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Thread: Starting an online shop

  1. #1
    Heavenly Creature Editor aman's Avatar
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    Starting an online shop

    Hi all

    Jules and I have decided to start an online shop selling printed t-shirts, stickers, mugs etc and we were wondering which platform we should start on.

    Do we start out building an ebay shop or amazon or are there better platforms out there.

    Ultimately we will build our own site but initially we want to start selling asap

    Paul
    PⒶUL
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  2. #2
    All of them.

    eBay and Amazon cost about the same, they are ready to go and easy to get started with massive numbers of customers already using them. Start a shop on both, but with a company name or links in the description that means people can find your own site.

    I do that a lot on eBay, use the site to browse suppliers, then go direct to the company to buy the product direct 10% cheaper.

    Getting started with your own sales site takes a serious amount of time and funds. Google Adsense costs can suck the life out of any party. Using Amazon and eBay initially will accelerate the process.

    The products you will sell have high margins and loads of competition, so the rest is up to your design skills.
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  3. #3
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    I'm starting a few-

    I installed WeBid for an auction site at
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    I experimented with Presta Shop at
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    For some reason, I didn't feel comfortable with this, so I didn't start to load any items.

    My latest experiment is with SEO toaster at
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    I want to list a load of DVDs on this site - it's really interesting software, and I haven't cleared the demo bicycle stuff from the site yet. It contains a lot of SEO and site promotion capabilities, and I am exploring those before I start the customisation.

    My aims might not be the same as yours, as I want the sites to help me to de-clutter, as well as boosting the value of my domain name portfolio. I don't want to start a regular on-line shop. SEO toaster looks to be a great option for this though.
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  4. #4
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    Missed out the . on my website ? der said I had not had my porridge , it should read

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    Now all the post has vanished ? and my writing has gone all small ? said I was crap at all this web stuff
    Last edited by boneheaddread; 01-11--2016 at 12:56 PM.
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  5. #5
    Heavenly Creature
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    Originally Posted by boneheaddread
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    Hi I sell tat on ebay ... 10% ... 15%
    ISTR that if you ate VAT registered, you even have to pay VAT on postage, did some calcs a few years back and concluded that it was better to trade as non VAT registered, but then your business isn't scaleable and you have to swallow the input VAT. dunno if Amazon is any better?

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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    ISTR that if you ate VAT registered, you even have to pay VAT on postage, did some calcs a few years back and concluded that it was better to trade as non VAT registered, but then your business isn't scaleable and you have to swallow the input VAT. dunno if Amazon is any better?
    ​Hi no I think its around a 80,000 a year turnover before you have to be vat registered , I am lucky if I earn 4000, to 6000 grand a year so I pay no tax or national insurance , but I dont have to sign on and I am free to do what I want with my life and time so that suits me fine
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  7. #7
    Facebook,preloved and gumtree might be worth trying.

  8. #8
    Heavenly Creature Lightbringer's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    Don't forget that if you don't have your own domain name, then all the work you do to drive traffic to your sales pages is helping to build somebody else's site.
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  10. #10
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    If you are using a shopping cart CMS. Make sure it has a Google analytics plugin. I've had a bit of a problem adding the routine to my WeBid auction site.
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  11. #11
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boneheaddread
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    Missed out the . on my website ? der said I had not had my porridge , it should read

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    Now all the post has vanished ? and my writing has gone all small ? said I was crap at all this web stuff
    Nice clean site ...no horrible ads and distracting dancing graphics well done,good luck with the shop.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  12. #12
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Ebay now heavily favours the buyer. Theres lots of scams on there that could leave you out of pocket as they will deduct refunds out of the paypal account that they insist you use.
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  13. #13
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    PayPal is not a secure payment method. It is only a loan for six months which may not have to be repaid if PP's profits are not too low.

    Ebay lost interest in the auction side a few years ago. They now seem to be more interested in selling advertising space against the interests of the sellers, harvesting customers on-line activities, and promoting some of their other services.
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  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EnglishLens
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    PayPal is not a secure payment method.
    I would disagree. Paypal is a very secure payment method, especially if you link it to a credit card that is noy used for online purchases and paid off in full each month.
    Any problems and ebay / paypal refund you, and if they dont then you get the credit card company involved.

