Monday, 11 June 2007

Sell Your Items from Home

If you are interested in starting an online store, you are not alone. Working from home and selling products online is a popular source of income these days. And, when done correctly, can be a very lucrative source of income, as well.

As with any business, you will need to cover all the legal ground before starting an online store. This includes matters such as taxes and it is recommended that you speak with a professional in the tax field.

If you already know what you want to sell (perhaps it is your beautiful handcrafted jewelry or special pottery) then there are a few aspects of starting an online store that you’ll need to look at. First and foremost, you need a professional, reliable website hosting provider. Check that the provider you choose allows you to secure your online store website with SSL certificates. This will identify you as a legit website and protect the personal information of your customers—something very important to customers as they will be entering confidential information such as credit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

Also, make sure the website for your online store has a secure, user friendly merchant account, shopping cart, and payment gateway. And once the orders are placed, you will need a reliable shipping carrier to get your product to the customer.

Maybe you are intrigued by the idea of starting an online store, but you are not sure what you want to sell. If this is the case, check out CafePress (www.cafepress.com). This site provides you with your own free online shop, the chance to design your own products to sell, and manages everything from payments (both from the customers and to you!) to shipping to customer service.

Starting an online store requires many of the same steps as opening your own shop down the street and it should be treated as such. Remember to be professional, take all precautions, and soon you will build a steady, faithful customer base for your online store!


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