10 Steps for Learning How to Create an Online Course

With the online learning industry consistently growing year after year, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are many opportunities out there.

Based on recent market research, the industry is set to grow to a value of more than $240 billion in just two years.

So, by now, you may be wondering about how to create an online course?

I’m a fan of educating people, so when it comes to helping those same people learn, I thought it would be a great idea to help you find the best ways to create online training websites.

This is an opportunity for thinkers and teachers. Still, with solutions like Udemy, Teachable, and Learnable out there, it can be unclear how to get into the industry.

This piece will show you how to get started teaching people out on the internet.

Is it a Good Idea for You to Create Online Courses?

Before I get into telling you how to create an online course, I think it’s best to question whether or not YOU should create one of these courses.

Remember, this is a very competitive market, and most likely, new websites are being made about your particular niche just about every day.

Effectively, whatever you do, you’ll need to create online courses that will stand out from the crowd and deliver quality content for your audience.

This will help you succeed, so if you’re unwilling to put in the research and time to make your course unique, it may not be a good idea to create content like this.

You’re shooting for quality content that will stand out, and creating this isn’t easy without the right level of prep.

This guide will show you how to do due diligence, so feel free to use it to create powerful content that will deliver value to your students.

Just remember, the guide won’t do ALL the work for you; you’ll need to put in work to succeed.

Based on this guide, you’ll see that anyone can create one of these courses. It isn’t terribly complex, but don’t mistake this process as a means of getting rich quick.

While you can, and should, cut corners, it’s going to take time and effort, but you should be able to use one of the best online course platforms to be successful over time.

How Lucrative are Online Learning Platforms and What’s the Cost?

Once you understand how long this process should take, you’ll want to know how much this type of endeavor can make. First, it’s important to know that this can deliver a good income stream if you do it right.

That said, there are also horror stories of online teachers making mere hundreds of dollars over the entire history of their online coursework.

Still, many modern online course platforms report that teachers can easily expect an income of several thousand dollars a month, with the outliers making upwards of five digits during that same period.

There’s no exact number, but the potential is clearly there, so consider that when you’re determining if this is for you.

Cost-wise, this is also highly dependent on what you put into the course and what platform you’ll be using. There are free-to-use services such as Udemy free courses and the services offered on Skillshare.

On the other hand, there are also online learning platforms that cost a nominal monthly fee and have one-time initial charges that may cost you hundreds.

Also, for some courses, you may need to invest in video and set equipment, and as you go, you may want to invest in even more equipment that can improve your online students’ overall course experience.

At the start, the cost may be very inexpensive, and as you go, you can gauge how far you want to take the experience from a financial point of view.

How Long Will it Take and How Hard is it?

This depends on several factors, so I find it very hard to give a concrete estimate based on any arbitrary average.

If you’re starting with a simple process that you’re trying to teach that doesn’t take a lot of extra work for you as the teacher, you can create a lesson or course within a few hours or days.

Still, if you’re going to go deep, definitely understand that creating an in-depth course could take you months or even years.

If you’re looking to test the waters, you can also “validate” your work by releasing content at a steady pace.

This is different from going all in and works as a good way to determine if there’s a market while you go about your normal pace.

Fortunately, this isn’t an overly hard process if you go about it correctly, as you’ll see in this guide.

Just understand that more content will take you more time and effort, but fortunately, once it’s done, your content will be available on the internet for people to use without almost any need to upkeep.

10 Step Guide on How to Develop Online Training Websites

Step One: Select a Topic Your Students Want to Learn About

Select a Topic Your Students Want to Learn About

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The first thing you should consider is profitability. While you may not be doing this to get rich, it will be almost pointless to create an online course that only piques the interest of four or five students.

Select a course that you’re interested in and know well. It’s also a good idea to consult Google to determine if people are searching for the topic you’re teaching.

Gauge your experience level. Do you have enough experience to teach about the subject matter?

Is there enough of an audience to make the whole project worthwhile?

What are your potential students struggling with? Why do they need your particular course to learn?

Are you providing them with a useful solution?

What makes your course unique and well-suited to the needs of your potential students?

You should also consider a topic that will remain viable for the longest period. Ideally, you’ll want students coming to your course for answers and education years after you’ve created it.

