Starting an online shop

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  • 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


  • 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.

  • I'm starting a few-

    I installed WeBid for an auction site at Big Ends - the auction site for car breakers and nomads

    I experimented with Presta Shop at Kat1 - quality second hand clothes
    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 DVD gems - pre-owned DVDs and computer games
    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.

  • Missed out the . on my website ? der said I had not had my porridge , it should read

    Now all the post has vanished ? and my writing has gone all small ? said I was crap at all this web stuff

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Nice clean site 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 %

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. :)

    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....

  • We have decided on a name for our new online business and I am going to be buying up the domain names and setting up hosting over the next week or so. I have a job away from my normal business next week so I will not be able to do as much as I would like but it should go a long way towards the £1000 investment in new equipment I need to spend to get the new business off the ground.

    We will have a website and ultimately we will be selling directly from the website but to start off we will be selling on ebay.

    As soon as we have the domains and a holding page we will let you know.

    We cannot actually begin producing anything until we can afford the new equipment but we will be using this time to do research, startd producing the artwork needed and setting up a facebook page and other social media stuff.

    The new business will run alongside our existing business and both will benefit from each other so hopfully it will be a success

    Time will tell


  • Good luck with your new venture.

  • OK I really.....really .....really..... Don't want to offend but if it's for sale on 3rd party is probably available cheaper elsewhere.

    Merchants make their markup from bringing the product geographically closer to the end user or offering a niche product/service..... right?.......wrong?

    I understand some people understand they are well off enough to feed the merchants and/or appreciate the convenience and are prepared to pay for it but surely the margins don't generally exist if one is going all tax legal.

    Supplementary income may help offset poor wages and inflated accommodation costs but surely there is an alternative.

    I.e. proper wages and tax breaks for smaller merchants.

    Again......please don't take offence.....I get it but my politics don't.