Starting a webshop

Nejmeh

New member
Any of you have any advice?

I have little to none experience in programming so putting it together myself will not be an option. I saw some online programms where you could use their space and make your shop with that, with the basic options for free. Any of you have any experience with those free webshops?
 

Darshiva

Moderator
My advice is to pay someone to make the site for you & run the business end of things yourself.

If this is not an option, take some classes in how to design and maintain a website.

Just remember that you get what you pay for - especially with free websites, and this will reflect strongly on the image of your business.
 

Amulya

Moderator
Well some free programs are good, but it depends on what you want. Some providers actually offer services like web shops :)
 

Nejmeh

New member
Tnx ladies for thinking with me!

Well some free programs are good, but it depends on what you want. Some providers actually offer services like web shops :)
Those. I saw a couple who have already pre-designed affeliates(excuse me if I use the wrong lingo:/), so pretty much all you have to do is add your own info and design. They are basic designs, and most of the time you don`t have that much space(i.a. not more then 50 articles etc). For now, we are not that demanding, it`s mainly to have something outthere(if you get my drift).

Darshiva: Well, we don`t have a big budget right now and asking around, the price here seems to be starting somewhere at 500 euro, if you pay a webdesigner. Maintaining it, dunnow, I was afraid to ask..
The webshop is not the mainthing, most of the sales will be done face to face and in store. I know that in the end, a free webshop would never do, but is it really no use if you are just starting out?
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I know how you feel about the money. I too have a hard time justifying every cent I spend. I still think it's wiser to pay someone to do a good job for you than to do it yourself & maybe look unprofessional. This is my personal opinion. You're very welcome to disagree with me. :)
 

Nejmeh

New member
I know how you feel about the money. I too have a hard time justifying every cent I spend. I still think it's wiser to pay someone to do a good job for you than to do it yourself & maybe look unprofessional. This is my personal opinion. You're very welcome to disagree with me. :)
Hehe, sounds like you know me! Well, I didn`t ask to be stubborn, so I`ll wait untill I find someone/something good. I think you are right, I am actually talking about 2 webshops, one is cake and bonbons, that would somehow do I guess, bd related stuff, not so much...
 
Any of you have any advice?

I have little to none experience in programming so putting it together myself will not be an option. I saw some online programms where you could use their space and make your shop with that, with the basic options for free. Any of you have any experience with those free webshops?
The risk with free sites is that you don't have any control. If they go out of business (and many of them do), you lose your whole shop. And often you'll find the basic option is so restrictive, you've got no choice but to pay extra for their "premium" options.

I'll pm you, I can certainly help you with the basics and can also design a site for you if you like.
 

Belly Love

New member
Nemjeh- I sent you a private message but I wanted to add:

What you will need:

Web domain
Host
Merchant account (there are free ones)
Store design (these run anywhere from $15 to $10,000) You can find a nice inexpensive premade one, which is usually called a OOAK (one of a kind) or "budget premades" on many site designers websites. Instead of the designer starting from scratch, they just put your info into a site they already designed.

Here's a link to an example:
Boutique Budget templates Premade cheap affordable

Once your site is up, you put in the content (products, prices, etc.) You can pay someone to do this, but it's pretty easy once you figure it out.

Like I mentioned in my pm to you, Merchant Moms is AMAZING! And super inexpensive. I suggest going there first because any little question you have about starting, running, marketing an online store is there.

WAHM Ecommerce Hosting at MerchantMoms
Good luck!
 
What you will need:

Web domain
Host
Merchant account (there are free ones)
Store design (these run anywhere from $15 to $10,000)

Like I mentioned in my pm to you, Merchant Moms is AMAZING! And super inexpensive. I suggest going there first because any little question you have about starting, running, marketing an online store is there.
  • Web domain (i.e. domain name) - yes
  • Host - yes
  • Merchant account - You can get by with Paypal basic account, which is free, unless you want to accept credit cards
  • If you use Wordpress to create your site, there are a lot of free templates, you don't need to buy one.
  • Merchant Moms is exactly the kind of site I mentioned - if you use their site to create your shop, you're stuck with them. If you're not happy with them and want to move, you'll lose your whole site design. Plus you have to pay a monthly fee forever more.
 

