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How To Open An Online Commerce Store While Going To School

How To Open An Online Commerce Store While Going To School

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Many college students and even a number of high school students are looking to make some extra money while attending school. But how do you get started, and how do you avoid "Work from home" or "Get Rich Quick" Scams?

Many people look into building a web site or an online store in order to make extra money, rather than getting a part time job. Rather than putting on a uniform, saying Would you like to Super Size that? and working for just above minimum wage, the internet offers a number of job opportunities without the hassel of keeping particular hours, standing on your feet for an extended period of time, or forced to smile at customers.

One avenue to starting a home business is to build an online store. Online stores are still very popular. Just like thousands others, you you could have an E-commerce web site to pay for your extra college expences. However it is still work and chances are, you are not going to get rich by putting up a web site to sell various items.

The following are the basics of opening an online store. It is meant to give you the motivation to do the research you will need to do to be successful.

Where to start

  • Business Plan
  • Organize your office space
  • Computer with preferably a DSL internet connection
  • Site Building Software with the ability to have a Shopping Cart option
  • Pay Pal Account
  • Web Hosting Company
  • Make A Schedule
  • Products - What To Sell
  • Advertise

Your Business Plan - Even if you are the only one that will ever read it, it is important to plan out your business and the goals you hope to accomplish. This will help you stay on track. Do not forget to get a business license. If you make a profit the government is going to want a share.

Your Office Space - A well organized office space leads to a successful business. Make sure that your office is in a place in your apartment / home where you will be able to focus on running your business with minimal distractions.

Your Computer - A super fast computer is not necessary in opening an online business. If you do not currently have a computer, you may want to look into getting a used one for a few hunderd dollars. However a fast internet connection is well worth the fee. Many college dorms come with fast internet connections. You may be able to save some cash if you could split the cost with your roomates.

Your Shopping Cart - The shopping cart is the heart of the ecommerce web site. The shopping cart for all intents and purposes runs your ecommerce web site so it is critical to get a good one. Just with your Web Hosting choice, check current client reviews of different web hosting companies before choosing one. Also many times when you purchase a domain name or a hosting account, they offer shopping cart solutions that will simply plug-in. Other companies such as paypal offer shopping carts as well.

Paypal Account - You need to be able to charge credit cards, and a paypal account would be the thing to get. First, it is secure, and it is easy to use to charge cards or transfer money. Second it is trusted by millions of people as a financial institution.

Web Hosting Company - Check current client reviews of different web hosting companies before choosing one. Find the cheapest and best for what you are going to be doing. Sometimes web companies will have auto-setup of shopping carts to save you time and frustration. Customer service is also key.

Your Schedule - Even though you are not going to be working from 9 to 5 you will need to create a part time schedule to ensure that your customers can reach you and so that they know you will be responding. Email is often times a good way to communicate with customers. Bad Customer Service is always the killer in any business.

Your Products - Now what are you going to sell, and where are you going to get it? Use your imagination, get your options open and do the research to make sure there are not 100 other people selling the exact same thing you want to sell.

This is a wholesale product breakdown.

Manufacturer Some manufacturers will sell their products at wholesale prices directly to the retailer.

Importers Due to globalization, importing products has become much easier than it used to be.

Distributors A distributor generally sells a large variety of a certain classification of products. They must make a profit too, so their prices may be slightly higher than if the item was purchased directly from the manufacturer.

Liquidators Closeouts Buy truckloads and pallets of merchandise and or damaged goods. Be careful - Before buying Liquidator merchandise from this type of supplier, be sure you completely understand the condition, price and terms of the sale.

Auctions Retailers can find many bargains on eBay, the world's largest auction site where some people buy in huge bulk and than sell each individual product for a profit.

Also one thing many people never think about are garage sales. Many times you can spend a Saturday going from local garage sale to garage sale to find things people may want to buy. And the best part is you almost always pay far less than the item is worth.

Advertisement - You have your office space, Business Plan with goals, computer and internet connection, a web site with Shopping Cart set up and a Pay Pal account. You have set your hours that you will dedicate to your business and have established a product line. Now it is time to advertise.

Do not wait for your customers to come to you, go out and get them. Start with something like Ebay and auction some of your merchandise. Then submit your web site to free Search Engines if you can not afford to pay for ad sponsorship. Research web sites where you can do a banner exchange for free. Hand out business cards and ask local shops that are not your competitors if they will allow you to place business cards in their shop. Use your imagination, and be original.


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