Trader's Websites

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Neibelungen
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Trader's Websites

Postby Neibelungen » Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:51 pm

Though another topic might be worth having running as most traders are moving into websites and shopping carts these days.

While some of it I've seen occasionally on the Friends and Gossip, as there's a lot of knowledgeable people on there, it might be worth having a topic where websites can be discussed.

Partly this came about because of getting a working model of the Trader's Listing, and making a friends business site, made me realise there's a need for some section like this.

Things like, what software can you run a website/catalogue/ shopping cart with. How do you make use of paypal, credit cards and how do you go about using them or getting them.

Can even be things like what do you think, what might make it sell or look better.

I'll leave it up to the posters, but not everybody has a friendly computer nerd available or is any good at making thrings look pretty.
If I could do the latter I'd be a designer and not make reproductions :cry:



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Kate Tiler
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website payments - ebay

Postby Kate Tiler » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:14 pm

Great idea N!

I'll kick off with some ebay & international trading stuff :)

If you are thinking of offering stuff on ebay or directly via a website & want to trade internationally, you don't just have to go with paypal. (although personally I've used paypal for the last 5 or so years both as a seller and as a buyer & never had any trouble with it)

One service that is out there that again I have used successfully in the past is:

http://www.auctionpix.co.uk/

They will buy your international money orders from you & write you a cheque in £'s, for I think only 99p a time, though don't quote me on that! about a 3 day turnaround.

This means that if you are using ebay (or your website), you can say that in your terms & conditions, that you take international money orders - but make sure that you use the auctionpix exchange rate in either your advert, or place a link to the exchange rate in your site.

Most people won't be bothered to send a money order if you are selling on ebay, but you will attract more international bidders and this will increase your final selling price.

The other thing to think of is that having even a small item for auction on ebay will give you a free advert on ebay - everyone is able to have a 'me' page which can have details of all the other things you do & sell, as well as a link to your website under your favourite links.

It is a massive form of advertising for 15p a listing, and people do read them. If you are looking to attract cross-over buyers from outside re-enactment it is a great place to start, obviously depending on what & how you are advertising!


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Pete the Pong
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Postby Pete the Pong » Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:58 am

Just to remind NMTF members that if you have a website, please let me know and I'll put a link to in on http://www.historictraders.co.uk


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Steve Stocker
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Postby Steve Stocker » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:25 am

I use Actinic (http://www.actinic.com/) for my shopping cart software and Protx for my payment provider. Not cheap but I feel you get what you pay for.
Both integrated seamlessly with each other and my existing site. I won't pretend it was simple but I got there by following the technical manuals and only had to contact support lines twice. The support response was good - next day by email every time.

Actinic has a very good user forum http://community.actinic.com/index.php?s= as well.

For a DIY solution I can recommend them both. :)


Usted no tiene prioridad

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House of De Clifford
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Postby House of De Clifford » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:08 am

here ours www.houseofdeclifford.co.uk

we have a list of the events we will be attending, if anyone wants to pre order

Miranda


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Neibelungen
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Postby Neibelungen » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:57 pm

I use a system called eccomerce templates http://www.ecommercetemplates.comwhich is a basic shopping/catalogue engine with a html template system for the front end. It runs on any php/mysql enabled host or windows/access depending on version.

It doesn't take much website knowledge to set up and has a good user forum for help and advice, plus a great set of modding additions to develope it. Price is about £60 which isn't bad although you need to sort out the actual online selling part yourself, but that isn't too hard either. It's extremely easy to customise the look yourself though, as these are basic html type pages with a few includes to run the database.

I only use it as a catalogue, though like all of these, it's hard to keep it intergrated with your accounts so needs regular attention if you sell off the peg or include prices.

Two other e-ccomerce solutions are Oscommerce and ZenCart (a fork of the latter), which are extremely good (open source=free), but to take some technical skill to customise the look(and make work). There are a number of other open souce shopping carts available, which are good for basic catalogues/websites if you want to list a product range.

To some extent, unless you are technically minded with website building or willing to learn, if your going to take money online, it's worth seeking out a competent webbuilder to look at all the security issues and technical parts of setting up secure sites.

Might be worth a few of the profesional webbuilders within the forum advertising themselves here if their prepared to , as they know the market we're dealing with. And any help to the self-emplyoyed craftsperson dosn't go amiss.



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Postby PotBoy » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:17 pm

For my current website - I use www.1and1.co.uk they offer several solutions from just a few pages right up to a shop with unlimited products and online credit card clearing (I use this system).

It is a basic shop front and you don't need any programming knowledge at all - just fill in the blanks. Although you can change it if you have a knowledge of PPP and HTML programming.

It's a completely secure shop. it has served me well for about 2 years but the only down side is that it's not very Google friendly as it uses frames and I have having a brand new site specially developed.

If you want your website to rapidly come up the free listings in Google (and other search engines) DO NOT USE FRAMES in your site - the Google Bot doesn't like them. Also make sure all your links work and that you put your "keywords" on every page (these are the words people put into google when looking for your product). Also link to as many sites that are within your area (usually offering to link to their site is sufficient for webmasters to put your link on to their site).

