Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 9th Jun 19, 2:37 PM
    • 1,316Posts
    • 531Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    New online business - need mentor?
    • #1
    • 9th Jun 19, 2:37 PM
    New online business - need mentor? 9th Jun 19 at 2:37 PM
    Hello, I am just starting out on my business and plan to launch end of the year. I am working on my website and planning how I will action everything. My business will be purely online. Customers order and pay online from around the world and the product is delivered to loved ones in a particular country (Not UK). Since I have not sold online before I need some help/mentoring as to the basic practical stuff. Those of you who have done this sort of thing for years would appreciate your help and guidance. Please inbox me your email if you can. So I am worried about the following:

    1. How do I set up my website to take credit and debit card payments. Is paypal sufficient or I need to make it in a way that people can also pay without paypal and how do I go about this?

    2. How do I create shipping labels?

    3. Pictures for the website of the products. Anything I need to bear in mind? Who is the best person to do this? Photographer in a studio? Then he edits it to make it look appealing?

    4. Is there a software that will help me create order IDs, track inventory, track order fulfillment and that sort of thing?

    I have so many more basic questions but this is what comes to mind now. Please help me.
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
Page 1
    • martindow
    • By martindow 10th Jun 19, 11:23 AM
    • 8,325 Posts
    • 4,868 Thanks
    martindow
    • #2
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:23 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:23 AM
    You need to sort out all of these issues to see if you have a potential business or not. Until you know what your costs will be you don't know whether your idea will be feasible.

    How are you going to market your website and what will this cost? It is not a simple as putting it up on the web and waiting for orders to flood in. Why will people buy through a website they've never heard of rather than going to companies like Amazon?

    Are you proposing to hold stock or is this a drop-shipping operation? If the latter there are lots of potential pitfalls as your reputation and ability to deliver promptly depends on others.

    Shopping cart software should deal with 1, 2 and 4 including the ability to take payments via a card acquirer and a bank and also to take Paypal. A professional photographer will be very expensive unless you only have a few products to photograph. Some suppliers may offer photos to use but many won't.

    Everything involves fees of course.

    I hope this doesn't sound too negative but you need to be realistic. There are places for relatively niche products to sell from web sites but you must check out all of the expenses involved before you invest money in your venture.


    Good luck - I hope that it works out.
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 10th Jun 19, 11:28 AM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    • #3
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:28 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:28 AM
    You need to sort out all of these issues to see if you have a potential business or not. Until you know what your costs will be you don't know whether your idea will be feasible.

    How are you going to market your website and what will this cost? It is not a simple as putting it up on the web and waiting for orders to flood in. Why will people buy through a website they've never heard of rather than going to companies like Amazon?

    Are you proposing to hold stock or is this a drop-shipping operation? If the latter there are lots of potential pitfalls as your reputation and ability to deliver promptly depends on others.

    Shopping cart software should deal with 1, 2 and 4 including the ability to take payments via a card acquirer and a bank and also to take Paypal. A professional photographer will be very expensive unless you only have a few products to photograph. Some suppliers may offer photos to use but many won't.

    Everything involves fees of course.

    I hope this doesn't sound too negative but you need to be realistic. There are places for relatively niche products to sell from web sites but you must check out all of the expenses involved before you invest money in your venture.


    Good luck - I hope that it works out.
    Originally posted by martindow

    Hello thanks for replying. I know what I need to do and I have an idea of costs etc. I literally need help with the practical stuff I listed above. Literally lol. I don't need help with the business plan, feasibility and all that stuff.
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 10th Jun 19, 11:31 AM
    • 12,153 Posts
    • 24,068 Thanks
    Pennywise
    • #4
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:31 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:31 AM
    You don't need a mentor. There are massive amounts of resources on the internet about setting up websites, choosing & setting up shopping carts, online marketing, social media marketing, etc. Not only are there websites, chatrooms, forums, etc., there are also plenty of step-by-step youtube videos showing how to create websites and integrate shopping cart software. If you can't do the research yourself, then you need to engage an internet website/marketing firm to do it for you, but it will be at quite a cost.
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 10th Jun 19, 11:37 AM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    • #5
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:37 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Jun 19, 11:37 AM
    You don't need a mentor. There are massive amounts of resources on the internet about setting up websites, choosing & setting up shopping carts, online marketing, social media marketing, etc. Not only are there websites, chatrooms, forums, etc., there are also plenty of step-by-step youtube videos showing how to create websites and integrate shopping cart software. If you can't do the research yourself, then you need to engage an internet website/marketing firm to do it for you, but it will be at quite a cost.
    Originally posted by Pennywise
    Ah OK. I have a professional working on the website so I guess he can sort all that for me

    For the inventory stuff and tracking I will reach out to the ebay forum here.
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
    • nmn
    • By nmn 10th Jun 19, 12:06 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    nmn
    • #6
    • 10th Jun 19, 12:06 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jun 19, 12:06 PM
    I know you said you literally only need help with the practical stuff, so I hope you take this as pragmatic advice rather than business planning!


