So you’ve heard about this opportunity to make money online, eh? That you could put up a website, sell some eBooks or something, then make some bucks and hopefully generate enough income to live a dream of working from home in your PJs? It’s true, no one lied.
Maybe they didn’t tell you how much work would be involved, but I’m here to tell you it’s possible – it has a hefty learning curve – but I haven’t met a person who couldn’t buckle down and get ‘er done.
True, it does start with building a website (ask me how). Then you’ll need to create a product to sell (read this post: “14 Online Product Ideas You Can Create Cheaply to Make Money Online“). The next step is to find a way to collect the dollars.
The questions become:
- What are the options for payment gateways?
- I’ve heard about PayPal, is that really the way to go?
- How do I get that cute little “Buy Now” button on my product page?
- Will my checkout be secure so my visitor’s don’t have to fear about hackers?
- How will I be notified of an order and how does the money get to my bank account?
Selling product online to generate some extra income is a hefty “to-do” to start with, then pretty easy to maintain thereafter.
Things to do or consider when looking into shopping cart or ecommerce solutions:
- You’ll need a secure checkout. A secure checkout means you need a dedicated IP and a SSL certificate installed on your server for your domain. (Yes, a lot of techy talk there, sorry.)
- You’ll need an “online merchant account” to accept payments.
- Then there’s the “payment gateway” such as Authorize.net that works with the merchant to process the orders and charge the credit cards your customers pay with.
- Then, hopefully, you’ve set yourself up with companies that allow you to customize your cart and checkout process so you can get the exact results you’re looking for.
In my opinion, for newbies, you have 2 options. One, PayPal (my recommendation). Two, start off with a bang and get the merchant, gateway, and SSL right off the bat.
- No approvals needed, No monthly fees, Easy setup, Start selling today
- You have the control to customize Buy Now buttons easily and set custom thank you pages after someone finishes the checkout
- You don’t need to get a SSL certificate – you are using PayPal’s secure gateway – you don’t need one.
- Make transfers to your bank account with a click of a button
- Very high fees – PayPal takes a cut every time you make a sale
- Limited customization on look and feel (for starter package – this can turn into a pro if you get more complete PayPal packages)
- Not everyone uses it
– Get Your Own Cart:
- Lower fees per sale issued by the merchant
- You have control over the entire buy process a-z
- Much better route for high-ticket products/services
- Everyone will use it
- Approval can take up to a week – many hoops to jump through – nothing too scary though
- You are usually locked into a 1-3 year contract with an early termination fee.
- Monthly fees may be as much as $30-50
PayPal is my #1 recommendation for newbies starting out. You can start selling today, no monthly fees, no early termination fees, no verification/approval process, easy to setup and learn. The biggest downside is the high fees per sale and some people may not use PayPal.
I tell newbies to test the market before they commit to getting a merchant account and going through all those steps.
Questions? Let’s start a cart solution discussion for anyone that’s confused or wants to seek additional info. Make a comment below and let’s get started!