|As a site designer myself, I realize how much time and effort goes
into registering, setting up, and designing a site; not to mention the
creation of content and seamless navigation. But it is unbelievable
how complicated and expensive this process has become!
Let's face it, very few entrepreneurs and small businesses can afford
to spend hundreds of dollars to set up their dot-com presence without
knowing how successful it will be! We've seen the results of high
expectations and over spending with the demise of many well-known
companies as reported in the news recently.
It doesn't have to be this way!
Are you planning to sell products or services?
You do NOT necessarily need expensive shopping cart software or
merchant accounts to sell your products or services. You can begin
your online venture by setting up a few of your most popular items or
services that can be purchased online. Once a customer has made a
purchase, you can then follow up with details on how to purchase
There are low cost ecommerce solutions that can help you start
conducting business online without breaking the bank.
First, determine exactly how sophisticated your ordering process needs
to be. Then decide which of the following options best suits your
Option A - PayPal
Set up a Premier Account with PayPal. PayPal is a stable and secure
company that has been around long enough to establish a credible
reputation. I can personally vouch for them, I use them consistently.
Doing Business As:
You have the option of using a business name or your personal name,
regardless of how your bank account is registered.
There are no monthly fees and no set up fees. Thatís right - itís
A small fee is with-held each time a transaction (purchase) is
They process all orders and notify you when payment is received.
You can earn a small cash bonus for qualified referrals you send to
Premium members can set up a shopping cart that links directly from
their site to PayPal.
Send an Invoice
If your services or product prices vary, you can send customers an
invoice from PayPal once the purchase price has been established.
Option B - eBay
Consider selling your products or services through eBay. You can
accept checks and money orders by postal mail, or you can accept
credit cards and checks using PayPal, or eBayís version of PayPal -
BillPoint. You can provide links to your site with each item you
list for auction. You can also set up a reserve amount - the least
dollar amount you will accept for your service or product.
Ebay also offers an affiliate program.
Option C - ClickBank
Sign up as a merchant with ClickBank.net. There are some fees
involved, plus you have to determine what percentage of each sale that
you will allow the referring site to earn. Affiliates with ClickBank
can choose merchants they like (higher commission percentages do
better) and then place links on their sites. There is a setup fee for
merchants, but you'll also be providing your site a great deal of
exposure. Plus, ClickBank allows you to accept credit cards and other
methods of payment. You'll be setting up your own affiliate program!
ClickBank also offers an affiliate program:
Option D - Find a Host that provides Shopping Carts
Many hosting packages are set up with shopping carts with a buy
feature. Do your homework. Check on the setup fees and the monthly
fees. Make sure itís a reputable company so you arenít worried about
your money transactions.
These are just some of the options that are available for setting up
shop without going broke. I'm sure that there are many more options
available - it just takes some net research.
About the Author
Sandra Cobb is a work at home site designer and homeschooling Mom.
Visit her website for free resources at
http://www.designsbyabelle.com, and sign up for her monthly ezine -
Comets4Him at http://www.sandracobb.com.