Shopping List

Your very own online retail store is just a point and click away.
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This story appears in the December 2007 issue of Startups. Subscribe »

Eager to get into the e-tailing business but not sure how to start? Check out, a virtual product warehouse and one-stop shop for new retailers. Using Shopster's warehouse of products, ranging from auto parts to clothes, you can create an online store with its own name, logo and inventory. Shopster offers 900,000 different products for you to choose from, meaning your shop can be just as unique as if you had started it from scratch. When you start selling, Shopster will ship the inventory directly to your customers. To get going, there's a one-time $99 startup fee and a $29.95 monthly hosting fee after that. You can also choose to waive the startup fee by paying the $330 annual fee upfront.

Entrepreneurs involved in product manufacturing can get into the act by adding their products to the Shopster system. "Potentially thousands of retail stores will pick up [your] product lines and start marketing them for [you]," says Shopster co-founder Sarath Samarasekera, 33. Whether you select Shopster products for an online store or offer your own products for others to distribute, this could be a great jumping off point for your company. "You have the opportunity to target a very specific market," Samarasekera says. "Our most successful retailers are the people who sell to a very specific [niche]."

Edition: July 2017

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