    Do please take extra special care with online payment processing. Your business sounds very high risk from a fraud POV (non-UK delivery addresses, different billing address) and online PayPal account fraud is rife. Stolen credentials (usernames and passwords) are very cheap and as the seller, if you have dispatched an item internationally before you know about the fraud, you've lost your goods for certain (pretty much).


    If your goods have any kind of resell value (even if not) expect to become a repeat target if you accept PayPal. The same goes for any online payment, of course, but because of the way PayPal works it is an especially easy & common route for online theft.
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 10th Jun 19, 12:15 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    • #7
    • 10th Jun 19, 12:15 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jun 19, 12:15 PM
    I know you said you literally only need help with the practical stuff, so I hope you take this as pragmatic advice rather than business planning!


    Do please take extra special care with online payment processing. Your business sounds very high risk from a fraud POV (non-UK delivery addresses, different billing address) and online PayPal account fraud is rife. Stolen credentials (usernames and passwords) are very cheap and as the seller, if you have dispatched an item internationally before you know about the fraud, you've lost your goods for certain (pretty much).


    If your goods have any kind of resell value (even if not) expect to become a repeat target if you accept PayPal. The same goes for any online payment, of course, but because of the way PayPal works it is an especially easy & common route for online theft.
    Originally posted by nmn
    Thanks so much. This helps a lot.
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
    • soolin
    • By soolin 10th Jun 19, 1:43 PM
    • 62,803 Posts
    • 45,210 Thanks
    soolin
    • #8
    • 10th Jun 19, 1:43 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jun 19, 1:43 PM
    Ensure you business policies are very clearly stated and legal. As you are based in the U.K. You will need to display a geographic address on your website , plus accept change of mind returns , make sure for your returns you are clear about buyer paying if it is just a change of mind.

    Also to avoid confusion ensure you cover the issue of import taxes, duty and handling etc. Although this will be at the receipients expense it doesn't hurt to outline this in your policy as so many people ( as can be seen here on MSE) don't realise that costs are involved in importing goods to a non EU country. Also, you might need to keep someone on board who can react quickly to any changes caused by anything connected with Brexit.

    Check your courier or delivery agents carefully, it might be that different couriers are better depending on the country shipped to, so check all that out. Make sure your goods are actually covered and not restricted, and you have appropriate tracking/insurance for the item.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 10th Jun 19, 2:00 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    • #9
    • 10th Jun 19, 2:00 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jun 19, 2:00 PM
    Ensure you business policies are very clearly stated and legal. As you are based in the U.K. You will need to display a geographic address on your website , plus accept change of mind returns , make sure for your returns you are clear about buyer paying if it is just a change of mind.

    Also to avoid confusion ensure you cover the issue of import taxes, duty and handling etc. Although this will be at the receipients expense it doesn't hurt to outline this in your policy as so many people ( as can be seen here on MSE) don't realise that costs are involved in importing goods to a non EU country. Also, you might need to keep someone on board who can react quickly to any changes caused by anything connected with Brexit.

    Check your courier or delivery agents carefully, it might be that different couriers are better depending on the country shipped to, so check all that out. Make sure your goods are actually covered and not restricted, and you have appropriate tracking/insurance for the item.
    Originally posted by soolin

    Sorry I should have made it clear. I am based in the same country as where the deliveries will be (outside EU). So the customers or those paying will be from UK/EU, US etc but delivery in non EU country where I am based. It is a gift company and those paying won't be the ones receiving. I will use drivers or motor riders to deliver the items. Hope this is clear. Thanks so much for your input.
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
    • soolin
    • By soolin 10th Jun 19, 2:58 PM
    • 62,803 Posts
    • 45,210 Thanks
    soolin
    Sorry I should have made it clear. I am based in the same country as where the deliveries will be (outside EU). So the customers or those paying will be from UK/EU, US etc but delivery in non EU country where I am based. It is a gift company and those paying won't be the ones receiving. I will use drivers or motor riders to deliver the items. Hope this is clear. Thanks so much for your input.
    Originally posted by brownbabygirl
    Ah right, in that case for most payment methods you will still need to protect yourself against claims of INR. Just to explain- I am in the UK, use paypal to pay for one of these items and (importantly) remember to change my address to the outside UK one (which potentially is not possible) , the recipient claims item doesn't arrive, I start an INR with paypal and without tracking to the address I've given on my paypal payment paypal refund me and charge you. As I have alluded to it is not always possible to change addresses to a non UK one in paypal if based in the UK , so you may struggle with that.

    Even with credit card payments buyers will retain rights if you fail to deliver or if it is considered that the goods are misrepresented,

    As you are not in the UK most of your questions are going to be difficult to answer as I suspect all the advice, like mine, will be based on the UK legal situation. You might need to find a forum in your country where you can get specific advice.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 11th Jun 19, 10:14 AM
    • 29,509 Posts
    • 12,135 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Do your drivers / motor riders have online tracking facilities?

    Your not in a EU country but you will be selling to the UK/US buyers and using your own drivers/ deliveries?