For building your site/shop one of the best software packages is Macromedia's Dreamweaver. You put the information you want on the screen and it converts it to HTML programming for you. It is expensive (about £299 I believe). But if you are a student you can get it more cheaply but I can't remember where from would have to look it up in my notes.

I am very busy, but if anyone has any specific questions regarding web design or search engines I will try to help - it took me ages to learn and I'm quite happy to share.

If you want to see what can be done with an off the shelf shop visit www.easybrew.co.uk if you want to see what good programming check it out in a couple of months.


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Postby Mrs. Babyjuice » Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:07 pm

Hi,

I don't have a website...I wouldn't know where to begin, and probably couldn't afford it anyway. Please would you put 'other contact details' on your own sites for folk like me?

I have the IT/ computer version of dyslexia to the Nth degree. A3-month old baby would do better!

Any ideas, explained in a plain nursery-style, please! Or PM me.

Thanks.


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Ace Rimmer
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:23 pm

Mrs. Babyjuice wrote:Hi,

I don't have a website...I wouldn't know where to begin, and probably couldn't afford it anyway. Please would you put 'other contact details' on your own sites for folk like me?

I have the IT/ computer version of dyslexia to the Nth degree. A3-month old baby would do better!

Any ideas, explained in a plain nursery-style, please! Or PM me.

Thanks.


Websites don't have to be expensive at all these days.

You can find a whole variety of free web hosts, which although it means have your website as www.somewebhost.com/yourwbesite you dont have to pay for the hosting. Many of them provide the php/sql/ssh services required for online shops as well. As for building a website, there are loads of web resource sites about that give you all the coding to make specific functions etc...

This website here has a basic step by step guide to teach you the basic's of HTML, the basic language from which websites were first created. The only software you need in a web browser (ths thing your reading this in) and Notepad, which is free with windows.


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Don't fight with the COSJ's
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You will lose.......

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restimson
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Postby restimson » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:43 pm

The hosting package that I have from Blackfoot (www.blackfoot.co.uk) inlcudes a free shopping cart program that is incredibly easy to set up. It's called OSCommerce and it allows you to interface with most of the main payment methods eg Paypal, NoChecks etc.

Not a plug for blackfoot, just for £50 a year I think that they give excellent support and are pretty good value for money (good amount of bandwidth and webspace as well).

Rachel



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sally
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Postby sally » Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:51 pm

I went with nativespace.co.uk in the end. Ultra cheap, superb customer service (so far have sorted out every query within an hour) and OScommerce as standard. Wish I'd found them years ago 8)



Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:02 pm

we are at
www.busymolemusic.co.uk

Use paypal for the shopping cart and built the site using Web Express, well not true my Son built the site!

Although we use paypal would be happy to move away from it as not that verstile in my opinion.



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Postby busy mole » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:04 pm

Oops! thought I was logged in!!
Try again

we are at
www.busymolemusic.co.uk

Use paypal for the shopping cart and built the site using Web Express, well not true my Son built the site!

Although we use paypal would be happy to move away from it as not that verstile in my opinion.

Back to top


Busy Mole Music
Early Music Specialists, Harp makers.
Instruments, recordings and sheet music
.

I'll hang my harp on a weeping willowtree,
And may the world go well with thee.


http://www.busymolemusic.co.uk

Guest

Busy mole website

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:55 pm

Nicely designed website Mole,

Not to derectly critcise, but to add a few pointers you might want to consider.

1) The navigation isn't consistent between your item pages and the home page. It means you have to do a lot of 'back' clicking to get back to a starting point . It might be helpfull to have the main navigation links on each page.

2) Alt tags for each picture. Helps for search engine rankings and for people with screen readers or pics turned off.

3) Look at getting an online order form created rather than having to click an e-mail button.. tends to make people respond somewhat quicker.

4. ) Enlarged photos when you click on them are a good idea, as pepople can see the details then.

5) Some pages, like the woodwind. and strings involve a lot of scrolling. Perhaps a seperate page for each.




You have some good features though. Such as a downloadable pdf order form,

and the print page button which removes the black background . That's anice touch, but a mouseover or small note telling people this would help.. otherwise it could seem like useing a lot of black ink.


Hope these ideas are a help..


My own website is http://www.militarymetalwork.co.uk if you want to leave some feedback on how i've put my own together. I still need to do a few of the things I've pointed out myself and need to sort out a lot more images for it.

There aren't right and wrong ways to design a website exactly, but it's always hardest to see the things that others see when it's your own work.

Hope it makes extra salesfor you

Andrew



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Neibelungen
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Postby Neibelungen » Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:58 pm

Ooops, It was me.. just forgot to sign in.



busy mole
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Postby busy mole » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:17 pm

Yep fair points and may well be changing them

will be having a look at your site, have you had a go at putting a shopping cart on using paypal as this does hive a form of online orderform in as much as it gives a view cart option. I found it quite clumsy to use but effective in the end. The buy it now or order now buttons work to put the items in the shopping cart.

the long pages have links that navigate up and down the pages but may well be better split, as we have begun to do with the cds.

