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    15 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2009 7:41 PM by amspcs

    Start online retail.

    King & Priest Newbie
      I am in desperateneed of ideas on how to start an online retail for my shirt and accessories business. Please help. Thanks.
        • Re: Start online retail.
          LUCKIEST Guide
          King, welcome to this website. First suggestion add a few words about you and your business on
          the Members page. Tell us more about yourself, your background and why you want to start an
          online retail for your shirt and accessories business. Are you in the retail business NOW??
          Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE suggests developing a Business and Marketing Plan.
          The more you tell us, the better we can help you succeed. LUCKIEST
            • Re: Start online retail.
              cyildirim Newbie

              I decided to do start an online Retail Busienss 3 months ago. After careful evaluation of all possible options for this I created a legal LLC and built a web site to sell home entertainment systems.
              I wantto share my experince and learn from other's comments.

              Initially my research was about finding answers to basic business and technical questions on How to Start and Online Store Business.

              It is too long to share here but you can read about this on my blog at

               


              http://cem-yildirim.blogspot.com

               

              I wish to hear and learn from others who has experinece on this topic

              Good luck

              Cem
            • Re: Start online retail.
              Q2A USA Newbie
              King & Priest,
              I am also exploring the possibility of a start-up in apparel. My idea is for a niche market and I am still sort of in the idea stage. I am would love to hear how you progress and what you learn along the way. I will keep you posted on what I learn as well.

              Good luck!
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Start online retail.
                NatOnline Tracker
                There are already many threads about web design, just check the posts in the Internet category from this forum.

                1) budget,
                2) web design firm or freelancer
                3) photos of your products

                Let us know if you need more info.

                Good luck
                • Re: Start online retail.
                  volusion Newbie
                  Here's a checklist for getting started in online retail:
                  http://onlinebusiness.volusion.com/checklist/

                  That should be a good start for you.

                  Regards,
                  Michelle Greer
                  http://www.volusion.com
                    • Re: Start online retail.
                      NatOnline Tracker
                      I stay away from packs like that, because when things go wrong you are locked:

                      1) You cannot master your domain and setup the name server of your choice
                      2) They host your site with most of the time their templates.
                      3) You cannot choose the SSL of your choice, I bet they want you to buy a verisign certificate more than $100 + they can install it for $100 more
                      4) If you have your site you can put the quantity of products you want.

                      People choosing shortcut in e-commerce will not learn how it works, and there is a high probability they would be scam pretty bad.

                      I love my freedom and will never ever sign up for sites like that or similar.
                      Yes I am run my e-commerce and don't need anybody to do the job I can do.
                        • Re: Start online retail.
                          volusion Newbie
                          Actually, I'm not sure how much you know about our software. Let me clarify.

                          --I'm not sure why it would be a liability to point your domain towards our name servers.
                          --We do host your site, but bear in mind, hosting credit card information can hardly be taken lightly. Credit card companies have standards for hosting credit card data, and the average merchant will not be able to do this and comply by PCI/CISP standards. Essentially, if you are not hosting credit card data properly, you can get fined or blackballed by Visa. I have talked to merchants whose stores have been hacked, and it is very difficult for them to find hosts again. For most businesses, the expense would shut them down.
                          --You can customize your own template with Volusion. All of the clients in our client gallery have customized their stores using Dreamweaver or something similar.
                          --We do charge extra for using a third party SSL simply because it requires more configuring on our part.
                          --We offer a plan that allows for unlimited products and unlimited product options.

                          Considering Barack Obama, Omni Hotels, Pez Candy, and the Chicago Tribune as well as over 10,000 other merchants use our software, I don't think we'd be able to scam anyone. You can build a store yourself, and you can also build a car yourself or a house. With as much as merchants have to do to run a business, would you really want to though?
                            • Re: Start online retail.
                              NatOnline Tracker
                              You don't need to capture credit cards on your own e-commerce, a gateway provider can handle that for you and they've got a security departement monitoring transactions 24/24 and 7/7.

                              This is not hard to configure a SSL, I do that myself for $27 per year, when sites like yours take hundred's, but that's business right?

