Which ecommerce solution should I start with as a beginner
July 22, 2010 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Which ecommerce solution should I start with as a beginner?

For a beginning lower-volume e-commerce business, what is the most cost-efficient store. Granted, I can sit and do the math myself... but if someone just already knows the information it would help me out.

Ebay, Yahoo store, and Shopify are some of the biggest solutions for shopping carts. I can use Zen Cart eventually, which is free, when I learn how to use it. Which is the most cost-efficient tool to start with. Example: Shopify is $30 per month with 200 SKU's at 2%. Ebay is a little more complicated, so I can't tell exactly which would make the most sense to start with, and then when it would make sense to jump from one to the other.

posted by frodoxiii to Work & Money (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Can you provide more information? Are you a developer or do you have access to developers? Are you specifically looking for a hosted shopping cart? (Zen Cart is not a hosted solution) What are you selling? Cost-efficient in what way? Initial costs / hosting costs / per-transaction rake fees / ease-of-maintenance...? It's a bit of a can of worms.
posted by drewgillson at 8:20 PM on July 22, 2010

There is a lot more than simple math to this, and you haven't provided enough information to answer the question. Do you plan on expanding? How much? How quickly? Who's hosting your site and what are their capabilities?
posted by sanko at 8:46 PM on July 22, 2010

Sorry... didn't realize....

I'm trying to start with reselling drop-ship wholesalers of consumer products. Then grow into purchasing some inventory with a higher profit margin.

Many people do this on ebay. I'm wondering if that's best to start, or somewhere else, and where to go from there.

Hope that helps.
posted by frodoxiii at 9:47 PM on July 22, 2010

Judging by the number of attempted ZenCart exploits I see in my server logs (I don't even run ZenCart!), I would stay far far away from that particular software.
posted by zjacreman at 9:49 PM on July 22, 2010

I already have a host, so I can host zen cart. But I'd like to put some items up for sale using a simpler solution while I learn that.

Cost efficient in this way.

Shopify starts at $30 per month for 200 sku's at 2% per sale. Then goes up to $59 per month for 2500 sku's

Yahoo is $40 per month 1.5% per sale but the price per month goes up based on the dollar amount you have made per month. $100 in sales = $41.45 per month

And ebay uses a different system altogether.

Each are using different criteria for the costs making them difficult to compare.

I was hoping maybe someone had already waded through this and figured out where to start, and then at what point to move on to a different one.
posted by frodoxiii at 9:57 PM on July 22, 2010

Paypal shopping cart is used a lot but you have to pay paypal fees.

I've heard good things about Google Checkout too, including possibly lower fees, but that might be outdated information and you want to check for yourself.
posted by wayland at 11:29 PM on July 22, 2010

Using something like Shopify and Ebay to sell your products are two different animals.

Ebay: you wont be paying for any advertising up front, but that costs are routed to the backend of your sale (7-12%). Plus with Ebay you're basically locked into Paypal to take payments since that's what a majority of people prefer for protection, which will take about another 2.5%. These numbers are rough estimates, but judge everything on the high side when starting out, so you aren't dissillusioned to how much money you can make.

Website / Shopify (my recommendation) - to get your traffic there, you're going to have to advertise, or be a clever marketer to get people to your site without spending too much money. Shopify is arguably one of the best pre-set solutions for new sellers, and even higher volume sellers. It's super easy to use, and doesn't have a ton of fancy things to get in the way of what you're trying to do; sell your products effectively.
posted by soss at 8:57 AM on July 23, 2010

Mal's eCommerce
"The FREE Shopping cart service built with merchants in mind, we make it simple to add a shopping cart to your website. Escape from the limitations of traditional shopping cart software, just add Buy Now buttons to your product pages and start taking orders straight away."
posted by elle.jeezy at 4:24 PM on July 23, 2010

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