How to Sell Products Online – 6 Ways to Make a Good Sale Online

Selling online is one of the profitable things that you can do in the online world but learning how to sell products online is also another challenge. Although there are many ways to sell items on the internet, it is important that you learn and master a few tips and ways on how to sell products online fast.
Here are a few things that you might want to master in selling your items on the internet.

1. Build an online store. One of the straightforward ways on how to sell products online is to make a website, post your products for sale, allow online readers to shop by putting up an online shopping cart and allow them to pay on your website as well. One of the challenges in putting up your online store is to be able to come up with a great website design that can facilitate online shopping and make it as easy as possible for the people to purchase your products.

2. Affiliate marketing. Another way on how to sell products online is through affiliate marketing. In this marketing strategy, you set up an affiliate marketing program and let affiliates or interested individuals sign up for it. You don’t have to promote your products but let the affiliates do it. You will have to pay affiliates a commission as soon as they can make a sale of your products. Of course, affiliate marketing allows you to get the burden of marketing off your shoulders.

3. Online auctions. Another very popular way to sell your items online is through online auctions. In fact, eBay is one popular site that allows you to sell your products online through bidding. One thing that you have to keep in mind if you want to go for the online auctions is to make sure to price your product well. Competition can be tough in online auctions and competitors can go down into a very low level just to make a sale.

4. Find websites where you can sell items you have at a fixed price. If you have very few items for sale, you can also find websites that allow you to post your products for sale at a fixed price. You can actually find a number of them online. This can be a cost-effective way on how to sell products online especially if you only have limited items.

5. Sell your products in online classifieds or local directories.Especially if your products are big and difficult to transport to far places, or if you want to sell something only within your region, this can be a good place to do it.

6. Social networks. There are more productive uses of social networks in these times. One is to putting up an online store and selling products to your social network friends and to the friends of their friends. The networking in this site can be good especially for businesses and if you want to sell your products fast online, go for the social networks.

How To Sell Product Online

Selling products online can be a very lucrative business with the popularity of the internet. You may have a product that you would like to sell or you may want to try to sell other companies’ products and receive a commission. Either way, you will need to learn how this is accomplished. There are certain steps that are involved in learning how to sell products online and I will give you a brief overview of these.

The first step that you must take is to create a website for the product. The name for the website should pertain to the product that you are wanting to sell and should be a word or phrase that receives traffic. You can use keyword tools on the internet to see what words or phrases receive a lot of traffic. Once you have come up with a name you must purchase that website name. Once the website is purchased, you then will set up the site with all of the information about the product and how the viewer can contact you and purchase your product.

The website is not the only thing that is required, though, when learning how to sell product online. The website that you create is the first step in the process and, once it is established, it is basically a piece of “virtual real estate”. It is an entity that sits out in cyberspace. If there is no promotion of this website, the website will sit in cyberspace unknown to anyone.

The next step in selling product online is something called article marketing. You will need to write informative articles about your product that people can read on the internet. These articles are typically the answers to questions that someone has about a topic. These articles are then submitted to online magazine sites such as Street Articles, EzineArticles, etc. Once the articles are approved, people searching for information about your product will see your article on the internet and can learn about the product. For example, let’s say that your product is a power toothbrush and someone is curious which power toothbrush is the best. They type in the phrase “which power toothbrush is the best” into the search box on their computer and the article that you wrote pertaining to this comes up. At the end of the article, you are permitted to place a link to your website. They can click on this link if they like what your article tells them and they will be taken to your website where you can tell them more about the product and how to make a purchase. This is one way that you can drive traffic to your website to generate sales.

Another step in learning how to sell product online is email marketing. There are companies on the internet that can help you set up a sign-up option on your website for people to give you their email information. This allows you to keep them abreast of any promotions or specials on the products that you sell and gives you the option to promote other related products that you believe they may be interested in.

There is so much information available through the internet on how to sell product online. Be careful which sites you use as many websites will tell you that you can become rich overnight selling product online. The truth is that it takes hard work and a huge commitment so be careful when gathering information on how to sell product online. There are legitimate websites online that will take you step-by-step through the process and make it much easier to learn how to sell product online.

The Video Production Business – A Formula For Operational Success

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the responsibilities we have as video production business entrepreneurs. In order to have projects to work on, you have to spend time selling your services.

To have prospects to sell to, you have to spend time marketing your video business. To have the money to make sure you, your employees and all your business bills get paid, you have to spend time in collections making sure that your clients are paying on time.

To have profit to share with yourself and business partners, you have to make sure that everything above is working together in a harmonious fashion and if they aren’t, you must adjust accordingly.