Remember, when creating a topic, look for one that not only serves your students but serves you as well.

With this kind of synchronicity, you’ll have a topic that is bound to bring in students.

Steps to Take:

  • Find a topic that deeply interests you
  • Determine if you have educated people about the topic before
  • Identify pain points for potential students who are looking to learn
  • Determine how your class can provide a solution

Step Two: Research Your Topic Thoroughly

online research

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While you may understand your chosen topic, you’ll still need to do research to truly be an expert that has the capacity to teach.

While you may feel like you have adequate knowledge, you’ll be surprised at how many online teachers enter the world of online courses without up-to-date knowledge.

Is there enough demand for you to create a course? What kind of issue are you trying to solve? What types of people are looking for education about your selected topic?

All of these are important questions to ask, and each will require thorough research.

Tools like Facebook, Google, Youtube, Quora, and even other online learning platforms are good tools to identify specific course-related needs.

This will also help you determine how the audience typically consumes content like yours and what demographic typically is looking for the type, of course, you’re creating.

Once again, identifying specific customer pain points is absolutely critical! Find out where your students are struggling and incorporate a potential solution into your course.

Steps to Take:

  • Identify the demand level for your topic
  • Determine who your customers are
  • Complete research on the topic to shore up any weaknesses
  • Clearly identify what problem your coursework will solve

Step Three: Establish Firm Goals

Set goals

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Once you’ve established your audience and any pain points, now’s the time to create a series of goals that you’ll need to adhere to.

What precisely are you aiming for? What are you trying to achieve with this course? When developing a new course, it’s a good idea to think of it as a business.

You need to set a series of revenue goals, what audience segments you’ll be trying to reach, and plans for educating that audience.

The first goal is simple; any venture depends on revenue, so figure how much you’ll need to make with this course. To start, think about your yearly income from the course and recurring monthly income.

This will help you figure out a price for your online courses.

When it comes to reach, you’ll want to come up with goals that are based on traffic, active subs, your course’s followers, heat mapping, and how well you are converting.

The first question you should ask yourself is, “How many people will I ideally reach?”

Can you realistically expect to reach 1,000 students or higher? How are you planning on drawing these customers to your course?

There are several tools that you can use.

For example, you may opt to use an email list or a social media following.

You can even try contests and free course giveaways to drum up buzz, which can lead to new students.

The last goal you’ll need to take into account is educating your students. These can be considered customer goals, and they are critical for anyone looking to teach.

What will your learning outcomes look like? How will you create a follow-up for the course? How will you measure your student’s success?

These are all important factors to take into account.

Steps to Take:

  • Establish firm revenue goals
  • Establish goals insofar as how many students you’ll be actively reaching
  • Establish goals that clearly state what you’ll be endeavoring to teach each student
  • Establish goals to create follow-up materials for future learning opportunities

Step Four: Create a Lesson Plan

The structure is critical because students in a haphazard course will either cancel or won’t follow up for additional courses.

You don’t have to go into great detail at this stage and create the lessons themselves, but you should get a firm idea about what the course will look like.

This way, when it does come time to record, you’ll already have a plan.

Compose a list of all your ideas and consider how long you’ll need to implement them.

Is a three-week course period going to be enough? How long will each lesson take? Which lessons will be presented in each part of the course?

You can use mindmap software or a simple notebook to try and develop a general lesson plan for your online course.

As a rule, establish the whys, hows, and whats so that you have a clear understanding of what needs to be done each lesson. As I mentioned, this is fairly generalized, but it’s a critical step that can take days to complete.

Steps to Take:

  • Establish topics covered in the beginning, middle, and end of the course
  • Ask yourself how many lessons the course needs
  • Establish a flow so that students are educated but aren’t bored by the process
  • Establish if you’ll need supplementary information
  • Establish learning outcomes for each lesson

Step Five: Decide What Success Looks Like

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This goes hand-in-hand with the research phase. At this point, you should be ready to make content, but before you go all-in, it’s a great idea to test the waters so that you avoid spending a lot of time on a course that no one will buy.

Craft a sales page that outlines the course’s features and see how well it performs with potential customers.

It’s a good idea to explain to the customer why they need your course and your unique teaching method.

