Overview and How to Get Started Selling Local Thai Products Online
Go to markets in your new country and see what they have that you could sell online. We did this, and have some extra income each month selling something we never considered prior to beginning four years ago. We would have never imagined we’d be selling Thai goods on a website, we just gave it a shot and it worked on a small scale. My wife ramped up and now have livable income each month as a result.
See more ways to Make Money in Thailand here >
Positives of Thailand eCommerce
1. You can buy locally made products at a very low cost and sell them at a very good markup. Markups of 500% are not unheard of.
2. Shipping is cheap for light items. Sell something lightweight. Heavy items start around $50 USD and more. Probably too expensive in most cases.
3. EBay, Etsy, Amazon, Facebook – all make it easy to sell your items. Many Thais have side-businesses selling their goods through local Thailand classified ads on Facebook.
Negatives of Selling Local Items Online in Thailand
1. Creating a website store takes some time, money, and effort. It might be best to create a general gift store – trying to sell all sorts of items, and then narrowing down – what sells, what isn’t worth the effort.
2. Buyers that chargeback on Paypal or through their credit card company after you send the goods.
3. Marketing requires serious effort. You can’t just build a store and they will come. Marketing will be the bulk of your effort for the first year, two years.
Hint – don’t get into an ultra-competitive niche like jewelry sales, clothing sales, etc. Find a small, tight niche like – gongs; bells; wind chimes; bamboo candles; bamboo shirts, etc.
Resources for Thailand ECommerce
Woothemes.com just came out with e-commerce enabled WordPress themes that make it easy to list your products and integrate a shopping cart payment system with it – like Paypal, Google Payments, etc. Click here to see their themes, starting around $70.
Look at this company, “Red Dirt Shirts” they started out over two decades ago (and their website hasn’t caught up!) and were selling red dirt t-shirts from Hawaii when I was living there. Now they have shirts made from the red dirt of many places. The idea could be something right under your nose. Be creative and see what you can come up with.
This company started selling edible insects, worms, and scorpions after the owner noticed how sustainability was becoming a topic of worldwide interest – https://www.thailandunique.com/edible-insects-bugs
Comments About Selling Local Thai Items Online
This idea, selling something online, has one of my strongest recommendations. You already live in a foreign country, you have access to many products in the markets (try Chatuchak in Bangkok!) that you’ve never seen before. Take the opportunity to sell something online – something unique, something useful or fanciful, whatever it is – but, sell something.
As I mentioned, we started a small online store that was mildly successful, and then we ramped it up. We do nothing for the site but respond to an email about orders, and send the orders to customers worldwide. There really is something to be said for online sales.
The biggest drawback to this one is that you need to have a website to sell your products. You could offer a web designer a share of the income of the site for a year – if they create the site for you and show you how it works. Or, you could create a WordPress.com site or some other instant web presence (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest) that will allow you to get started quickly.