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You will need to make several decisions about shipping your product.

First, you will need to determine your shipping address. For home based businesses, you can choose to use your home address or rent a mail box. You probably don’t want customers showing up at your home. So in most cases it is probably better to rent a mail box. 

You can rent a US Post Office box, a UPS mail box or a mail box offered by a third party. They come in a variety of sizes and prices.  It is good to shop around as prices vary from one location to another even for a post office box.

I found that renting the US Post Office box is the least expensive option. In many locations in New Jersey, it costs $46 for the smallest size mail box for a period of 6 months. The UPS Store nearby had asked for $19.95 per month. When choosing the location of your mail box, it is better to have it closer to where you live.

In addition to the cost of the mail box, the other consideration is the actual cost of shipping. USPS offered lower and more simplified price structure with its flat rate delivery for priority mail across the US.

One other thing to remember is that UPS will not deliver to a PO box.

Overall shipping using USPS and renting a PO box offers a good alternative for home based businesses.

Click here to visit my store – www.musebazaar.com.

At some point before going live with your store, you will need to determine how would you process payments.

I have looked at three main options:

1. Using Credit Card Payment Option through your eCommerce Platform
Big Commerce charges a $19.95 monthly fee and 2.1% of each transaction.

2. Using Pay Pal
It is widely acceptable and you don’t need to have an account with them to pay with a credit card. It is also the most expensive option.
Monthly fees depend on sales amount and number of transactions.
For sales up to $3,000 the charge is 2.9% from sales amount and 30 cents per each transaction
For sales betwee $3,000-$10,000 the charge is 2.5% from sales amount and 30 cents per each transaction
For sales above $10,000- $200,000 the charge is 2.2% from sales amount and 30 cents per each transaction

3. Using Google Checkout
This option is gaining momentum but not as popular as Pay Pal. It offers the lowest per transaction fees – only 2% from the sales amount plus 20 cents.

Here is a quick illustration of the cost for $1,000 and $5,000  in Monthly Sales :

  Big Commerce   Pay Pal   Google Checkout
Monthly # of Transactions 33   33   167
Average $ in Sales Transaction 30   30   30
Monthly Sales 1000   1000   1000
% per Transaction 2.1   2.9   2
Monthly Fee 19.95        
Additional Transaction Fee 0.25   0.3   0.2
           
           
Total Monthly Seller’s Cost 49.28   39.00   26.67
  Big Commerce   Pay Pal   Google Checkout
Monthly # of Transactions 167   167   167
Average $ in Sales Transaction 30   30   30
Monthly Sales 5000   5000   5000
% per Transaction 2.1   2.9   2
Monthly Fee 19.95        
Additional Transaction Fee 0.25   0.3   0.2
           
           
Total Monthly Seller’s Cost 166.62   195.00   133.33

Clearly Pay Pal option becomes more expensive as you sell more and have more transactions.

Initially, I have decided to go with the Option offered by Big Commerce. It becomes more attractive as the Sales Amount increases above $2,000 per month. Later, it was brought to my attention that some people really like the security that comes with PayPal. In this case, it might be a good idea to offer both options.

Click here to visit my store – www.musebazaar.com.