In this post is a compilation of everything a beginner needs to know about how to sell in Shopee. Consider this post as your table of contents. Everything I write about Shopee will be linked from this page. So if you wanna check for updates from time to time, this is the page you should bookmark.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to sell in Shopee, how to set up your store, the capital you’ll need, and how to increase your sales by making use of Shopee’s free feature.
What is Shopee?
Shopee is an online shopping site where buyers and sellers meet. It was founded last 2015. Since then, it continued to grow its operation in the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam up to the present.
For the sake of beginners out there, think of Shopee as a typical mall. Sellers come to sell their products; buyers come to buy.
The only difference is the whole buying and selling process are done online.
Therefore, there are 3 parties involved: The seller, the buyer, and Shopee who owns the site where the transaction happens.
Why sell in Shopee?
1. Shopee offers free shipping.
When I say free shipping, that means, neither the buyer nor the seller pays for it. Shopee does.
What does this free shipping mean to you as a seller?
Naturally, free shipping attracts more customers. And the more customers Shopee attracts, the more potential customers will buy from your store leading to even more sales.
This means that if you’re looking for the perfect time to gain leverage as a seller, the time to start selling in Shopee is now.
By starting now while the Shopee is seller-friendly, you can already establish your store as one of the best, and gain excellent customer reviews to help you in the years of competition to come.
How Shopee’s free shipping works.
Free shipping applies when a purchase reaches 500 pesos per seller, not per order.
Let’s say you’re the buyer. You want to buy your son 3 pieces of Angry Birds shirts from Seller A. That purchase amounts to 501 pesos. Perfect, that means you’re eligible for free shipping from Seller A. Shopee doesn’t make money from you on this one.
But let’s say you want to buy another item: a lipstick. Sadly, Seller A doesn’t sell the lipstick you want. Instead, you found it on Seller B’s store for 200 pesos. Now, you aren’t getting free shipping because you didn’t reach the 500 peso mark, which means Shopee earns from your 50 peso shipping fee.
2. Lower commission rate.
Unlike Lazada and Zalora who charge around 1.80% to 8.90% and 15-25% (as of the date of this writing), Shopee Philippines is only charging 1.5% transaction fee of the total payment you receive from your buyers.
This is why items from Shopee are super cheap compared to Lazada and Zalora even if most of them are coming from the same suppliers.
3. Shopee offers cash on delivery.
Buyers are reluctant to share their card info online. After all, where there is money, there are scammers. Shopee’s solution? Cash on delivery.
And sure enough, the sales skyrocketed after COD. Customers are trusting Shopee more and more.
4. You don’t need a business permit to start (in the Philippines, at least)
This I confirmed with a call center agent named Alec from Shopee: You don’t have to register to SEC or DTI to run your Shopee business.
How Shopee makes this legally possible, I have no idea. But if you don’t want to deal with the confusing, complicated, tiresome permits and documents, you don’t have to.
Note: If you want to establish your own brand name though, you do have to register your business and get the necessary government papers. The free permit only applies to sellers with unbranded items.
5. Expats in the Philippines can earn from Shopee too.
Are you an expat who can’t find a job that pays nearly the same rate in your own country? Then Shopee is an excellent business idea for you.
Disclaimer: I don’t know much about how it works with foreigner business owners but I heard that when a foreigner creates a business in the Philippines under his name, a Philippine law dictates that he will not own the 100% share of his company, even if he wants to. (Again, I could be wrong. All I know is owning a business in the Philippines under your name when you’re a foreigner could be messy.)
As a result, expat business owners end up registering their business under Filipino names. Needless to say, that’s pretty risky. In Shopee though, that isn’t something you’ll have to worry about.
How much capital you need to start selling in Shopee
You can start selling in Shopee for as low as 10 thousand pesos for your stocks alone, excluding your internet cost. This figure only applies if you’re close to your supplier and don’t have to pay for transportation. I literally live 5 minutes away from Tiangge in Taytay Rizal where a massive selection of clothing is waiting for wholesale buyers.
If you’re far from your supplier, however, you’ll need more than that. I recommend a minimum of at least 80-100 thousand pesos. With this amount, you’ll already get a fair amount of stocks to display on your store.
