Is it more fuss than it's worth?
November 27, 2008 4:00 AM   Subscribe

Pros and cons of setting up an ebay shop for a literary magazine?

Hi all. I work for a quarterly magazine (Ambit self-link) which has just had its Arts Council funding cut and needs to make some money pretty quickly to stay afloat. We already have a Paypal account through which people can buy current issues and subscribe (organised through FirstWriter before I started at Ambit), but we've got a huge number of back issues for sale as well.

At the moment we have a fairly crummy system where you just e-mail us and we tell you how much a particular item costs and then you mail us a cheque.

We don't anticipate getting a huge volume of sales, though, so the minimum cost of fifteen quid a month to keep the shop open seems a little high.

Any experience using ebay for small journals or other methods, fellow mefites.

(also I've just read this thread, which has given me lots more options, but that's just added to the confusion, really - now I have five companies with unknown pros and cons!)
posted by Cantdosleepy to Shopping (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm familiar with Ambit--it's highly regarded.

I am a writer and I manage a charity book shop. Literary journals do very well for us.

Is there any way that you can change your "currently crummy system" to accommodate purchase of back issues via paypal and/or credit card?

Have you explored your options through Amazon? Lots of literary and arts journals are available there already. When I need back issues, or even current ones, that's where I go.

There's something off putting about going through ebay shops for this--most likely snobbery!

The combination of Ambit's own site plus buying options through Amazon appears how many journals do it.

Others who know more may have better info!

Good luck!
posted by subatomiczoo at 6:32 AM on November 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, Subatomic!

Amazon certainly looks worth a crack...
posted by Cantdosleepy at 7:51 AM on November 27, 2008

We sell our not-quite-as-highly-regarded-literary-magazine-as-yours through Paypal, with a page showing available back issues and a shopping basket and all that. It seems to works pretty well, especially with refunding people (very useful when things don't go quite according to plan). Hey, it looks like we potentially share a designer as well.
posted by jonathanbell at 8:33 AM on November 27, 2008

ebay takes a huge cut, and then paypal will take a cut. don't forget, with ebay you pay to list, you pay for photos, you pay a percentage of final sale price. you pay everything except for final sale price even if you don't sell... and the items expire after a while.
posted by micawber at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2008

Paypal also offers a shopping cart to use anywhere on your own website, customized HTML, and so on. It's about as simple as multi-step shopping carts come these days, money is taken from their credit / debit card and deposited into your Paypal account. Accepting credit cards may require a monthly fee if you get a lot of orders (read on their website for the latest). Best of luck!
posted by chrisinseoul at 9:29 PM on November 27, 2008

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