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Great set off questions for someone just setting out, more people should ask or at least ponder these before jumping in.
The section I have quoted from your post, is very critical, what do you consider as low as possible. My reasoning for asking is that I have seen a very wide numbers quoted on this forum, for how much it will cost just to start up and than ongoing costs there after for up keep and maintenance. I am not going to quote any off them as to me no one can give a valid quote without knowing your full requirements.
But you need to have in mind what that budget is based on your product you have given an indication of what you plan to seel, but do you see these as high value, high profit, and therefore lower sales numbers for your expected profit. Or low value ,low profit, but high sales volume to achieve the same profit.
Because these are also factors which will fall into consideration.
How much sunk cost are you prepared to put in, if the venture doesnt work dont take thatquestion as a dont do it as I am all for trying different things, I have a few in the melting pot, some will never see the light of day, others are at the lets go look at website phase. But what I am saying is what is your allocation for this, as that could make a huge difference on what someone can offer you and thus potentially change the bigger picture for your offering.
The big thing to do first it to research the market for the product you are planning to sell. You mention Ebay, the only cost with trying out the market on Ebay is to pay small fee’s if you sell a product. I can hear a few people saying “SMALL” fee’s, but if you think about it say for arguements sake you pay $5 to Ebay on each sale, that a lot of sales you can make before you hit the $1000’s that you will invest in a website. And I am not suggesting you stay there, but you can see if your expectations for your prodcut sales are relaistic, with only a small investment rather than a jump in the deep end.
Just thinking out aloud, as you mention a few times in your post concerns about cost, plus this way you can start selling today, while everything else is rolling into place. And don’t forget if you do try Ebay, when you have your website up and running when you send out product, put in a card pointing people to your website with some incentive for future purcahses via that. A good promotional vehicle for your new website.
Ok, son has to go to tennis in the rain, i’ll stop now