Can you sell in Shopee with no capital?
You can’t. You have to invest in something. And that includes a laptop (not just the mobile app, if you’re dead serious about this venture), an unlimited internet connection, and your stocks.
Bear in mind as well that you won’t get sales straight away right after posting your items in Shopee. It’ll take weeks for an item to get views, depending on what’s trending. Therefore, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t make sales right away.
Consider your capital as the amount of money you’re willing to lose. This way, you aren’t agitated when a day goes by without you making a sale. It’s normal if you’re still beginning.
Can you sell in Shopee if you’re not in Manila?
It doesn’t matter if you’re in Visayas or Mindanao as long as you have the capital, items to sell, laptop, and internet. Clothing supplies tend to be really cheap in Manila region but that doesn’t mean you can’t sell clothing if you’re not in Manila.
In a shopping platform as big as Shopee, the cheapest doesn’t always get the sale.
I’ve sold the same exact items as other sellers and I still earn sales even if I charge a little bit higher. It’s because Shopee is so big that it’s impossible for buyers to compare the prices for the same items all at once.
While it certainly helps if your prices are cheaper than other sellers, it doesn’t mean you won’t make any sales just because your prices are higher.
Can you sell second-hand items?
Absolutely! If you don’t want to invest on new stocks just yet, you can try selling your own pre-loved belongings as an experiment. Just make sure to indicate the condition of your item.
Here’s a guide I’ve written about things you need to remember when selling second-hand items in Shopee.
How to create a Shopee seller account
Before setting up your Shopee seller account, prepare the following:
- Laptop (I won’t be using a mobile in the tutorial)
- Internet connection
- Your store’s profile and cover photo. To design yours, go to canva.com.
- Your final username: You cannot change a username once it’s set. So think hard and good before picking one. I suggest that you choose one that’s easy to remember, spell, and understand. Remember, it’s the word that your customers are going to remember and search you by.
- Your shop name: You can only change your shop name every 90 days. So make sure it’s not something you’ll regret. Like your username, choose one that’s easy to remember and spell by your buyers.
Then watch this tutorial. I’ve recorded 4 videos showing you step-by-step instructions demonstrating everything you need to completely set up your Shopee store from scratch.
How to ship Shopee orders
Read this if you’re a beginner seller who’s still confused about how Shopee shipping works. This will clear up the confusion for you and help you make sense of Shopee’s shipping process. This post will explain the following for you:
- How to pack your shipments
- Where to get the pouches and waybill sticker
- Is your area serviceable by Shopee pick-up?
- How to pack shipments that don’t fit inside a pouch
How to increase Shopee sales
You can pay for ads to get more exposure for your products. That’s if you can afford some risk and have money to spare in the first place.
Otherwise, you can try the free techniques in this post to get buyers’ attention and maximize your chances of bagging more sales.
This post will show you how to:
- create vouchers and set discount promotion for your store,
- nominate your products on Shopee’s Campaigns,
- highlight certain items by placing them on your shop’s homepage,
- customize your products’ categories,
- and more Shopee features that will provide more exposure for your products for free.
Note: Use your laptop for this tutorial as most features discussed here are not accessible via Shopee app.
How to receive your sales payment.
After your buyer confirms that receipt of her order, the funds will be released to your Shopee wallet. If she doesn’t confirm the receipt of the item, you’ll have to wait around 3-5 business days for the funds to be automatically released from the delivery date.
Once released to your Shopee wallet, you have the option to withdraw the amount. Remember that at this point, you should already have entered your bank account info under Shop Settings > Back Account/ Cards. Only a valid bank account is accepted (not GCash). Within 2-3 business days, you should see the amount reflect on your bank account.
How the heck does Shopee earn from sellers?
Zalora and Lazada charge sellers a commission fee for every item sold. But why not Shopee?
How does Shopee earn its profits when it’s not charging sellers for their sales and even providing 3 free shipping for each buyer each month? Will the free shipping and free zero commission remain the future? This post will attempt to answer that for you.
Stay tuned for more Shopee selling tips in the future. Hope this helps. That’s all for now.