I had an email this week from someone who was considering an online shop. They wondered if they could do it themselves. So I wrote up two routes to take. I thought some of the Byte readers might be interested too.
Open a Yahoo Store
You don’t have to know html. You set up your shop by completing their online forms, which might include selecting background colors and layout, uploading photos, and choosing your shipping options.
The starter package starts at $40/month with a $50 start up. There is also a 1.5% transaction fee. There are a couple of services similar to Yahoo but I think they are basically the same. Here’s more info on the Yahoo options: http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ecommerce/plans.php
The online shops can look quite nice. The monthly rates can seem high if you don’t make any sales. If you want to save money or want to do it yourself I think this is a good option.
Again there are a range of similar services, but I’ll use this specific as a blanket description. You do need to know some html. The assumption is that you would have a web site. Maybe you created it, maybe someone else created it.
PayPal will only handle the e-commerce transactions. On PayPal you answer a series of questions such as price, options, tax and shipping costs. They will give you the code to paste into your site that will show up as a “buy now” type button. (So you need to know enough html code to paste that code into your page.) Once someone clicks on that they will get to a PayPal site, which you can customize to some degree, and the transaction will take place there. Once the transaction is complete, they will be sent to a confirmation page back on your site. Learn more: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_wp-standard-overview-outside
There is no setup or monthly fees. The transaction fee starts at about 2.6%. People are comfortable with the PayPal name, but the transaction isn’t exactly seamless. Users will recognize that they are using a PayPal process.