes Moringa powder unique is that it an all-natural solution to slimming.
- Make a list of all the problems this product can solve. For example, arthritis, slimming, etc.
- Go even deeper. Choose the pain point with the most significant selling point, and go more in-depth on what these people are struggling with. You can do this by reading through online forums, and by even watching YouTube channels. For example, if I’m targeting people struggling with arthritis, I would want to get involved in arthritis support groups and watch some educational YouTube channels on the topic, etc.
Download and crop pictures.
Since you’re not going to have your hands on the product, the only way you’ll be able to get pictures for your listing is by using the images on the Aliexpress listing. Since you’re using photographs of the actual product you’re selling. This practice is perfectly legal. Just don’t be tempted to find pictures anywhere else online, or else you might run into some copywriting issues.
PRO TIP: Order the product if possible beforehand and make your own assets. It will make you stand out from your competitors.
05. Create Your Fist Listing Page
Now that you have a good understanding of the product, and you have your pictures ready, we can finally create a listing.
Find the create a listing page.
- Login to your BidorBuy account.
- Hover your mouse over “My bidorbuy” at the top right of your screen.
- Click on “sell an item.”
You’ll now be read to start filling in your products details.
Write the product title.
Headlines are critical when trying to get attention. After the image, this will be the first thing that your prospect will look at, so it needs to be as informative as possible. Headlines can make or break your listing, so don’t overlook this.
Great headlines will need to answer these three important questions.
- What is it? First and foremost, you’ll want to give the name of the product as quickly as possible. For example, “Auntie Ann’s.”
- What does it do for the user? Next, you need to explain in as few words as possible what ‘desire’ this product satisfies, but only if it hasn’t been done so in the name of the product already. For example, “weight loss pills” or “Face Moisturizer.”
- What makes it unique? Or mention an objection that this product overcomes that will help it stand out from the rest. This is another reason why you need to be able to understand the product. If you don’t understand it, you might not be able to see what makes your product unique compared to the competition. For example, in my experience, I know that weight loss product brands are known to use harsh ingredients. So mentioning that my product has “Natural ingredients” will make it stand out from the rest.
Putting the answers to all three of those questions together, here’s the final result.
[PRODUCT NAME] + [WHAT IT DOES/DESIRED END RESULT] + [WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE] = HEADLINE
HEADLINE EXAMPLE: [Auntie Ann’s] [Weight Loss Pills] [Made With All Natural Ingredients]
Makes sense? Why not play around with your product’s headline in the comments below, and I’ll let you know how you do.
Select the product category.
Here just choose the product category that you want to sell your product in. This is where people will find your product, so you must select one that closely matches your product.
Mark your product condition as new.
Unless you’re selling used products.
Mark your product location as international.
Since your product will be shipped directly from China to your customer, you’ll want to mark it as international. However, if your product starts selling well, I highly recommend you order stock and ship it directly from your home so that you can mark this as ‘South Africa.” This will help with credibility and it will increase your conversions.
Product quantity and pricing.
The name of the game on BidorBuy is to get attention, and there is no better way to do that than to be the most affordable item on the platform.
A recent study showed that price was one of the most significant factors of conversion rates on google shopping ads. So to get the most attention on your product, try to be as competitively priced as possible. However, don’t go so cheap that you end up losing money.
To get a feel of where your product should be priced, spend 5 to 10 minutes browsing around BidorBuy and find out what your competitors are selling their products for.
Other factors that you need to keep in mind when pricing your product.
- Customers will spend more products that are shipped locally. When you research your competitors’ pricing, take note of where they are shipping their products from.
- Be aware of the exchange rate. When you price your product, be wary of the continually changing dollar to rand conversion rate. You’ll want to price your product high enough so that a drop in the strength of the rand won’t make you unprofitable.
- Price change. Make sure to check your supplier regularly to make sure there’s not a significant price change. It’s happened to me so many times where the price was increased so much that I ended up losing money on the sale.
Another final note on quantity, make sure your product isn’t marked out of stock on Alieexpress. There’s nothing worse than making a sale, only to find out that the product is marked out of stock on Alieexpress.
05. Write The Product Description
Your headline is designed to make your prospect click on to your listing. Now it’s time for your product description to do the selling. It’s vital that you don’t get sloppy here, I’ve seen so many descriptions on BidorBuy that are poorly written without the buyer in mind, which is excellent for you because it will make it so much easier for you to compete with them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Here’s an example of one of my favorite product pages online. I highly recommend you read through it, and as a training exercise, try to pinpoint WHERE and HOW they answered the four questions I wrote below.
