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catwoman
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 3:15 pm 
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I went to a seminar today for a company called Stores Online.  It was a pitch to get businesses to partner up with them to be your ISP for your business.  Since I had no clue what's normal out there, I don't know if they offer amazingly wonderful deals, or if they're the exact opposite, or if they're just full of hot air, or whatever.  If I want to put a business online, what all costs are associated with putting this business up there?  I've got a webname registered and so far that's it.  I don't have a website built yet, so nothing else.  I realize there's then I need to have a server like pair.com for $5 or $10 /month.  Then what?  Will they take care of any transactions if I choose to sell stuff online?  Stores Online says they have a fee of about $2200/yr and includes lotsa stuff like marketing my website for me, and making my website, and has shopping cart for website, and chat capabilities for my site, and lots more.  Is this normal?  Is this necessary?  Do any of you know of a better server to partner with and/or better deal?  This all kind of blows me away.  I left the seminar without paying the $30 for the next seminar because they wouldn't make time to answer questions, nor would they let me decide later and call them or anything like that.  Plus their speaker was just too much of an annoying and outspoken salesman.  Anybody have suggestions or advice? confused.gif
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Erik the Nav
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 6:48 pm 
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Sounds like you didn't care for how they were marketing their own wares. You want them to do the marketing for yours?

If you're in any kind of niche market - which I'm assuming - you know better how to market yourself, anyway. That is, you know and are involved in or know where to get involved in the networks & etc. that will help market your stuff.

Example: Somewhat niche company I'm aware of is Kaidan - they make products to support immersive photography. Part of why I'm aware of them is the company has folks on email lists related to immersive photography and they answer questions and are involved and care - and they feed the expressed interest from those lists back into their product development.

Is some hard-sell get you to sign up right there marketing spiel firm going to do that for you? They simply can't.  

For $70/mo at pair.com (I checked), you've got shopping cart set up, CC processing, and hosting services - though you might want to go to a slightly higher level of hosting account.  $2200/yr - $850 a year leaves you with $1350 a year to pay some high school kid to help you out with web design/development and buy whatever tools you might want (dreamweaver and fireworks for $350 for example, or do it the old fashioned way and use your text editor).

In sum...  offhand it doesn't sound like a good idea to me, but that depends on you and them and what you're trying to do, etc. etc.
Find someone who has got an operation running in the mode you'd like to see yours in in a year or two, buy 'em lunch and pump 'em for how they got there?
Good luck, let us know how it goes, eh?
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polarbear
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 7:39 pm 
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Erik's idea of finding someone with the operating system already running sounds good.  Whoever you go with, ask them for references--sites they have done, how long have they been in business... to make sure the Duke and the King don't hop the next raft and float away with your money.  rant.gif  rant.gif  rant.gif

--------------
...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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catwoman
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PostFri Feb 08, 2002 11:00 pm 
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Yeah, good point.  The fact that I don't like their hard sell and annoying techniques on me, then I don't want to pay for their services.  The whole time I was there, I was actually quite annoyed.  My vibes told me to leave.  But at the same time, I wanted to be doing something to make me money!

I actually intend to build my own website.  Might need some help, but in the mean time I'm trying to figure it out by books and free online lessons.  Problem is, I'm not sure what to actually sell?  I mean, I have a service I can provide, but I want to sell 'things', too.  Would be cool if I can find something that I don't even have to purchase or handle product!  But that's another issue.  Thanks for the suggestions!  Sounds like Stores Online is not the only one out there - I didn't think so.
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elkendo
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PostMon Feb 11, 2002 3:51 pm 
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I don't know exactly what you are trying to sell but I have friends who sell stuff all the time on ebay and do very well. You can go to ebay.com and see the kinds of things that people are selling. Really quite interesting. Anyway, just a thought for a quick and painless way to market whatever you might be looking to sell.
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MCaver
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PostMon Feb 11, 2002 4:02 pm 
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As you may know, this website is run at pair.com, as is my photo website. Here's my cost for running these sites:

$20/year each for the domain names
$360/year for a Webmaster Account

That's it. Granted, I don't yet have a shopping cart or credit card processing, but it's all I need right now. I have database access for free, all machine administration and network security is handled for me, and I have a lot of disk space (400Mb for developer accounts) and bandwidth (500Mb/day for developer accounts) at my disposal -- enough to run two websites and then some.

One other thing you don't see from the outside with pair is their customer service. I've been very pleased with the handling of issues by their tech support. And for non-admin type questions, they run their own news server where you can ask questions to other pair users, many of which are very knowledgable about a wide range of subjects, from web development to shopping cart setup to hardcore programming.

I highly recommend pair as a web hosting provider (as you can tell). And I'd be happy to answer any questions I can about setting up a site.
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