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Q: I am interested in establishing an online business selling jazz paraphernalia such as books, CDs, posters, busts, pens, cups, mugs, etc. What advice do you have for making this work?
— D. Craig, Via the Internet
A: Jazz paraphernalia is an interesting niche product that should sell well over the Internet. But test the waters before you commit to setting up an e-commerce site. Before opening your store to the public, make sure you’ve evaluated your products’ suitability for online sales.
Here is a good checklist to consider before you set up your online business. Decide on a name that defines your business. If you have the skills to create the site yourself, go for it. Otherwise, hire a professional Web designer or use an online store-building service.
Next, start developing a product catalog. For your inventory, search online to find several reliable manufacturers who make the specific products you plan to sell. Also, eBay is a good option for finding unique jazz paraphernalia.
In order to accept online payments, set up an account with a reputable payment processing service. Paypal is the most popular and widely used online payment system. Go to Paypal.com to learn about its all-in-one solutions for starting merchant accounts and providing credit card payment processing for customers.