I am starting this thread because I am working on an article about setting up shop online and I want to get some input from people who sell online and what has - has not - worked for them. I also hope that this discussion will benefit Startup Central members looking to go online who have not yet.
One thing I learned when I started to sell online was that all of a sudden I was getting into a new business - the shipping business. So not only did I have to think about how I was going to sell and get paid (credit card processing, shopping cart) I had to create a shipping area and figure out where to get supplies from, how to pack efficiently and cost-effectively - and as environmentally sensitively as possible; I also needed to pick a shipping company and then try to integrate all these different systems with the small business bookkeeping system I kept promising I would set up each new tax year.
Answering all these questions can take a lot of time and mistakes can cost a lot of money. What has worked for you?
Did you go with an online shopping cart or buy software and build your own?
PayPal or a merchant account for accepting payments?
UPS? USPS? FedEx?
Packaging supplies and charging for labor for packing.