July 17, 2004
eBay and Longears Mall
What an easy way to open up a Longears Mall store!
I received a fascinating email this weekend from Carol Johnson, owner of Calo's Boutique. It said, "I have several Donkey Jewelry items listed on eBay...could I post these items on your mall site?"
I am always fascinated by multiple events that come together and benefit each other. My motivation for creating LongearsMall.com has been to provide a "master longears directory", a place where mule and donkey lovers everywhere can come and just have fun looking at all the neat things that make us fall in love with our "longeared" friends. That is why it has links to businesses, individual classifieds, calendar, community -- all the things that make "longears" irresistable.
While classifieds are good for buying and selling individual items, or advertising about individual mules or donkeys, we also want to add the "richness" that "longears" businesses bring. A very successful way to open up a product-oriented Internet business is to use eBay. eBay works well for the type of products that Calo's Boutique is selling to the "longears" market, and Longears Mall Store Listings work well for bringing mule and donkey lovers and Calo's Boutique together. By placing a Store listing for Carol under Gifts it makes it easy for us to find out about the products that she offers. And eBay makes it real easy for her to create an Internet store presence. Slick!
For those who want a more customizable online store, an excellent software package is osCommerce. There are currently 1,395 online stores using it. They even have an online demo. The best part is that the software is free.
osCommerce is provided by the OpenSource community. While that is a subject for another day, it means that the software has been produced by a number of developers and businesses that all contribute and share. OpenSource also means that it is free to anyone that wants to use it for any purpose.
For a credit card payment gateway we use a PayPal Merchant Account. That allows us to directly process Visa, Mastercard, Discovercard and American Express. It costs us about 3% of each transaction.
For web hosting services, LongearsMall.com is hosted by a large international Internet Service Provider in Los Angeles, California, called PowWeb.com. They have over 14,000 members and an incredible support forum with over 200,000 posts and a team of excellent moderators. I have been real pleased with them.
Today I have spent some time delving into the "nitty-gritty" of how you can create a Longears Mall store. I am entertaining the idea of adding a technical support forum to the Longears Mall where we can share ideas about ebay, osCommerce and similar solutions, credit card payment gateways, web hosting, web page design and other related subjects of value to Longears Mall store owners. Let me know if you are interested, either through comments here, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at July 17, 2004 09:26 PM