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Setting up Shopify for your online marketplace

Photo credit: RODNAE Productions/Pexels

Are you new to online selling, or are you a connoisseur in selling and buying products? Do you have a Shopify store? The setup process for creating the latter is pretty easy to do. But what is the full cost of selling through Shopify? Read below for details.

Brainstorming On Your Shopify Store

Before you can start setting your prices on Shopify, you need to plan a few basics about the cost to sell on Shopify: Are you already selling online or in a brick and mortar store? When did you plan on launching your store? Do you want to sell online exclusively or in person, too?

If you’ve sold your products in person, do you prefer markets, fairs, pop-up stores or brick-and-mortar stores? What are your current earnings for your products, or are you just starting out and haven’t made a profit yet?

And most importantly, what exactly are you trying to sell: beauty products, clothing, electronics, furniture, handcrafts, jewelry, paintings, photography, restaurant meals, groceries, other food and drinks, sports products, or toys?

Have you already planned out these answers? Or, maybe you’re planning this Shopify store for a client. Can they answer these questions to help you start their store? You’ll need to know this stuff before you can launch your store.

Keep in mind that you’ll also have to register a real mailing address, even if you plan to sell online only. If you’re worried about giving out your personal address, creating a P.O. box or using a co-working address can help protect your privacy.

Choosing Your Startup Rates to Sell On Shopify

Whether you’re a serious seller or don’t know where to start (or what to sell), Shopify offers a 14-day trial to figure it out. (If the site is not for you, and you cancel before the 14 days are up, you’re not charged.)

Basic Shopify

For $29 per month, you will receive the following:

  • Online store
  • Sales channels
  • Gift cards
  • Shopify point-of-sale (POS) app for in-person selling
  • Credit card purchasing rates
  • Domestic: 2.9 percent + $0.30
  • International: 3.9 percent + $0.30
  • Amex: 2.9 percent + $0.30
  • In-person: 2.7 percent + $0.00
  • Staff accounts: Two (plus the account owner)
  • Shipping discount (up to 64 percent), buy and print shipping labels
  • Locations: Four (track inventory and fulfill orders at locations)

Shopify

For $79 per month, you will receive the following:

  • All Basic Shopify features
  • Professional analytics
  • Credit card purchasing rates
  • Domestic: 2.6 percent + $0.30
  • International: 3.6 percent + $0.30
  • Amex: 2.6 percent + $0.30
  • In-person: 2.5 percent + $0.00
  • Staff accounts: Five (plus the account owner)
  • Shipping discount (up to 72 percent), buy and print shipping labels
  • Locations: Five (track inventory and fulfill orders at locations)
  • Sells in up to two languages

Advanced Shopify

For $299 per month, you will receive the following:

  • All Basic Shopify features
  • Professional analytics
  • Data modeling
  • Calculated shipping rates
  • Credit card purchasing rates
  • Domestic: 2.4 percent + $0.30
  • International: 3.4 percent + $0.30
  • Amex: 2.4 percent + $0.30
  • In-person: 2.4 percent + $0.00
  • Staff accounts: Fifteen (plus the account owner)
  • Shipping discount (up to 74 percent), buy and print shipping labels
  • Locations: Eight (track inventory and fulfill orders at locations)
  • Sells in up to five languages

You can also choose to sell online with a “Buy” button and/or in person with a Point of Sale for $9 per month.

Note that for all three accounts, a POS Pro upgrade is available for $89 per month, per location. And all three accounts will accept 133 currencies.

Photo credit: Create Her Stock

Shopify Plus

For $2,000 per month, more than 7,000 major brands use this Shopify Plus platform. It includes everything above, plus 60 percent faster checkout; Shop Pay; built-in augmented reality (AR), video and 3D media; discounted shipping rates; and Avalara tax automation. If you don’t have thousands of transactions per minute, skip this.

Ways to Save On Shopify

An annual payment will save you quite a bit of money.

  • For Basic Shopify, paying for a year will cost $312 versus $29 per month ($348). For two years, pay $558 at once versus $696. For three years, pay $783 at once versus $1,044.
  • For Shopify, paying for a year will cost $852 versus paying $79 per month ($948). For two years, pay $1,518 at once versus $1,896. For three years, pay $2,133 at once versus $2,844.
  • For Advanced Shopify, paying for a year will cost $3,192 versus paying $299 per month ($3,588). For two years, pay $5,640 at once versus $7,176. For three years, pay $7,884 at once versus $10,764.

Shopify sellers can pause their store for up to three months without an extra charge. You’d have to have an active store for at least 60 days after the trial period. You can also pause your store to build the online store with upgrades and new products.

Sellers May Be at Risk of Chargebacks

As with any online seller platform, there will be users who change their minds. Unfortunately, that can result in the seller losing more funds than they expect. Although Shopify has fraud software to police dishonest buyers, sometimes it doesn’t work. Anytime there is a high-value sale, a general rule of thumb is to verify the customer’s identity.

Click here for tips on how to verify a buyer’s IP address, and click here for potential fraud warnings.

If/when the credit card owner catches on, they can dispute the credit card charge. If the bank leans in their favor, the bank will make a chargeback. The bank takes the disputed amount, plus a chargeback fee, so you could lose more money than the sale price.

For attentive sellers, you can try to resolve or refund the product before the bank can get involved. For sellers who don’t check their messages, these chargeback charges may be a surprise. They’ll usually find out once the chargeback is deducted from the next available payout.

What About Pricing Rates for Other Online Stores?

If you want to sell your products on other popular online retailers like Amazon or eBay, you can. Set up an Amazon sales channel and have a Professional Seller account before you can do so though. Visit Amazon Seller Central for steps to do so. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it to do both, keep in mind that 300 million shoppers worldwide are on there.

The site also charges a monthly subscription rate and per-item fees for selling. If you post items on Shopify and Amazon, you can add the Amazon sales channel from the Shopify App Store.

To make sure all of your Sales Channels are connected, click your Sales Channels to confirm.

Discussing Your Pricing On Online Sales Channels

As an online (and in-person) seller, you can discuss sales rates, prices and give refunds on Shopify. Download the Messenger option from the Sales Channel page. If you decide to sell items and have your own personal website, in addition to Shopify, make sure you filter customer messages out so you don’t miss any. All it takes is one missed message to ruin a sale.

Other Shopify Charges You Can Control

As an online seller, you have the power to create discounts, too. First, you’ll want to compare what the usual rates are for your products versus what you want to charge. Second, you can decide how much you’re willing to discount your rates.

Click here to create your own discount code as a percentage, fixed rate, a double deal or free shipping. Decide whether you want your deal to be based on a minimum number of items ordered or a minimum amount spent.

For discounts, you can limit the amount of sale items, choose the number of buyers and schedule sale dates.

Ready, Set, Start Your Shopify Account

So now that you know the basics of the cost to sell on Shopify, here’s your chance to start posting. Start with a few items to familiarize yourself with pricing, messaging and shipping. The easier it gets, the more you can add.

Before you know it, you’ll be a pro. Good luck!

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