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Need help working through this idea - Membership sites & auction/ecommerce.

Discussion in 'Membership Sites' started by SavyCon, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. SavyCon

    SavyCon Regular Member

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    I've never built a membership site before, but I found a micro-niche that will have successful products and very interested and repeat buyers. I have an EMD. It will be an adult themed site, based around a certain fetish.

    How I'm thinking of setting up the site is to have a public facing website acting as a sales pitch to get interested parties to sign up. Behind the membership site, will be a forum & product profiles that members can purchase products at. There will be two types of users, standard (unverified) & provider(verified). The verified member will be the product provider. The unverified member will sign up to purchase the products & chat in the forums. The site will facilitate purchases between the two interested parties, and take a percentage of the proceeds.

    I have found a few product providers, and know where to market the site. I don't know exactly how to set up and manage the membership only section, and the software to facilitate payments/purchases. I was planning on building a wordpress or standard HTML front end.

    Here are my questions:

    -What are BHW's thoughts?

    -How should I get this done?

    -Is there a ready made solution out there for membership & purchasing products behind the membership wall?

    -Should I hire a developer?

    -Should I open this up as a JV?

    -How should I collect payments, and distribute it to the providers?

    -How do I stop the providers from going around the site and setting up their own deals (this one I was assuming I should do it like Fiverr does)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. artizhay

    artizhay BANNED BANNED

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    You're going to get a lot of suggestions saying to throw together a bunch of WordPress membership plugins and shopping carts, etc. This is fine, if that's all you can afford or are willing to do, but I always plan for the future.

    When my clients want things like this, I build it from the ground up and make it a custom system. This is very expensive, but allows much better control, as you are going to expand it in various ways over time, whether on your own accord or at the request from your providers.

    You could always go for the middle ground between both of those. Plenty of developers are capable of making custom WordPress plugins, so you can build it on a WordPress platform, but build the plugins as you need them to be, or at least customize existing plugins.

    Of course, just collect payment via PayPal, and credit cards directly with a merchant account. This is very simple to integrate into a checkout system.

    Don't open it up as a JV. You have a much lower chance of finding a good developer, as most professional developers want to get paid for their work, not hope that your company profits down the road.

    As long as you offer a great service, your providers aren't going to leave. You're delivering a user base directly to your providers, meaning they don't need to do any work, as you're doing it all for them. If they marketed their deals out of the platform, it would require much more work on their part to bring users in, when it would be simpler and likely more cost-effective for them to stay on your platform.
     
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  3. SavyCon

    SavyCon Regular Member

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    Artizhay,

    Thank you very much for the detailed and thought out reply. I was contemplating on throwing something together until it got traction, but I do also have money to spend. Going for the middle ground seems like the best choice so far. How is PayPal with Adult Themed content? I'm nervous that they'll place a hold or freeze an account, which could piss off the providers. For credit card processing, I was thinking something similar to Stripe. I'm going to send you a quick PM as well.