With online payments, processing fees are automatic. It’s how they make money. PayPal and Stripe (two popular options) are businesses just like you. However, when you’re starting a business, there are website platforms that charge you on top of the processing fees for starting your e-commerce platform. Now if you don’t want that expense, here are some tips with the platforms I’ve used in the past to get around this.
Website Platform: WordPress
- WooCommerce (WordPress Plugin) is my go-to for online e-commerce that is free. You will need a self-hosted site to install this plugin. However, the fact that I can do free e-commerce for unlimited products including e-downloads of any kind is a heaven send!
- Easy Digital Downloads (WordPress Plugin)-this is a great plugin for those of you who are selling digital products such as music, videos, or e-books.
Use Tumblr or Blogger (free platforms) and install PayPal buttons or Ecwid on them (see information below). You can also use Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly (paid platforms) and install your Paypal or Ecwid codes.
Here are further ideas/tips for e-commerce free platforms:
If you have one physical item:
- PayPal buttons: In your PayPal account, you can setup PayPal buttons and embed the code onto your site.
If you have less than 10 physical items:
- Ecwid.com (10 products) or BigCartel.com (5 products)
More than 10 items physical/services (not e-downloads):
- Square E-Commerce (it’s free to use and sends money straight to bank account, processing fees are included though). You can link it to your website as a tab for them to shop.
- TicTail: An online platform like Square where you can start your online store on their site. There are no extra transaction fees.
- Sellfy.com (5% transaction fee + Paypal transaction fees) -kind of pricey
- (for PDF’s/E-Books): Etsy.com (.20 listing fee + transaction fees)
Now at the end of the day, you need a website. So whatever you do, make sure you have a site. Your store section can either be embedded on your site via code that these platforms provide or an external link.
Now these are just stepping stones. This is a way to get your online sales going until you can afford those monthly fees of having your store directly integrated into your site.
Until next time!