Next, using marketing techniques like email marketing or social media to drive your ideal customer to your page and attempt to get them to preorder or sign up for a waiting list.

Ideally, you’ll want them to make some kind of purchase or at least leave information that you can use for future marketing.

Finally, collect and analyze any data so that you can gauge interest and see what success might look like if you go all in.

Steps to Take:

  • Establish what a successful course will look like
  • Find out how much money will you need for marketing
  • Establish the number of people that will need to commit before you go all-in

Step Six: Select the Right Format for Your Audience

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There are several formats that you can use to teach students using the best online course platforms. Here are a few to consider:

Master Class: This is closest to a traditional lecture. In a master class, you simply provide students with info that they may review on their own time.

Corporate Training: This format is for professionals, and it focuses on delivering key information for a team of employees.

Mini Online Course: Some online teachers craft bite-sized lessons that may take mere hours to complete. This format is useful for testing the waters or for someone that has a wider-reaching knowledge level.

Face to Face: This is a more direct style of online course where you directly interact with your students using video conferencing.

Flipped: This starts with you primarily giving lectures in the first quarter. The remaining portion of the course, you’ll be interacting with students directly to cover the more difficult parts of the coursework.

MOOC: This is a massive open online course. In a MOOC, learning is fostered in a peer-to-peer environment with a much larger class size than most other formats. This is most similar to a university classroom.

Step Seven: Find the Right Online Teaching Platforms

There are a plethora of online course platforms to choose from, so this step will require extensive due diligence.

So, how long should this step take? It depends on whether you find a platform that fits your teaching style quickly or after extensive testing.

My suggestion is to spend at least 10 minutes on each platform so that you can quickly ascertain its strengths and weaknesses.

If a platform interests you, spend more time getting to know it.

Step Eight: It’s Time to Make the Content!

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Now is the time to use your experience/research, but before you start, establish the type of content you’re going to create.

Some online courses are entirely made up of slides, while others use video or audio conferencing to teach.

Each type requires content creation, but before you start creating, audit your materials to better understand what will go where when the course begins.

Audits often help you get your thoughts organized so that it’s easy to create content based on your notes alone.

Establish the type of content you’ll be using, the theme covered in each class, and any supplementary notes you’ll be using.

It doesn’t have to be complex; you just need to create a clear plan for each piece of content you’ll use for your course.

Here’s a look at each type that you may be using:

Video Conferencing: These days, video conferencing is common. Online teaching platforms usually have video software that will allow your students to see you lecturing in front of the camera. You can also use this to show students how to perform course-related activities.

Audio Conferencing: Some teachers merely use audio conferencing to guide their students. This is also useful for guided meditations and audio transcriptions.

Quizzes and Surveys: These are important for creating a classroom-like experience. Several third-party software solutions allow for quizzes and surveys, and many platforms like Udemy free courses have software for this built-in.

Slides: Also known as decks, slides provide visual information for your students. These slides also can have text on them to help guild learning.

Workbooks or PDFs: Creating one of these will help provide students with text to follow as they work through your course.

Step Nine: Upload and Set a Price

Each of the online learning platforms has a relatively easy process for uploading content. Here are a few links for the major platforms:

Udemy

Skillshare

Teachable

Once uploaded, you’ll need to set a price for your classes. Fortunately, this price is variable and allows you to set up deals for students if you want.

Remember, never undersell your expertise; you’re a teacher with a lot to offer, so price appropriately! That being said, also make sure that your price isn’t too high that it will drive away early students.

Remember, early testimonials are critical for gaining new students down the line, so this step may be something of a balancing act.

Step Ten: Test, Launch, and Market Your Content

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Before uploading, test your course with beta testers. These testers can serve as the litmus test that will help you establish how much success to expect.

The testers will also give feedback so that you’re 100 percent sure that you’re delivering on the course’s stated goals.

These initial students also can provide the all-important testimonials that will help your classes grow.

After the test, it’s time to launch, which is a fairly simple process.

Once the launch is complete, market your classes on social media, email, Google, or any platform that will bring in more students.

Don’t be afraid to use testimonials so that future students know what to expect from your course.

