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Old 08-24-2008, 09:58 PM   #1
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Starting an Online Business

My mom owns a used bookstore in New Jersey and does a lot of online selling on abebooks and through an Amazon account. Now, she'd like to be able to sell through her own site, but has no clue how to do it.

Anyone here with tips?

Basically, as a bookstore, she'd like to have her site be able to show images of the books, and have her users be able to have a shopping cart, accounts, check on shipping, etc.

I've done just a hint of reading on the subject ("hint"= 30 minutes online just now ), and I've come across a few programs (oscommerce, zencart, and others) that seem to be able to do what she'd require, but I'm still left with a ton of questions. Mainly---do you need someone like Amazon or Yahoo to host for you, or can you do it yourself if you get your own server?

Any help would be majorly appreciated!

(p.s.--mods, I stuck this in LS instead of VDT figuring that online business owners aren't necessarily "techies" and frequenters of VDT. still, I could see this in VDT, so if you feel it fits there better, I'm cool with that. [/awkward rambling] )
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:39 PM   #2
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I only have experience with my ebay business, but I'm pretty sure you can get any web service to host your website and then incorporate a check out system into that website. I think paypal would be a good start because its really easy to use and a lot of people have paypal accounts. She could probably hire someone to design it and set it up for her because I'm sure its a lot more complicated than Ebay or Amazon.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:53 PM   #3
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Hmm.... She has a pretty basic website already, but it doesn't have any of her inventory or anything...it's mainly for info about the store. If you were to use just Paypal, would a buyer have to go through the process of doing the whole paypal sign-in, etc., for each item they want to buy, or does it allow you to purchase multiple items & navigate through several pages, then go through the checkout at the end---essentially like a shopping cart? If so, then using just Paypal would definitely be the easiest, at least to start off with.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:15 PM   #4
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Yes I've bought from websites before and purchased multiple things, then paid with paypal.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:43 PM   #5
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Awesome! I'll have to look into that. Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:58 PM   #6
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I don't deal with e-commerce, but the hosting provider I use uses the cPanel for hosting packages and in there are some shopping cart choices you can use on your site. Maybe the hosting provider already offers something?
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:08 AM   #7
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I'd add the ability to enter credit card numbers directly on the site - not everyone wants to go through the hassle of creating a paypal account.

Payment Gateway to Accept Online Payments is an example of a provider.
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