New guy needs guidance for ecommerce website

Hello all! My name is Andy, and this is my first foray into online business (Hello, Andy). I've got some questions.

I want to build an ecommerce website that centers around a specific price point instead of a certain niche. Think Dollar Store, but I'm targeting $50.

I would like to offer everything under the sun that sells for $50, whether it's from Amazon, Shopzilla, or any other reputable seller.

I don't want to maintain inventory, but would rather have the retailer drop ship to the customer or I'd just take a commission as part of an affiliate program.

I'd need a feed from each vendor, which would need to include item details, reviews if available, price, markdown, category, and subcategory, as a minimum. I'm sure there are more fields available that would prove useful, just don't know what they are.

I want the freedom to display the offerings in a grid format, or as single-line descriptions, or any other format I find suitable.

I would also like a filter menu on the side so people can narrow down their selections.

So my questions:[list=1]

[]Is this approach feasible?

]Can I mix and match outright sales with affiliate sales?

[]Is it possible to take feeds from different vendors? For instance, can I display items from Amazon alongside items from Shopzilla?

]I'd rate myself as a beginner Joomla and beginner WordPress user. I've built a couple sites with both, but they're still very basic. Is there any reason I can't do this myself? I realize this is a loaded question. I've always been a “jump into the deep end” kind of guy and it's always worked out well. If this is something that will require expertise in a lot of different programming disciplines I'd like to know that at the outset.

[]Is Joomla the correct platform? I've read that WordPress is more SEO friendly, but WP seems more geared to blogs. Should I be using a CMS at all?

]Is a shopping cart the right tool for this?


I know these questions may seem very basic to most of you, but please indulge the new guy. Please let me know your thoughts, even if they contradict any general concensus.

And thanks again. There's almost nothing in the world I like more than learning something new.

Pfew! Big plans!.. I'm not the one to answer this but this will probably require quite a lot of custom coding…

Thanks Flow! I'm really excited about this and eager to see how well it works.

Your signature states “Live with 2 stores at 2.24”. What are the URL's? I'd like to see how you have them set up - always looking for ideas.

#1 Anything is feasible with enough understanding of the business model, enough skill to implement and enough money to pay for it.

#2 Sure

#3 requires custom work

#4 you'll get the results of your knowledge, skills and abilities. So your results may occur between 1-10. No one knows your skils but you. But this is not Wordpress. I would almost bet that you do not have the requisite skills to do your own work here in any kind of manner that would be considered maintainable. Just a guess, not a criticism.

#5 No, just a good LAMP server

#6 if you're going to accept payments and basically be a Portal for merchandise then do you have any other choice?


Thanks for the reply. I’m encouraged knowing I can put multiple retailers on the same page.

As to my skill base, you’ve made a safe bet. I’m not a programmer by trade, but I’m handy with VBA. I know it’s not the same thing, but the point is I got quite profficient with it without any training. I’m a quick study. However, for this project, I think I’m better off hiring the work out.

LAMP server, huh? Ok, something else to learn about.

My question about the shopping cart - I know you can set up an Amazon store on your website. The thing is, anything you click on to buy takes you to Amazon’s site with your affiliate number included in the URL. I don’t want visitors to be whisked off to other sites. So, my long-winded response to #6 is: I suppose I don’t have any other choice than a shopping cart, but I don’t know that. In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, I don’t know what I don’t know. :grin: