I live in a rural town in northern MI and see that making money in any industry is difficult. There are many people that have hobbies making varrious types of items from jewlry to birdhouses and everything in between. I have been thinking of starting an online store to showcase and sell these items. I am ignorant of all business laws and don't know about sales tax on the internet, shipping policies, pricing policies and commission rates. I think that if this works then it might take off on a national level. I am also hoping that it will get citizens thinking about what products they might be able to offer. If you have any input I would really like to hear it.
#1. "RE: Would like some input." In response to Reply # 0
Hi. I would contact your closest small business association chapter. They can help you online if it's too far to visit. It's a great resource. They have lawyers, accountants, and any other professionals you would need help from all for free!
What you are wanting to do sounds a lot like the Esty.com website. Maybe you can google them and check out their site for ideas. Perhaps you could sell your friends stuff for them on esty for a consignment fee? Just to see if your idea is profitable before you invest on your own site.
#3. "RE: Would like some input." In response to Reply # 0
There are a lot of places for crafters to advertise online such as craftersbuzz.com, etsy.com, and eBay.com. How will you differentiate yourself? Don't get too concerned about this because I think you will figure it out (e.g., only selling goods from northern Michigan).
Regarding taxes, you will need to charge taxes for people who buy from Michigan. You'll want to visit the Michigan Department of Treasury - http://www.michigan.gov/treasury.
Regarding pricing policies and commission rates - those may just depend on your arrangement with the vendor. You can buy the items outright or you can sell based on consignment. That's something for you to really think about.
Best of luck! ~~~~~~~
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#6. "RE: Would like some input." In response to Reply # 0
the advice given is highly productive. also, consider licensing your biz...that is extremely important. i mean you can go sole- proprietor, yet, if it fails, so will your creditability. i would suggest LLC b/c it seems to be enough for and online biz.
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