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Sell items with your own logos, & graphics from your own free virtual store - visit CafePress.com!!

Virtual Stores

Setting up a "virtual store" is a great way to make money from your web site without having to spend any money.  There are a couple of easy ways to go about this. You can set up a free-standing virtual store site, hosted and administered by someone else. Or, add product descriptions and direct links on your website to specific products on the other store's site

None require you to have any goods to sell or be able to process credit card orders yourself.  Instead you sell other people's goods, and they take care of all the credit card transactions and shipping of the goods.  In essence they're super affiliate programs, with you getting a commission on all the sales.


Set Up Your Very Own Virtual Store!

You can actually set up what appears to be your very own store in just a matter of minutes, and you can stock it with your selection of items. You can set up a stand alone site, and promote it directly, or set one up to complement your main content site. While you can set up a full range shop, it's probably a better idea to try to tailor the items you sell to a particular theme. 

Amazon.com hosts one of the most successful affiliate programs precisely because people can create virtual stores and earn commissions on literally hundreds of thousands of items. Whether you're interested in books, videos, electronics, or housewares, you should be able to find a range of products to market that suit your site's visitors. A range of in-house and third-party solutions also provide you with the tools to build a complete shop with automatic feeds from Amazon for the range of goods you want. For example, you can visit the associate shop set up to match this web site, which offers computers, software and related books. The shop content is an Amazon feed, but appears directly within a page at this site.

CafePress.com offers a unique service - you can set up a virtual store through which you can sell a range of items with your own designs. Promote your own art work, corporate identity, or website theme with T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, tote bags, mouse pads, coffee mugs & more!  CafePress now also will create and sell your audio and data CD's!!  They manufacture the merchandise, and handle all order processing & fulfillment. They charge you a base price for each item, and you can determine how much profit you want to add into the final price.

The best advantage of setting up a virtual store is that you get a commission no matter how many times customers visit your virtual store before they decide to buy anything. With most affiliate programs offered by online stores, you only get a commission if customers buy something on the very first visit they make by following the link from your site.


Create A Store Page On Your Web Site

The other way to create a virtual store is to set up links on your web site to specific items in other people's stores - you get a commission if people click through and buy!  Many online stores allow you to link to individual items from their catalogue, often they provide you with a link to photographs of the item and a brief description.  You may be able to add your own description, in order to "pre-sell" the item while customers are still on your site. That way, customers are more likely to be in a buying mood when they first click through from your site to the online store. 

You can set up a separate page and make it look like a mini-store with photos and descriptions of all the items - just like a catalogue!

You can also place the links and descriptions to individual items in the best context setting in the pages on your site - that way the visitor sees the promotional material about the item exactly when they are thinking about that sort of thing.  You can use this technique if you are an affiliate of such stores as Amazon and CDnow.

You can see this approach in action on the page used at this site to sell USA flag items. An alternative is to provide a price comparison guide, which is done on this site for a number of online prescriptions; for an example, visit the Propecia Price Guide.

You can do this with items from your own virtual store - this is the best option, as you get the commission no matter how many times customers visit before they buy. If you don't want to set up your own virtual store, you can still use this strategy with items from other online stores. Either way, you should make some money along the way!!

 

 

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How to set up virtual stores
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