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How to Sell Online Without Inventory | 7 Ways to Selling Online With No Inventory

Last updated: July 17, 2023

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur wondering how to create an online store without inventory? Surprisingly, you can start an online business and sell products without the need for physical inventory. While traditional e-commerce often relies on stocking and shipping products, there are alternative approaches that offer more flexibility. Imagine having the freedom to focus on growing your business instead of dealing with logistics.

If you’re eager to sell products without the hassle of warehousing and shipping, this blog post is for you! We will explore various online business models and provide you with practical insights on how to start an online store without inventory. So, let’s dive in and discover the exciting world of selling without inventory.

1. Sell Digital Products


One of the most popular ways to sell online without inventory is by offering digital products. Some of the most popular digital products include:

  • Selling eBooks: Digital books covering a wide range of topics, from fiction and non-fiction to self-help and educational resources.
  • Selling online courses: Interactive and comprehensive courses on various subjects, allowing learners to acquire new skills or knowledge.
  • Selling digital art and design assets: Digital artwork, illustrations, logos, templates, and other visual assets such as Procreate brushes.
  • Selling printables, digital templates and themes: Pre-designed printables, templates and themes for websites, presentations, resumes, and other digital assets, offering a time-saving solution for customization.
  • Selling stock photos and graphics: High-quality digital images and graphics that individuals and businesses can use for their websites, social media, or marketing materials.
  • Selling music and audio files: Original music tracks, sound effects, and audio recordings that can be used in creative projects, podcasts, or videos.

These products can be created once and sold repeatedly without the need for physical inventory.

You can leverage your expertise or creativity to develop valuable digital assets that cater to the needs and interests of your target audience. With the right marketing strategy and a user-friendly platform for digital downloads, you can generate passive income while delivering instant value to your customers.

The best way to get started selling digital products is by signing up for an eCommerce platform specifically dedicated to digital products, such as Payhip. Payhip offers powerful features designed to streamline the process of selling digital products online.

With Payhip, you can automate digital file delivery to customers after successful payments, ensuring a seamless customer experience. To safeguard your digital assets, Payhip also provides security features like PDF stamping and download limits, offering peace of mind and protecting your products from unauthorized distribution. With secure and seamless payment checkouts via trusted providers such as Stripe and PayPal, you can offer your customers a convenient and trustworthy payment experience.

Creating your online store with Payhip is a breeze, thanks to its store builder tool. Even if you have no coding knowledge, you can easily customize your website to showcase your digital products professionally. And the best part? Payhip is completely free, allowing you to launch your digital product business without any upfront costs.

To get started on your journey of selling digital products, simply sign up for a Payhip account and begin utilizing the platform’s robust features. If you prefer a visual guide, you can also check out a short video tutorial that demonstrates the process of selling digital products using Payhip.


Join over 130,000 sellers who have launched their online businesses with Payhip

2. Offer Online Services

Another way to sell online without inventory is by offering online services. This option is ideal for individuals with specialized skills or knowledge in areas such as consulting, coaching, writing, or graphic design. By leveraging your expertise, you can sell services to clients remotely, eliminating the need for physical inventory.

Here are a few examples of online services you can offer:

  • Coaching Services: Offer one-on-one or group coaching sessions to help individuals achieve their personal or professional goals. Share your expertise in a specific field and provide strategic advice, problem-solving, and guidance to clients.
  • Writing and Editing Services: Provide content writing, copywriting, or editing services for businesses or individuals in need of high-quality written materials.
  • Graphic Design Services: Create visually appealing designs for websites, logos, marketing materials, or social media graphics.
  • Web Development and Design: Build and design websites for clients, incorporating their branding and functionality requirements.
  • Social Media Management: Manage social media accounts and create engaging content to help businesses grow their online presence.

By promoting your services through your online platform or leveraging freelance marketplaces, you can attract clients and offer your expertise remotely. This allows you to focus on providing exceptional service without the need for physical inventory.

3. Sell Products Online via Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a popular method for selling products online without inventory. With dropshipping, you partner with suppliers who handle the inventory and shipping processes. When a customer places an order on your online store, you simply pass the order details to the supplier, who then ships the product directly to the customer.

By leveraging the dropshipping model, you can focus on marketing and growing your business while leaving the inventory management and shipping logistics to your suppliers. This allows you to operate a scalable online store without the need for physical inventory.

Remember to research and select reputable suppliers, provide exceptional customer service, and continually optimize your store for success. With dedication and strategic planning, dropshipping can be a profitable and efficient way to sell products online without the burden of inventory management.

4. Sell Products Online via Print-on-Demand (e.g. Printify)

print on demand

Print-on-Demand (POD) is another form of dropshipping and is also an excellent option for selling products online without inventory. Print on demand dropshipping is a business model that allows you to sell custom-designed products online without needing to hold inventory or handle the shipping and fulfillment processes. With POD, you can offer custom-designed merchandise such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, phone cases, and more.

