I have been running a site (about "widgets") for over two years now. I've amassed a pretty good audience and a search for "widgets" on Google has my site listed third. Not bad.
I have been using affiliate programs such as Amazon, Art.com, eBay and have experimented with various others, and ad sales programs as well (such as fastclick).
Seeing that scumware can now intercept my affiliate links (and the relatively paltry commissions), and given that I have some things "in stock" that I could begin selling on my site, I'm beginning to wonder what it would take to do this stuff myself.
Here are some questions; I'd appreciate your insight:
1) Where should I begin to weigh my "shopping cart" options? I basically want to sell some books/items on my site. I do have access to a secure server in my hosting solution plan.
2) How many of you guys are incorporated? I've got a full time job myself, and I just do this as a hobby. Should I incorporate? I understand that if I go "sole proprietor" then I'm still liable for my business... but then there's this "class C" option that would protect my personal assets (as small as they are). Anyone know what I'm talking about here? Is this an ill-advised thing to do (for tax reasons or something), given that I have a full-time job?
3) If I wanted to increase my "inventory", how would I go about doing that? For example, is it as easy to just contact a publisher and say that I want to sell some of their books myself? Anyone have any links for me to look at to get a better idea? I'm loathe to do a search on Google for "starting your own business", for obvious reasons... Lotsa junk.
I'm not overly intimidated by shipping logistics and all that jazz. I have a PO Box for my site and wouldn't have a problem shipping stuff out. (although if someone can scare me straight I'm all ears)...
I guess that's it for now. Appreciate any help as I kick around the idea.
[edited by: heini at 11:01 pm (utc) on Sep. 22, 2002]
[edit reason] no specifis on your site please / thanks! :) see sticky mail at top of screen [/edit]