Simple, cheap, hosted online store
November 14, 2008 5:46 AM   Subscribe

I've got 54 silkscreened t-shirts split irregularly among several different designs and sizes. I'd like to sell them online as easily as possible and giving up as little commission as possible. EBay seems like too much effort for that many. I didn't make them myself -- I designed them and had them custom made -- can I still sell them on Etsy (and would that be any easier)? Better yet, is there somewhere I can make a quick online store and set up an inventory and it'll handle most of the heavy lifting (credit cards and/or Paypal, too) for a small fee?
posted by Plutor to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If you know how to set up a web page, Mal's-e is a free shopping cart that will help you take orders and process payments.

That said, Etsy is pretty great for moving merchandise and the fees aren't too bad. If you designed the shirts yourself you'll be within the guidelines to be a seller.
posted by Alison at 6:00 AM on November 14, 2008

WordPress has some shop plugins that could work. I haven't used any of them so I can't tell you which one would work best.

You could also get an image gallery script with a shop. The system would act like you're selling art, but as long as you tell people they're getting shirts you should be fine.

From Etsy:

"What items can I sell on Etsy?
You can sell anything that you've made by hand or, a bit more loosely put, hand-assembled or hand-altered (as long as it complies with our Terms of Use). If your human hands put some love into the object, odds are, you can sell it on Etsy. Yes, you can use power tools or a computer or a sewing machine – handmade doesn't necessarily mean "low-tech." Reselling of handmade items is not allowed; all handmade items must be made by the seller. We also allow some non-handmade items in the Supplies and Vintage categories; they must be tagged appropriately. Check out the DOs & DON'Ts of Etsy (under Selling) for more detailed rules"

Looks like you're out of luck going there.
posted by theichibun at 6:02 AM on November 14, 2008

Response by poster: Alison: "If you know how to set up a web page, Mal's-e is a free shopping cart that will help you take orders and process payments."

Mal's-e looks almost perfect. But one of the things that I'm the most concerned about is tracking inventory. There are a couple design/size values that I only have one of, and if the cart/store/whatever was able to hide those once they were sold, that would be ideal. That doesn't seem very easy with Mal's-e.

For other answerers: I'm skilled in the Webs, so if there's some setup like there is with Mal's-e, that's fine. I'm just too busy/lazy to write the whole storefront myself.
posted by Plutor at 6:13 AM on November 14, 2008

Best answer: I just came across Shopify, which might be exactly what I need. And the intro video on the front page has a Making Me Nervous remix as its soundtrack, which is a plus.
posted by Plutor at 7:17 AM on November 14, 2008

Zen cart is another free shopping cart program. But it would require some set up. I've used it in the past and its inventory is pretty good. It allows multiple sizes and I'm pretty sure it gives you the option of hiding the item once its sold out.
posted by ljesse at 7:31 AM on November 14, 2008

But one of the things that I'm the most concerned about is tracking inventory

How about OSCommerece, then?
posted by Alison at 7:38 AM on November 14, 2008

Will you be linking to your shop (via your profile or somesuch)? I'm all curious now about those shirts...
posted by eralclare at 7:41 AM on November 14, 2008

ebay is too much work, but you want to set up a store? Not sure how a store would be easier. At least with ebay the shoppers are already there.

The problem is that you've got too many different products and not many units of each. That will be a lot of work to sell.
posted by kamelhoecker at 3:04 PM on November 14, 2008

Best answer:

does everything you need, enjoy. i have a store with them and its been nothing but easy since the beginning.
posted by ibechase at 3:11 PM on November 14, 2008

Response by poster: I ended up using Shopify, and here's my store (oh god, self-link to ecommerce, feel free to flag) with shirts that pretty much no one will understand outside of my group of friends from high school. Extra benefit with Shopify was that the first 10 orders are free and zero commission. Past that, the cheapest plan is $25/mo plus 2%, which isn't bad, but I might not need to upgrade to that at all, depending on how things go.

Bigcartel looks like it would have done what I wanted, but by the time ibechase suggested it, I had already set up the shopify store.
posted by Plutor at 4:46 AM on December 15, 2008

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