Great product descriptions will answer these four key questions that potential clients will have:
What is the product?
This part is simple. You’ll want to explain in as much detail as possible what your product is. Is it a capsule or powder? How big is the box? How heavy is it? What ingredients are in the product etc.
What are the product benefits?
What exactly does this product do for you? Here you’ll want to focus on the desire that has the most significant pain point. For example, Moringa has a dozen different benefits. It increases energy, helps you lose weight, improves overall health, and it helps improve vision, just to name a few.
However, in this example, I will lead with “weight loss” because I know that is the strongest desire that the potential buyer will want to be fulfilled. Only towards the end of the description, can you mention all “other benefits.” But just make sure you don’t dilute your main benefit in the process.
What are the ownership benefits?
Here instead of talking about what the product does for the buyer, focus on what the product stands for. For example, all-natural ingredients, ethical business practices, cruelty-free, organic, halal, etc. To do this successfully, you’ll need to have an idea of how what your customer cares about, another reason why it’s essential to know the product.
Here’s an example of why this matters.
Someone who uses organic makeup will more than likely be concerned about the environment. They’ll care if their products are cruelty-free, or natural and organic.
On the other hand, these same “ownership benefits” aren’t significant for a hunter who is looking to buy a new knife. In this case, he’ll be more concerned with “high quality sourced materials,” or “hand made.”
Get the point? Select the ownership benefits that are important to your client.
How can I trust you?
Here you’ll want to use social proof elements, like reviews, etc.
Within BidorBuy, people don’t review the actual products. They review the seller (you.) Since you’re new to the sellers’ platform, you won’t have any store reviews to leverage. A workaround?
Nothing is stopping you from pulling reviews from Alibaba into your product page description. On top of that, you can also embed video reviews within the product page. I can’t stress this enough. I AM BLOWN AWAY at how few people take the time to do this. This will boost your conversion rates significantly.
If you can’t find any video reviews make some yourself with a simple smartphone. Ask a mom, sister, or even an auntie. It doesn’t matter. The point here is just to get it done.
Another way to display trust is by offering a guarantee. If your supplier offers a money-back guarantee, then you should too.
PRO TIP: When selecting reviews, select ones that support the desired end result that your product satisfies. For example, if you had a weight loss product, select reviews that speak about how much weight they lost.
Other aspect of a product description that conveys trust:
- Grammar. Make sure you use a free tool like Grammarly to check over your writing.
- Formatting and layout. Use a clean layout and make it consistent. Use easy to read font like Ariel. Make all subheadings the same size font, and select the same size font for your body text. Don’t overdo bolding and italics, and be careful not to use too many colors.
- Image and video quality. While I think the picture and video quality is important, I don’t think you need a professional photographer. Just use a decent smartphone, make sure your images and videos are cropped and laid out on your sales page well.
Get a family member to look over your product description to give you some feedback. And if you need an example, remember to view my example product page here.
05. Use The Profit To Buy On Aliexpress
You’ve had your first sale? CONGRATULATIONS! Now it’s time to get the product over to your client as soon as possible. Login to your Aliexpress account, log in, and place the product with your client’s money.
06. Keep Your New Client Happy 🙂
After their purchase, they’ll get an opportunity to rank you as a seller, which is publicly displayed. To be successful in the long term, you’ll want to get as many positive reviews as possible.
- Place their order as soon as possible. The sooner they get the product in their hands, the happier they’ll be.
- Be easy to get a hold of. Customers hate being left in the dark, so if they contact you through the BidorBuy platform, make sure you respond as quickly as possible.
- Keep them informed. If you notice a delay in their order, go out of your way to contact them and let them know. This will show your client that you’re not trying to ‘scam’ them.
- Be transparent about shipping time on your product page. Don’t lie and say, after placing their order, they’ll receive it in 3 days when in reality, it will take ten days. This practice will GUARANTEE negative reviews.
And that’s mostly it. I could have gone even deeper into the specifics, for example, how to upload a video into the BidorBuy product description. However, I decided to leave out those nitty details because this article already turned out longer than I expected. I didn’t want to overwhelm you guys.
IF you need help with any of the details, please leave your question in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
I hope this helps guys, and if this method works for you, make sure you also let us know in the comments. This will also give motivation to others that are about to try the same method.
YOUR TURN: Have you made money on BidorBuy? What worked for you and what didn’t? Let us know in the comments below so that we can all learn from each other!