Online Auction Sites
- Online auction sites offer the flexibly of online shopping with the opportunity to pick up inexpensive fashion pieces. Both new and used clothes are sold on online auction sites, with many items starting at around $1. Auction sites are useful places to clear out your closet and make some cash back on items of clothing you no longer like. Make sure you know your measurements before bidding, because not all sellers offer refunds. Check shipping costs before placing a bid.
- Thrift and vintage stores offer some quirky, retro pieces, and many items are cheap. Vintage sizing often is smaller than today’s sizing, so try clothes on before purchasing. Don’t dismiss bargain items that are a little too big. A friend who likes to sew or local seamstress may be able to take in a dress or shorten a hem for a small charge.
Savvy Sales Shopping
- Pick up end-of-season clothing during the sales. Don’t fall into the common shopping trap of buying tons of items that you’ll never wear just because they are cheap. Shop smartly if you want to get real value for money. Look out for classic cuts and colors that will last season after season. Leave the fad, trend-led pieces behind. Make a list of items you need before entering the store, and shop only for items from your list.
- Cheap clothes may be your goal, but it’s also possible to get clothes for free. Hold a clothes swap party with friends or family members if you want accumulate new clothes and get rid of your old ones. Ask friend to bring four or five items that she is prepared to swap. That way, you can shop from each other’s closets without spending a dime.
- Compare prices online. Using a search engine, compare the prices of roses that a few different suppliers charge for the amount that you need. Most sites have a price estimator, even down to the shipping costs. Comparison shopping online is just as important as in person because everyone wants the best (meaning cheapest) deal possible; this is especially important if you’re buying a significant number of roses.
- Consider finding a supplier near you so the shipping charge doesn’t overshadow your quantity bargain, if you are buying real roses. If you are buying artificial flowers, the location of the supplier probably won’t matter, as time does not have such an effect on the look of the flowers.
- Consider skipping the shipping bill altogether and just picking up your purchase if you own the means to do so and the supplier isn’t far. Some suppliers of bulk flowers allow buyers to pick up their merchandise.
- Enter the proper information on your order form. This information includes the receiver’s name, address, phone number, and payment information. Including the correct shipping information is especially important if you need the flowers delivered somewhere other than where you live or your place of business.
- Click “Commit,” “Send,” or “Order” on the final page of your process. This is, of course, the most important step because it finalizes your order and gets the ball rolling on your bulk roses. At this point your screen may or may not tell you if you’ve left out or mistyped some crucial information on your order form. Be sure to print your confirmation page in case of a mix-up.
- Be at the place of delivery when the roses are to be dropped off. It is impossible for the delivery person to wait around with a truck full of flowers, so it is important to be ready for the delivery. You could risk wilted or ruined real roses over this step or a delay in your delivery in the case of artificial roses.
Food stamps are provided to families that need assistance in buying food. The food stamps program called SNAP is funded by the federal government, which sets strict rules that must be followed when using EBT debit cards or food stamp certificates.
Food stamps cannot be directly redeemed online, and most online food retailers do not accept EBT debit cards through online payment systems. In some cases this is because of government usage restrictions, and in other cases this is the retailer’s own policy. But there are ways to use online ordering to purchase food that will later be paid for with food stamps.
- Call the retailer you plan on purchasing food from in advance. Many grocery stores offer delivery and in-store pick up, but keep in mind that you might not be able to use food stamp program funds to pay for any additional fees associated with delivery or order preparation services.Explain to the retailer that you want to order groceries through their online service for delivery or pick up and that you want to pay using your EBT card or stamps. Some retailers might allow this if you come in person to pay or produce the stamps at the time of delivery.
- Go online and begin ordering your groceries if the retailer has agreed to the request. If using your EBT card (food stamp benefits on a debit card), you will likely need to appear in person to pick up your order. This might vary depending on the willingness of the retailer to accept this type of transaction.
- Call or visit the retailer once the order is complete to confirm the order. Visit if you are required to bring identification and the payment, or if the retailer is allowing a delivery, have I.D. and the food stamps ready for the delivery service.
- Pay the amount due with your food stamp benefits. You might have to pay with cash or another form of payment for additional service fees such as delivery charges or in-store packaging charges, so be sure to have some cash available.Anything that you ordered that is excluded from the food stamp program–such as tobacco, prepared meals and non-food items–will need to be paid for with another form of money.
