TikTok Made Me Buy It: Should You Sell On TikTok Shop?

Katie White

Sep 08, 2022 . 10 minutes read

Should your business sell on tiktok shop

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After over a decade of meticulously staged, edited and polished content on social media, TikTok paved the way for a new, more authentic style of posting online.

With a feed that tailors content to the user’s interests, TikTok has something for everyone. From dance challenges to storytimes, tutorials to daily vlogs, TikTok provides a daily dose of refreshing and highly engaging content that people are loving.

After nearly a year of trials, TikTok has rolled out its latest offering in the world of social commerce: TikTok Shopping.

As one of the fastest-growing social platforms with over 1 billion active users, it’s no wonder so many small businesses are considering selling on the app. But before jumping on the bandwagon, it’s important to understand how it works, as well as the pros and cons.

Allow us to explain…

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What is TikTok Shop? 🤔

TikTok Shop is a new shopping feature that allows merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly through TikTok by linking products on in-feed videos, LIVEs and the product showcase tab.

How Does TikTok Shop Work? 🛒

There are two ways to make money with TikTok Shop.

You can either sell as a merchant, listing your own products or you can sell as an affiliate, making commission on existing products that you sell via links in your videos, LIVEs or showcase.

How to Become a Merchant on TikTok Shop 👩‍💼

  1. To sell your own products on TikTok Shop, you must first register as a merchant at seller-uk.tiktok.com
  2. Here, you can either set up a new account, using your phone number and email address or you can sign in using the details from an existing TikTok account. Once you have registered, you will be taken to an application page which asks for your ‘Seller information.’
  3. Select whether you want to sell as an individual or corporate business.
  4. Decide on a name for your shop. If you have an existing company, it is best to use your company name. If you’re selling as an individual, make sure to choose something memorable and relevant to what you’re selling to make your products easy to find. (Don’t worry if you haven’t decided on a final name yet, you can draft a name now and change it later.) From here, you will need to enter information as the business officer or owner.
  5. If applying as a company, you will first need to upload your company's certificate of incorporation issued by Companies house.
  6. Upload a photo of either your passport or driving licence. (If you upload your driving licence, you won’t need to add proof of your address in step 8.)
  7. Enter your address
  8. If you uploaded a photo of your passport in step 6, you will need to provide proof of your address by uploading one of the following documents:
  • Driving licence
  • Utility bill
  • Statement from a financial institution
  • Government issued letter
  • Solicitors letter
  • Council or housing association document
  • Benefits agency document
  • Electoral register entry
  • NHS medical card
  • Letter of registration with GP surgery

After completing these steps, TikTok will verify your documents. This can take up to 2 days, however most accounts are verified within a few hours.Once your account has successfully been verified, you can start to upload your products.

How to Upload a Product to TikTok Shop 📲

  1. Go to TikTok Shop Seller Center
  2. Check to make sure your product doesn’t fall under the Prohibited Products Guidelines.
  3. Scroll down to ‘Upload 1 product’ and press the ‘Upload now’ button.
  4. Enter the product name. Here TikTok recommends entering the brand, product name, benefits & net weight.
  5. Select a category from the dropdown box, or search to find a more relevant category to the product you are selling.
  6. Add the product brand (if it has one) and any other optional attributes.
  7. Upload images of your product. TikTok recommends at least 3 to help buyers learn more about your product.
  8. Enter a product description. Use this as an opportunity to talk as much about your product as possible- this is what will really sell it to customers.
  9. Upload a video of the product if you would like. This is a good place to upload a tutorial or review of your product being used.
  10. Add any variation options e.g. colour, size.
  11. Fill in the shipping and warranty information.

What Types of Products Are You Allowed to Sell on TikTok Shop? 🛍

You can sell a wide range of items on TikTok Shop, however there are some ‘unsupported’ and restricted items.

