If you’re going to market goods or services on the web, especially as an individual, you either have to join an existing webmall or marketplace, use an auction site, or install shopping cart software. The last option isn’t always the easiest, but it definitely gives you the most control.
I was looking for ecommerce software recently, when my mother asked me to help her market an ebook. She ultimately never finished the book, but in my search for a solution, I came across Ashop Commerce, an Australian company that does business in the US and UK as well. Even better, their software is completely integrated with PayPal and WorldPay, so if you want your buyers to be able to use plastic, you don’t need to get a merchant account with Visa or Mastercard.
What I like about Ashop is that the shopping cart supports digital products (like my mother’s unfinished ebook) as well as physical goods, but other great features are that it’s pretty simple to install, and there are no contracts to sign, just a setup fee and a monthly user fee. The template is customizable, so it can meld with your existing website, and while Ashop does offer hosting, no shopping carts are on their domain – you have to have your own.
Ashop’s pricing varies from region to region, and depends upon how many products you plan to sell, but the base price for folks in the USA is $39.95/month, which is pretty reasonable, when you look at what they offer – they even have special B2B and SEO packages.
My recommendation? If you’re planning to become an etailer, consider Ashop.