- Visit ebay.com and click the “Advanced Search” option near the top of the page to the right of the search field.
- Scroll down through the search settings and find the “Price” heading.
- Place a checkmark to the left of “Show Items Priced From…” and then enter “.01” in the first field and “.02” in the second field. Click “Search.”
- View the categories to narrow your search. Choose a category heading and then click on any subheading to refine your search.
- Click “Advanced Search” again near the top of the page to the right of the “Search” button.
- Repeat Step 3 to search for items within your chosen subcategory that are one cent.
- Scroll down the list of items that available for one cent. Sort the item list by “Best Match” or “Time Ending” to see the items you find the most interesting.
- Click on any listing to view the details of the listing and decide whether you want to purchase the item.
- Build a website geared toward grocery shopping; include online ordering, product features and description, and information about the service. Establish a merchant account through your bank for credit card processing or utilize a free merchant service such as PayPal. Create a page on your website that gathers customer information. Give the customer the opportunity to receive emails about your service from time to time. Include discounts and promotions on your website to generate business and interest.
- Ask customers to be specific about their requests. For example, customers should request organic Granny Smith apples, not just apples. This helps eliminate confusion and misunderstandings. Give customers an area on your website where they can communicate specific needs and restrictions.
- Offer customers a variety of delivery methods—same day delivery (if ordering before noon), next-day delivery (if ordered by 6 p.m.), non-rush delivery (needed within 2 to 3 business days). Give the customer options on how to receive products. Indicate what area you’re servicing. Charge an extra delivery fee for customers outside of your service area. Ask customers to get in holiday shopping orders within two days of service. Indicate prices on your website for each delivery option upon checkout.
- Tell customers online what stores you endorse. Customers may request certain stores for their groceries. Give customers the option of using your endorsements or, for an extra fee, shopping for them at their choice of stores.
- Purchase extra refrigeration and freezing needs for customers’ orders. You need ways to keep food fresh for customers who don’t need service until the next day. Buy commercial-level refrigeration and freezing needs in your home or place of business if you need to.
- Create a return policy. Enforce a fee for returning food if a customer changes his mind about products received. Offer a one-time return for food such as fruit or vegetables that is not up to a customer’s standards. Ask customers online whether they want to waive their return option. Offer a small discount (i.e., 1 percent from total bill) to waive the option to return goods.
- Write a business plan for your online shoe store. Will you sell designer shoes for a local market, or sell athletic shoes for worldwide Nike, Adidas and Puma fans? Interview other successful online shoe retailers for tips on writing your shoe retail business plan. Search the Small Business Administration’s website for sample business plans for your online shoe business.
- Register a domain name. Your domain name is a piece of internet real estate that your customers will use to shop for shoes. To please the search engines and your customers, reserve a domain name that includes the words “online shoe store” to maximize SEO opportunities. The price of domain names can range from 99 cents to 10 dollars.
- Design your online store and obtain secure hosting. Buy a ready-made template for your shoe store or use a web designer specializing in online retail websites. Ensure that whatever retail website application you choose provides options for sizing, photos of the shoes, available colors and product descriptions for your online shoe customers.
- Get state and local business requirements for your online shoe store. A retail shoe store business, whether it is online or free-standing, must have a sales tax license, incorporation from the state and an EIN number. If you buy merchandise with a shoe wholesaler, you will need to provide proof of a retail license, a business account and corporation documents to complete a shoe order.
- Obtain your shoe store merchandise through wholesalers and distributors. Look for store closeouts on eBay. Peruse online wholesalers for shoe brands that your ideal customer will purchase online. Contact shoe manufacturers directly to see if they will give you a deal for bulk orders. Start off with 10 sizes for each shoe style to ensure that your customer selection is varied.
- Prepare for customer service and shipping requirement for your online shoe store. Create a designated email address for customer complaints and issues. Investigate the prices for drop shipping (where the designer shoes are warehoused instead of storing the merchandise in your home) or use Fed Ex or UPS for standard and overnight shipping requests.
- Access the Walmart website.
- Type “Associate” into the search box on the top of the page and click “Search.” This will bring up the Walmart Associates page of the website.
