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Hi Phil,

This sounds like a great initiative and it sounds like you have the community to make it work!

From what I understand, you want to achieve two things; 1. offer a larger range of products to the local community and 2; Help the local economy by retaining local sales & customers.

Basically, you’d setup a locally branded online store that allows you to do the following:
1. Use local stores/businesses as suppliers of products and services by drop shipping (as exstatic mentioned, the order’s get sent straight to the stores/businesses to fulfill)
2. Use suppliers from ‘out of town’ specifically for products/services that aren’t supplied in the local community only.

How this all works:

For the local business
Say a local camping store sells sleeping bags. They can now advertise this product on the Queenstown Community Online Store for free and potentially increase business and sales.

When someone purchases the product, the purchase order is sent directly to camping store with the purchaser’s details to fulfill.

The camping store can choose if they’d like to be able to post items or have pickup available only.

Free payment solutions such as Paypal allow you to:
1. The Queenstown Community Online Store’s PayPal account received all monies from purchases.
2. At the end of the set term (weekly, monthly etc) the camping store is sent the funds via the PayPal EFT facility for the total amount of orders they have fulfilled in that time frame.

Community features
1. Product Feedback (allows purchasers to submit feedback on products they purchase)
2. A community forum would allow more detailed discussion and assist in the store’s direction and growth.

This is all relatively simple and cost effective to setup with great benefits for local business.

If there’s anything I can help you with please feel free to message me through the forum, email me at [email protected] or call on 0422 175 640 any time :)

All the best in your project.