If you’re interested in selling jewelry products online or any products for that matter, you will probably be interested in the live chat I had recently with a visitor to my website. She was interested in finding out more information about selling her products online through her own website, not a third party website like Etsy. So we chatted for a while and I was able to answer a lot of her questions. I’m including it here as a blog post because she asked a lot of good questions that will help a lot of people (including you) looking to sell online.

 

Selling Products Online(10:57:47)  Ryan What kind of website do you want to build? Can I answer any questions for you?

(10:57:47)  Visitor hello

(10:57:55)  Ryan Hi, thanks for chatting.

(10:58:03)  Visitor no prob

(10:58:04)  Ryan Anything I can help you with?

(10:58:33)  Visitor im trying to create an online webste for a jewelry business

(10:58:47)  Ryan Ok, do you plan to sell online?

(10:58:52)  Visitor yes

(10:59:04)  Ryan Ok, how many products?

(10:59:44)  Visitor like earings, bracelets, necklaces, etc

(10:59:48)  Visitor alot

(11:00:15)  Ryan Ok, I don’t do large e-commerce sites with many products but I can definitely help you with some recommendations.

(11:00:24)  Ryan A few questions first…

(11:00:30)  Ryan do you have a domain and hosting yet?

(11:00:37)  Visitor not yet

(11:00:53)  Ryan and do you want to maintain this site on your own or pay someone to maintain it?

(11:01:32)  Visitor well, for right now, i’ll maintain it myself

(11:01:50)  Ryan Ok

(11:01:59)  Visitor maybe down the line when the business has grown, i can pay someone to maintain for me

(11:02:18)  Visitor so how do i go about creating a website?

(11:02:24)  Ryan As far as the domain name, it’s important to get that secured as soon as you can because it’s inexpensive and you don’t want someone to take the name you want.

(11:02:48)  Ryan I recommend GoDaddy for that that

(11:03:11)  Ryan And for e-commerce websites, I recommend Shopify at

(11:03:37)  Ryan because of the simplicity they offer. They include everything you need in one package.

(11:04:23)  Ryan They have plans starting at $29 /month and they have predesigned themes so you don’t have to worry about designing the site.

(11:04:30)  Visitor hmm ok, i want a domain that is gonna be mine thought, not one that i’m renting from them

(11:04:49)  Visitor you know what i mean?

(11:05:03)  Ryan You would buy the domain from Godaddy and that would be yours.

(11:05:19)  Ryan No matter where you host your website, you need to pay monthly for hosting.

(11:05:47)  Visitor oh i see

(11:06:29)  Ryan Shopify includes the hosting along with the online shopping cart you need to sell products.

(11:07:02)  Ryan You can look at their store themes here: http://themes.shopify.com

(11:07:07)  Ryan Pretty cool themes

(11:07:21)  Ryan Some are free and some cost a one-time fee to use.

(11:07:41)  Ryan You would then login to Shopify and add all your content and products.

(11:08:20)  Ryan You can also pay a Shopify Expert to setup your site for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.

(11:08:35)  Visitor ok so besides the monthly hosting payment, would i still pay them any other money?

(11:08:53)  Visitor like a percentage of my income?

(11:09:43)  Ryan Yes, if you look at their pricing page, you can see some of their monthly plans have a 1.0% transaction fee

(11:10:05)  Ryan if you sell a high volume, you could do the $179/month plan which has a 0% transaction fee.

(11:10:42)  Ryan You would also need a payment gateway/merchant account like Paypal

(11:10:56)  Ryan Shopify integrates with your merchant account

(11:11:14)  Ryan and the merchant account charges a fee too. Usually around 2-3%

(11:11:32)  Ryan So you can expect a 3-4% fee paid when you sell online.

(11:11:52)  Ryan There’s really no getting around that.

(11:12:03)  Visitor oh ok

(11:12:43)  Ryan Is this as new business or currently operating?

(11:13:17)  Visitor its an existing business but not exactly registered

(11:13:36)  Visitor but we’re trying to take it online

(11:13:59)  Ryan do you have a retail location or how do you sell currently?

(11:14:50)  Visitor we sell from home through word of mouth/ card advertising

(11:15:10)  Visitor its going very well so we want to make it official

(11:15:40)  Ryan that’s great, do you create the jewelry or purchase it?

(11:15:40)  Visitor and we want to start online first before getting an actual boutique

(11:16:07)  Visitor half and half

(11:16:45)  Visitor for some we buy the materials and create jewelries

(11:16:52)  Ryan Ok, just so you know I do simple informational websites so if you wanted to do basic informational website as a step before you begin selling online, that may be an option.

(11:17:43)  Ryan Like just a 5-7 page website describing your business and the products you sell without actually selling them online.

(11:18:08)  Ryan Just so you can share your information online easier and put your URL on your business cards and things like that.

(11:18:22)  Ryan Selling online is a big step and requires an investment as you can see.

(11:18:31)  Visitor oh yes

(11:18:57)  Visitor i didnt know that…sigh

(11:19:19)  Visitor i actally want a website that i can sell through

(11:19:38)  Visitor i guess il keep searching

(11:19:42)  Ryan I know a lot of people sell through Etsy too. Have you heard of that?

(11:20:03)  Visitor i stumbled on it

(11:20:24)  Ryan looks like they charge $.20 per item and 3.5% currently

(11:20:33)  Visitor i don’t want to sell through a third party though

(11:20:46)  Ryan Yeah, I understand that.

(11:20:59)  Ryan Shopify would be a great option then.

(11:21:05)  Ryan to sell on your own website.

(11:21:39)  Visitor isn’t shopify also a third party?

(11:22:25)  Ryan No because you would sell on your own domain name.

(11:22:44)  Ryan People would go to www.yourdomain.com and purchase

(11:23:03)  Ryan With something like etsy, they would go to www.etsy.com/yourstorename

(11:23:15)  Visitor so its not like www.mydomain.shopify.com?

(11:23:26)  Ryan No. It’s actually setup on your own domain.

(11:23:45)  Visitor k, that’s what i want

(11:25:10)  Visitor so give me a brief summary of Shopify, all the info and how much they charge…i wanna copy and paste your info into my notes.

(11:25:55)  Ryan Your best bet is to browse their website. They have an awesome site that communicates it better than I can here. Watch their video and click on Features at the top.

(11:26:07)  Ryan Here’s the link again: Shopify

(11:26:27)  Ryan They have a free trial so you can play around with it and see how it works too.

(11:26:39)  Visitor cool

(11:27:26)  Visitor so would i have to register this online business?

(11:28:06)  Visitor would it be like a LLC or a Sole prop?

(11:28:12)  Ryan You would need to get a domain name first.

(11:28:28)  Ryan And you could sell as a sole proprietor if you want.

(11:28:35)  Ryan Or register an LLC.

(11:28:57)  Ryan That’s really a tax question for an accountant. Probably best to register an LLC

(11:29:10)  Ryan That’s what I did for my business

(11:30:03)  Visitor so it differentiates your personal assets from your business

(11:30:13)  Visitor in case anything goes wrong

(11:30:39)  Visitor alright…

(11:30:41)  Ryan Yeah, that’s the main benefit.

(11:31:10)  Visitor thank you so much for your help Ryan. i really appreciate it

(11:31:38)  Ryan Sure. Glad I can help.

(11:32:34)  Ryan Good luck and keep me posted how things go or let me know if you have other questions about anything.

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