What do I need to run a ecommerce store?

To setup ecommerce on your website, we need a few things from you. You will need a Merchant Account and a Payment Gateway. Why? So you can get customers pay and the funds get routed to your bank account. Here's a list of things you need to figure out as a new ecommerce merchant.

1. What merchant/payment gateway will I use?

What is a Merchant? Merchant is a company like Wells Fargo or e-OnlineData. A payment gateway is a company like Authorize.net which routes the funds to your merchant account. A company like Paypal is a all-in-one company that is both a merchant and payment gateway. You should expect to pay $20/month for a payment gateway and $20/month for a merchant account.

What should I chose? The easiest and cheapest way to get started is Paypal Standard since their is no Merchant monthly fee, but Paypal will take a higher cut on each item. There is no easy answer, but it all depends on the type of volume you expect to sell. If it's merchandise you are selling in addition to your service, we recommend PayPal standard.


We Provide:

  • PrivateSSL/Shared SSL
  • Credit Card Logos
  • Basic Return Policy (Example)
  • Basic Privacy (Example)
  • Basic Order Information (Example)
  • Basic Security (Example)

Items that 3plains will need so we can help:

  • Merchant Account - Username
  • Merchant Account - Password
  • Merchant Account - Paypal API/Authorize.net API Codes

2. What content do I need?

Your merchant will require things like SSL, credit card logos, return policy, privacy statement, order information and security information for your customers. Here is a list from a merchant we work with:

2.1 Complete description of the goods or services offered.
2.2 Refund Policy
2.3 The Terms & Conditions of the purchase.
2.4 Customer Service Contact, including e-Mail Address &/or telephone #.
2.5 Transaction Currency (e.g., U.S. Dollars, Canadian Dollars)
2.6 Export or Legal Restrictions (if known)
2.7 Shipping|Delivery Policy
2.8 Disclosure of the Merchant Outlet Country
2.9 Consumer Data Privacy Policy (if the web merchant is collecting information on the consumer)
2.10 Security method for the transmission of Payment Data| SSL Certificate
2.11 "About Us" or "Our Company" information to ensure consistency with application information
2.12 Merchant publishes paragraph stating that they adhere to all State and Federal laws regarding the sale of their products to people in those states if restrictions apply
2.13 Website Address|URL: (required)

3. Do I need to collect tax?

Each state is different. You will need to check with your state to figure out the rate. Here in Minnesota, for clothing, there is not tax. For other goods and services, Minnesota does require tax. Please let us know if you charge tax and at what rate.

4. What do I charge for shipping?

There is no perfect method for shipping but you do need to decide what you are going to do before we setup your store. How do you want to charge shipping? What shipping type will you use? US Postal, UPS or Fed Ex? It's your call.

  • Option 1 - Built Into Item Cost
  • Option 2 - Per Item Cost
  • Option 3 - Shipping Grid
  • Option 4 - Off a UPS/FedEx API Feed
  • Option 5 - % of the Total Amount
  • Option 6 - Any other option

Example: http://www.ultimateoutdoornetwork.com/shipping/

5. What email address do I want to be notified?

What email address do you want the order emails to go to?

6. How will I deal with returns, exchanges, cancellations?

How are you going to deal with returns? Do you allow them? Is there a restocking fee? What address do returns go to? Here's a example: http://www.ultimateoutdoornetwork.com/shipping/


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