Planning a Successful eCommerce Site

So you want to sell stuff on the Internet, and eBay and Craigslist just aren’t doing it for you anymore. It’s time for a real, live, grownup website of your own. But God, there’s so much to think about. An eCommerce website is much more involved than a static website – it’s always changing, it must have search capabilities, and you absolutely have to be able to accept payment securely.

First, calm down. There’s a process for this. If you have the money, you can actually hire someone to take care of the whole thing for you – but smaller companies aren’t left out of the game. You absolutely can do this yourself, but you have to commit to seeing it through.

Location, Location, Location

If you don’t already have a website (why not?), you must first register your domain name and pay for hosting (unless you have your own server). A basic website is pretty easy to design using a basic web editor and templates. If you already have a site, plan how the shopping section will fit in with your existing pages.

Shopping Cart

You will need to choose a shopping cart software – some are simply plugins that work with pre-existing website templates, while others are entirely separate customizable things that require a much deeper level of involvement. Choose one that suits your business and your product. Look for things like search capabilities and display – the closer it is to what you want, the less work you have to do before you can just plug in your stuff and go.

The shopping cart software is what allows you to take orders, calculate tax/handling/shipping, process returns, send receipts and notifications – in short, it’s your virtual sales clerk. There’s no reason to blow your entire budget, but don’t go cheaper than you have to.

Money

You have to have the ability to accept payment online, and the customers must feel secure in the fact that their information is going only to you, not some phisher in a dark basement somewhere. A secure server is the first step, but you also need a safe way to process credit card information.

First, set up an Internet merchant account with your bank to allow the money to flow from the customer to your account. Then you need a payment gateway account, which acts as an intermediary to facilitate the transaction. Your shopping cart software may come with this capability, so double-check before spending money on another service.

In lieu of all that, you could also just enable PayPal on your site. People trust it, and it’s secure. They don’t charge a monthly fee, but they do take about 3% of every transaction, so that’s something to think about. In fact, even if you do have separate payment processing, it’s still a good idea to offer customers the PayPal option because many people won’t trust any other form of online payment. This is especially true for smaller businesses that do not have a national reputation. PayPal also offers basic shopping cart software for a low price if you don’t need any super-customized functionality.

Final Checks

Once you think your site is ready to go, run a few checks to make sure everything is working properly. Pictures should load quickly, pages should scroll smoothly, and the site as a whole should function quickly and properly. Send a few transactions through to make sure payment goes through right, shipping costs are in line, and auto-mail like receipts and shipping notifications are sent as scheduled.

Double-check spelling, photo orientation and size, verify that links are working, and run a load test to make sure the site can handle heavy traffic. Then go live and sell hard!

How to Sell Used Electronic Items Online

In this age of rapidly evolving technology, electronic items like cell phones, mp3 players, computers and laptops tend to get replaced fast, as newer and better products come up in the market every month. A consequence of this phenomenon is piling up of used electronics products every year, that find no takers and end up being toxic trash dumped in junk yards. Not only is it bad economics to throw away an electronic product which could be still useful if repaired, but it’s damaging to the environment. In this Buzzle article, I provide you with some suggestions on how to sell used electronics online, which not only provides you with some ready cash, but also contributes to the global effort aimed at cleaning up technological waste.

With the rising rate of electronics waste, many tech entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to create an online market place, where used electronic items could be bought, repaired and sold as refurbished items or their parts be salvaged for cash. With this philosophy, many websites have sprung on the Internet, that buy such items from you, get them shipped for free and pay you an appropriate price for it. They earn money through resale of the item after repair, sale of spare parts or recycling. In the following lines, I provide you with information on such websites where you can trade your used smart phone, laptop, iPod or any other such item for cash.

How to Sell Used Electronics Online For Cash?

The online marketplace has been teeming with buyers who are ready to purchase all kinds of used electronics goods. Here are some suggestions on where you could sell your used phone, desktop computer, music system, speakers or any other such items.

Sell Them to Gazelle
A website accredited by Better Business Bureau, Gazelle is one of the premier web companies specializing in the purchase of electronic goods. They buy everything from calculators, e-readers, digital cameras, external hard drives, gaming consoles, GPS devices to LCD monitors. The selling procedure is also quite simple. You find the right category to which a product belongs, provide your mailing address, get your item shipped and appraised, after which you are mailed a check of appropriate value. It’s as simple as that! Oh yes and the shipping is absolutely free. Check out Gazelle website for more details.

Make Money Selling Electronic Items on Amazon
Amazon is probably the largest online retailer of electronic goods and it also buys used electronic items. They charge you a commission for advertising and selling your product. Amazon provides you with exposure to one of the biggest consumer bases in the world. You will have to create an account with Amazon to start selling products. Visit the website to know the complete details.

Sell them to BuyMyTronics or YouRenew
Two more options for selling electronic items for cash are BuyMyTronics and YouRenew. Both these sites will buy all kinds of electronics gadgets, repair and sell them as refurbished items or get them recycled. Check out both websites for more information.

Trade Used Electronic Items on eBay
Another option for selling electronic goods is good old eBay. With one of the largest user bases, this site makes for a great selling platform. You can list your product, advertise it and sell it at a fixed price or through auctioning to earn a decent amount of cash. Try out eBay if you think that your used electronics product could fetch good value.

Sell them Via Craigslist
The online classifieds website – Craigslist has been operating for years now to bring together buyers and sellers online. You can advertise the sale of your used iPod, desktop, camcorder or any other gadget and find customers who are willing to pay for it.

Collect and list out all the items you could trade. Contact any of the above suggested websites like Gazelle, ship over your electronics item, get it valued and earn cash directly. All you have to do is get your product mailed to the right address and the website management team will take care of the rest. Even if the used phone or any other gadget does not earn much cash, you can at least have the satisfaction of not contributing to the rising pile of technological junk!