Steve


Busy Mole Music
Early Music Specialists, Harp makers.
Instruments, recordings and sheet music
.

I'll hang my harp on a weeping willowtree,
And may the world go well with thee.


http://www.busymolemusic.co.uk

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ScorchUK
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Postby ScorchUK » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:36 am

I have a really simple website ('cos I'm not really a trader, just a hobbyist) that I've written by hand, but my brother's a webmaster by trade, and will take on quite small bits of work.
Maybe he can help : http://www.slaassociates.co.uk/


Cheers
Scorch
Scorch's Pyrography - http://www.scorchpyro.co.uk

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Neibelungen
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Postby Neibelungen » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:41 am

Mole,

Technically there's a shopping cart back-end on my website, but I don't use it, just the database as most of my work is commision and to order. Plus I never have the time to make enough stock to warrent a shopping cart.

I've found using a database to manage items usefull, especially if you have more than about 50 items, as it allows you to manage them from an admin interface, and you can modify the tables to include extra information.

The hardest part of a shopping cart is customizing the layout so it doesn't look like all the others (especially a case with those useing Oscommerceand it's forks.) Otherwise your looking at £300-600 for the main commercial engines.

Probably might be a good time to start up a new posting where we can collectively review traders websites and offer constructive veiws on setting up websites and areas that can be improved. And draw inspiration and ideas from other people too.

Once the markets are back, I should hve the time to start a thread.

Andrew



Eric the well read
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Postby Eric the well read » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:34 pm

Lovely bloke, Love his stuff, but do you like his web-site?

http://www.periodglasses.com/
:shock:
To say it's for people with dodgy eyesight...........

Regards
Eric



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Teagirl
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Postby Teagirl » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:47 am

Hi, everyone, new here to the forum but with a small amount of experience in producing our own website, I can say that it can be a nightmare to do but persistence pays off.

I've helped a few friends get online with simple shops, they have little or no experience with shopping carts and were struggling to get things up and running till we ran across MrSite. It's ideal for someone who simply wants an online presence, it's designed very clearly for the computer-illiterate and really can be set up in a few hours. I sat with a friend who is lucky to turn on the computer without mishap and she was able to get her pictures and listings up in an afternoon. It incorporates a Paypal button for purchasing. It doesn't do anything fancy at all, like accept credit cards online or allow for someone to pay by cheque but for the trader who simply wants to get online it can be pretty easy to use.

www.mrsite.co.uk For £34.99 you get a domain and hosting for the year with the shopping cart built in. I'd really recommend it for anyone who just wants a quick and easy shop online.

We use ZenCart ourselves, it's not a bad program and allows for variations on payments, rates of exchange can be set by the web person, it can be hard to learn but it's easy to use once you get the hang of it.

-Su



Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:53 am

We're pretty new here and so I've been reading the group for a week to get a feel for the place before posting. A bit of background on us, we're beadmakers, and recently I've been working on research for my husband to use in producing British-made beads for reenactors. At present we're concentrating on the earlier periods as those are the ones that interest us most and also because there is a dearth of handmade beads of any kind that are available to those serious about the historic provenance of what they buy for their kit.

At present we're working (well, I am, in my mythical copious spare time!) on expanding our websites to provide more information on making informed selections for beads, including a timeline or layout to help people find the right beads for their time period. We hope to eventually offer a wide range of glass handmade beads, along the same lines of authenticity as the other traders here.

That said, our present offerings are limited to mostly Romano-British and Viking-era beads, but as Mike makes more beads I'll get more photographed and listed on our site.

I use FrontPage and our online shop which is at present set up as a modern commercial site uses ZenCart, which I prefer for the ease of choosing payment methods. I can process Paypal and NoChex, cheques, money orders online and take credit card payments over the phone via our machine which is from 123-Send and (temporary memory loss which happens frequently to me!). I'm hoping to eventually divide the modern and historic glass beads into two different areas but we've found that many of Mike's historic beads are bought by his regular customers so it's hard to know which way to go.

I agree that shopping carts have a tendency to be pretty boring-looking, and want to work on a better layout for the shop itself but I do like the ability to have thumbnails as the first images people see for each item with the ability to have a clickable image that is significantly larger if people wish to see it. That's the thing I find frustrating about many sites is that the clickable image is not much larger than the original thumbnail.

Our sites are www.tillermanbeads.co.uk and www.mancunium.co.uk The Tillerman Beads one is the main site, I'm working on developing information for the Mancunium site which will include a FAQ on beads.

So, now that I've been long-winded, please feel free to critique the site and let me know what you think could be improved.

-Su Poole



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Teagirl
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Postby Teagirl » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:54 am

Whoops, I forgot to log in before posting the above. Please excuse the brain-fade!

-Su


Prime practitioner of headology and purveyor of beads.

Tillerman Beads


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