Steps to Take:

  • Establish a test class and determine a preset sizing for this class
  • Use the test class to develop better classes
  • Use the testers to establish better pricing
  • Launch the class
  • Market it for future students

Final Thoughts

Did you enjoy this tutorial on how to create an online course? This is a very important guide for me since I am very interested in the world of online learning, especially in the days of the pandemic.

Please feel free to comment below and share this article with friends that are looking to create their own online classes!

E-commerce Marketplaces You Should Be Selling On

Note: My Bestselling Webinar: “3 Secrets To Double Your Online Sales In 30 Days” – Is Now Available For Just 399 99/- Register Now! 

Whether you are already an online seller or looking to get started selling physical products online in India, this list is going to be an invaluable, up-to-date resource.

Who am I to give advice? Well, in the last 3 years I’ve sold over 40 Crores worth of products online! Check out my story in this video.

The e-commerce landscape in India in 2019, is still bustling with new startups, new business models and a lot of churn. So don’t be surprised to find several new companies in this list.

Let’s get started.

1. Amazon.in

Amazon has been one of the fastest growing e-commerce marketplaces in India. Personally for me, it constitutes the largest chunk of our online sales – about 35-40% of our total sales come from Amazon India.

What sets Amazon apart from competitors is its robust ranking algorithm and its very accessible & high performance Ads tools.

Some negative points include too much dependence on customer reviews (where one malicious or false 1 Star review on a brand new product can sink it so far down, it can be difficult to recover.).

Second, is the fact that they charge you shipping fees even when your product is not delivered or rejected by a customer on Cash On Delivery (Flipkart does not do this). However, they have recently started reimbursements for certain types of undelivered orders in 45 days.

Register here: https://sellercentral.amazon.in/

2. Flipkart

Flipkart is supposed to be the current leader in terms of total value of sales in India. No doubt, the huge order volumes Flipkart can generate on a Sale Event day like Big Billion Day is unmatched, even by Amazon.

However, the volumes for my business on Flipkart has always been lower than that on Amazon. It’s inconsistency is a problem, not only are the sales unpredictable, so are the Ads. It is probably because they do not have a solid and stable product ranking algorithm like Amazon does.

Though things are getting better and more predictable on Flipkart, as they are increasingly giving weight to customer reviews and stabilizing product rankings. However their Usual Price system combined with ‘Fixed Settlement’ & ‘Variable Settlement’ Promotions can be confusing for sellers.

PRO TIP #1:On the brighter side, their Product Listing Ads are currently giving better ROI to most sellers than Amazon. So if you haven’t started advertising on Flipkart yet, you should do so immediately. 

The biggest advantage with Flipkart is that they do not charge you shipping fees if COD orders are undelivered or rejected by the customer. This keeps your cost of doing business lower.

Register Here: https://seller.flipkart.com

3. Myntra & Jabong [Fashion Only]

Myntra & Jabong are both now owned by Flipkart. Myntra owns a big chunk of the online fashion sales pie. Yes, sellers have reported tripling their numbers once they go Live on Myntra & Jabong but its like an exclusive club of brands that seem out of reach of most sellers.

You do need a strong brand and high quality products that are unique in the market to get on-boarded. Here is the direct link to get started selling on Myntra & Jabong: https://partnerportal.myntra.com/ (but do remember they take very long to respond in most cases, and you may not even get a response at all.)

PRO TIP #2 : Use an e-commerce service provider who can help you send your product samples to Myntra and get you on-boarded if you are approved. This is much faster but the service provider will charge a fee. Just tell them you’ll pay only if you’re accepted, then you’re good to go! This entire process takes about 40 days.

Also, I would like to mention that Myntra has started selling headphones & other electronics so don’t ignore Myntra if you’re not in the fashion segment, be sure to research all their categories.

4. Snapdeal

Surprise, Surprise! The marketplace that crashed and burned not too long ago, seems to be rising from the ashes again. From what I hear, Snapdeal has not only started getting good orders again, they are also looking at buying Shopclues! 

PRO TIP #3: This might be a good time to get back on Snapdeal. I’m already back & the numbers, though not large, are promising! Also, since the competition is low, their Ads could give good returns right now (even though Ads have never been their strong suit).

