3 Costly Mistakes Every Online Seller Makes

3 Costly Mistakes Every Online Seller Makes

These are the 3 costly mistakes every online seller makes when pricing their products. In the bustling marketplace of the internet, where every click could lead to a sale, online sellers are in a constant battle not just for visibility but also for profitability. However, amidst this rush, many fall into pitfalls that silently drain their hard-earned profits. This post delves into three critical mistakes that are all too common among online sellers.

1. Overlooking Comprehensive Fee and Discount Calculations

The allure of big numbers often leads sellers to overlook the nitty-gritty of e-commerce: the fees and discounts. Whether you’re selling on a giant platform like Etsy or through your website, every transaction comes with its share of costs. Credit card processing fees, listing fees, advertising costs, and discounts can significantly eat into your profits if not properly accounted for.

The Solution: Start with the end in mind. Calculate the smallest profit margin you’re willing to accept for your products and work your way up. This means considering the lowest price you can offer (wholesale, if applicable) and ensuring it still profits your business. From there, adjust your retail pricing upwards, always keeping an eye on the all-in cost. Big sales and discounts should still leave room for a reasonable profit margin.

2. Neglecting the Value of Time

Time is the most precious resource we have, and in the world of online selling, it’s often the most overlooked. Many entrepreneurs fail to account for the time they invest in their business, from product development to customer service. This oversight can lead to underpricing products and overestimating profits.

The Solution: Determine your hourly wage — how much is your time worth? Incorporate this figure into your product pricing. This not only ensures you’re compensated for your effort but also positions your business more accurately in the market. Remember, a business that doesn’t value its owner’s time can hardly expect to sustain itself in the long run.

3. Forgetting Packaging and Marketing Costs

The final touchpoint of your product—the packaging—and the efforts to market it are crucial to your brand’s perception and its reach. However, these are also areas where costs can be underestimated. Packaging materials, printing, and even the digital marketing spend are integral parts of your product’s cost structure.

The Solution: Make a comprehensive list of all packaging and marketing materials you need for each product. This includes boxes, filler materials, labels, and even the digital assets used for marketing campaigns. Factor these costs into your pricing strategy to ensure every aspect of your product’s journey to the customer is accounted for and profitable.


Avoiding these three pitfalls isn’t just about protecting profits; it’s about building a sustainable, scalable business model that respects your investment and your customers. By paying close attention to the details of fees, valuing your time, and accounting for all related costs, you’re setting up your online business for long-term success. Remember, profitability isn’t just about the big sales; it’s about the smart calculations that go behind every price tag.

Check out more of our posts on pricing on the blog!