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[HELP] Starting an Online Business

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by bannor11, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. bannor11

    bannor11 Junior Member

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    Hi All,

    With everything I've learned here about IM, I've started a number of projects and have had a reasonable amount of success. One of the things I'm wanting to test out now is starting an online business selling physical products. I have access to a lot of inventory of products that currently has no online presence. I'm looking for a detailed set of steps I need to take and consider in order to make it a viable online business that is able to scale up.

    Some of the things I know I need to do are to:
    - Generate a database of products with relevant metadata (e.g. pricing, amount in inventory, product description, shipping costs, etc)
    - Have high quality pictures of each Product
    - Create an eCommerce store that allows for online ordering
    - Setup privacy/shipping/contact information on the website
    - Offline I need to setup a system to process orders/returns/customer service/etc.

    Initially I don't want to get over my head so I'd like to start with a few Products and test out the waters. If anyone with experience is willing to give me some advice and guidance that would be greatly appreciated. Any recommendation of software, text, examples, and other information would be very helpful. Please feel free to PM me for more info or post here in the thread. Thanks
     
  2. Anton91

    Anton91 Junior Member

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    I've recently used Prestashop to set up a website. It's pretty simple to use in terms of adding products, orders etc and you can mass upload if you like, it also has the ability to customize meta titles, descriptions and keywords for SEO.

    As for processing orders that depends how you run your business / where your stock is. Ours is all dropshipping atm, so the order email is automatically forwarded to our supplier who processes and ships the product same day. One thing you might need to find about is a payment gateway or virtual terminal so that you can take credit card payments easily over the phone and online.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. bannor11

    bannor11 Junior Member

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    Thanks, Prestashop looks great. Any advice in terms of legal information that I need to make sure is available on the site as well as refund/shipping policy? What about state tax in the US? Any rules regarding that for online sales? Thanks for the help.
     
  4. ProAffiliate01

    ProAffiliate01 Junior Member

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    This is the first I've heard of Prestashop. I hope it's not too expensive. LOL I might try it if it's better than the Zen shopping cart.
     
  5. grell

    grell Newbie

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    What state are you setting up the business in?
     
  6. bannor11

    bannor11 Junior Member

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    I'm in California.
     
  7. grell

    grell Newbie

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    This is something I've wanted to look into for myself, but never got around to it. Give me a couple days to look into it. I'll post my results here unless someone else who already knows posts first.
     
  8. gingerbuzz

    gingerbuzz Junior Member

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    have you ever looked into the companies that offer a complete online business, i get lots of mails from yourownstore.co.uk and i have often wondered if they are any good especially for a novice like me, yeah they have lots of fans etc and the usual testimonials but we all know how easy it is to fabricate that. have a look maybe they might be good for you and if anyone knows anything about them please pm me.
     
  9. DarkWingDuck1

    DarkWingDuck1 Newbie

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    3d cart is a great online shopping cart. They are reliable, have 24 hour customer support and have nice features, especially if you have limited experience. I use 3d cart for several of my stores and I have several clients who use it too. I also use Miva, but wouldn't suggest them if you want something easier to put together and maintain.
     
  10. KINGCOS

    KINGCOS Junior Member

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    Find products that will give you a 35%-50% profit margin. Saturated markets have high competition and pf are smaller imo. Don't neglect FB as a way to drive consumers to you site.
     
  11. KINGCOS

    KINGCOS Junior Member

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    Find products that will give you a 35%-50% profit margin. Saturated markets have high competition and pf are smaller imo. Don't neglect FB as a way to drive consumers to you site.
     
  12. grell

    grell Newbie

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    Looks like there is a privacy policy requirement for websites that collect personal information under California's Business and Professions Code 22575-22579. You'll probably want to include a terms of service that includes return information, jurisdiction, limitations of liability, that sort of thing. There are lots of samples online, or you can talk to an attorney for a customized one. For your customers in California, I think you will need to collect state taxes. The Franchise Tax Board will have all the details though.
     
  13. Cshark

    Cshark Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  14. azizsalim

    azizsalim BANNED BANNED

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    have you started affiliate marketing ?
     
  15. Jammy01516

    Jammy01516 Registered Member

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    Do you have any good Online Business, as I have an experience of over 10yrs in Online Business like Ecommerce, Call Center Services, Web Development...I like to take some Online Business in which I utilize my manpower of my Call Center having a vast experience in Customer Support
     
  16. mrlawless

    mrlawless Newbie

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    Most important you need to protect your self simply setup company , get correct license....If u have great amount of products . youd probably need to open store ,... if u really want to open online store ,... you need a good call : content management system .. .these will enable you to control your content of your websites .

    Good websites .. Honestly speaking for well made , designed and focused keywords , well placement rank on google ... $5000 .. .. less than that u probably need to learn
    how to .. get crappy free shopping carts ... etc etc..

    but for sure its depend on your budget .. you can use sitebuildit ,.... for $299 one time fees .. will work with paypal ... it is not superman shopping cart but it will build you
    some good shopping cart site with SEO.

    Build websites is one thing ... Marketing is ... ANOTHER THING.....

    FIRST OF ALL ... YOU NEED TO REGISTER COMPANY , UNDERTAND TAX , SETUP REAL BUSINESS ADDRESS ,PHONE NUMBER , 411 listing ...
     
  17. redclover

    redclover BANNED BANNED

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    Well in my experience some of the best Advice I can give to you is to have a item number for every product you
    put in your online shopping cart. If your starting small then have some shelves with the product number below the
    item. Make sure that you have that product number match the one on your website. So this way when someone
    orders a products you can easily find and ship it. You can even have it pre packaged and ready with the label. Takes
    allot of hassle out of it.

    Hope this helps !
     
  18. bitencrypt

    bitencrypt BANNED BANNED

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    check this site out>>> https://nanacast(.)com/home.php <<< be sure to remove the parenthesis.
     
  19. Nagad

    Nagad BANNED BANNED

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    If you are a novice.Go with shopify
     
  20. eomcmills

    eomcmills Newbie

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    Youv'e got to have a youtube presence. Free ad's.