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Business is about buying and selling thing, services and time. The products in this section help you do that. We’ve tried to organize the category by what you’re trying to accomplish and by what size and type of business that you run. As always, we try to link to pricing pages first so you can quickly evaluate whether something is affordable.
Our E-Commerce Store section lists most of the common solutions for running an e-commerce store. We have subcategories for digital goods, photography, music and writing, arts & crafts, and print on demand (t-shirts, mugs, home decor).
We have an additional subcategory for booking appointments, which is a good fit for people that don’t sell a physical product, but instead need to sell time slots, like massage therapists, salons, consultants or contractors like electricians or plumbers.
Lastly in that category we deal with business invoicing solutions. That is a way of getting paid without having to manage a whole shopping cart process, so its a good fit for companies that do a lot of business with other businesses and want to accept credit cards. We also go over options for sending an invoice without even having a website.
Once you have checked out some e-commerce solutions, we recommend moving on the the Payment Processor category, as online merchants will likely need both solutions to get started, and they interlock enough that research should include both before you pick a final product.
Payment Processors & P.O.S. Systems
This category covers payment processors, which are vendors that get money from a purchaser’s bank account all the way into your bank account. There are many steps in the process which thankfully, many companies are now combining under one roof, which makes thing’s much easier from a new entrepreneur’s perspective.
Included in the Payment Processor section are point-of-sale systems, because they are also part of the process and often offered by the same vendors. P.O.S. systems help people make purchases in person. Think of the little square credit card reader you see at a farmer’s market stall or food cart or even the touchscreen computer at a restaurant that your waiter enters your order into. If you have a physical location and customers walking in your door and trying to pay with credit cards, you will need a P.O.S.
The last category we’ve covered is small business shipping, since it is so closely related to e-commerce. We cover some vendors specifically useful for small businesses who can’t command a shipping discount from the big shippers.
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Revenue Disclosure: We’re upfront people, so we want to be upfront with how we make money. We make money through affiliate links and ads. How do we NOT earn money? We DON’T get paid to add companies to our categories or sell email addresses. That means no one can pay us to put them on the list in any category, move them higher up the list, or change what we say about them. We want small businesses and entrepreneurs to trust us to point them in the right direction, and we’re proud of the fact that this is a guarantee you won’t see on other websites.