Here’s my business list of priorities:

1. SALES – In order to keep the doors open, I must generate sales. This is why sales is the first part of the business that gets my attention in the morning and is the last thing I think about at the end of the day.

Without sales, we have no projects to work on, which mean we have no money. So, on the days or in the weeks where I have a lot of sales activity, nothing else gets a lot of attention. If I have a project that is due the same week as heavy sales activity, I know it’s going to be a week of extremely long days without a lot of sleep because I’ll have to handle project responsibilities after hours.

The down side is that I’m exhausted at the end of several weeks/months of pulling double shifts. The upside is that if I’m extremely busy in sales and equally busy in production, it means that my business is making a lot of money.

2. PRODUCTION – After the sales activities are taken care of, I focus 100% of my energy on the next priority – Production. My focus is only on clearing the shelf as fast as I can so that there’s room for the next round of sales activity. I have found that an empty shelf will replenish itself faster and with higher paying work than a shelf that is always half full.

Plus, a video production project that has had 100% of your attention for a week will ALWAYS be higher quality than a video project that you have given 25% of your attention for 4 weeks. (Better quality = Happier clients = More sales!)

3. MARKETING – If there aren’t any sales opportunities and zero projects to work on, it’s time to allocate time and energy to marketing. This is my least favorite activity because it usually means that business is slow and I have to spend time rubbing elbows with people I have nothing in common with at meetings I don’t want to attend.

Marketing is absolutely necessary to have a growing, successful video production business. The best marketing you can do is to give each client the best product and experience you can so put all your energy and effort into the production process and the client relationship when it’s “go” time.

Think of your sales as an ocean’s tide. It comes and it goes except that your business doesn’t have the universal forces of gravity and the moon to push and pull your tide (sales)

4. ACCOUNTING – This is the easiest category for me because I don’t do it. My wife Christy (who is also our CFO) handles all of this for us and does a fantastic job. My specialty is to make the money (sales, production, marketing). Her specialty is to keep the money (accounting, financial projections, cash flow management, etc.)

Christy provides me with accurate financial data for all areas of our business once per week and we discuss them over a glass of wine in our kitchen at home. By the time the wine bottle is put back in the fridge, this very important aspect of running our business is taken care of.

5. EVERYTHING ELSE – In my opinion, the “everything else” category gets smaller and smaller the longer you run a video production business. This is mainly because you eventually figure out the formula of success that works for your business and you stick to it.

This category includes taking time to think about expansion into new markets or researching the latest camera configuration for the hood of your car that you might use in a video production 2 years from now.

Simply put, the “everything else” category of tasks, for me, has turned into the “what I’m going to hire someone else to do” category. I’m happier because I eliminate time wasting tasks that don’t directly impact the revenue generating activities for the business and I get to spend more time with my wife and children.

Why Plastic Products Fail

The development of plastics and their associated processing techniques has been a phenomenal episode in the history of materials science. With large scale development taking place only within the last 60 years, the use of plastics in product design and manufacture has spiraled at a rate unrivaled by conventional materials. Due to the wide spectrum of properties available, plastics have become one of the most sought after materials in the world today.

More plastics are now available to the designer and engineer than at any previous stage in the history of industry. Today there are over 90 generic plastics and around 1000 sub-generic modifications with 50 thousand commercial grades available from over 500 manufacturers.

The short history of plastic development and proven usage has meant for the designer and engineer that for critical engineering applications there has never been enough time to fully explore service life and problems that might occur during the use of plastics. There has always been the question of vulnerability to failure and the ramifications of potential litigation. To some degree this situation has improved, as the portfolio of successful plastic designs has grown in demanding engineering applications. However, for new innovative applications pushing the boundaries of material performance the problem remains.

Designing to ensure plastic product reliability is critical due to the increasing importance of:

Product liability claims
Environmental concerns
Certification in order to become an approved supplier
An awareness of quality costs
Product liability can be the most damaging with settlements and penalties in the order of thousands or even millions of pounds, particularly when failure has resulted in personal injury or death. In addition to litigation financial costs, there is the distraction of key employees from normal duties, loss in product perception, brand credibility and manufacturer reputation.

Considering that approximately 70% of plastic products fail prematurely, failures have been poorly reported since the owners of failed products are naturally generally reluctant to publicise the fact. Failure investigations of such cases tend not to be disseminated due to client confidentiality agreements and for this reason the activity is predominately covert. As a consequence the potential benefits such as learning from the mistakes and misfortunes of others, and identifying priorities for research and critical issues in product development are far from being fully exploited.

