Opening an online shop

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by CheekyKid, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. CheekyKid

    CheekyKid
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    Let's say I want to become a dealer of monitors,projectors etc.

    Can I register a company and I put my home address as its base?
    Many sites offer such service for ex. www.registeracompany.co.uk.

    If I have this *ghost* company is it enough to become a dealer of something? Will I be considered a normal dealer by manufacturers just like the rest and be elligible for buying large quantities of items or am missing something here?

    I would appreciate any help on this

    Cheekykid
     
  2. Paul_HDLover

    Paul_HDLover
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    In short, yes this is acceptable. You would have to consider many factors though. For instance, accounting, VAT registration, initial forms required for HM Customs & Excise etc etc. Its not simply a case of setting up a company name and off you go. There are things that need to be filed at the point of inception and at regular intervals throughout the year.

    Additional considerations should be where you are going to hold stock i.e. secure location and also where your website will be hosted as this should also be a secure location, particularly if dealing with peoples personal details.

    I don't claim to know too much about the whole thing but there is my tuppence worth anyway.
     
  3. mad_matt

    mad_matt
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    One aspect you have to consider is how you allow your site visitors to make online purchases. If you use Paypal or WorldPay for example you will be paying a very high fee on each transaction.

    If you want to use a method like Streamline you have to go through the Merchant Application process with your bank and this can take a little time.

    This does then raise the level of service you need from your web hosting company and software you use (shopping cart) as it needs to be processed through encrypted pages.

    Matt
     
  4. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Apart from the normal issues of having a company (tax etc.) you need to ask yourself how you're going to fund the business.

    If you want to keep stock you'll need to start with a fair amount of money considering the number of models etc.
    If not will you be able to afford to pay upfront for products when you receive orders as at start companies aren't likely to give you credit.

    Also you need to research if you can afford to compete with the big boys. They will be buying in bulk and having better prices so they can afford to sell cheaper while you'll be wanting to have a decent income. If you can offer added value it might help but a lot of people go for prices and reliability.
    They're more likely to go to Comet and pay £500 than go to Joe Bloggs AV shop online and pay £505 (or even £490 for that matter).
     
  5. CheekyKid

    CheekyKid
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    Many thanks for your replies guys:smashin:

    The main problem seems to be how to compete with other huge stores and not so much your reputation. Everyone has to start from 0 at some point.
     
  6. Mr_Wistles

    Mr_Wistles
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    I would not worry about trying to compete with the big boys, try to get yourself a niche set of customers and even if you are more expensive people won't care as long as they get good service.

    www.biz-in-a-box.co.uk - £50 to set your company up
    www.ekmpowershop.co.uk - £19.99 a month full web shop and secure shopping basket.
    www.protx.com - Card processing will cost you around 30p per transaction for switch, 2.9% (maybe 3.9%) for credit cards.
    www.hmrc.gov.uk/businesshelp/ for vat registration
    www.fasthosts.co.uk - I use these guys for both my businesses, never had any problems (except during the floods as that is where their servers are)
    www.bigyellow.co.uk - Storage - not overly cheap but they offer good discounts to businesses.

    You will need a merchant account as well if you are using Protx (but this is the cheapest option to go for), with HSBC it is £150 setup and then the charges are very small, if you add £1 to every thing you sell this will cover your card processing, hosting and merchant account.

    If you are importing it can be quite a steep learning curve as I learnt but I could recommend freight forwarders, insurance brokers and shippers.

    If you want any other info just ask.
     

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