Your guide to selling products online
Imagine you’re the fundraising coordinator for the parent association at your child’s school. Gift sales are very popular with the parents, but with COVID, you need to find an online solution. However, the idea of creating an eCommerce site and managing the inventory gives you heartburn. There’s no need to pop the Tums just yet, we have a few ideas for you.
Offer items on-demand
Print-on-demand sites like Zazzle and CafePress are a great option for selling without worrying about inventory—especially when you have a school logo or artwork from students to leverage. In a few clicks, you can log in, load the image or images and make available a wide range of items that can be printed on, such as mugs, t-shirts, pillows, stickers and more.
Once you set up your shop, your “buyers” can purchase whatever they want and have it shipped directly to their homes. There is no inventory management or shipping responsibilities on your part. It is important to remember that the on-demand company gets a percentage of every sale. So, if you’re thinking about this option, check how much of a percentage the company will take, then build it into your price.
Another option sites like these provide
If your group has an existing website and you have the ability and time, integrate the on-demand site into yours, or create an e-commerce page or eCommerce mini-site. You’d then take the orders, include a commission and place the order with the on-demand company when you receive the money from the buyer. While this option could offer a decent profit in the amount of commissions you charge, the amount of time and effort may not make it worthwhile.
Consider a fundraising company
If you’d rather offer a wide variety of gits or would like to sell food items, you might want to consider a fundraising company like us for your online fundraiser. Yes, it’s a bit of a shameless plug, but we do offer stress-free options where everything from set up to shipping is handled for you––with excellent profit margins, too.
Let’s talk taxes
If you choose to sell products and services online, make sure you look into whether you need to account for sales tax. This counts for groups recognized as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service. While you’re likely exempt from federal and state income taxes, that might not be the case for sales tax. So, when you’re planning your fundraiser, check with your state’s taxing agency to determine whether you’ll need to collect sales tax.
Not entirely sure your group should sell products to raise money? Check out this article the delves deeper into the subject.
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Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.