- Enter your Associate ID Number, which is your Social Security number, and your Associate Card Number into the appropriate boxes.
- Click “Continue.” You will then be logged into Walmart.com as an associate. Any qualifying items you purchase during that session will automatically be discounted by 10 percent.
Adding a PayPal Payment Button to Your Site
- PayPal’s website has a page to help you set up a “Buy Now” button on your site. All you have to do is sign into your PayPal account and create your button. This ties the button to your account, so that whenever a customer uses the button to make a purchase, the funds go to that account. After you create the button, PayPal generates the HTML that lets you add the button to your site. Copy and paste this HTML into your website wherever you want the button to appear, and save the changes. That’s all you have to do, and the buttons are free to use.
Using the PayPal Shopping Cart Service on Your Site
- If your online store sells multiple products, PayPal offers its own shopping cart service through several authorized third parties. With a shopping cart, your customers can browse and select several items before checking out. The PayPal shopping cart integrates seamlessly with PayPal’s payment service. However, unlike the “Buy Now” buttons, you must pay for the shopping cart service, with monthly costs starting between $5 and $20 as of 2014, depending on which provider you use. Whether you go with individual buttons or an entire shopping cart, PayPal will handle every aspect of the financial transaction. This is separate from collecting the customer’s order and shipping information, which you’ll still have to handle yourself.
- Look for a company that has no physical address in the state where you live. You will avoid paying sales tax when shopping online only if your purchases qualify as “out of state.” You may be able to find the physical address of a store by visiting their website or by checking the shipping page.
- Shop at resale places such as eBay or Half.com (see Resources below). Because these websites feature items mostly sold by individuals (rather than companies), sales taxes usually don’t apply. Companies or corporations that sell on eBay may charge taxes.
- Be aware of your shipping address. This is what decides where you will be charged taxes or not. If you have an alternate address, you may consider using it to avoid paying sales tax on an item.
- Shop at websites that have their online business separate from their in-store businesses. This is the case of companies such as Barnes & Nobles and Borders. These companies are not required to charge sales taxes to their customers because of a special arrangement with the government.
- Look online for information on how sales tax is handled by any particular company. You may find that the business charges only for large purchases, such as vehicles or computers. This depends on laws in their particular state, so check in advance.
Ther are deals all over the internet, from Clothing to Jewelry to Tires to Computers. The trick is to find them! I personally like buying deals from online stores rather than eBay, because usually the products are exactly described and many come with original warranties!
Here are some helpful tips on looking for products at great prices.
- MAJOR RETAILERS- Most major retailers have online stores websites. And a majority of these sites have a “Clearance, sale, or bargain” section to the site. Some of these sections are somewhat hidden, as the retailer would rather you purchase a non-sale item instead of a “sale” item. I will use Banana Republic and their website for this example. Go to www.bananarepublic.com, from there choose the type of clothes that you are interested in. I have chosen Mens Clothing for this example. Now view the image that I have included. You will see at the bottom that there is a little link called “Sale”, this is where the deals are at from Banana Republic. WOW, a $60 shirt for $20, thats 66% off! I’m gonna look sharp at a fraction of the cost.
- SMALL RETAILERS – You might be amazed on how many small retailers that either only sell online or have a store and website. Again, here is another example. I will use Cycle Gear as an example. Go to www.cyclegear.com and look for the “Specials tab” as show in the picture that I have attached. Dang, $60 OFF a pair of the best Motocross boots ever made! Now, if I was looking to grab these, I might just print this out and head down to the shop to make sure they fit and buy them there.
- MANUFACTURERS – Many manufactures sell products online. Many of these companies also sell discounted, discontinued and/or refurbished items at a steal. Again sometimes these items are hard to find on a site. I will use Apple for this example. Go to www.apple.com, click on the “Store” tab and scroll to the bottom left. You will see “refurbished macs”. Click on it. Schweeet. A $2000 note book fpor $1400, thats a quick $600 dollar saving.
- CONCLUSION – As you can see finding deals isn’t really that tough. You would be amazed on how many people don’t realize it. My next article “How to use Deals.com”, I will show you how to use a deals website (Deals.com) that allows you to share deals that you find and also lets you get deals that others have posted. The site makes finding and sharing deals SOOO EASY.
