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Channel Selling Services: Third-Party Platforms

It’s that time of year where people are checking their lists and checking them twice. For accountants and business owners that means checking the balance sheet and income statement., otherwise known as one’s income and expenses for the year. What better way to spend the holidays than preparing for tax season or making plans to start a new business.

Starting an online store can be rewarding and profitable when done correctly. Running your own store means you don’t have to pay fees on each sale or follow third-party rules. The main drawback, though, is how to create traffic on your site and build your brand. The other, and easier, option is to take advantage of the third-party channel selling services that are there to help.

There has been a rapid growth of selling sites for entrepreneurs to use to jump-start their business. There are hundreds of places to sell products online. Some are geared towards specific product types and others are a jumble of everything you can find. Below is a list of a few of the different and popular options to use for any online selling needs.

  • Shopify:
    • Easy site creation with zero tech skills and low costs.
    • Known for its affordable prices, professional design, and useful marketing tools.
    • Can be used to sell on one’s own website or across multiple marketplaces.
    • Easily integrates into QuickBooks Online.
    • Sales tax is not filed on behalf of the seller, so one will need to remember to file when needed.
  • eBay:
    • Original destination for selling merchandise online since around 1995. One can sell anything, and there is a continuous flow of motivated customers.
    • Easy integration into the online store and QuickBooks Online.
    • There are selling fees that should be taken into consideration.
    • A non-refundable listing fee is charged for each product.
    • If listing the same item in two different categories, there’s an insertion fee.
    • Charges a final value fee that is usually between 10% – 12% of the total amount of sale; this includes the shipping costs and handling charges.
    • Files and tracks sales tax on behalf of the seller.
  • Bonanza:
    • Growing in popularity as an eBay alternative. Offers more unique and handmade items that may not be normally seen on eBay.
    • Able to negotiate an offer on the price through the platform.
    • Does not charge to list products on the site, but does take a small percentage of final sales price after sale is made.
    • Easily integrates with other platforms like QuickBooks Online.
    • Files and tracks sales tax on behalf of seller.
  • Etsy:
    • Handcrafted and vintage items are sold here.
    • Offers access to a buyer network, pop-up storefront, and tools to help market one’s business on the platform.
    • Charges $0.20 listing fee on each item, and each listing expires after four months.
    • When sales are made, there is a transaction fee of 6.5% of the display price plus the amount charged for shipping and gift wrapping.
    • Integrates easily with QuickBooks Online.
    • Files and tracks sales tax on behalf of seller.
  • Amazon:
    • The pioneer of the concept of online marketplaces. It continues to reign supreme as a global ecommerce platform.
    • The cost to sell on Amazon depends on the place, product category, fulfillment strategy, and other variables.
    • The minimum one would pay is $39.99 per month for the professional seller plan.
    • Easily integrates with QuickBooks Online.
    • Files and tracks sales tax on behalf of the seller.

Channel selling services offer a large variety of options on where and how to sell. One service may be a better fit for one seller than another. They give entrepreneurs the freedom to focus on other items in their business. The shipping, gift wrapping, and marketing tend to be handled and one’s left with only the responsibility of their business plan and the creation of the product. If you are looking to open a business but are not sure how to get your store up and running, I recommend you take a look through your third-party providers and see what options you have. Especially the ones you already use since you know there is traffic on those sites.

November is the month for Entrepreneurs, and it also happens to be during the biggest shopping season of the year. Check out the latest blogs that offer a different point of view for this holiday and gift-giving season: “Business Gifts: An Accountant’s Guide to Holiday Gift Giving” and “Buy, Buy, Buy! – Small Businesses Need Support Too.”

If you would like to talk to one of our professionals on any other business-related topic, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Outsourced Accounting team.

About the Author

Alonia Johnston

Alonia joined McKonly & Asbury in 2022 and is currently a Senior Accountant in the firm’s Outsourced Accounting Segment.

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