John Murch

Everyone Needs an Online Store

06 Dec 2007
Everyone Needs an Online Store

Okay, so you have a been online and maybe have a blog that a few people read (family, friends, etc) and you want to make some passive income? Blogging is great, but can only get you so far, creating a valuable product is the next step for most online business. Developing a product and/or reselling a product online can be intimidating, even for a Geek Guru like myself.

I have been online since 1996 and have built various websites, blogs, etc, but never got my feet wet into e-commerce. (imagine that!) I have always wanted to setup my own online store, but never had a simple product to sell. Most people have ideas for a t-shirt or a custom bag, but starting a business around it can take a lot. So starting small by selling 1 or 2 items is something everyone should look at. Some ideas such as clothes, hat, bag, widgets or whatever, can be resold and start your niche online store with little to no money down.

Late last week while catching up on the drama between John Chow and Shoemoney, Shoemoney posted a very interesting article about setting up a niche storefront in minutes. After reading through and seeing how this “storefront” is really just a ebay/item aggregator with some ads on it, I thought well, there is no “tangible” products he is selling, but links to items other people are selling.

I know in college I was always interested in cafepress because I could create something in photoshop and put it in a t-shirt and buy it for about $15. Everyone has ideas for T-shirts with funny sayings or something that everyone would want to wear. I even bought a couple of these type of T-shirts while at college like an absolute UVM (University of Vermont) shirt.

So if you have those ideas (everyone does) why not dive in and build a simple site with 1 to 3 products and take some risk with little or no upfront cost. Well thats my plan for the month of December. I guess the timing is a bit off, I should have done this in November knowing that I could have made more money during the beginning of the Holiday season. Anyway, here are my thoughts on building a simple niche online storefront with little or no money down.

So I am guessing you have a blog, website or can put together something with mozilla composer. If not I think this should work with blogspot or blogger, but depends on the Terms of Service. Anyway, I found Fat.Free.Cart today and just was blown away. This is exactly what I was looking for in terms of a simple online e-commerce software. First off the software is FREE, and its integrated with Paypal and Google Checkout. This software is built on xHTML,CSS, and JavaScript (ajax) so you don’t need to be a Geek Guru to use it. They not only offer free code examples but also created a code generator. So with Fat.Free.Cart and a blog/website you have your shopping cart, payment system, etc rolled all up. The only thing you have to worry about is sending out the products and keeping track of inventory. I would HIGHLY suggest creating a separate GMail account and using it for everything from product receive, inventory, payment, etc. You can utilize the auto labeling for incoming purchase as well as paid and shipped items.

So now that I blogged and posted my plan to everyone about how I will be doing this, its time to take action and DO IT! I recently was told about a networking event where a person was talking about staying on track and finishing projects. Their idea was to call up people you know and tell them what you plan to do, this way the next time you talk to them, they will prolly ask you how _____ is going and have you finished the project. So by posting this blog entry up, I hope that not only my readers, but friend will keep me on track and actually FINISH my idea of my own online store.

📣 Software Development And Life

Subscribe to My Newsletter Today! Get Awesome Insights and Inspiration on Building Ideas

I do not send a lot of email and promise I will not spam you

Also be sure to 👋 and follow me on 🐦 @johnmurch