- Open a business account with an online payment service. Provide the necessary qualifying information, which could include your bank account number and a valid credit card. Online payment services have less rigorous qualifying standards than credit card companies, which makes it possible for novice business owners to accept credit card payments from customers.
- Open an account with an online store builder. Such tools offer a range of integrated services that include hosting, email, retail store templates and shopping carts to help you set up your retail store. You may even be able to purchase your website address, commonly known as a URL, from such companies. Generally speaking, you must provide your name, address and a credit card to pay the monthly fee a online store builder charges for using its platforms.
- Set up your online store. This includes, but is not limited to, choosing a template, adding pages — which could be as simple as clicking on menu items provided within the store template — and naming categories for your merchandise. You also should add a write-up about your company on an “About Us” page. Place your contact information in a prominent location on your website, usually on a “Contact Us” page or at the top of the home page.
- Take high-quality photos of the merchandise you plan to sell using a digital camera. Save the images in the digital format and file size recommended by the online store builder. Upload the images according to the instructions provided in the template. Add product prices and descriptions alongside each image.
- Test your online store to confirm that it works correctly and fix problems as needed. You can accomplish this by adding one of your products to your store’s shopping cart and paying for it with your credit card. You should also test any forms on your retail store’s website, such as a subscription invitation box and email messaging forms, to gauge the visitor experience.
- Determine what kind of clothing you will sell: Will you be a specialized clothing store, selling to specific sizes or an all-purpose boutique, for men, women and children of all shapes and sizes? This is an important consideration because your specialty is what will set you apart from the competition, and the more specialized your online clothing store is, the more likely it is that you will be able to build a faithful clientele. Some of the more popular options when it comes to online clothing stores are kid’s clothing, plus-size apparel and online shoe boutiques. Remember, your entire marketing campaign will be built around the type of clothing you sell, so be sure to make an informed decision based on the size of the market and the demand for such apparel, the money it will take to amass an inventory of items and how large an inventory you plan to offer at first.
- Acquire and assess your clothing inventory: Depending on your niche, you can get clothing from just about anywhere. You can start by purchasing items from hard-to-find dealers and retailers that will sell to you at a wholesale price and allow you to mark up the items for profit. You can also frequent some of the retail markets, which feature dozens of dealers in one place, selling the latest fashions. Another option is to work directly with up and coming designers, particularly ones in your area, that are new to the fashion scene and have fresh looks to offer. The more creative and fresh your inventory is, the more likely it is to sell and get exposure in a saturated online clothing industry.
- Put together all of your price points and don’t forget to include shipping costs. The most that it costs you to purchase an item wholesale, the more you will have to mark it up. This can drive customers away, so you must try to negotiate the best deal you can when purchasing items from clothing vendors. This is where it helps to work with new or little-known clothing designers, because they are usually hungry for exposure and won’t charge you as much as a well-known vendor to sell their clothing.
- Build your website. Just like a brick-and-mortar shop is the calling card of a traditional clothing retailer, your website is just as important for you. Your online clothing store should be catchy and eye-popping without being overwhelming. The clothing should be prominently featured on the site and checkout should be extremely easy to locate. Moreover, your site should be up to date at all times with an easy to remember–and type–name. If you can afford to have a professional build your site, it may be a worthwhile investment if you are not very technically savvy; otherwise, use a template (preferably Flash-based) with enough bells and whistles to make your site look exciting, but with your clothing front-and-center.
- Optimize your site so it shows up on lists under your category of search terms. Most often, customers will find your store by typing terms into a search engine. If you specialize in kid’s clothing, then “kids clothes” or “kid’s clothing” will likely be some of the terms potential customers will use to find you. Because of this, it is important to include search terms in the language of your site so that Web crawlers will pick it up and deliver eyeballs directly to your homepage. Again, if you hire a professional, he should be able to assist you with this as part of your Web design package; if not, search the category you specialize in and check out the language of the competition (particularly the top 20 companies listed). Use some of the same terms in the information on your site to get yourself as high on the list as possible.
