Online sellers...

Discussion in 'Fashion and Crafts' started by lucyinthesky, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. lucyinthesky

    lucyinthesky Tie Dyed Soul

    For those of you who run your own business online, do you have to have a buisness license, or anything like that??? What are some steps to opening your own online shop?
  2. nattywraps

    nattywraps Member

    I think I can answer this quite well as I do jewelry and web design online.

    What you need to do is dependant on what you're wanting to do.

    If you want to take credit cards directly on your site, you will need a merchant account and most of the time you need a federal tax id to get one which means you have to file paperwork and send it into the IRS and then wait for a reply, etc etc...

    I really reccomend skipping this and going for paypal. If you have a bank account, you can use paypal and sell items over it too. Also, the fee percentage works out to be much more favorable with PayPal.

    Business licenses are generally not required for something like selling jewelry online. It's when you get more into it with things like employees and merchant accounts that legitimizing your business becomes important.

    The main things you'll want are the following

    A: get a domain name
    They are cheaper than many may think. You can get a domain for $8-9ish/year at and thats about the best price going. When picking your domain name make sure it's easy to spell, short and relevant. Also .com is better because some people (who use the net regularly) dont even know what .net and .org are (yeah I swear it's true).

    B: get webhosting
    Free hosts are never free. they hit you with banner ads, slow transfer fees and well no customer service most of the time. I say go and check out some hosts and if you're serious about it, go and get one. For a small site, you can get away with paying less than $10/month. I host at and they not only have a funny name, they are very nice guys and have good customer service and last but def. not least they are affordable but still quality.

    C: get a good design for your site
    Maybe not right away but eventually you really should. I dont know about you, but I generally dont get a good first impression off of a website that looks like a kid made it. Go and find a web designer and have them set you up with a nice design. Nothing too complicated or flashy. you want good flow and well placed text/pics to catch the eye and never use a web designer that uses templates. yeah it's cheaper but do you want who knows how many sites having the same design as you?

    D: put yourself out there!
    go and find some bulletin boards (real ones, not on the web although thats good too) and post flyers. show off your work and never be caught without sporting something you made. I get soo many compliments on my wraps and I keep business cards with me so that I can toss one someone's way when they have something to say. it's all about biting the bullet and pounding the pavement. let your stuff be known to others. a reputation carries you miles.

    those are just some points to think about
  3. WayfaringStranger

    WayfaringStranger Corporate Slave #34

    thats good advice, but i imagine that the IRS is going to be looking at paypal this year, as its been around for a couple of years they are gonna use it to track income and tax liability.
  4. nattywraps

    nattywraps Member

    well of course you declare that income. my point was that with paypal you skip steps like the tax id.
  5. artful_dodger

    artful_dodger Member

    I agree with Natty, esp. about declaring income.

    It's actually pretty easy, as long as you are a sole proprietorship and not a corporation. You get knocked around a bit as far as payroll taxes go -- you get to pay in 15%, instead of the usual 7.5%, lucky you! -- but, if you income is low, as most indy biz people's is, it doesn't get too onerous.
  6. lucyinthesky

    lucyinthesky Tie Dyed Soul

    awesome! Thanx a lot nattywraps, you're my favorite!!!
    I ought to remind everyone though, i'm from canada, so things might be a tad different the way, it would be handmade clothes, jewlery, and house decor i'd be looking to sell :) But thanx for giving me a little boost of info so i know what to get into and what to avoid
  7. GlassGuru

    GlassGuru Member

    I have talked to the IRS. In their eyes... if you make and sell anything for profit... you need a business license. My town... you have to have a business license. There was an artical in the paper where my town found out a guy making and selling bunk beds and fined him pretty hard for doing so without a business license. Besides the business license... your also are spose to have a sales tax ID number. It is a pain in the butt.

    If you get a paypal account... do not get a business account. It is reported to the IRS.

  8. GlassGuru

    GlassGuru Member

    Hey Nattywraps... Does my site look like a kid put it together? Just curious. I have my site on my car... right in the back window. Professionally done of course. By the way... your shooting in the dark when it comes to advertising in forums and boards. I've used google AdWords and works pretty good. Already made $1500 in the last two weeks.


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