YOUR response to our DC Class T fuse sale has been overwhelming!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
While we still have at least a few of each fuse and fuse holder in stock supplies are getting low. We are also taking the time to redesign our store front and website functionality.
Our goal was to build an online store at zero cost.
You read that right ZERO COST.
There hundreds of platforms for do-it-yourselfers to build an online store that vary in price from a $100-$300 for setup and $60-$200 a month forever to $10,000-$15,000 for setup and $300-$1000 per month. If you hire a designer/developer, the price will be much higher than that.
However each dollar spent on an online store is a dollar that must be passed on to our customer.
Now don’t get me wrong, some online platforms like Shopify are awesome. They are not expensive and you can learn how to build a store in a matter of days, not weeks or months. They have features that would blow your mind and for the serious online business person they make a lot of sense. They even have credit card processing built in so you don’t have to try and figure that out yourself.
However, we still wanted to build an online store for nothing to see if it could be done.
We found out it can be done, however there is decreased functionality.
Here is where we are as far as costs of building our own online store:
1. We had to buy the domain name “solarhomestead.com” at GoDaddy for $1.49 CAD ($0.99 USD).
2. We had to buy a hosting account from GoDaddy for $10.99 per month (this account allows us to host as many websites as we want with unlimited storage space and bandwidth)
3. We installed WordPress (free with your GoDaddy hosting)
5. We installed the plug-in WP e Commerce for free. This free plug-in allowed us to build the store we have had until now. It is absolutely free but there are features that are locked. If you only have under 50 or so products I think you would not need to upgrade.
It comes with free shipping modules USPS, Australia Post, New Zealand Post, UPS and a few others. This allows the store to calculate shipping rates according to your customer’s address and add that to the checkout.
WP eCommerce even has many built-in payment solutions like PayPal and many other payment gateways or you can simply collect card numbers and process yourself manually on your own credit card merchant account.
6. We opened a SQUARE credit card acceptance merchant account. 100% free and the card reader is 100% free. It plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPad, iPod or other smart phone or tablet. No credit checks and no hassle. Simply give them a bit of your info like contact info and bank account you want the money deposited to. Flat rate of 2.75%. Use this link to get your free account and get your first $1000 dollars of processing for free ($27.50 savings). Read our post about SQUARE.
We now have a 100% free online store except the $1.49 for domain name and $10.99 per month for hosting. We also bought THESIS but you can also use one of the thousands of free themes.
The store is functional, looks fine and would look better with more work and someone who knows how to make things look pretty. This is not one of my skills.
Now where the money comes in. We added the following to our store once we made some money from it by adding the following:
1. Canada Post Shipping Module with WP eCommerce ($79 USD minus 15% by using promo code SAVE15) so we can have live shipping rates and option added to our checkout process and our customer can choose the shipping option they want.
2. Gold Cart upgrade with WP eCommerce ($99 USD minus 25% by using promo code THANKYOU25) so we can have Live Search, Grid View and Product Galleries plus many more payment gateways that cover almost every payment gateway in the world except SQUARE. It is no problem, you get an order with the customer’s credit card info and you type it in manually on your iPhone, iPad, iPod or other smart phone or tablet. The payment gateways make it so the website automatically charges the credit card as you receive the order. It saves maybe 2 or 3 minutes a transaction. Here are the extra included with Gold Cart.
- Authorize.net AIM, ARB, CIM
- DPS / PxAccess
- DPS – PxFusion
- Eway Access
- Paypal – Payflow Pro
- Virtual Merchant
So there you have it. We began to build our store with almost nothing ($15 or so) and have added options as we can afford them.
In September you will notice that all shipping is calculated live according to the size and weight of the items you are buying and your address. At this time we are only offering Canada Post as a shipping option but will offer more as we can.
*Store.SolarHomestead.com is built on WordPress using the THESIS theme by DIY THEMES and WP eCommerce online shopping platform which are all registered trademarks that SolarHomestead.com has no ownership or interest in.
As part of SolarHomestead.com’s mission to help homesteaders become self-sufficient, we will be teaching options for making money at home including:
- setting up a store front for your own produced goods
- drop shipping
- selling products manufactured by someone else
- producing and selling digital products like E books
- building affiliate websites to promote others’ products for commission
Together we can help other live off the grid, grow our own produce, raise our own animals and provide for our families financially.
I would love to hear from you in a comment below….