Welcome to Part 3 of Sell Ebooks Directly Online. You'll want to read Part 1 and Part 2. If you did that already, then you've realized that using an ecommerce website to sell directly to the public is much easier than going it alone.
Points to Consider
For ecommerce, you'll be looking for a website that allows your product description page, a shopping cart for online purchases, the processing of payments using several payment providers, and excellent record keeping at the very least. User-friendly code to paste onto your website so you can sell there is a plus.
There are other options you may want such as marketing services, support services, ability to offer free products for promotion, ability to change pricing tier easily, and other options. Investigate each site to find one that meets all your needs.
That's what Part 2 was about. It's easy with a shop set up under the umbrella of another domain. For example, for custom-designed products, a CafePress shop and others of that type make it easy. You don't have to worry about receiving payment, making refunds, fulfilling orders. It's all done for you. This is the easiest way to sell "real" products. I've been operating my CafePress shop, The WRITE Way, since 2005 and have never had a problem.
Your financial reports for CafePress and other ecommerce sites are always on your account. When you report income on your tax return at the end of the year, it's a simple matter of seeing how much revenue you earned.
Most ecommerce sites work the same way as CafePress. They collect payment, sales tax, VAT if applicable. The accounting, reporting, and payments handled by the ecommerce domain make it easy for you to do your due diligence.
Your Ecommerce Storefront
Now, let's get back to setting up your own storefront using a service. The ones listed below offer a user-friendly interface that anyone can set up. A lot of authors use Shopify, E-junkie, and Gumroad. Read on for details.
Shopify offers a free trial and has different levels of pricing. Read the FAQ. With the click of a button, you can get your ecommerce site set up. They offer Point of Sale with their own card reader, a Shopify webpage for you to set up, and code for your existing websites or FB and Twitter.
E-junkie offers a free trial and 2 free shopping carts. When you visit the E-junkie website, you'll immediately notice there aren't any bells and whistles. You have to be a bit tech savvy to install the software, but they do have clear directions.They also have different levels of price and offer the tax/VAT handling you probably want.
Gumroad is used by writers, bloggers, artists, and other creative persons. They offer varying pricing, simple setup, in-depth analytics, customer management, tools to build your audience, and the ability to sell multiple versions of your product, i.e., PDF or mobi or epub versions of books.
PayPal also helps you set up a storefront -- they're not just for eBay.
Volusion which has a starter package for $15.00 a month.
3DCart offers a free trial and varying levels of service. It costs a bit more but they say they offer Premium services even for the lowest priced tier.
Miiduu offers a free Basic ecommerce site with limits set for customers, downloads, etc. Check their pricing structure. If you anticipate small sales each day, this may be the way to go.
Made Freshly is easy and free if you have only 10 products you want to sell. You can upgrade at any time since they also offer varying pricing levels.
Mal's E-commerce has been around a while and is well-established. They sell in 120 countries. You may not have heard of this site of the others that follow, but they're all secure and worth investigating.
CS Cart says it is totally free. Basically, they give you the software to install and everything else is up to you. I haven't used this, but I suspect that if you're not tech savvy, this might be challenging. They do have a Help Desk.
Mercantek offers a totally free shopping cart with credit cards accepted through PayPal, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, and others.
So now you know the basics as well as some reputable ecommerce sites to use. Good luck and happy selling.