    For receiving payments, i would agree completely though. Besides charging ridiculous fees, they deduct money for disputes immediately and its near impossible to speak to someone.

    Luckily i only lost a few quid thanks to a couple of dicks on ebay (and on the job lot i was selling still made a few quid so overall i didnt lose out) but because of that i dont sell on there now unless its pick up only, and cash, but i still use them for payments for the reasons above
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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    Nice clean site ...no horrible ads and distracting dancing graphics well done,good luck with the shop.
    Hi thanks the comment , I would not know how to put dancing graphics on if I wanted them ,
    anyway still early days got loads more stuff to list on , have not made any sales yet but I aint in no rush , traveller Dave from traveller homes website done me a favor and has put me as his top link so that might help a bit , also might load all my items up in a trailer in the summer and do a few stalls somewhere ? dont know yet early days , also thinking about selling other peoples tat or new made items ( burners e.c.t.) for a small %
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  16. #16
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    Rick, this is a thread about on-line shops, so I was speaking from the perspective of a retailer. As I mentioned, there are so many alternatives, that I think anyone would be mad to accept PayPal these days on an Internet site. But that's just my opinion based on my experiences and those of some of my friends.
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  17. #17
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    I completely agree with you about not using paypal to receive payments.

    However, you did state that it wasnt a secure payment method and my post was a response to that (as your post read, lets not get into grammer here though!)

    Even for the retailer, It is secure, however the many other issues witb the company mean that it isnt one that anyone should use voluntarily.

    Also, the more posts that draw attention to the way ebay and paypal are both fleecing people, and allowing online fraud by malicious buyers, can only be for the good.
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  18. #18
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    It can't be secure if they can reclaim the money at any time in a six month period if they feel like it.

    It's quite a problem trying to run an on-line sales business. In theory Ebay should be the best choice, but it's so riddled with fraud and deception, that I try to avoid it. The only way I use it as a means of introduction to a cash on collection transaction.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that Ebay is right in their opinion that sales don't matter - it's the other stuff that makes the money. I don't plan to rely on selling DVDs on my DVD Gems site. Once I've got a few hundred listed, I'll add some banners and hope for a bit of income from that. Of course, if someone actually wants to buy a DVD, then I'll sell it, but that's a lost page for advertising displays. The obvious solution is to leave it online with an out of stock message.
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  19. #19
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Anyone use any of the alternative 'ebay' sites like Bonanza Ebid Ealtbay etc ? Ive got an ebid acvount but only used it to look for items not to sell...

    I think paypal is pretty secure or i wouldnt use it to pay anyone but having sold on ebay and had to desl with paypal a number of times for unpaid items and nuisance bidders ive just found them a diabolical waste of time plus the fees they deduct it makes it pointless selling anything most of the time.I only use e bay now to buy stuff not sell.
    Last edited by NomadicRT; 02-11--2016 at 02:50 PM.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  20. #20
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    What items do you want? I'll see if I can list them. I closed the mug warmer auction and gave them away, so I'm afraid you have missed that.
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  21. #21
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EnglishLens
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    What items do you want? I'll see if I can list them. I closed the mug warmer auction and gave them away, so I'm afraid you have missed that.
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    Are you asking me ? ...if so im not looking to sell at present im.just asking generslly if anyone uses the alternative auction sites.

    Shsme about the mug warmer...i wss wondering if snyone does a USB campfire ...might save me using the axe as much....
    Last edited by NomadicRT; 02-11--2016 at 02:39 PM.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  22. #22
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
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    I might be able to find a stationary engine with a USB port - you might have to change the wiring though.

    Actually - I've just found this campfire with a USB port - whatever next?


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  23. #23
    Me gone,bye bye.. NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EnglishLens
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    I might be able to find a stationary engine with a USB port - you might have to change the wiring though.

    Actually - I've just found this campfire with a USB port - whatever next?


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    Yes they do actually work too,a friend has one.. keeps his phone charged.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  24. #24
    Heavenly Creature Shroom's Avatar
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    wonder if it would be good for a USB coffee warmer ?
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