Have you ever wanted to start an online store to sell whatever unique products you have to offer? As a photographer and designer running a freelance business, I have been looking for a good, and most importantly, convenient way to sell my photos to my clients and my fine art photography to potential buyers. I had come up empty handed countless times, until I stumbled upon an e-Commerce plug-in for this WordPress blog you are reading.
In my earlier attempts at trying to sell prints to my client(s), I would just set-up a regular blog post on WordPress (this was before I had my website) with all of the pictures from the event and then I told the client(s) to just comment on the pictures that they wanted and be sure to note all of the specifications (size, paper type, etc.). As you can imagine, this was increasingly counter-productive, especially since I had to do an in-person transaction to actually get paid. Stupid idea, I admit it. But it only encouraged me to find a better way to do business.
Then when I created my actual website, brandonburris.com, I could have worked a shop into the design, but then that would require me to do a little more in-depth coding that I would rather stay away from. Therefore, I found that the WP e-Commerce plug-in by getshopped.org was my best alternative.
It is important to note, however, that the ratings on the plug-in were not the most loving. I would describe them as moderate, but hey like I said, it was still my best bet aside from the grueling and frustrating task of coding a store into my website. The store provided all of the simple workings that I expected and wanted from an online store. I would just have to deal with any problems that came my way, given the fact that I was on a bit of a time crunch trying to get the store set-up in time for my first wedding clients (a post about my experience with this coming soon).
After downloading the store, I quickly realized that it wasn’t just plug-n-go. I actually had to do some research on how to get the store to work the way I wanted it to. I needed to figure out how to categorize my products, set variations within each product, and figure out how the business end of the shop worked. “Business,” a word I dread to my inner core. I am in no way a “business man” of any sort. But, that’s what this is now isn’t it, a business that I had to get up and running. So there I was, setting up the business end, figuring out how to get the right tax amount, calculating shipping costs, and testing how actual purchases were made so I could actually get paid from my clients.
Sounds like a lot of complicated work, but all in all, for how complicated setting up shop can be, the plug-in actually does make the process a lot more user friendly, providing all the necessary tools that you need to set up a successful shop. Yet, it is still a very basic shop, unless you want to spend money on all of the fancy upgrades, which can become very pricey. Plug-in creators are always trying to make a quick buck as well. I guess they deserve it for making my life a little easier, so I went ahead and upgraded my shop with the Gold Cart package that only set me back $40. It did provide me with some great extras, like being able to organize my products in a grid view, making it more user friendly for my clients. Sure beats the unattractive default list view.
Overall, there are still some things I wish the plug-in would do that it doesn’t without spending an arm and a leg on upgrades and there are a few bugs in the system that I noticed. But, for a basic shop that meets my needs, it works fine for now and I would highly recommend it for anybody that would like a quick set-up for selling their products.
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Look back from time to time to see what new promotions we are running. Discounts can range from free photos with your purchase, to cheap prices on CDs of full resolution photos.
If you are interested in purchasing a CD of high resolution photos, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss which photos you would like on the CD. Prices:
$25 for 50 photos or $2 per photo with a minimum selection of 10