However, I would strongly advise you to keep an eye on your settlements and fees & charges charged to you by Snapdeal. For Eg, They are still charging us Rs. 150 every month for storage fees for an item that was liquidated one and a half years ago! Not only that, they charge very significant cancellation fees if the seller cancels an order.

So keep your accounts in check when you start selling.

Register Here : https://sellers.snapdeal.com/ 

5. Paytm Mall

In 2018, Paytm Mall looked very promising and gave good volumes. Sellers are known to have done over 1 lakh orders in a single day during Diwali sales! But the euphoria soon fizzled out in December when they stopped giving big cash-backs & cut down on discounts & marketing.

Orders have drastically reduced on Paytm Mall since then, though it still promises to do well & does give orders. I have recently been getting approached by their team to start selling again as they are planning for promotions again.

PRO TIP #4: You get more orders on Paytm Mall if you participate in their promotions from their dashboard as they feature these promotions well.

For us sellers, any additional orders, means more money, so why not sign up there too, if you haven’t yet. Register here: https://seller.paytm.com

Also, if you don’t think that more orders mean more money, you’re probably doing something wrong. I would encourage you to check out My Bestselling Webinar: “3 Secrets To Double Your Online Sales In 30 Days” – Now Available For Just 399 99/- Watch Now.

6. Shopclues

Shopclues too started out with a lot of promise and good traction. They did give sellers good volumes but mostly to those selling extremely low priced items. They are particularly known for their Rs.49 to 99 Sales, Sunday Flea Market etc. 

However, in the past, I have got good orders there for items of Rs.2000 in a category where average selling price was just 300, but in every meeting that I have had with their team, I felt like they do not wish to focus on high priced items at all.

Their relentless focus on Tier 2, 3 & 4 cities & towns separated them form the competition but there is only so much money you can make from selling a 49 rupee item to them! At some point they had to stop burning money.

This is what happened and their sales seem to be drastically down too. Also beware, they used to be looking to extract money from sellers with some sort of Account Management Service and Advertising Packages.

Not that these packages do not work at all – in my experience, they can do well for you but only if you have some of the lowest priced items in your category. They are probably going to be bought by Snapdeal but we’ll have to wait & see what happens.

So, if you are looking to liquidate your stuck inventory or have very low priced items to sell, this can be a good place to sign up.

Register here: http://storemanager.shopclues.com/vendor.php

7. Meesho

This is a relatively new marketplace but has gained a good amount of orders in a short span of time. They are basically a re-selling platform, so they do not sell directly to customers, instead anybody can sign up there as a re-seller and sell the products listed on Meesho by suppliers, to their friends, family and customers to make a margin on their sales.

Their models seems to be doing well, with a lot of people selling in Whatsapp groups, Instagram pages etc. For us sellers and brand owners, becoming a supplier on Meesho is a good opportunity. They have a very simple fee structure and don’t charge suppliers any shipping fee.

PRO TIP #5 : If you are a Gold Seller on Flipkart or have very good orders on Amazon you can actually negotiate a slightly lower commission rate with Meesho! When they call you, just tell them that their commission is too high (usually 20%) and you need a better rate to sign up.

Their cataloging process is currently not smooth at all and their in-house listing team just don’t list all your products at once. This is something you can deal with, by listing your products on your own. However their order volumes are good & rising.

If you have high quality and attractive photographs for your products, its easy to get to 20-50 orders a day on Meesho. We have just signed up and have started to get orders. You should definitely start selling there if you haven’t.

Register here: https://supplier.meesho.com/

8. Glowroad

Glowroad’s model is the same as Meesho – they are a re-selling platform too. Several sellers especially in the Fashion segment and the Kitchen segment are doing well there, but there is good traction in other categories too.

You should definitely sign up on Glowroad and start selling as there seems to be a good growth path ahead for both Meesho & Glowroad and the sooner you get started, the more ratings & reviews your products can start accumulating, so they rank higher than products from sellers that join later.

Register here: https://glowroad.com/supplier

9. FirstCry & HopScotch [Baby & Kids Only]

These are the two dominant online players in India when it comes to Kids and Baby products. A lot of young parents shop there and these two websites control a good chunk of this segment.

