Our First Go At Ecommerce
When my wife first decided to start selling online, it was for fun not necessarily for profit. I set up an account on Ebay which was all the rage way back then. So began our first go at Ecommerce. It was early 1999 and of course everyone was talking about Ebay, it was all about “the community” and was supposed to be pretty easy to do and yes FUN. In fact I already had experience designing web pages in HTML and it was straightforward and easy. When sales started to come in, my wife and I worked together on it. Even our daughter helped out at times. Like most folks selling on Ebay back then it was mostly “stuff” we had and wanted to get rid of or picked up at local garage sales, estate sales and what have you.
Expanding Our Online Selling
Over the next few years we had sold quite a lot and learned a lot. We developed a system for just about everything. Finding things to sell, taking high quality photos, listing our things to sell on the website and shipping the “stuff” to the buyers. It was still fun. Then we decided to ramp up our online selling a bit. For keeping track of what we were selling and how much $$ we were making I wrote software from scratch in VBA for a program to run on our PCs and Laptops (for you geeks out there). It included what we had paid for each item, how much it sold for, and the cost of selling and shipping the item. Our sales volume was high enough that I wrote into our software a system for keeping track of items in our warehouse. If I do say so myself the software I wrote was much easier to use than the Ebay website accounting pages or other paid options.
Ebay Changes And It Is Not So Good
Then one day Ebay went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Things changed constantly and the feeling of “community” began to fade away as the stock holders profit became more important than our “fun and profit”. Ebay changes were getting many sellers frustrated and sometimes angry. So we started to consider what other Ecommerce options we had.
Basically it looked like we could either get onto another website with thousands of other sellers, or start our own Ecommerce website. As it turned out, we did both. Although we did not run away from where we started we did start to branch out. Next time I post I will talk about the other online selling venues we tried and our own Ecommerce website.