At the end of this post, I’ll give you a Complete video course on INSTAGRAM SALES SECRET. Yeah. I’m nice like that.
If you have a great homemade product or a growing collection of vintage clothes you would like to sell online, but don’t know where to start.
Here is a great news; while setting up your store is pretty easy, there’s something even simpler – selling your stuff on Instagram.
The Instagram app started out as a popular platform for posting mouth-watering food snaps or wanderlust-provoking travel shots, it’s matured into a multi-faceted online ecosystem with its own informal marketplace.
Here at Idea Honcho, we spent some time exploring popular #instasellers from around the globe and – based on our findings, we’ve came up with a quick guide for selling stuff on Instagram.
- Why sell stuff on Instagram?
- So, how does it work?
- What to sell?
- Who should sell on Instagram?
- How much can you make?
- Top tips for getting the most out of your Instashop
WHY SELL STUFF ON INSTAGRAM?
It may seem odd to try and ply your trade on Instagram instead of trying to fight spots so many online platforms, dedicated to selling – such as Etsy and eBay
Well, firstly, I must say; it needn’t be a choice between any of these platforms – you can use all of them in different ways and even for different platforms.
However, there are some clear advantages for you to enjoy selling on Instagram.
NO TRANSACTION/PROCESSING FEES
On any official shopping platform, a token is charged as commision by the platform for sales made. With eBay, you currently pay 10% of your final transaction value (this is capped at £250 per item, however) and also a small fee of £0.35 per item once you exceed 10 listings. Etsy, on the other hand, you pay a small listing fee of $0.20 USD per item, a 3.5% transaction fee, and a 4% + £0.20 payment processing fee.
But when you sell on instagram, you bypass all of these fees, as you’re dealing with your customer directly via DMs.
IT’S EASY TO USE FOR BOTH YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS
If your customer is on Instagram already, they are probably as familiar with the platform as you are and more likely to complete a transaction because of this. Unlike shopping sites that can be quite difficult sometimes to navigate and even intimidating to those who aren’t 100% comfortable with the idea of making purchases online.
YOU GET TO BUILD A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CUSTOMERS
Instagram allows you to build a personal customer relationship because it is also a social platform, and as such gives you the privilege to create that relationship by, liking their posts, commenting on it, and maybe even contacting them personally when you have something you think they might like to buy.
You could also get testimonials from your customer by encouraging them to share photos of themselves wearing/using the item/s they bought from you and then feature their posts in your own feed as a sign of gratitude as well.
This sort of personal interaction almost feels like the good old village market days, creating community, encouraging customers to return for more purchases later on.
SO, HOW DOES IT WORK?
Launching a shop on instagram is as simple as just setting up your own Instagram account. However, i would like you to just have these two things in mind.
- Name & handle – Ensure to come up with a catchy username for your shop that says something about your product and try securing a @-handle that is as close as possible to this.
- Bio – Use this opportunity to be detailed about how your purchasing process works. E.g. “Quirky mix of vintage, second-hand and pre-loved items for sale. Birmingham-based. Free delivery/pick-up in Birmingham. £4.40 delivery throughout UK. £8.60 for international shipping. Comment SOLD to buy.”
WHAT TO SELL?
Always have it in mind that – people are scrolling through their feed in search of inspiration or while taking a time out and not necessarily looking to spend money. They also would love to be a part of purchasing when they feel it’s a giveaway.
However, if they spot something quirky, limited edition and affordable, they may just feel inspired to part with a couple of pounds.
Here we’ve made a list of products that work well and divided it into those that would be easy to send via post/shipping and those that are better suited to hand-delivery.
These items are all relatively easy to package and would be safe to send off via the postal system/courier, which obviously broadens your client base quite dramatically – perhaps even beyond the borders of the UK. A good idea is to add a disclaimer in your Instagram bio that shipping costs are for the customer’s account and will be added to the sales price of the item.