Unsupported products include

  • Medicines and medical devices
  • Baby and Maternity Products
  • Veterinary Products
  • Alcohol, Tobacco and E-Cigarettes
  • Vehicles and Automotive Parts
  • Media Products e.g. scripts, music and digital downloads
  • Virtual products e.g. memberships, warranties or subscriptions
  • Services e.g. plumbing services, construction services, travel services etc.
  • Political products
  • Weight Loss Products and Supplements
  • Home Improvement Products
  • Secondhand Products
  • Animal and Animal-related Products e.g. live animals, real fur, exotic skins, prong collars, traps
  • Age-restricted products
  • Adult products
  • Discriminatory products
  • Illegal products
  • Religious products
  • Live plants

There are also some product categories which are restricted, where only merchants who meet certain requirements are allowed to sell them. In order to sell any of the below products, you must first obtain the necessary approvals from TikTok:

  • Jewellery, Watches and Accessories
  • Electricals and Electronics
  • Children’s Toys
  • Upholstered Furniture
  • Pet Food
  • Beauty and Personal Care Products

Some restricted items may only be sold when sellers are invited to do so by TikTok. Here are some ‘invite only’ product categories:

  • Pre-packaged/Packaged and Chilled, Fresh and Frozen Food

How to Become an Affiliate Seller on TikTok Shop 🙋‍♀️

Becoming an affiliate seller is a great way to monetise your TikTok account.

This allows you to make a commission on existing products listed by merchants that you sell via links in your videos, LIVEs or showcase.

According to TikTok, 180K accounts made over £3.9M in commission last month, and 42K made over £171K just yesterday.

Please note, only 18+ accounts with over 1,000 followers that have posted a video in the last 28 days can become affiliate sellers.

Here’s how you can become an affiliate seller on TikTok Shop:

  1. To become an affiliate, open the TikTok app and click on the menu in the right hand corner of your profile.
  2. Press ‘Creator Tools’
  3. Scroll down and select ‘TikTok Shop’
  4. Set up a commission account by entering your name, date of birth and address.

Once you have completed these fields, TikTok will review your application. This can take up to two days, but most accounts are approved within a few hours.

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How to Sell Products as an Affiliate Seller 🤳

After your application has been reviewed, it’s time to start adding products to your ‘Showcase’.

Showcase is the tab on your profile where you can list products from the TikTok shop. Your followers and other users can then buy products via your page.

You can also add these products in your videos. Simply film or upload your video, tap ‘Next’ and use the ‘Add link’ button to add in any products you have mentioned within the video.

Please note, whenever you link a product in your videos, ‘Ad’ will be added into your video caption, even if you haven’t been contacted by the brand to create a video.

From here, your viewers will be able to buy the products you have listed in your video directly in the app and you will receive a commission whenever a product has been purchased via your video or showcase.

You can see how much commission you will make per item per sale when you browse the products.

Pros of Selling on TikTok Shop 👍

Reach a Wider Audience & Increase Brand Awareness 👥

Selling on TikTok Shop allows you to reach a much wider audience than if you just stuck to selling through your own website or other retailers.

This is thanks to TikTok’s one billion active users, most of whom are aged 18-24– the age demographic that is mostly likely to purchase products online.

Boost Sales 📈

Because TikTok is such a visual and authentic platform, it is the perfect place to show off your products.

Once you have your audience hooked with an engaging video or LIVE, they can then easily purchase your product from the link without having to leave the app.

Easy to Set Up 💁‍♀️

Setting up your TikTok Shop is quick and easy to do. It doesn’t require any special coding skills like a regular website does and you can get everything up and running within a couple of minutes.

Low Commission Fees 💰

TikTok charges much lower commission fees compared to other selling platforms.

For the first 90 days, you can benefit from a commission fee of 1.8% for each product sale. After the 90 days, the fee will increase to 5%, however this is still significantly lower than most other platforms.

For example, when selling on Amazon, you must pay for a Selling Plan as well as selling fees ranging between 8-15%.

This means you won’t be charged as much to sell your products, meaning you can list them for slightly lower prices, making people more likely to buy.

Have Influencers and Affiliates Promote Your Products More Easily 🗣

TikTok Shop makes it incredibly easy for you to work with influencers. Influencers can request a sample and they will be required to post a video linking to your product.

Additionally, any affiliate sellers can post videos linking to your products and, chances are, anyone looking to make as much money as possible will promote just about anything in a video, helping boost your sales!

Cons of Selling on TikTok Shop 👎

Limited Payment Options 💳

Currently, the payment options available on TikTok Shop are limited to debit/credit card and Apple Pay.

There isn’t an option to pay with PayPal, which many people prefer when shopping online due to the protection should something go wrong.

