How To Sell Online In India - A Compact Guide For Beginners

Online selling has emerged as the hottest trend in India. There are unlimited opportunities to sell online in India both part time and full time.

Whether you want to sell at a marketplace like Snapdeal or to open your online store, this step by step guide will help you launch your online selling business successfully.

Make your goals clear

You should have a clear vision of why you want to build this business. Identify your goals before you actually get started. Be clear about whether you want to set up a full time business or you just want to make some extra money.


Most of the successful online sellers did extensive research before starting their online selling venture. This is the most crucial first step you have to take before you sell online in India.

Do research regarding market trends, pricing, competition, online security etc. This will help you to avoid costly mistakes after you actually get started.


You must get all the legal registrations which are essential like VAT number, company registration, food license etc. Discuss with your CA about your business plan and seek his advice regarding any registrations required to sell online in India.

This is very important to avoid any legal problems in the future. There have been many instances where sellers got penalized by tax authorities for violating norms.So take this seriously.

Choose product

Choosing the right product is another most important decision you have to make. Always start with products which have low investment and low risk.

If you are planning to sell products like apparels and electronics, you will need to devise a very good strategy as the competition is the toughest there. Try to find a product which has low competition.

Read: How To Choose Products To Sell Online

Decide where to sell

Except a reputed brand that needs to have online store as a complement to offline ventures, every newbie should start selling at a good marketplace.

Selling at online marketplace is a wise decision because there is so much to learn about how this business works. Also, if you sell at a marketplace you don’t have to keep much inventory.

See the list of online marketplaces in India.

Ebay is the best marketplace to start with as it offers state of the art seller trainings which can greatly help you to sell online in India.

Marketplaces may require some documents to be submitted by the sellers. Though most of the required documents are same, some marketplaces may ask for additional documents. You should keep these documents ready for submission:

  • TIN( Taxpayers Identification Number for paying VAT/CST).
  • Cancelled cheque
  • PAN Card copy
  • Copy of trademark registration certificate (If applicable)
  • Images of brand logo(If applicable)

Once you learn the tips and tricks and you feel confident, its time to get ready to sell on other marketplaces as well.

Unicommerce and Browntape are excellent innovative websites which can help you manage your sales at multiple marketplaces. If you get your ideas right, you can earn in lakhs per month by selling at selected marketplaces.

This does not mean that opening an online store is an unwise decision. Rather, your goal should be to ultimately have your own store to establish your brand, and to keep selling at marketplaces as well.

Technology has made it easy for anyone without much technical knowledge and programming skills to run online store like a pro.

Requirements to setup online store to sell online in India

Domain name

Choose a good domain name (your web address). There are many well reputed registrars where you can purchase a domain name of your choice. GoDaddy is the no.1 place to go.

Ecommerce software

This is a software which you need to create your beautiful site, from display to inventory management to checkout. There are two kinds of softwares

  • SaaS (Software as a Service).
  • Open source softwares.

SaaS is a self hosted solution which offers cutting edge technology. You have to pay a monthly subscription fee and forget about server hosting and security updates as the service provider takes care of these.

Open source software is freely available to all. You can download and use it with more flexibility but you are responsible for the maintenance and security of your website. And, managing your site can be complex as you need to have technical skills.

Elizabeth at compares the difference between self hosted and open source hosted solution with that of renting an apartment in a complex and buying a house.

SaaS is the best option for startups as it is the easiest and the cost effective way. There are many SaaS in India where you can start your store within minutes. Again, research is required while choosing SaaS, as you need to do comparison between different platforms.

Shopify is by far the world’s leading and highly recommended SAAS platform.

If you use a SaaS platform to sell online in India, you need to connect your domain there or you can also purchase domain directly from the service providers. Watch this video.

Web hosting

If you decide to use open source software, you need a reliable web host. While selecting a web host, money should not be the consideration. Never buy a hosting package just because it is cheaper. You may have to pay a heavy price later on as your site is more likely to go down and face serious security challenges.

Choose a payment gateway

Choose a good payment gateway and integrate in your cool website to accept payments by credit card.

As the chances of fraud in online business is very high, select a payment gateway that provides maximum security. Use a well grounded payment gateway like ccavenue to sell online in India.

Follow online security practices

Though online security threats are increasing everyday, there are many good companies like Norton and Kaspersky that provide security protection for your PC. Make it sure to follow all the security guidelines and install strong anti virus software.

As I have mentioned earlier, if you buy hosting package from a good web host your site will be hosted on secured server but it is always recommended to have additional layer of security.


This is the toughest and most exciting part. You need smart marketing strategies to promote your store.

Stay informed and be on top of the latest news and topics in e commerce. Having Updated knowledge about new developments is very crucial for long term success.

Some other ways to sell online in India

  • Make a list of used stuff lying at home which you want to dispose off. You can list used items for auction at ebay. You can also sell these items on OLX and Quikr.
  • Internet has made it easy to publish books. If you can write, you can publish and sell your e — book on Amazon kindle publishing.
  • Sell on social media. Start with selling on Facebook and Twitter, where you can sell your own products or as an affiliate for reputed companies like Amazon.

Before you make a decision to start selling, you need to know some important points to avoid costly mistakes. Sign up to get instant access to the exclusive content here: