Thursday, December 1 2022

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Since the start of the pandemic, e-commerce sales have been much higher than they have been in the past. However, as you may have heard many times, the pandemic didn’t create this trend – it just accelerated it because it was already in motion. In other words, there’s little reason to think that e-commerce won’t be a huge source of revenue in the years to come.

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This is great news for aspiring entrepreneurs and freelancers, as e-commerce businesses are often easy to start and can have very little overhead. Of course, your costs may be higher if you sell physical products, but with some of the following ideas, even physical goods may not require a lot of capital.

More importantly, all of these ideas are businesses you can start tomorrow from home. This does not necessarily mean that you will immediately start earning thousands of dollars. It can take months or even years to get there. Nevertheless, you can start some of these ideas on the side and develop them over time. Here are eight e-commerce businesses that could lead to major success.

Online course

Online courses are a great business idea because the upfront costs are minimal, but some of the more popular courses sell for hundreds of dollars. This one is much easier to get started if you’re already an expert on a valuable topic.

If you’re not already an expert, think about knowledge and skills that will help other entrepreneurs make more money. Once you’ve built your course, it’s mostly a matter of promotion and maybe some periodic updates.

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Electronic books

Like online courses, eBooks are essentially just another way to impart your knowledge and skills. If you have a subject that doesn’t require showing your screen – or if you’re just better at expressing yourself through text – eBooks are another option.

E-books generally don’t sell as much as online courses, but you can create several and sell them through your online store. In many cases, it’s as simple as creating a PDF. Of course, they must contain valuable information if you want people to pay for them.


Printables are another digital product that you can sell through your online store. They come in many forms, such as organizers, calendars, greeting cards, and budget printables. If you can put a unique twist on one of these products that makes people want to buy them, you could have a viable e-commerce business. You can sell them through your own store or use a marketplace like Etsy.

Printables are easy to get started and there isn’t a lot of risk involved. You can also use free tools like Canva to create them. So even if your first idea (or five) doesn’t sell, you can keep testing until you find one that people love.

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Natural products

People are increasingly interested in natural products these days, whether because of climate change or simply to reduce the impact on their local communities. Although the idea is broad, natural products can include cleaning, beauty and hygiene products. Think bamboo toothbrushes and soap that eliminate plastic packaging. If you can create these products using natural materials, you may be able to sell them online.


If by any chance you already own a high-quality camera, you can turn it into a money-making machine. Millions of people create content every day and they need images to bring that content to life. Therefore, you can capture interesting photos and sell them to photo sites. Other photographers take a different route and start a business by taking photos at events, such as weddings.

Return products

Returning products can be a fun and interesting way to make money online, and there are different ways to do it. Some people find low-priced items at thrift stores and flea markets and resell them immediately. Others find products like furniture that have “good bones” so they can rearrange them and resell them for a profit through their store. Be creative and use your skills for this e-commerce idea.

Drop shipping

One of the issues with running an online store is having a place to store physical products, not to mention the cost of purchasing your own inventory up front. Dropshipping is a potential solution to these problems that has grown in popularity in recent years.

With dropshipping, instead of holding and selling your own inventory, you buy it from a third party, such as a wholesaler. You are simply acting as a middleman and fulfilling orders as they come in.

Online Coaching

Online coaching is more of a service than a product. However, you can create coaching packages that you sell through your online store or use your cheaper physical products to advertise.

Of course, with coaching, it’s important to have expertise in your field and build a reputation. So you shouldn’t expect to be an overnight success as a coach, but it’s something you can start right away. Be sure to ask for testimonials along the way, as word of mouth and social promotion are critically important in this industry.

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About the Author

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer specializing in topics such as investing, banking, credit cards, and real estate. His work has been featured on The Ladders, The Good Men Project and Small Biz Daily. He also co-runs Modest Money and is a dog sitter and walker.


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