There is an option to buy now, pay later with Klarna, however this is only on orders above £20.

Not Available in All Countries 🗺

TikTok shop is currently only available in select countries including the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This means anyone looking to buy or sell outside of these countries won’t be able to.

Restrictions on What You Can Sell 🚫

Unfortunately, some products are restricted or unsupported on TikTok Shop, including food and digital products such as e-books, music and software.

Examples of Brands that Have Done it Well 🤩

The TikTok Shop Chicken

TikTok Shop TikTok Chicken

The ‘TikTok Chicken’ went viral after users noticed there was a full chicken available to buy through the TikTok Shop. #tiktokchicken went viral and a significant number of users purchased the chicken purely to see what it would be like.

Made by Mitchell

TikTok Made by Mitchell Mystery Box

Beauty brand Made by Mitchell went viral after selling mystery beauty bundles on TikTok Shop. Users would purchase the bundle and open it on video, revealing what they got. The bundles received mixed reviews, with some buyers left disappointed after receiving makeup in colours they would not typically use.

However, the phrase ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ couldn’t be more true here! With so many mixed reviews, more and more people have been persuaded into buying the bundle to see what they receive and the brand has sold over 83,000 products on TikTok shop, with #madebymitchell receiving 102M views.


TikTok P Louise Lucky Dip

Beauty and lifestyle brand P.Louise also started selling a ‘lucky dip’ bundle, which features a selection of makeup products and the potential to receive the brand’s best selling goal diary worth more than double the price of the lucky dip.

Much like Made by Mitchell, these unboxing videos went viral after people revealed all of the fantastic products they had received. This has resulted in over 100,000 product sales on TikTok Shop for the brand.

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Is TikTok Shop Right for My Business? 🤷‍♀️

As a business owner, you may be wondering if selling on TikTok Shop is right for you.

While there are some definite benefits to selling on this platform, there are also some potential drawbacks that you should consider before making a decision.

If you’re still unsure about whether TikTok Shop is a suitable e-commerce platform, our team of experts at Statuo can help. Get in touch today.

Frequently Asked Questions - TikTok Shop 

How does TikTok shopping work?

TikTok Shop allows merchants and creators to showcase and sell products directly on the platform. There are two main ways to engage with shopping on TikTok: through in-feed videos and the product showcase tab. Users can explore and buy products directly within the app, facilitating a more seamless shopping experience.

Is TikTok shop safe to buy from?

While TikTok Shop offers a convenient way for users to explore and buy products, it is essential to exercise caution when making purchases. Some of the shops on TikTok have been criticised for selling poor quality items or not delivering on payments. Always check reviews and research the seller before making a purchase.

How does TikTok shop seller work?

To become a TikTok Shop seller, businesses must create an account and set up a shop page on the platform. Registering for a TikTok Shop is typically free, and once your shop is set up, you can sell your products to TikTok's millions of users. Be sure to adhere to any platform-specific guidelines and use engaging content to attract potential customers.

How much do you get from TikTok shop?

Earnings from TikTok Shop are influenced by a variety of factors, including product price, sales volume, and marketing efforts. Focusing on creating engaging content, partnering with TikTok creators, and riding trending waves can all help increase your sales and revenue. However, there is no set amount that one can expect to earn from TikTok Shop as it varies from seller to seller.

How do I buy items in TikTok shop?

To buy items from TikTok Shop, watch for shopping tags on in-feed videos or head over to the product showcase tab on a creator's or brand's TikTok account. Click on the tagged product or browse the product showcases to find items you like. Then, follow the in-app prompts to complete your purchase.

How do you buy through TikTok shop?

To buy through TikTok Shop, follow these steps:

  1. Find a video or product showcase featuring the item you want to buy.
  2. Click on the shopping tag or product.
  3. Review product details and pricing.
  4. Click "Buy Now" or a similar call-to-action button in the app.
  5. Enter shipping and payment information when prompted.
  6. Complete your purchase and wait for your item to be delivered.

Why is stuff on TikTok shop so cheap?

Some items on TikTok Shop may be priced lower due to various factors such as manufacturer costs, promotional offers, or increased sales volume. However, it is essential to exercise caution when purchasing inexpensive products, as they could be of lower quality or originate from unreliable sellers. Always research the product and seller before making a purchase.

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