How to Start an Online Bookstore. In the early days of the Internet, starting an online bookstore was a daunting endeavor. Now with the advent of eBay and Yahoo! stores, it has become a relatively simple process. If you love books and want to share your passion with others, starting an online bookstore is a relatively easy way to begin a business. Read on to start.
Do your homework. Check your state laws to determine what type of business license and permits you will need to operate legally. Choose a name for your business, register it, get a tax identification number and you're ready to go. This varies from state to state; but current information is available your state's Internet site.
Choose the type of Internet store that you want to operate. The types of online stores and their prices vary widely. You may decide to sell books on Amazon or eBay to begin, or you may want to set up your own webpage and operate independently. Whatever you decide, read your contract closely and review it with an attorney.
Register as a seller with eBay or Amazon, following their simple steps to become a seller. The only information you need to submit to register is your name, address, primary phone number, email address and a user name and password. Then you need to create listings for each of the books you plan to sell--include a picture of the cover, the condition of the book, the price you are asking (on Amazon), what type of payment you will accept and how you will ship the book or books.
Create your own store website, if you like this option better. You can use Microsoft FrontPage to create your own website, you can hire a web designer or you can pay an online service to help you create and run your own e-business.
Decide whether you will house and ship books yourself or if you want to work with a drop shipping company. If you work with Amazon or eBay, you can cull your own bookshelves, set your prices and ship books to your customers. When your shelves look bare, you may want to purchase books from wholesale book companies to sell to your customers.
Find drop shipping companies who will ship books to your customers. If you choose this option, you will not have to fill your garage or basement with books and boxes to mail them in. Search "drop ship books" online to see what choices you have in drop shipping.
Keep your accounts diligently. You will need to track which books sell well, which books don't, what advertising is effective and what your costs and profits are. Knowing this vital information will help you make informed decisions about your bookstore.