It is clear from the extent of plastic and rubber failure investigations conducted by Smithers Rapra that limited dissemination of plastic and rubber failure knowledge within the public domain has resulted in a continual cycle of plastic and rubber failure incidents from all industrial sectors. The lessons of good plastic and rubber product design are not being learnt even in light of the enormous growth in product liability cases that have imposed an entirely new dimension on the consumer product environment. It is now well established in law that manufacturers are liable for injuries resulting from defective product; for injuries from a hazard associated with a product against which the user should have been warned; or for damages caused by misapplication of a product which could have been foreseen by the manufacturer.

It is a practical necessity to understand why plastics fail in order to minimise the failure scenario. Smithers Rapra has acquired this knowledge due to 50 years dealing with a diverse clientele providing technical services aimed at problem solving and in particular failure diagnosis.

Failure is a practical problem with a product and implies that the component no longer fulfils its function. Frequently, the ability to withstand mechanical stress or strain (and thereby store or absorb mechanical energy) is the most important criterion in service and consequently mechanical failure is usually a primary concern. However failure may also be attributed to loss of attractive appearance or shrinkage.

In order to avert product failure it is critical that at all stages of the design process there must be a concurrent engineering approach to product development. This system ensures that from inception of the project until final high volume manufacture all parties involved (marketing, industrial design, product engineers, plastic expert, tooling designers/engineers and processors) continually communicate in order to take advantage of the valuable knowledge and experience of all. Key to successful design is that all aspects of the performance, production, assembly and ultimate use of the part are considered. Furthermore all parties promote building reliability and safety into the product.

In order to reduce the likelihood of product failure all parties within the design process must have the ability to imagine how their designed plastic part could fail. This can only be achieved if the product design team has a good appreciation of plastics material selection, product design, processing and specific material weaknesses and fault/ failure modes and avoidance.

Plastic product failure is commonly associated with human error or weakness and is typically associated with the factors shown in figure 1.0

Human Causes of Failure (%)

In an attempt to reduce the incidence of plastic product failure we must react to the fact that they are typically due to human error, misunderstanding and ignorance of plastic materials and associated processes and that the material or process is usually not at fault.

It is hoped that the following information will provide some insight into complexity of plastics design and plastic failure modes.

Poor Material Selection / Substitution
Failures arising from incorrect material selection and grade selection are perennial problems in the plastics industry. In order to perform plastic material selection successfully a complete understanding of plastic material characteristics, specific material limitations and failure modes is required. Good material selection requires a judicious approach and careful consideration of application requirements in terms of mechanical, thermal, environmental, chemical, electrical and optical properties. Production factors such as feasible and efficient method of manufacture in relation part size and geometry need to be assessed. In terms of economics the material cost, cycle times and part price need to be considered.

Two common reasons for improper material selection are that the material selector has limited plastics knowledge and expertise and is unfamiliar with the material selection process. Alternatively, a suitable material has been specified but not used. Materials substitutions most commonly occur when the customer is unable to enforce quality procurement specifications, particularly if manufacturing site is remotely based. Common problems encountered include:

Processor simply substituting with a cheaper material.
Use of the wrong grade of material (incorrect MFI).
Use of general purpose PS rather than HIPS.
Homopolymer used instead of copolymer
Incorrect pigments, fillers, lubricants or plasticisers used.
Poor Design

There are no absolute rules pertaining to plastic product design. However, some general principles and guidelines are well established particularly between amorphous and semi-crystalline thermoplastics and thermosets and the various processing techniques. These are readily available from material suppliers.

The basic rules apply to fillets, radii, wall thickness, ribs, bosses, taper, holes, draft, use of metal inserts, undercuts, holes, threads, shrinkage, dimensional tolerance. Design rules which apply to secondary joining and assembly processes (welding, mechanical fastening and adhesive/solvent welding) need to be carefully evaluated too.

The designer and engineer should be aware that due to the diverse range of plastic materials and properties the design criteria will change form material to material as well as application to application.

Common design errors are related to abrupt geometrical changes excessive wall thickness, sharp corners and lack of radii, lack of understanding of the creep mechanism due to plastic visco-elasticity, environmental compatibility, draft, placement of ribs and injection gates.

A significant number of plastic parts fail due to sharp corners / insufficient radius. Sharp corners create stress concentrations resulting in locally high stresses and strains. Since plastics are notch sensitive the stress concentration will promote crack initiation and ultimately fracture. They also impede material flow and ejection form the tool.