Nejmeh

New member
Wow, all of you thank you very much!!! I`ve got no time to answer all of you properly, so I`ll try tonight! But thank you so much for all the advice!!
 

Belly Love

New member
[*]Merchant Moms is exactly the kind of site I mentioned - if you use their site to create your shop, you're stuck with them. If you're not happy with them and want to move, you'll lose your whole site design. Plus you have to pay a monthly fee forever more.
[/LIST]
This info is incorrect

Merchant Moms is just the host, they don't actually design the site for you. Once a site is designed for you by an actual site designer, it's yours- you own it and you can download it onto your computer. Most templates made by professional designers are compatible with several different hosting companies and before they design your site, they can tell you which hosting companies their design is compatible with. If you move, you won't lose your site design at all, it just may have to be slightly modified (not necessarily changing the look) to be compatible with certain hosts.

Plus, Merchant Moms is really inexpensive & super helpful. You can go month to month and quit at any time. I've been using them for a couple of years and I have no idea what I would have done without them. I needed so much help because I did a lot of it on my own and had no idea how e-stores worked and they helped me every step of the way. I cannot praise them enough!

Also, I'm not sure if you can just do a Paypal account, I think you have to have a merchant account tied in with it. I use the free version of the company I go with (it's free but you get charged a percentage of each order. This is the same with all merchant accounts, they just vary on their percentages, etc. depending on what plan you go with).

If you can do just Paypal, I wouldn't advise it. Not only do many people not use Paypal accounts, but they have a terrible reputation with sellers. I have the free version of Paypal along with a free merchant account and I'm thinking of just switching to a merchant account I pay for. Just heard too many bad things about Paypal [ex: customers getting their product and complaining to Paypal that they didn't get it and Paypal automatically giving their money back (thus taking it automatically from the seller's account) even though the seller gave them proof of delivery.] they are so much on the customer's side that sellers are getting ripped off left and right.
 
This info is incorrect

Merchant Moms is just the host, they don't actually design the site for you. ...

Plus, Merchant Moms is really inexpensive & super helpful.
The price on the Merchant Moms site was so high, I assumed they must be including the site design. Their cheapest plan is $12.95 a month, and that's for only one website. That's expensive compared to most.

Hostgator, for instance, is only $8.95, or $6.95 if you're willing to sign up for 12 months, and you can host as many sites as you like. I only pay $4.95 a month because I signed up for 3 years.

I was also with a smaller host at first, and nervous about changing to the "big guns" because I got so much support from the boutique company - but honestly, I've found Hostgator to be just as helpful.

Also, I'm not sure if you can just do a Paypal account, I think you have to have a merchant account tied in with it. ....

If you can do just Paypal, I wouldn't advise it. ...Just heard too many bad things about Paypal
I know several merchants who just use Paypal. You're right, you do hear horror stories - basically, Paypal is great when it works, but their customer service is very bad at fixing things if something goes wrong.

A good tip is not to verify your bank account, and keep the balance in your Paypal account low so there's no money for them to transfer out.

Naturally, if your business model can justify a paid merchant account, that's what you'd go with - not everyone can afford it when starting up.
 

Belly Love

New member
I know several merchants who just use Paypal. You're right, you do hear horror stories - basically, Paypal is great when it works, but their customer service is very bad at fixing things if something goes wrong.

A good tip is not to verify your bank account, and keep the balance in your Paypal account low so there's no money for them to transfer out.
How do you accept money w/o them verifying your account? Isn't that part of the process, don't you have to veryify your account to start using it? If not, I wish I had known that little trick!
 
How do you accept money w/o them verifying your account? Isn't that part of the process, don't you have to veryify your account to start using it? If not, I wish I had known that little trick!
There are two steps - you enter the account number, then they ask you to verify it. If you enter it but don't verify it, they simply place an upper limit on the amount you can transfer in one transaction. Plus, of course, it's your responsibility if you entered the account number incorrectly - but that's easy to test by transferring a small amount the first time.
 
Top