Although Firstcry does not appear to be a marketplace, there are sellers selling there who have a good brand reputation and quality products. Just like Myntra, it is hard to get in there but you can find a way in by using service providers or contacting their team directly via email or LinkedIn.

For Hopsctoch, I have for you, the direct link to their seller sign up form : http://hopscotchchild.com/vendor-registration.html

Go on, thank me later 

10. Limeroad & Voonik [Fashion Only]

The reason I’ve grouped these together is that both of these are in the fashion segment and gained prominence around the same time. At one point in 2017, we were doing hundreds of orders every day on Voonik.

But oh, what a fall from grace it has been! Now we regularly have zero-order days and have completely stopped selling on Voonik & Mr Voonik. Another reason is that, they went crazy with their fees, at one point they were charging a total of over Rs.180 as shipping directly and indirectly to the seller and customer.

Also, Voonik’s current strategy seems to be to focus on their own private labels and brands. Hence I would not recommend you to start selling on Voonik but Limeroad is one you can still consider. Although their seller panel is clunky, they do still have some order volumes and if you are already registered there, you can gain traction if you work closely with their category team.

However, I don’t yet see a very bright future for both of them and you need to be cautious because sinking marketplaces like askmebazar and trendybharat have caused losses to sellers (including us!) when they shut down without clearing your dues. If you still do want to get started, email them at sellers@limeroad.com.

11. TataCliq 

Yes, Tata is in the game too! One thing that Tata always focuses on is quality.  They have a highly valued brand name in the Indian consumer’s  mind and they work hard to keep it that way.

Just like Myntra, you need to have a registered brand and very good quality products. Some of the negative points include a very complex seller panel & order processing procedure, which can be confusing to new sellers. Also, its has relatively low traffic & orders when compared to more established sites like Myntra.

However, there are many positives including, the ability to price your brand higher as they target a relatively affluent customer base. There is also the added benefit if your brand getting associated with a big name like Tata.

If you want to sell on TataCliq go here: https://www.tatacliq.com/sellwithus

12. Koovs [Fashion]

This is an up-and-coming online fashion store. They have gained a good reputation and shoppers interest in a short span of time. They also have Future Group (owners of Big Bazaar, Central, Brand Factory etc) as an investor, who owns 30% of their company.

They do not seem to have an open marketplace yet. (Correct me in the comments below if I’m wrong.) However, what I did find in their FAQ section is that if you want to sell on Koovs, you can send them an email at care@m-eretail.com.

One thing is for certain, you are going to need your own brand and original designs to get accepted because they have a curated selection which usually means, individual designs are picked by their team for sale and brands cannot upload their entire catalogs.

13. HomeShop18

This is one name we are familiar with albeit not because of their website but due to their TV channel. However, they are currently growing their website traffic fast.

PRO TIP #6: If you get in touch with your category manager, you can get your items on their TV show as well. Although getting on the show will need you to give them a very large margin & commit large stock too.

As an online seller, the more sites you can sell on, the better. So it makes sense to sign up with them and see how your products can fit into their ecosystem. 

You can register for selling on HomeShop18 here: https://www.homeshop18.com/sellerInfo.html

14. Infibeam

This is an old & steady horse, is what I like to say. They are the only e-commerce company listed on the stock exchange and offer a variety of services apart form just a marketplace. However they do have good traffic and sales on their store.

They deal in almost all categories of e-commerce and there is no reason to not sign up with them. Sellers have managed to get good order volumes from Infibeam, especially during their promotions such as the Diwali sales season etc.

You can register for selling on Infibeam here: https://www.infibeam.com/merchant-signup

I hope I was able to give you at least a few new places to start selling your products online in India. Please share this article in Facebook & Whatsapp seller groups to help out our fellow online sellers.

If you are looking to take your business to the next level or even just getting started, don’t forget to check out my webinar: 3 Secrets To Double Your Online Sales In 30 Days. In this webinar, I will make an exclusive, highly discounted offer for my ‘Crorepati Seller Course’, which can transform your business whether you are a beginner or an expert or just looking to get started. The webinar is now available For Just 399 99/- Register Now 

**Views expressed in this article are solely based on my personal experience with these marketplaces. This experience may vary from seller to seller.