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Selling on line – how to deliver the goods and collect your money

When you decide to sell your goods or services on line, one of your first questions will be “How do I deliver the goods and get paid?”

Of course, delivery depends upon what you’re selling. If you’re selling physical products you might pack and ship each item yourself. You might also be set up with a company that will drop-ship the products.

If you’re selling electronic products, such as PDF’s, Word documents, or moneyaudios, you need to choose a shopping cart that will allow you to store the products in their system for immediate delivery when an order is placed.

If you’re selling audio or video on CD’s, choose a fulfillment company that will check your orders each day and mail the products. These may be produced in batches or duplicated one at a time as orders come in. You’ll need to choose your mailing cases and provide copy for the covers. Speaker
Fulfillment Services is one such company.

How do you get paid?

For many, the answer is Pay Pal. It’s simple, easy to use, and most of your customers will be willing to use it. Pay Pal allows buyers to purchase with their Pay Pal balance, with a credit card, or with an electronic check. They also offer credit for purchases of $100 or more.

The fees are reasonable, with a set amount plus a percentage of the sale.

However, there may come a time when you feel a need to accept major credit cards directly. This is slightly more expensive, as there’s an initial set up fee and each card charges a monthly fee in addition to the percentage of each sale. However, if you have a good volume, it’s not prohibitive.

If you’re considering accepting credit cards, talk with your bank or credit union about it. Costco members can also set up accounts through their membership. Some set up accounts directly through a fulfillment service, such as Red Oak Cart.

If you’re providing a service, such as freelance copywriting, web work, or graphic design, you can also be paid via a check or money order in the mail or an electronic deposit to your bank account. A small percentage of your customers will prefer this.

A word to the wise…

add to cart buttonBefore you choose a shopping cart, read, compare, and take the tours. Some are all-in-one, allowing you to set up several mailing lists, send individual or group promotions, fulfill electronic orders, and coordinate with your payment provider and an outside fulfillment company for physical goods. Others offer only limited services.

You also want a system that will automatically add buyers to the appropriate mailing list.

It’s far more cost effective to pay just one provider – not to mention the time it saves.

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