The Online Beauty Industry: How to Make Money Selling Online

Selling beauty products online isn’t a new idea, but recently, the concept has taken off in a big way. Companies like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Shopbop have all jumped onto the bandwagon, creating websites where users can comparison shop for the best deals on luxury beauty products. But what is unique about these websites is that they don’t just compare prices, they also compare the quality and reliability of the products, as well as the brands. If you’re new to online selling, it can be a little overwhelming, where do you start and what is the best way to set up your store? In this article, we will discuss how to make money from the comfort of your home, using a few of the most popular online marketplaces.


Ebay is the granddaddy of all online marketplaces and still one of the biggest, most popular websites in the world. If you’ve ever bought anything online, chances are you’ve shopped on ebay at one point or another. You can use their comparison shopping tool to compare prices on virtually any product or service and find the best one. With over 20 million active users each day, eBay knows their audience, and they make sure they cater to them, creating a safe and trusting environment where buyers and sellers can meet.

With all of its popularity comes a bit of a shopping jungle. There are hundreds of different digital marketplaces that you can choose from when setting up your shop and deciding where to host it. You will need to decide whether you want to go with a fairly traditional approach and set up your shop on Amazon or Etsy, or take the DIY approach and set up your shop on your own domain name.


If you decide to go the conventional route and choose to set up your shop on Amazon, they have you covered when it comes to all of the legal, regulatory, and technical aspects of doing business online. Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla of the e-commerce world and also one of the biggest marketplaces online. Launched in 1994, Amazon has established themselves as the place to be for all things ‘e-commerce’. From tiny mom-and-pop stores to international brands, everyone wants to be on Amazon because of its size and popularity. You can start by simply listing your products and deciding on a price, which will determine how much you are charged when someone purchases something through your Amazon store.

You have several options for where you want to sell your products on Amazon including Amazon Basics, Amazon FBA, and Amazon Global Market. If you decide to go with Amazon Basics, you’ll only be able to sell within the Amazon ecosystem, using their search engine to find products that you can promote and sell. Amazon FBA gives you the opportunity to sell overseas, as well as in other countries, using your existing distributor or wholesaler to negotiate lower prices and to take advantage of sales incentives. If you decide to go the DIY route and host your shop on your own domain name, you’ll have complete control over your store and can use any tools or technologies that you are comfortable with.


Etsy is another popular digital marketplace where you can sell your products directly to consumers. Launched in 2005, Etsy is the ‘small business’ answer to Amazon, with a similar mission of helping independent sellers connect with customers and grow their businesses. Just like Amazon, you can start by simply listing your products and setting a price, but unlike Amazon, Etsy will not impose any minimum sales requirements. This is a great platform for smaller business owners who want to gain some online sales but don’t have the budget or resources to launch a large marketing campaign or pay for advertising.

Etsy is a bit more ‘hands-on’ than some of the other marketplaces discussed here. If you decide to go with Etsy, you’ll need to create a store that reflects the boutique-style business that Etsy is known for. Make sure you put a lot of time into designing a cohesive brand experience for customers, and make sure that your store follows and supports the Etsy brand. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get back.


Shopbop isn’t just a store, they are a brand. Launched in 2004, Shopbop is a luxury goods e-commerce website where you can purchase expensive-looking items at affordable prices. There are four main reasons why most people shop at Shopbop. First, their clothes are extremely stylish and unique. Second, they offer incredible discounts for things such as birthdays and holidays. Third, their customer service is outstanding. Finally, their online purchasing experience is incredibly easy and convenient.

If you decide to go with Shopbop, you’ll want to create an online store that is clean and uncluttered, with easy-to-navigate categories and product information. Another important factor to consider is security. With so much attention focused on cybercrime and cyberattacks, it is more important than ever to make sure your website is safe and doesn’t have any security flaws. Shopbop uses some of the most reputable vendors and suppliers in the world, so you can be confident that your credit card information won’t be compromised.


Nordstrom is an American multinational luxury goods retailer brand founded in 1881 and known for their traditional and branded stores as well as their website where users can compare prices on a variety of items. They operate 365 stores across the US and overseas, with a focus on their mainstay: luxury goods and accessories. You can also shop online at, where you can find brands they don’t carry, such as Burberry, but you’ll have to pay a bit more for shipping.

Harvey Norman

HARVEY NORMAN is an Australian multinational retail group that operates over 150 stores across the country, as well as in New Zealand and Singapore. They are well-known for their big-box stores where customers can find all of the fashion and lifestyle products they need in one spot, as well as their website where you can compare prices on luxury items. You can also purchase online at, but you’ll have to pay a bit more for shipping than if you were to purchase from one of their stores.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to developing your online store, it’s important to choose a platform that you’re confident will be around for the long-haul. If you decide to go with Shopbop, make sure you create a store that is responsive and easy to use on all devices. If you decide to go with Amazon, Etsy, or Harvey Norman, make sure you pick a reliable vendor that is committed to supporting you in the long-run. If you decide to go with Nordstrom, be sure to check out their website to see what items they do and don’t carry, as well as compare prices before making a purchase. You can also use your email marketing platform to send out periodic emails promoting your store’s offerings, for free.