    Anyone else as puzzled as me?
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • pramsay13
    • By pramsay13 11th Jun 19, 11:42 AM
    • 854 Posts
    • 1,225 Thanks
    pramsay13
    A good web designer will sort all of that out for you 1, 2, and 4.
    This will include the background software that controls stock levels etc.
    That is so that you can have an item for sale on your website with e.g. 5 items.
    Then when you sell one it will reduce to 4, etc. until it is sold out.
    This software costs money on top of normal website costs.

    For the photographs it will depend on what you are selling but yes, a photographer that deals with photographing items rather than landscapes etc. will be the best option. They will have the right set up with lighting etc.
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 11th Jun 19, 1:19 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    Do your drivers / motor riders have online tracking facilities?

    Your not in a EU country but you will be selling to the UK/US buyers and using your own drivers/ deliveries?

    Anyone else as puzzled as me?
    Originally posted by forgotmyname
    It is a gift service for loved ones back home so those who order will not be the recipients.

    I will have to check on the online tracking facilities of the drivers. I doubt it though!
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
    • soolin
    • By soolin 11th Jun 19, 1:28 PM
    • 62,803 Posts
    • 45,210 Thanks
    soolin
    It is a gift service for loved ones back home so those who order will not be the recipients.

    I will have to check on the online tracking facilities of the drivers. I doubt it though!
    Originally posted by brownbabygirl
    Without tracking any payment method that buyers are likely to want to use will not be safe for you. PayPal for instance will need tracking to the address given on the PayPal invoice if buyer claims item was not received. Not only is tracking needed it must be viewable online in a simple format .
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 11th Jun 19, 7:34 PM
    • 29,509 Posts
    • 12,135 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    So its some form of gift service. Im in the UK and i buy the gift for myself.. How are you going to track it and prove to paypal or whatever payment service you use that i received it?

    Or as soolin put, i buy the gift and say ship to a friend in the USA. I claim a refund because you failed to deliver. You say its tracked to (USA), I escalate my claim because thats not me or my address.

    Paypal will want to see shipping to my registered address.

    Credit cards may fail completely if the delivery address does not match the card holders address.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • seatbeltnoob
    • By seatbeltnoob 12th Jun 19, 5:03 AM
    • 731 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    seatbeltnoob
    the questions you're asking are so basic, others have covered it already.


    Nobody is going to steal your business idea of you spell out what it is you're planning on doing, and even if the idea needs to be kept protected, you can be a bit less vague about it.


    If you can find a mentor you can confide in, what you want to do is test the viability of the business and ensure your business plan is workable. You're so green it seems, chances are this would just be a learning experience for you.
    • seatbeltnoob
    • By seatbeltnoob 12th Jun 19, 5:09 AM
    • 731 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    seatbeltnoob
    What is the profit margin & cost price of this gift item being sold?



    Does it cost little to you, say printed material like photobook, printed tshirt etc. These items you're taking a risk for the occasional chargeback. But for other high cos/low margin items that are high risk (electronics, designer goods, gifts). I wouldn't risk it. Better deliver it to the person gifting, and have them send it to their loved ones.
    • Mistral001
    • By Mistral001 12th Jun 19, 11:45 AM
    • 4,005 Posts
    • 3,063 Thanks
    Mistral001
    I have heard of expats ordering groceries from Tescos for delivery to their elderly parents living in the UK. It is probably a service that many stores provide.

    The idea of having a site specifically for this service might be new, but I would worry that all the big stores would be able to provide the service at more competitive prices and users of the service would eventually find this out and just order directly through the stores. In other words the OP would need to provide something that would add value for customers compared with shopping directly.
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 12th Jun 19, 12:17 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    the questions you're asking are so basic, others have covered it already.


    Nobody is going to steal your business idea of you spell out what it is you're planning on doing, and even if the idea needs to be kept protected, you can be a bit less vague about it.


    If you can find a mentor you can confide in, what you want to do is test the viability of the business and ensure your business plan is workable. You're so green it seems, chances are this would just be a learning experience for you.
    Originally posted by seatbeltnoob

    I am not as green as I come across. And I don't think the plan is relevant to the specific questions I asked. I did not want advise really on how feasible the actual business i, that is why I left all that out. I know that it is. Where my confusion is were those specific questions I asked and some kind people have helped out. Now I know the potential pitfalls.

    If it's a learning experience that is fine. I mainly intend to make the orders as they come in so I wont waste money on stock that won't be sold. Thanks so much for your input
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
    • brownbabygirl
    • By brownbabygirl 12th Jun 19, 12:18 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    brownbabygirl
    I have heard of expats ordering groceries from Tescos for delivery to their elderly parents living in the UK. It is probably a service that many stores provide.

    The idea of having a site specifically for this service might be new, but I would worry that all the big stores would be able to provide the service at more competitive prices and users of the service would eventually find this out and just order directly through the stores. In other words the OP would need to provide something that would add value for customers compared with shopping directly.
    Originally posted by Mistral001
    It is not a Tesco type shop I am setting up. It is gift bundles: romantic package, new mothers, new babies, boarding school packages. Nobody is offering this at the moment.
    QUIDCO 2827 paid out since October 2007
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,420Posts Today

8,192Users online

Martin's Twitter