                              Sure big corporations will not take care of details and you can sell them these packs, but not staters or small companies
                                • Re: Start online retail.
                                  volusion Newbie
                                  There is more to PCI than just storage. There is credit card encryption as well, which is an expense/labor in and of itself. Open source software is much easier to crack than proprietary software, and not all firewalls are completely safe.

                                  Do the users in this forum know everything they need to do to ensure their stores are safe? How much would they have to spend to ensure it is, given the fact that audits are several hundreds of dollars for individual store owners?

                                  Regards,
                                  Michelle Greer
                                  http://www.volusion.com
                                    • Re: Start online retail.
                                      NatOnline Tracker
                                      As far as I am concern, all encryptions of credit cards from my customers are either captured on Authorize.net site or Paypal, this is why we are safer.

                                      All personnal information we capture are encrypted by our SSL 256 bits. If you want to go farther my hosting company has different levels of security.

                                      Oh you can take a service like "hackers safe" it will cost you only $9,000 per year

                                      There is not system 100% safe.
                                        • Re: Start online retail.
                                          amspcs Ranger
                                          Amen to Nat's post. Credit card compliance is a BIG issue these days, just ask anyone who's been hacked like TJ Maxx, Heartland Payment Systems, etc. Take it VERY seriously and do your processing via a know merchant services provider using a gateway that knows what it's doing such as Authorize.net, Verisign, etc. Avoid brand X like the plague. And never never NEVER store card data under any circumstances.

                                          AMSPCS
                                          amspcs@juno.com
                                          www.MerchantServices-help.com
                              • Re: Start online retail.
                                King & Priest Newbie
                                Thanks for all the advice. They are well noted.
                                  • Re: Start online retail.
                                    Risktk666 Newbie

                                    Webdesigners please feel free to contact me as well for pricing on a website. I posted in another thread about all my specifics.

                                    Ideal website?

                                    www.sunshinejewelry.com

                                    This website is definitely my ideal website and although its very eleborate that is exactly what I am looking.

                                    Thanks

                                    risktk666
                                  • Re: Start online retail.
                                    LUCKIEST Guide
                                    More suggestions on starting a business, LUCKIEST

                                    h3. 6 Steps to Small Business Success

                                    1. Start Smart
                                    2. Plan Ahead
                                    3. Set up Systems
                                    4. Seek out Sales
                                    5. Aim for Growth
                                    6. Leverage Opportunities

                                     

                                     


                                    1. Start Smart.
                                    Identify a niche. Don't compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look
                                    for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value
                                    for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many
                                    facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has
                                    meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don't know what the future holds,
                                    many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don't exist today. You can
                                    create your own success.

                                     


                                    Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of
                                    the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by
                                    serving clients well, making their life better in some way-it's more
                                    than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the
                                    idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your
                                    ideas.

                                    2. Plan Ahead.
                                    People often ask me why bother with a business plan? Look at the
                                    lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
                                    but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. I'm a risk
                                    taker...but not that much, minimize the risk of going into business and
                                    maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
                                    how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
                                    focus and increases your chances of success.

                                     


                                    The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
                                    business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
                                    The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
                                    business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
                                    multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of
                                    credit.

                                     


                                    Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
                                    include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
                                    mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
                                    success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
                                    by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.

                                    3. Set up Systems.
                                    The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
                                    system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
                                    support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
                                    budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
                                    the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
                                    you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
                                    operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your
                                    success.

                                     

                                     

                                    4. Seek out Sales.
                                    The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
                                    sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
                                    everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
                                    community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
                                    selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
                                    as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
                                    for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
                                    then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
                                    know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
                                    customers, and then broaden from there.

                                     

                                     

                                    5. Aim for Growth.
                                    The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
                                    are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
                                    investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
                                    is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
                                    want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
                                    Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
                                    There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
                                    important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
                                    your company.

                                     


                                    6. Leverage Opportunities.
                                    Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
                                    business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
                                    and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
                                    Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
                                    potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
                                    business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
                                    the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
                                    for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
                                    your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
                                    company's resources.
                                    • Re: Start online retail.
                                      Unique_Genius Wayfarer
                                      Welcome! I have the same idea as you about starting an online business. Hope you find some helpful info, I will let you know if I find out any helpful tips
                                      Good Luck
                                      -Genius