Print on Demand (POD) is perfect for independent artists, online entrepreneurs, content creators, niche communities, non-profit organizations, and small businesses/startups. It allows artists and designers to showcase their work on custom merchandise, while entrepreneurs can start an e-commerce business without the need for inventory.

Content creators can create merchandise related to their content, and niche communities can offer products that resonate with their interests. Non-profit organizations can raise funds and increase visibility through branded merchandise, while small businesses and startups can offer branded products to their customers. POD offers flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and the opportunity to showcase creativity without the burden of inventory management.

Print-on-Demand allows you to offer a wide range of customizable products without the need to hold inventory or invest in production equipment. With the right combination of unique designs, effective marketing, and exceptional customer service, you can establish a successful online store and generate sales.

There are several reputable POD platforms available, including Printful, Printify, and Teespring. Research and select a platform that aligns with your product offerings and integrates well with your chosen eCommerce platform.

5. Drop Servicing

Drop servicing is a variation of the dropshipping model, but instead of selling physical products, you offer services to customers. With drop servicing, you act as the middleman, outsourcing the service to skilled professionals or freelancers and then delivering the completed service to your clients.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify in-demand services: Research and identify popular services that businesses or individuals often seek, such as content writing, social media management, website development, graphic design, virtual assistance, or video editing.
  2. Build your online presence: Create a professional website for free using Payhip to showcase your drop servicing business. Highlight the services you offer and the benefits clients can expect from working with you.
  3. Find skilled freelancers or service providers: Identify and collaborate with talented freelancers or service providers who specialize in the services you offer. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer can help you connect with professionals.
  4. Set competitive prices: Determine your pricing structure by considering factors like the complexity of the service, the time required, and the market rates. Set prices that allow you to make a profit while remaining competitive in the industry.

And voila! You’re ready to start generating some sales! All you have to do next is to promote your drop servicing business (utilize social media, content marketing, targeted advertising, etc) to attract potential clients. Once you have a few success cases, showcase the value and expertise you bring by highlighting successful projects or client testimonials.

6. Sell Exclusive Online Content via Membership Sites

Another way to sell online without inventory is by offering exclusive content through membership sites. You can create a membership-based platform where users pay a recurring fee to access premium content such as articles, videos, tutorials, podcasts, or community forums. Consider reading our comprehensive guide on How to Build a Membership Website for Free to get started on this business venture.

Here are some examples of membership websites that you can create:

  • Fitness and Wellness: Create a membership site that offers exclusive workout routines, meal plans, wellness tips, and access to live classes or consultations with fitness experts.
  • Creative Writing Community: Create a membership site where writers can access writing prompts, receive feedback on their work, participate in writing challenges, and connect with other writers.
  • Art and Design Resources: Build a membership site that offers access to a library of design assets, templates, tutorials, and workshops for graphic designers, illustrators, or digital artists.
  • Financial Education and Investment Insights: Develop a membership site that provides exclusive financial education content, investment strategies, market insights, and expert advice to help individuals make informed financial decisions.

7. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another way to sell online without inventory. With affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s products or services and earn a commission for each sale or referral made through your unique affiliate link. You don’t need to handle inventory, shipping, or customer support, as those aspects are managed by the product or service provider.

You can join affiliate programs in various niches, such as fashion, beauty, technology, home decor, or health and wellness, and promote the products or services through your website, blog, social media, or email marketing. Some popular affiliate marketing platforms include Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and Commission Junction. Remember to choose products or services that align with your audience’s interests and provide genuine value to them.

How to Get Started On Selling Online Without Inventory?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started selling online without inventory:

  1. Research products to sell: Take the time to research and identify the products that will resonate with your target audience, be it digital or physical products.
  2. Choose an eCommerce platform: Sign up for a Payhip account. It’s a free ecommerce platform that offers powerful features designed to streamline the process of selling your products online.
  3. Build your website with Payhip: Utilize Payhip’s user-friendly store builder tool to create a professional website that showcases your products. Customize your website design and layout (no technical skills needed!).
  4. List your products: Upload and list your products on Payhip. Provide compelling descriptions, images, and pricing to attract potential customers.
  5. Set up secure payment checkouts: Benefit from secure payment checkouts on Payhip, utilizing trusted providers such as Stripe and PayPal. Offer your customers a convenient and trustworthy payment experience.
  6. Promote your online business: Develop an effective ecommerce marketing strategy to promote your products. Utilize social media, content marketing, email marketing, and other channels to drive traffic to your Payhip store. You can also use Payhip’s free marketing tools including coupon codes, launching your own affiliate program, referral system, cross-sell, upsell, and so much more!

Whether you choose to sell digital products, offer online services, explore online dropshipping or print-on-demand, or create an online membership site, there are numerous paths to success. By leveraging the power of e-commerce platforms like Payhip and implementing effective marketing strategies, you can build a profitable online business while avoiding the challenges of inventory management. Start your journey today and embrace the freedom and flexibility that comes with selling online without inventory!


The easiest way to sell courses, coaching, digital downloads, memberships and physical products.