- Vintage clothing
- Hand-made jewelry
- Vinyl records
- Second-hand books
- Homemade beauty products
- Artworks and illustrations
hand-delivery or pick-up from wherever you’re selling from are preferable option in the case of more fragile items. This might mean that your client base is limited to your city/town/municipal area, but if you find a few loyal customers who spread the word, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
- Potted plants
- Baked goods
- Vintage décor
- Handmade pottery
WHO SHOULD SELL ON INSTAGRAM?
It doesn’t matter if you make jewellery, soft toys, clothing or baked goods, this is a great way to get your brand out there, selling to friends and family initially and then expanding your reach as they help spread the word.
This is also true for the green-fingered individuals out there who are great at propagating plants – if you pop them into attractive pots (even ones you paint/make yourself), you could get a whole virtual nursery going in no time!
Anyone who’s trying to declutter their home may want to turn to Instagram to sell some of their more stylish items. It’s a great way to get rid of unwanted stuff, but make a bit of money in the process.
Lastly, If you a collector, and you love collecting a specific thing or item type. (e.g. vintage clothing, vinyl records, second-hand books), but don’t necessarily want to keep every single item that finds its way into your lair, Instagram offers a good offset option. This is very true for those that have an eye for really beautiful, well-preserved or unique items.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU MAKE?
How much money you make totally depends on what you are selling, whether you made it yourself, what you spent on buying it initially and how unusual it is.
However, you wouldn’t expect making all your earnings by just selling on instagram alone. But it is a great option for anyone looking to make a bit of pocket money through the pursuit of a passion.
TOP TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INSTASHOP
You should know that selling stuffs on instagram isn’t just as simple as posting a few photos and having people falling over their feet to purchase said items. It sure takes some effort to get a popular shop running. Not to worry much about that here are some few simple steps you could use to help you rise above the rest:
POST REALLY BEAUTIFUL SHOTS
Instagram is mainly a visual platform, so you should concentrate on getting beautiful clear and beautiful image. The more beautiful your photos are the more attention they get. So, it’s of utmost importance to set up shots that show off your product clearly, but are also really appealing. Ensure to Post only the very best shots you have.
FOLLOW LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
When you set up your account and posted a few good pictures, it is necessary you start building a community. So ensure to first follow friends and family who know you and support your new business. The next step is to follow people who are doing similar business with you, also you can delve into their their ‘Followers’ lists to follow a few of their fans, in the same hope that they may be interested in what you are selling too. You will be surprised at the way words spread fast and the speed these steps will contribute in making you become a standard feature in relevant people’s feeds.
CONSIDER DOING A LITTLE SHOOT EVERY NOW AND THEN
It doesn’t matter what you are selling on Instagram, whether it is vintage clothing or potted plants, having a styled shoot every now and then could provide you with loads of beautiful photographs to use over a period of time. If you don’t want to spend money on this, just rope in your most talented and photogenic friends to help out.
SET UP SURPRISE FLASH SALES AT ODD HOURS
Just in case you find some of your stuffs not selling as well as expected. It is very considerate for you to a price slash. However, you would have to be very clever about this. Don’t just mark the item down, put them up for sale for a limited time as well, Pick periods when people would be most liable to buying stuff online. These include 11am – 2pm (lunch hours), 5pm – 7pm (commuting hours) and 10pm – 2am (post-dinner, pre-bed, stretching over into the time when only the tipsy socialites and impulsive insomniacs will be browsing online).
USE RECOGNISABLE HASHTAGS
One of the best ways for new followers to find you on Instagram is to use appropriate hashtags to describe your image. Now instagram also allows you to follow Hashtags.
While this depends entirely on what you’re selling, a few generic good ones include:
Researching about hashtags used by individuals, shops and businesses similar to your is very essential.
DO TROUBLE WITH YOUR PACKAGING
It’s the final touch in the business and delivery process and such any diplomacy implied here could win you a customer for life. An express example is; Instead of just sending off/delivering your parcel in a generic manner, make it up in a pretty package of sorts and even add a hand-written note to thank the buyer for their purchase. This kind of personal touch makes all the difference in the way people approach your brand.