Welcome to Zoicks.Com
The Home of Lesley's Web Designs

Please eMail me if you are interested in an eCommerce site of your own.
I will set up and install your eCommerce site for you using the Loaded Commerce shopping cart technology.
All website installations include full setup, customization and customer support.
I'll work with you until you are completely comfortable working with your new eCommerce site.
eMail me today to determine if having your own eCommerce site is right for you.

A Quick Guide to eCommerce vs. eBay

Let's start with your own eCommerce site...
Loaded Commerce is one of the best free Open Source eCommerce storefront/shopping cart applications available because it is supercharged with many additional features not found in the standard osCommerce package. The admin menu for layout boxes and catalog entries make setting up your website a breeze. Its treatment of the affiliate module and the admin management features make it a shining star.

The latest version (Loaded 7) is completely mobile responsive.

My cost for the Loaded 7 Core package which includes installation, set up and customization, as well as customer support to get my clients up to speed on the use of the shopping cart and admin, ranges from $750 to about $1500 (dependent on the complexity of the project).

Additional costs...
  • The Loaded 7 software license... the Core version is free. If you need additional bells and whistles you can purchase either...
    1. Loaded 7 Pro
      • Monthly subscription $25
      • Annual subscription $250
      • Lifetime subscription $650
    2. Loaded 7 B2B
      • Monthly subscription $45
      • Annual subscription $450
      • Lifetime subscription $1125
  • Loaded Payments or some other PCI Compliant secure payment gateway.
    • Starter $14.95/month
    • Professional $24.95/month
    • Elite $34.95/month

The PayPal payment module is already included in the software so there is no additional charge for that. If you have a merchant account, we need to ensure it is an available module in the Loaded 7 software and that is PCI Compliant (Loaded Payments info can be found at this link).

And on top of that you will need to register a domain if you haven't done so and will need to purchase web hosting which includes an SSL certificate. Domain registration costs are minimal. Web hosting can be acquired for as little as $7.95 per month with a reliable web host and you can purchase an SSL certificate for approximately $75 per year or less. It's always best to purchase annually so that when the search engines come crawling, they see you are out there for the long haul.

Another wonderful and cheaper alternative...
Consider using a WordPress blog with an eCommerce plugin to run your own webstore. WordPress is free and the eCommerce plugin licenses are very reasonably priced. There is a lot of customization possible, as well as SEO, and if you don't feel up to the task, I can take care of it all for you for a much more reasonable rate than installing a full-blown CRE Loaded shopping cart. That includes...

  • Installing WordPress
  • Installing the eCommerce shopping cart plugin
  • Installing several additional WordPress Plugins that make your site more secure and more professional
  • Customizing the blog for you via the Admin and making changes to the HTML/CSS files
  • Getting your web store set up properly for optimum SEO
  • Teaching you everything you need to know to list and keep your site updated, either via email or phone support (or both)

Recommended WordPress eCommerce plugins:

  • WP Online Store powered by osCommerce
  • WP e-Commerce Gold Cart
  • Templatic
  • eShop WordPress Shopping Cart

My cost to install, set up and customize these options is $375 (eShop is $450). That includes the necessary software license and my labor.

Now moving on to eBay Stores...
Although eBay touts itself as 'only a venue' they are now stretching that misnomer even further. Starting in October of 2008, you will no longer be able to accept checks or money orders for purchases made on e Bay. The only acceptable forms of payment will be electronic... credit cards, ProPay or PayPal. This is a major concern as PayPal does not hesitate to hold a seller's funds for up to 21 days (or more in many instances).

To add insult to injury, as of November 1, 2008, they are also not allowing sellers to list if their DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) fall below 4.3 across all four DSR categories.

And if that weren't bad enough... to subscribe to a Premium or Anchor store, your seller performance level cannot be below Standard. If it drops to below Standard, your Store will be downgraded to a Basic subscription and you will be charged 20¢ per listing and lose your final 20% value fee discount. That adds up really fast if you have hundreds or thousands of fixed price listings.

You can no longer trust your business to eBay.

With all the recent changes at eBay, including the fact that sellers can no longer leave justified negative feedback, you can no longer trust that your business will still be online when you wake up in the morning. Many sellers are receiving suspensions due to unjustified negative feedback and low DSRs from unhappy (or nutjob) buyers.

Build your own website and take control of your own business. eBay is no longer catering to its sellers. It is only catering to its stockholders.

eBay Stores have a fairly hefty final value fee associated with all Store subscription items. You can find the fees here...
The typical sell through rate is currently below 40% so relisting is very much a certainty bringing the cost of selling on eBay even higher.

Unless your items are quite unique you will also need to run a lot of auctions on the site to drive buyers to your Store. Fees for auctions and fixed price listings can be found here...

On top of those fees you also have PayPal fees which can be as much as .30 per transaction plus 2.9% of the transaction. Shipping costs are also included in the 2.9% fee.

The cost of a standard Store is only $15.95 per month plus 20¢ per listing. I charge approximately $400 to customize an eBay Store for you (branding is very important). There is an additional charge of $85 per page if you need any custom content pages designed for you (eBay gives you 15 custom content pages).

So when you take into account all the fees associated with selling on eBay you can see that it is not actually very cost effective to list there. There is an advantage to it being one of the largest and best known sites on the internet with a lot of traffic. If you do decide to try the eBay route you can also use your listings and ‘about me’ page to drive traffic to your own eCommerce site.

I think that breaks it down for you and should give you a better idea of ballpark costs. You basically need to do the math and decide which way is best for you to go. You should also do a bit of research on eBay, check the completed listings for similar items you sell, and see what those items are selling for (or if the eBay market is saturated). That is always most important on eBay... research, research, research.

Don't hesitate to write if you have any other questions or concerns. If you would like to discuss anything over the phone, we can arrange for a convenient time for both of us and I would be happy to give you a call.
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