Questions on Starting an online shop

Questions I have on setting up an Online shop

I have been technically self employed for 6 years now. I receive donations for the work that I do in Christian Ministry, therefore I declare to the Tax man what income I receive from this.

Earlier in the year I started a hobby of Jewellery making, I soon realised there is only so much you can make for yourself, so what are you going to do with the rest? Give it away? Yes but again there is only so many friends I have.

So the next obvious answer is sell it. Sounds easy isn't it? Well yes - but you are setting up a new entity. The administration is more than you may think.

I am obviously thought online selling is an option ebay. Yes but there is so many people doing that, it tends to sell for buttons , if at all. Your own shop. You can try online carts from google and attaching them onto you blog.

Hosts such as Groovycart also make setting up a free shop a simple process but there are limits to the free site and the silver and gold options cost as much as a own website a year. My shop in groovycart is Ochiltrinkets. (If paying by cheque then groovycart supplies customers with my details.)

So then we come to the own domain. What issues have I found with that. Under the UK registry system Nominet, you must if trading on your site appear on a WHOIS database, this means anyone can see your address. Some hosts even show phone numbers and email and that means you are open to spammers or even Identity Fraud.

In the past when we moved house a Bank card (we never used) got sent to our old place and 2 years later we realised that the bank had increased the limit 3 times since someone had activated the card in my husband's name and creating a debt for him. We only found out because the the creditors were wanting money back and tried to trace him. (Fortunately they could be traced and we did not have to pay a penny of it!)

Now you may say you want to start a business, surely you want people to know about you and be able to contact you? Yes of course. However I work from home and my home telephone is ex directory. So do I want that displayed on my site? Many customers want to see proper contact details so they can see who they are dealing with. (Which is perfectly understandable.) I do want to protect my home however.
So I then thought about a phone system or alternative mail address
I then thought about virtual office ideas. Again some people are suspect of such systems. To the sole trader however, a low budget solution would be ideal. So what do you think? Would you know a virtual office address? Would you naturally be suspect? Or would you try a new business if you liked there stock?

So basically I am looking for you views. There is bound to be loads of you guys and girls out there that have done this and know answers. Equally we are all customers in some form or other. So what do you think are you the take a chance on an company or do you go with who you know?

Any comments welcome

Online shopping questionnaire

1Would you ever think of checking out the details of a Website on a database like WHOIS?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

Would you think a website that only has a Mobile/Cell phone is automatically not trustworthy?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

Do you think a website that has a gmail/yahoo/hotmail address is trustworthy?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

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