UPDATE: Well, crap. I turned on the store, everything looked great, but the first three orders couldn't process because of some kind of communication problem with my bank for verification of funds. Bleh. Everything will be just fine soon... very soon...
In what can only be described as a miracle, the Artificial Duck Co. store is on-schedule for its grand opening tonight tomorrow.
Probably pretty late tonight around noon tomorrow, as there are still some things that need to be tested.
Getting to this point wasn't easy... I had no idea that setting up a "real" store for myself would be so hard. I've done it dozens of times for other people but, when it comes to making a store of your own, there's an unimaginable amount of work that has to happen. Honestly, it's too much work for something that's supposed to be just a hobby, but oh well. Soon it will all be over.
The best part of setting up shop has been designing various features I want the store to have. Some things aren't working quite right on Internet Explorer (surprise, surprise), but the "Build-A-DuckyButton-Set" page seems to be working just fine. Creating the "About Us Page" was also loads of fun (assuming I don't get sued by Paramount!).
By far the worst part of setting up shop has been the shipping charges. The US Postal Service is changing rates and eliminating services on May 14th, and so all of that has to be accounted for (since none of my orders will be shipping until early June). Shipping is always a tricky beast, because I want very much for what I charge to be accurate so I'm not ripping people off. I hate ordering a T-shirt on the internet and having shipping charges be $12 when I know the company is only going to pay $5. Rip-off! The problem is that if you goof up and accidentally charge too little, you stand to lose a horrendous amount of money very quickly. And it doesn't help that Yahoo!'s rate charts can't be calculated by shipping zone, which is kind of stupid because that's how all the carriers set their rates.
But other than the shipping rates and the aforementioned lack of inventory display, Yahoo! hasn't been that bad to work with. I don't know if I will be able to afford to stay with them because their rates are so incredibly high, but I'll wait it out a few months before deciding what to do about that. It sure would be nice if Yahoo! would just take a straight percentage though. Rather than the $100/month + 1% I'm paying now, it would be a lot better for me if they just took 3% or even 5% so I wouldn't be hit so hard on months where I'm not selling much. I didn't build my store to make money, but it would be nice not to lose money.
Anyway, it's been an adventure. Check in tomorrow when everything should be up-and-runnning (crossing my fingers) at Artificial Duck Co.!