A significant number of failures can be attributed to excessive wall thickness and abrupt geometrical change. A pre-requisite is that uniform wall thickness is maintained since this keeps sink marks, voids, warpage, and moulded-in stress to a minimum.

Designers and engineers must be fully conversant with the visco-elastic nature of plastics and their creep, creep rupture, stress relaxation and fatigue mechanisms.

Visco-plastic materials respond to stress as if they were a combination of elastic solids and viscous fluids. Consequently they exhibit a non-linear stress-strain relationship and their properties depend on the time under load, temperature, environment and the stress or strain level applied. An example of viscoelasticity can be seen with Silly Putty. If this material is pulled apart quickly it breaks in a brittle manner. If, however, pulled slowly apart the material behaves in a ductile manner and can be stretched almost indefinitely. Decreasing the temperature of Silly Putty, decreases the stretching rate at which it becomes brittle. Key is that the designer and engineer understand that:

Plastics will deform under load
When subjected to static low stress / strain a ductile / brittle transition will occur at some point in time resulting in brittle failure
Cyclic stressing will result in a ductile / brittle transition resulting in brittle failure at low stress level
Premature initiation of cracking and embrittlement of a plastic can occur due to the simultaneous action of stress and strain and contact with specific chemical environments (liquid or vapour)

Design failure may also be attributed to reduced safety factors due to cost pressures and the use of plastics is demanding applications taking them to their design limits where on occasion they are exceeded.

Poor Processing

Poor processing, accounts for many in-service failures. Often the problem can be traced to a blatant disregard for established processing procedures and guidelines provided by material manufacturers. The driving force behind this is often economic – the need to achieve reduced cycle times and higher production yield.

Typical processing faults are given in Table 1.0. Many of these faults can generally be overcome by attention to processing variables such as temperature, shear rates, cooling times and pressure.

Table 1.0 Processing faults

Use of inappropriate process equipment
Non-uniform wall thickness
Short shots
Bubbles
Sink marks
Post-moulding shrinkage
Warping / distortion
Foreign body contamination
Voids
Cosmetic – discolouration, splay marks
Degradation(insufficient drying of material, process temperature too high, residence time in the barrel too long, shear heating, too much regrind Self-contamination (e.g., part-melted granules).
Self-contamination (e.g., part-melted granules).
Poor material homogeneity
Poor weld lines and spider lines
Residual stress
Molecular orientation
Development of low or excessive crystallinity
Abnormal crystalline texture
Insufficient packing
Scorching
Jetting
Flashing
Abnormal spatial and size distribution of phases in composites

Mis-use / Abuse

Plastic product failure due to mis-use may result from a disregard for manufacturer installation instructions and failure to heed warnings. Failure may also occur due to simply using a product beyond its recommended service life, for function it was not intended or simply due to malicious attack.

Plastic Failure Modes

The main failure modes of plastics can be classed as mechanical, thermal, radiation, chemical and electrical as shown in Table 2.0. Classification of failure mode by mechanism shows that mechanical failure is the predominant mechanism although it is often the end result of many other failure modes.

From Smithers Rapra’s experience we have found that the vast majority of plastic product failures are due to the cumulative effects of synergies between creep, fatigue, temperature, chemical species, UV and other environmental factors.

Table 2.0 Plastic Failure Modes Mechanisms

Mechanical Modes
Deformation and distortion due to creep & stress relaxation, Yielding, , Crazing
Brittle Fracture due to Creep rupture (static fatigue), Notched creep rupture, Fatigue (slow crack growth from cyclic loading), High energy impact
Wear & abrasion,

Thermal Modes
Thermal fatigue
Degradation – thermo-oxidation
Dimensional instability
Shrinkage
Combustion
Additive extraction

Chemical Modes
Solvation, Swelling, dimensional instability and additive extraction
Oxidation
Acid induced stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
Hydrolysis (water, acid or alkali)
Halogenation
Environmental stress cracking (ESC)
Biodegradation

Radiation Modes
Photo-oxidative degradation (UV Light)
Ionising radiation ( gamma radiation, X rays)

Electrical Modes
Electrostatic build-up, Arcing, tracking, Electrical and water treeing

Synergistic Modes
Weathering – effects due to photo and thermo-oxidation, temperature cycling, erosion by rain and wind-borne particles and chemical elements in the environment

Smithers Rapra have undertaken over 5000 failure investigations of which a significant number can be attributed to embrittlement and / or brittle fracture resulting from slow degradation or deterioration processes. From Figure 2.0 it can be seen that ESC, fatigue, notched static rupture, thermal degradation, UV degradation and chemical attack fall into this category, even when the material was reported to be ductile.

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