Note: I’ll admit, that this post is probably a little bit biased. I do apologize about that. I certainly write from my own personal experience in this article, and that tends to lean to one side. The side I tend to lean to is someone who’s annoyed with modern day society returning items that clearly have nothing wrong with them. Having an online store on a platform like Amazon Seller Central likely is how I became jaded, and I’ve heard other platforms out there like Etsy give you a little more control over your own store’s capabilities.
The one thing I would say to anyone who is thinking of getting into their own online business, especially if it’s an online storefront – read reviews and do lots of research before you choose to settle on a particular platform. Having your own website and building your own e-commerce store there can give you a lot more flexibility, however this also brings it’s own set of trials and tribulations. For example, when you run your own online store and do all your own credit card processing, you have to be much more on the lookup for people use fake credit cards and/or forwarding addresses, as well as PO boxes.
Again, do lots of research – and don’t let jaded me tell you how to run your online business. Any business that anyone runs is unique to the person who owns it, starts it and builds it, and depending upon your market niche, you may be able to find a spot where you’re able to operate efficiently and without too many challenges.
As the title says, that’s essentially what this post is about. I’ve always found it easier to simply write an online blog because all you have to do is write content. If your website becomes popular, you can just run ads on it. There’s a bit more to it then that, but really that’s all you need to do to earn a dollar. Once the website is earning money, you don’t need to do any of the things that you have to do when you run an online store.
Running an online store means the way you make money is shipping a product, and processing returns. It can be a headache, especially when dealing with shipping issues. Some online platforms are better then others. Running your own Etsy store, as an example, may potentially provide you more freedom and more security then using a platform like Amazon Seller Central. I’m not saying that this is the case, I’m saying it might be the case depending upon which market segment you’re operating in.
When you deal with returns you could end up being more of a psychologist then someone processing returns. Sometimes reasons for returns can be frustrating to deal with, but it’s still something you have to do because you run your own online store. If you’re able to set your own rules for your online store, that’s always best. Owning and operating a www.com means you can also run your website as your own e-commerce store. If you do this, you make all your own rules and don’t have to deal with potentially ridiculous RMA requests, or insufficient shipping credits to cover the cost to ship. Again, Amazon Seller Central does not provide you with enough costs for shipping to generally cover the shipping costs (as an example).
The Least Amount of Work Required to Make Money Online is Better
Ultimately, if you’re able to do less work to make a second income it’s much better. Running an online store can be a pain. It can take work. Building a website takes work, too. But if you do it right, you can earn a residual income from it, where you just do touch-ups and add new content here and there. Running a store requires input, or work constantly.
Wix and Shopify are supposed to be a couple of the best platforms out there for your online store in 2021. Shopify starts out at $29/month. If you were to host your own website and buy a domain, you’re looking at around $10-$30/month or more and also $10-$20/year for the domain (if you can find a .com you like that is not already owned by another webmaster). So Shopify sounds like not a bad deal, especially if it saves some of the hassle of setting up e-commerce software and a payment processor.