There are 130 million active users on Instagram every month, and every day 1 billion photos are liked. Many businesses have embraced using Instagram as a part of their company’s social media strategy.
Instagram, in particular, does a great job with building brand awareness and engaging with customers in real-time. So no wonder it is a tool many use today to buy and sell items.
If you experimented with Instagram in the past, you’ll know the social network is not meant to link outside the network. Unlike Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter which allows you to easily link posts and pictures anywhere you want, Instagram does not. There are no links available besides the one in your bio. Because of this, the most fundamental way to sell is simply ask buyers to comment with their email address. Then you simply send them a Paypal invoice to their email.
Sounds almost too basic but that’s how it’s done for many and it works. But with the introduction of selling add-ons tools that you can now utilize, selling is brought to another playing field. Let me introduce you to some of the add-on tools you can use today to flip items on Instagram.
Curalate’s Like2Buy & Piquora’s TapShop
Large scale sellers can utilize Curalate’s Like2Buy and Piquora’s TapShop. Both features a landing page that displays a gallery of your items. The page is fully brandable with colors, pictures, styles and url. Options like email capture is also available. Everything is super easy and done nicely. Problem is both options can be costly and unless you are making a ton on Instagram, you should look at the other tools first. I’m recommend you to explore the other options I list below first.
Penny is a great option for those starting out and want a low cost solution to monetizing on Instagram. But unlike some other options, it is not free. Both buyer and you need to register to use Penny and both parties need to integrate their Instagram accounts. To set an item up for sale, you tag a product with #paywithpenny in the post comments. Interested buyers would comment with a #sold on the Penny-registered post. The software handles the rest of the transaction.
Penny is free for buyers to use. Sellers pay a 3% fee per transaction.
Spreesy is a free and unique add-on that uses three different options to sell. The first and primary method is to use comments to sell items. You create an Instagram post using the Spreesy app (iOS and Android versions available). The post contains unique options, shipping costs, trackable quantities, and more. An interested buyer would comments with his/her email address on your post. Spreesy then sends him/her a secure checkout link to your check out page. The buyer can use a credit card or pay with Paypal.
Second method to sell is creating a shoppable Spreesy store. The store has a customized link for use in an Instagram bio. You can direct your customers, onany platform, to their shop with this link.
Finally, the third method is to send emails to customers. Instagram users who comment #subscribe and their email address will be sent a secure checkout link for ny products you post.
Spreesy is free for both merchants and buyers to use. The only fees sellers would incur are from Paypal and credit card companies.
Soldsie is a tool that will let you sell on both Instagram and Facebook. For the Instagram side of things, both buyer and you have to register with Soldsie, and integrate the Instagram accounts first. You will get a Soldsie dashboard to load your products. Then the product images are posted to Instagram. An interested buyer would purchase your product by commenting “sold.” This will include any size/color information. The product’s caption should guide buyers with specifying product details. Soldsie emails the buyer an invoice.
Prices start at $49/month, and rise if you want to integrate a Shopify store. Soldsie has a transaction fee, which starts at 5.9%. The fee lowers as your monthly cost increases.
Hashb.ag is based on using #forsale in a photo description. Buyers and you need to connect Hashbag with both Instagram accounts.
Concept is simple, tag items you want to sell with the hash #forsale. Hashbag will email you asking for the price of the item. The item then goes into a personalized storefront. Hashb.ag recommends advertising the storefront in your bio link (hashb.ag/storename). Interested buyers use the Hashb.ag search bar to find products they want. The selling actually does not happen within Instagram at all.
The fee for sellers is 99¢ per item sold. Listings are free.
inSelly uses the profile link to link a storefront method to sell products. You must integrate your Instagram feeds with the platform. inSelly recommends adding
#inSelly and any relevant category tags. That will let buyers find your products easily. Payments are handled through Paypal. Buyers have the ability to contact sellers through a “contact user” button on the inSelly platform. Buyers can access the contact button either through an app or through their website.
inSelly is free to use for both buyers and sellers.
I hope with the introduction of these selling add-on tools, you can now bring your flipping to another level on Instagram. My next article will focus on some tips to increase your brand on Instagram so stay tuned. Good Luck!