We covered the advantages of getting a Full Featured Webstore Package already but, as with anything, there are some downsides to consider:
- The burden of getting buyers is on you alone. Just as we discussed with alternative marketplaces, Amazon, eBay and Etsy all bring traffic and buyers to your items automatically because of the popularity of the marketplaces themselves. Your standalone webstore will be one of zillions of pages on an already crowded internet and buyers aren’t going to find you without some major work on your part. You’ll need to do much more additional marketing to get buyers to your new store and keep them coming back to shop and that’s some extra costs and time to consider.
- You’re usually paying for stuff you don’t need. Maybe you already have a domain name, payment processor or hosting. The cost of these items is built into the base cost of the package so you may find yourself essentially paying twice for something you already have. A quick run down the list of features these packages boast will also show a few that are pointless or that you know you’ll never use but you’ll be paying for anyway.
- A store that looks just like everyone else’s. Your store will look great with one of their ready made template but it will also look just like the store of everyone else using that same template. Sure, you could customize it but…
- The more you customize, the less a package is worth it. Let’s see. You’ll be using your existing domain name for your store, you already have hosting so you might as well use that and you get such a good deal from your current credit card processor it just makes sense to keep using them instead of the one the package offers. And while you could use one of their pre-made templates, they just look so cookie cutter, don’t they? So you do a custom store design from scratch and then… you get the idea. It’s OK. Most of us are at least part control freaks, that’s why we started running our own businesses in the first place. But if you’re going to pay all that money for a service and not actually use what it comes with in favor of doing things exactly your way, you’re paying for almost nothing.
- Hard to break even with such high upfront costs unless you’re a huge power seller. Mostly all these packages have a monthly fee and also take a cut from each sale. Do the math. It’s expensive. Weren’t we looking for alternatives to the big three because we were sick of paying fees? While there’s a point at which a webstore package could be a savings over selling on Amazon, eBay or Etsy, it’s many sales per month past the volume many small sellers are doing.