How to Start an Online Store With No Money and Make Profit

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With the advent of the internet, starting an online store with no money has become so easy for anyone with such intent to accomplish. Due to the digital age, common things like buying goods and making payments has been moved to an online platform. It has become a massive trend and because of this, many retail stores have moved their business online.

The platforms are there for you already should you decide to start an online business; but to be successful; your online store should have a blend of all the necessary factors to keep it up and running.

Below are the four easy ways to start your online store from start with no capital.

start an online store with no money

Develop your Plan and Strategy

Developing your plans and strategy would help you know exactly the following;

  • What you intend to achieve
  • How you intend to achieve it
  • When you should have achieved it.

There are lots of competitions out there, so it is necessary to have a robust plan and strategy that would enable you to survive. Your plan and strategy should contain;

  • Your Niche
  • Source of product
  • Promotional strategy
  • Pricing strategy
  • Budget

You have to measure all these versus existing competition to know if you can survive the market. Therefore to set up an online retail store requires you to have your plan and strategies right. Starting out unprepared is a risk you wouldn’t want to take.

Choosing your Niche

In starting out your online retail store, it is highly suggested you don’t go to a general store. The competition that comes with having a general store is mind-boggling, and you might not be able to survive it – especially with low financial power for promotions. Choosing your niche while setting up your online retail business would help you narrow down your target audience and hit the right people with the right message.

It would also have an advantage over general online stores because you’d be seen as an expert in what you sell. There are several niches like;

  • Fashion
  • Health
  • Men’s clothing
  • Women clothing
  • Children’s apparel
  • Sunglasses
  • Shoes, etc.

Assuming you have a store that sells women’s watch, more people will come to you to buy women’s watch than those that sell a bit of everything.

Choosing the Product to Sell

If you aren’t a manufacturer of any product, then this might be a difficult task for you while going towards starting your own online store with no money. It means you either have to dropship, or you become an affiliate – either way, you should have a product to offer.

I believe that if you are interested in starting an online store with no money should already have the products they intend to sell, this would make it easy for you to quickly set up your online store and start making sales.

Setup up your Online Store Website

There are lots of tools out there that make it easy for you to quickly fit into this. I will break it down for two categories of people;

  • Those who intend to start their online store with no money – I mean no single cash to spend
  • Those who can afford to self-host their online store on the internet.

free stores online to help you start your online store without money

If you have a product to sell, and you don’t have any single cash to self-host your online store, then you can utilize several online platforms already created for you. There are several platforms like eBay, Jiji, Jumia, Amazon, Aliexpress, and

All these platforms already exist, so you can utilize their channels and promote your goods and products.


If you can self-host your online store, then there won’t be any need utilizing other people’s platform to promote your product. To achieve this, you would have to do the following;

  • Get a custom domain name
  • Get hosted on self-host plan
  • Create your online store website

You can create your online store website with the free tool called WordPress. It is easy to setup and can easily be customized. It doesn’t cost money to set up, and you can watch the video below to help you through the customization process.

Getting your Inventory

An online store is nothing if you have nothing to sell. Now that you have designed your online website which would act as you store, the next step is to acquire inventory for your store. It would be easier to create an inventory because you’ve narrowed your product selection to a niche. It is important to make the best selection and target the best products. If you decide to manufacture your own products, then the issue of getting an inventory is already settled.

Upload your Products Images/Fill out Contents of the websites

Since your online store is live, you would need to upload the images of the products you intend to sell. After which you would write the contents which include;

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • FAQ pages

If you are in doubt of your abilities to handle the write-ups, you can hire a seasoned writer to help you with that. You don’t need to compromise on your content quality.

If the product images are too much to be handled just by you, you can equally outsource the job to someone you trust to help you achieve that.

Delivery Arrangement

Delivery is an important chain in the business process of an online store, so it should be plan carefully. You can employ the services of a third-party delivery system – this would help you save cost initially since the customers would pay for their own delivery.

If you are selling across geographical locations, then you should be familiar with the shipping costs when sending goods to any country outside of the US.

Promote Your Online Store

Now that everything is set, you are seriously anticipating customers to visit your store. You aren’t going to sit down and watch clients flock to your store – it wouldn’t happen. You would have to go all out and get them. Since we are focused on how starting an online store with no money, we would be seriously considering the free channels to promote your online store. You can get more ideas where I wrote how to start an online business.

Free Channels to Promote the Online Store


Content Marketing

This is the best method when it comes to free channels of promotions. It is a part of the inbound type of digital marketing that makes clients visit your store because of what you have to offer.

Let’s say you write an article on “how to cure bald hair”, and you sell related products. Interested customers who are suffering from baldness would surely visit your online store to know the product (solution) you are proffering for their baldness.

Depending on the product you are selling, there are thousands of contents out there to match the product. I always do recommend this site for contents lifting. But be sure to modify before posting on your site/blog.

Related: Online Business Ideas To Make Money

Social Media Followers

This should be your next step if you intend starting an online store with no money. But the issue with social media is about keeping your target audience engaged. You have to bring out contents that would result in followers.

There are specifically three types of contents that convert;

  • Tips/Tricks
  • Do it Yourself
  • Simple Hacks.

When you release contents like the above in either picture or video formats, you stand a high chance to gain a huge number of social media followers. These followers might literally translate into buying customers.

Forum Posting

There are several forums that allow you the privilege to create and post quality contents for its followers to read. It starts with creating a high converting content and posting it out there as an informational material.

Forums like Reddit, Quora, Nairaland, Stumbleupon, are all great platforms to exhibit your product using content marketing. Be sure to answer corresponding questions and clear objections as they come around.

Setting up an online store is one of the ways to make money online because money can flow in as soon as you’ve set up your website. But it totally depends on your planning, strategy, promotions and ability to think outside the box.

If you’ve got questions or contributions, you can use the comment section below and I will give you answers. Thanks.

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Obinwanne Umunna
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