- Spread the word through online advertising, message boards, social media forums and just about anywhere else that you can. Letting people know about your online clothing store is the best way to get inventory selling. Take advantage of every opportunity possible to spread the word about your store. Sign up for a Facebook and/or MySpace page and amass a collection of friends who are privy to special discounts and sales (you won’t believe how quickly your friend lists will grow). Offer information about your store to fashion bloggers and/or reporters. Offer to be a resource for future articles. All of this will work in conjunction with traditional forms of advertising/marketing to get your store optimal publicity and enhance your chances for success.
- Begin by cleaning out your closet to see what you no longer need. This will be the most profitable items, because you do not have to purchase them.
- Shop yard sales close to time when they would end the sales. Most people will be getting rid of there clothing by selling them at a large discount, or donating them. Ask if you can by the clothing for one bulk price.
- Ask friends and family if they may have clothing they are wanting to get rid of. Most of them will not mind giving them to you. If they want a portion of the earnings offer them a small percentage.
- Track all of them purchases you make, and the percentage you have offered the friends or family. This will give you your expenses, and show what you need to make to profit.
- Set the price based on the above step, as well as the name brand and quality of the item.
- Take quality pictures of the items. Write down the sizes, name brand, description, and measurements if required. You should be as descriptive as possible with these.
- Organize a place to store the items. This place should be clean. You do not want odors to get on the clothing.
- Set up a personal website or list the items on an auction site. The auctions sites may be easier in the beginning, but you will want to expand after you see how profitable it may be.
- Track all of your sales. You want to begin to see a trend on what sells better, and what may not be worth the time. It is also beneficial to see your profit or loss in your business.
- Ask a friend, a tailor or a clothing store salesperson to help you measure your chest, waist, hips, arm length and inseam (the distance from your crotch to where you want the hem of your pants to fall). Another way to get your inseam is to measure a pair of pants that fit perfectly.
- Look for sites that provide you with lots of information about their clothes via high-quality photos and detailed descriptions, dimensions and sizing information.
- Check out one of the coolest aspects of buying online: virtual model technology at sites like MyVirtualModel.com. You can see clothes you’re interested in on a generic model or on one that you customize with your weight, height and body shape, so you can virtually try before you buy.
- Find jeans that were literally made for you. Sites like IC3D.com, LandsEnd.com and AmericanFitClothing.com give you options to design your own pants, from $54 to $125. Customize lengths, colors, waistlines, leg styles and more.
- Contact customer service by phone or e-mail with any questions not addressed by the site’s frequently asked questions (FAQ) area. Representatives often have additional notes about the fit or care of items. Some sites let you converse with customer service reps by typing in questions and receiving instant answers.
- Buy several items at the same time to avoid paying individual shipping charges. Look for retailers that offer free shipping when you spend a certain amount.
- Understand the return policy. Some online retailers let you return clothes to their local store, which saves you shipping charges. Be sure to bring your shipping invoice. Some stores provide a prepaid shipping label for returns, which reduces the hassle of returns. Many stores don’t charge additional shipping when exchanging an item for a different size. See How to Make Returns.
- Read the fine print before you click the button to finalize your order. Reputable retailers have secure sites to keep your credit card and personal information safe and private, but you may have to check a specific box to prevent your name from being sold to other mailing lists or to avoid receiving additional catalogs.
If you purchase something online and then find out–once it is delivered–that it is not what you wanted, there may be a chance that you can return it to where you purchased it. The return policies vary from online store to online store, but generally, the rules are the same. There is usually a 30-day return guarantee on any new purchase you have made at an online store. This means that you have to return the merchandise within 30 days of receiving it.
Most online stores will also only accept returns of un-used and unopened items. If you use the item at all, chances are that you will not be able to return it. If it is clothing, you must keep the tags on the clothing in order to return the purchase.
In many cases, the online business will pay for the return shipping if the error was theirs, meaning that they sent you an incorrect or damaged item. Usually if an item is opened or returned after 30 days, you will only receive a partial refund.
- Return to the Web site where you purchased your merchandise.
- Find and read their returns policy. If your package is new and unopened, returning the item should not be a problem.
- Print a return shipping label from the Web site where you purchased the merchandise, if you are able to.
- Call or e-mail customer service of the Web site where you purchased your merchandise for help if you are unsure of any aspect of returning your product.
- Contact the seller directly to arrange a return or refund if you have purchased an item from a third-party seller such as eBay or Amazon.