Audrey :)Become a Tupperware Consultant
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I think Audrey is right that Etsy is an option you could consider. There is actually a message board on iVillage for Etsy and Ebay -- you should check that out. I think the advantages of Etsy is that the whole store interface is already set up for you. The downside is that you wouldn't have your own domain name or too much control over the look and feel of the site. Not sure what their transaction fees are.
I found a lot of information on-line when I was looking for hosting and such. Also, I got recommendations from others who had sites. GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator were all recommended to me. I ended up going with GoDaddy because that's where I got my domain name and have been very happy with them so far!
I only have a "storefront" at this point (vs. having all the back-end). However, I hope to eventually convert to an official store and would be really interested in what you find out about the e-commerce
I know that Wordpress has e-commerce plugins. You don't necessarily have to use a blog format with Wordpress; there are more static themes for small businesses too. If this sounds like something you're interested in, let me know and I'll email you!
No experience with Yahoo/Microsoft Small Business Center, but I also think Etsy could be a great way to get off to a running start with a website! I've considered this in the past so here are the pros and cons I came up with.
Pros: Easy to set up and maintain, professional and consistent look, being part of a crafting community draws traffic, support during disputes
Cons: Fees, lack of control over domain name and look of site, potential competition
Hope this helps!
That would be great if you could send along that information. I'm not sure when I will be adding that functionality, but I am very interested in learning about all the different options out there.
I agree with what other have said about giving Etsy a try. It really helped jumpstart my business because of their built-in traffic - it is extremely hard to get traffic to your own website AND to get people to trust it enough to purchase from it. I think people feel more comfortable purchasing on a site like Etsy. Remember, though, even though there is built in traffic, you really have to work to get noticed and get your name out there!
I think it's also good to have your own website/domain name to direct people to. You can have that set up as an informative/bio/gallery site, then direct them to Etsy to shop. Another option for a shopping cart is bigcartel.com. I have a website throught homestead.com (very easy!) and use bigcartel.com as my shopping cart.
Hello- I would have to second the idea just mentioned that going someplace like Etsy with built-in traffic