[Partner Blog] 5 Tips For Selling Online During COVID-19

June 3, 2020

Marketplaces Amelia Erskine By OnBuy.com

With the world currently caught in the grips of a pandemic, the only thing that we can immediately be certain of is, well, uncertainty. These are testing times, creating a level of disruption that generations of people won’t have experienced before – both personally and professionally.

One way to continue to be positive and navigate through the COVID-19 sea is by looking to the future. While selling through a marketplace requires keeping your finger on the pulse, setting a goal can help persevere through this difficult time. We want to share that we’re not letting our sellers go through this alone. It’s instances like this where people and businesses can offer a lending hand and support one another.

At OnBuy, the fastest-growing marketplace in the world, we pride ourselves on supporting our sellers along with being fair and transparent. So, we’ve compiled five top tips to help sellers make sure their products reach the right customers when they need it most. These tips will help you grow your sales on your chosen marketplace, during the pandemic and beyond.

Everything is an opportunity

From the perspective of a marketplace, we want our sellers to feel secure and know that we’re all in this together. We know the importance of supporting our sellers, which is why we don’t compete with them by retailing our own products. At the same time competition can be healthy from the perspective of a consumer, it’s an additional level of pressure that we don’t want to pass on to our sellers, which helps them even more whilst up against the fierceness of this pandemic.

We encourage our sellers to share their entire product ranges with us as they can do this without worrying about their sales data being used against them in competition. This is an opportunity for our sellers to use the current climate to try and offer something new and grow through the uncertainty. We always ask our sellers to resist the temptation to list only their top sellers as well – list it all! The more you list, the more visibility you’ll have (useful when considering OnBuy’s product count is in the millions!) and ultimately, the more you can grow your sales.

Be organised

Organisation is an integral part of selling through a marketplace. As a seller, ensuring all stock is present and being able to fulfil an order promptly is a priority, now more so than ever due to increasing demand. It’s been reported that 52% of consumers are avoiding crowds and only 32% are leaving their houses, which loosely translates to: people can’t go out to the market to spend their money, but they can go to the marketplace.

When they get to the marketplace, we want to ensure the entire process from transaction to delivery is seamless. This is achieved by using a data management system such as ChannelAdvisor, which allows sellers to seamlessly sync their data across multiple channels. You will be able to see which items are in stock and whether they’re priced correctly, making the selling process with OnBuy effortless. This leads on to the speed of payment: thanks to OnBuy’s unique partnership with PayPal, we’re the only UK marketplace that can offer sellers immediate payment when the item is marked as dispatched, helping to ensure our sellers are remunerated during the pandemic.

Remember: We’re all in this together

We’ve always offered help to our sellers, and we want to use this as an opportunity to remind them that they’re not on their own: they’ve got a team here at OnBuy who will help them achieve their goals, even in the current circumstances.

We’re still asking questions like ‘What are your best selling products?’, ‘Which brands do you own?’ so that we can help you maximise your presence on OnBuy. We understand how important it is to properly represent your brand on online marketplaces, which is why we offer OnBuy Brand Ownership; this protects your brand by making it exclusive to you. As well as helping to set you apart from the rest, it adds a level of protection during the saturation of marketplaces due to store closures.

Price competitively

Shoppers are becoming more savvy. As people aren’t leaving their houses, they have more time to browse for what they need. If they think they can get the same product for less elsewhere, they will. Many brands have currently redacted their normal deals and promotions, or are offering their discounts specifically to service people; however, our sellers’ prices remain competitive, and our deals are still present and appealing.

At OnBuy, our seller fees are transparent and low, sitting at just 5-9%. You’ll get our Transparent Fee Guarantee too, which ensures all sellers pay the same selling fees, regardless of size or volume. We do this to benefit you and our buyers: by giving you a level playing field and the ability to price your products competitively (without the need to cut into your profit margin), you can be the ‘elsewhere’ with a better price.

Optimise your listings

As mentioned above, people are taking to the internet to find their usual products, adding more pressure onto how you describe your products. With bigger brands now flooding marketplaces due to the closure of their shops, the value of having good quality content data is more important than ever – it can be the difference between a product that stands out and one that gets buried. You need to make sure the RRP (Recommended Retail Price) is present, the image of the product is accurate and of a high quality, and the copy needs to be easy to consume and contain all of the keywords that a customer is looking for in that product.

As well as the quality of the copy, you need to ensure it’s accurate. It sounds simple but if the copy is riddled with errors – spelling, linguistic or grammatical – it can easily put potential customers off. These factors are so important and will all flag up when buyers are searching for products, so it’s worth investing your time to make sure your products are properly presented.


OnBuy has a strong and steady annual growth of five times the previous year, providing a robust base for your business to build from. This year alone, we’re aiming to launch into 42 countries (with 99 to follow next year) which will maximise both your selling power and the number of buyers you will have access to, nationally and internationally. As a business that may not necessarily have the customer base, this immediately puts you at an advantage because you have instant access to an ever-expanding platform dedicated to helping you grow your business.

Learn more about selling with OnBuy or register your interest now to start growing your business.