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10 Easy, Hosted Storefronts and Shopping Carts

Hosted storefronts are an easy way to set-up your own e-commerce store and a good option for small or individual sellers who aren’t quite ready to invest in a professionally designed website. The old adage, “You get what you paid for,” always holds true when choosing (or not)  a web design or marketing company. Self-hosted sites like Wix, Shopify, Weebly(Our Partner), can take some time to get your site to look like you want. Consequently, you may not like the finished result and decide to hire a company to lay it out for you.  But if you can learn software quickly, and are comfortable self-teaching yourself the basics of web design, this is the option for you. If you struggle with technology, you definitely want to hire a professional. E-commerce storefronts – a managed service by us- make it easy to create and manage a store because you don’t need any HTML or programming skills, and you can customize the storefronts to suit your business needs. All our websites come with editors and if you want a shopping cart; you get desktop software to easily manage your cart.

The Best E-commerce Platforms

Shopify and other self-hosted Carts can be a bad investment in the long run

Pros of Building Your Own Site:

  • Cost effective, it only costs a monthly fee and your time
  • Quickly get your brand online
  • No HTML or PHP to learn
  • One time payment
  • Usual hosting fees apply
  • Can be heavily customized
  • Portable

Cons of Using Self Hosted Sites: Shoipy, Wix et. al.:

  • Limited by your time and creativity
  • Can be costly, ongoing monthly fees
  • Finished product can be disappointing
  • Limited ability to personalize features
  • Not Portable must stay with provider

The Best E-commerce Platforms

Online Do it yourself E-commerce Host

If you have the time and have some creative skills you can opt to do it yourself. Before you start, get a notebook and take down notes. We also recommend you get a password organizer to better manage your time. (Forgetting passwords)

1.  Weebly (Free):  (Try it FREE) A storefront solution that lets you create your own Web shop — plus you can sell on Facebook and eBay with Weebly.  Extra features include multi-channel retailing, mobile commerce, SEO and easy upselling.

2.  E-Junki: A shopping cart and digital delivery system for publishers who want to include buy-now buttons to sell digital goods. You store the files on E-Junkie’s servers, and buyers receive an email with instructions to download the product after making a purchase.

3.  GoEmerchan: Use it to build an e-commerce store, or you can purchase the Buy-Me Button plan to add payment options to an existing website.

4.  Mercantec E-Commerce Express: An entry-level storefront and shopping-cart service that lets you sell in a number of places including your own site and on eBay.

5.  Miva Merchant: offers full e-commerce hosting and just about everything you need to start an online store – all in one package. You can upgrade accounts as your business grows.

6. Wix: Wix claims to offer the best WYSIWYG editor to build your site.

7.  ProStores. An online e-commerce platform that lets you design a storefront that fully integrates with eBay.

8.  TabJuice. A social commerce platform that you can use to bring products to Facebook. This storefront application adds a customizable shopping tab to your Facebook Business Page.

9.  Volusion. An all-in-one e-commerce solution that lets you design and manages your online storefront; plus it provides tools for marketing, merchandising and CRM.

10.  Atomic Mall. An online marketplace that features fixed-price, make-an-offer and Web store listings.The Best E-commerce Platforms3 Online Auction Sites and General Marketplaces

11.  Bonanza. Sellers create booths of items (similar to a Web shop) and list products at a fixed-price. Buyers can also submit an offer to purchase.

12.  Ebay. The world’s largest online marketplace with more than 94 million active users. On eBay, you can list items via auction or buy-now format, and you can also manage your own eBay-hosted storefront.

13.  Etsy. An online marketplace offering Web shops for handmade and vintage items and also supplies for making handcrafted items.

The Best E-commerce Platforms 7 Free-to-List Classified-Ad Sites

Free local classified-ad sites are a good choice for online sellers who have larger items that are difficult to ship. Most general categories on classified sites don’t charge a fee to list, but special categories (such as adult services) are usually fee-based.  Classified-ad sites take no responsibility for the transactions and you deal with local customers face-to-face to complete a sale.

15.  Backpage. Covers more than 400 cities and regions from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Backpage is free for posting ads; the adult entertainment and personals categories are fee-based.

16.  Craigslist. Choose a location site from cities located in the United States, Canada, Asia, Americas, Europe, and other International cities. Most classified ads on Craigslist don’t cost anything to place, but some specific sections for some cities do carry a fee, such as job postings, brokered apartment rentals, and adult services.

17.  eBay Classifieds (Kijiji). eBay Classifieds in the United States (and Kijiji in Canada) is an eBay-owned network of classified sites for specific countries including the United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, Germany, India, and others.

18.  Facebook Marketplace. On Facebook, Marketplace, which is operated by Oodle, helps people buy and sell items in a trusted environment (e.g. within your network of friends).

19.  Hoobly. Integrates a local classifieds market into a national marketplace. This lets consumers look for general ads and then be more specific about location. Ads placed on Hoobly are free; however, you may opt to place a Premium Ad, which is posted to a paid area.

20.  OLX. An established online classified site available in more than 96 countries in 40 languages. Ads are free, but the site offers paid options that appear at the top of search results.

21.  Oodle. Pulls millions of listings from all over the Web. Consumers can place an Oodle ad for free, by creating an online account. When you post to Oodle, your classified ad may also be posted to hundreds of other sites.

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