selling goods and starting a shop online

I’ve had a number of requests/questions about selling things, setting up shops, or PayPal lately, and I thought it was about time that I put forward the best and simplest options to sell something online. So, here’s my list:

 

PayPal:

I’m stunned at the number of people who think this is hard. If you have a PayPal account, you can log in, go to the ‘Merchant Services’ tab and select ‘Create buttons‘. At the end of completing this process you will be offered some code to add to your website. Copy this and paste it into a webpage (in the HTML view – as it is ‘code’ after all) and you’re done. Or if you’re using WordPress, like I am, you can paste the code into a Text widget. This will then display throughout your entire website :) Simples.

The only reason I can see why someone would not want to use PayPal, is volume. If you are selling a lot of stuff (I don’t mean the # of products you have, but the amount of money you’re making) PayPal’s fee will become an issue. Then you need to take my second option…

 

Shopify

People who want a shop –  not just a website with a button on it – should have a dedicated ecommerce facility. The only one I would recommend is Shopify. You’re going to pay £20 a month to set everything up and have a 2% fee on sales. Unless you’re selling over £55k worth of goods, Shopify will be cheaper than PayPal.

That’s it. That is all you need to know. You’re either selling one-off, or low-value items, or you’re shifting stock in volume. You may think that having PayPal branded buttons on your site, cheapens the purchase experience, but there is no evidence for that thought; if anything, people will feel secure buying through a brand they recognise. If you ever get to the stage in your business where you are hitting the limitations of Shopify, then you can afford, and should, explore a bespoke solution.

Questions? Hit me.

Mark