It is challenging for most people to set up a e-commerce system to start selling online. You either choose to create your own store using available CMS like Zen Cart or even Joomla but this is not easy especially if you have no experience in setting up websites prior to this. Another very simple approach is to set up a eBay store and leverage their traffic. The downside of this is that you will not have full control over your business (anything can happen to your eBay account from time to time). I am happy to share a hybrid model that is easy to implement in this post =)

One of my friends, Wendy, recently shares with me a website that works like eBay and how we actually use this site and implement a hybrid ecommerce model. Read on to find out more =)

Introducing ETSY.COM

ETSY is not an auction site like eBay. It is much like a listing site that allows you to put up your product and items online. This site is easy to use and I am amazed when Wendy shares the following with me:

  1. A product listing can last four months – with an investment of like 20 cents
  2. Payment gateway is integrated into the system – you just need to enter your paypal address.
  3. You can configured the shipping charges to take into account of countries.

The above three points are the most important things to consider for anyone who wants to start selling things online. I took a quick look and tour around the site and find that ETSY has put in a lot of effort to make sure that their interface is easy to use and follow through (especially for non web savvy people).

If you are looking for a site to put up your products quickly to sell, you may want to consider ETSY.

How about the traffic?

In terms of traffic, ETSY fall short when compared to eBay but what I would like to point out here is that we are not relying on ETSY for traffic. What I have suggested to Wendy is to set up a blog and create highly targeted blog post to talk about the things she sells. This will generate a lot of optimized content for the Search Engines to pick up and attract people to her blog. When people comes to her blog, then they will get to click on the items and be directed to ETSY to make the purchase. In this way, ETSY is only a platform to facilitate purchase.

This hybrid model has a major advantage over an entire eBay store – you control the traffic. This means that if your account over at ETSY has been taken down somehow, you can create another one or sign up another ETSY-like provider.

I hope that this post will help you to kick start your online venture if you are looking to have a business online.

I want to thank Wendy for her BIG heart to share with me and my readers about ETSY and do drop by Wendy’s blog, GemsNCrystal (still in development at the time of this post) and her store over at ETSY – Gems and Crystal (ready to sell).

All the best, Wendy!