Tips & Tricks

How I Started a Profitable Business in My Spare Time Selling on WeChat

By October 20, 2015 May 27th, 2020 5 Comments

What if I told you that you can make money through a simple mobile app called WeChat without investing anything? Too good to be true? I am not making this up. Selling on WeChat can be just as easy as chatting with your friends.

A couple of months ago I took a trip to New York from Ireland (where I live) because I love shopping there. There are so many brands that are either not available in China and Europe, or are much cheaper in the US. When my friends on WeChat asked me to get them the same dresses that I bought and wore in the US – I suddenly realized that I can make money out of shopping. Could it get any better than this?!

Find a unique selling approach

When I first started selling on WeChat, I had no idea what selling approach to take since I didn’t have my own branded products. There are a lot of people in China selling luxury products and other things like baby formula on WeChat already. Those products to me are boring, plus the markets are too saturated. As far as I know, those who are selling luxury products have a low number of sales and popular products like baby formula have very low margins. I believe there is no point to sell something you don’t enjoy yourself. Well, I came from a design background and I wanted to sell something that stands for me. I like fashion and my friends on WeChat trust my taste, so why not sell unique clothing?

N0 investment and no inventory needed

The best part about selling on WeChat is I don’t need to purchase inventory in advance. Customers will pre-order and then I purchase. Sometimes when a store is having a sale, I will purchase and store some unique items. Because they are on sale, my margins will be much higher and I can always return the unsold products to the store.

WeChat Moments

I still remember my first sale on WeChat was Minions clothing. I went into a shop and saw unique Minions clothing. The latest Minions movie was about to be in theaters soon in China so I knew it was a good opportunity. I took some pictures of the clothing, found photos of celebrities wearing Minions and posted on my WeChat moments (similar to a Facebook post). Then the inquiries started coming in and the next morning I had about 80 orders! That day I had to carry 20kg (about 45 lbs) of clothing home!


Setting up your own group

Since my customer base was getting bigger, I decided to set up my own group instead of posting everything to WeChat moments. It’s easier to communicate with my customers in the group who are interested in my product choices. Also, Chinese people tend to go with the flow, meaning if one customer in the group purchases my products, other customers in the group are very likely to follow. Another benefit is that they can directly request the products they want you to source. I encourage my customers to introduce their friends or their friends’ friends into my group and reward them by using WeChat’s best features. Within one month, my sales reached over ?12k with over 50% profit margin. Not bad for someone like me doing this as a hobby!


Setting up WeChat official account admin platform

Since my audiences continued to grow, I set up my WeChat official account admin platform recently to promote my brand. The purpose is not just trying to sell stuff. I also want to share uniquely designed products to my subscribers and raise brand awareness.

WeChat vs. TaoBao

I am a loyal shopper at TaoBao and you may wonder why I haven’t opened a shop on Taobao. The answer is simple. My advantage is the fact that I am living in Europe – so Chinese consumers approach me for products that are not available in China. Chinese consumers have the perception that foreign products have better quality and better design (even though many of the products are actually made in China!). Friends in my WeChat circle know I am physically in Europe so the products I am selling are genuinely from Europe. A lot of sellers on Taobao claim they are selling western products, but usually aren’t. So there is no trust in Taobao when it comes to purchasing products from abroad.

WeChat Payment

WeChat has its own payment system. Normally I receive the payment before I deliver the products. That’s why people on WeChat prefer to do business with friends or friends’ friends whom they can trust. Alternatively, I offer the Alipay payment option to someone who doesn’t use WeChat payment. You can link a few credit or debit cards when selling on WeChat.

How much you can sell on WeChat totally depend on the products you choose, and the effort and time you put in. I am only selling on WeChat part-time and I’m making a business out of my shopping addiction.  So if you are a shopaholic like me, I suggest you think about making a business out of it! The fun and fulfillment you will gain from this experience is AMAZING!

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  • Ben Stone says:

    Hey Celine
    I read all your post about WeChat and I must say that amazing
    i use Wechat alot i discover this app in my travel to the east
    many times i think to use it to sell and i look for something like “Wechat Ads” but not find
    but regarding to your article there to things not so clear to me
    1. i must wrtie in chines? this can be a problem if you not knoe a real humen to do it
    i know already google translate will not enough.

    2. do you like a Dropshipping kinda sell system, and im own of a brand i woud like to know how can i sell it? without publish mant products that aren’t my

    Best Regards

    • Celine Fang says:

      Hey Ben,

      Thank you for reading all my posts and I am more than happy to answer your questions.

      -The “WeChat Ads” you mentioned is WeChat Official Account Admin Platform. There are Chinese Version and English Version. You can register for both version if you have customers based both in Asia and Western. To target audiences in China, I will suggest writing in Chinese. You can find freelance translators or college students in China with very low rates. probably will provide outsourcing service in future as well.

      – Yes I am a fan for Dropshipping system. Depends on what type of product you sell. All you need is one product and return customers. You can use your personal account to promote your Official Admin account platform. The key to WeChat selling is the customer base.

      Hope this answers your questions 🙂

  • Chris says:

    I am new to Wechat where do I go to set up wechat payment system? where can I go on Wechat to notify customers of an existing product

    • Celine Fang says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your comment:-)

      – The WeChat system exists inside the app and you just need to link it to your credit card.

      – Your customers have to be on WeChat as well so you can post the products on WeChat moments and your customers will be able to see the products.

  • Stella Noh says:

    Hi Celine,

    I have a few friends living in Guangzhou that are interested in sourcing products from me in the U.S., but I have 2 questions I need help with if you can. How do you handle shipping and currency conversion in a way that you are not losing all of your profit on each sale? If I were to find something and ship it from the western United States to China, would this be by FedEx, and would the costs be too high to make it worthwhile? Also, are all of your sales in $, ?, or ¥? Wouldn’t they have to be in ¥ since you are selling in China… if so, how do you convert? I know Paypal lets you send and receive ¥/$, but the conversion takes a big bite. Any ideas you have would be appreciated, thanks for your article.

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