Building Ecommerce site - Help needed closing and pricing

by ShaunQ
6 replies
Hi everyone,

I have recently started my Web Design business, and today posted some adverts on the UK equivalent of Craigslist. I was hoping to build static wordpress sites, which so far I build very well, but the two calls I had were request for ecommerce sites, of which I have no clue how to build, or even the process involved.

As I have no idea about making an ecommerce site, so I will have to outsource.

The first guy on the phone seemed eager to give a new business the break they needed, and asked if I had a friend who could build the site, whilst I learn from the friend and build that parts of the site I am able to. I think because of this I should be able to close the deal, but I need to give him a quote by the end of this evening. He seemed knowledgable about websites, and so would be willing to pay a reasonable price in my opinion. So my two questions are, what do you consider a good price for an ecommerce site, and how much I can outsource one for?

The second guy also wanted an ecommerce site. He will be sending through the website he wants to build a similar site to, but he seemed much more interested in simply finding the lowest price possible. I will probably have to charge less for this site, but can anyone give me an idea of a price at the low end of the spectrum which you still think reasonable. I'm brand new to this, so any sale would be incredible, even if the margins are lower.

Sorry to be a drain on knowledge, but my final question is what sort of aftercare do ecommerce sites require (I know very little as you can probably tell by now!). With my static sites I was planning to charge hosting of between £20-30 per month, but what sort of price is reasonable for ecommerce, and would much work be involved?

Thanks so much in advance for your help, making any sort of sale on my first day would be huge for me!
#building #closing #ecommerce #needed #pricing #site
  • Profile picture of the author kebertt
    If you already have the knowledge of how to build off of a Wordpress theme, then you should be capable of building an ecommerce site. There are tons of Wordpress themes that are geared for online businesses with carts, checkouts, etc. I would recommend knowing what you are doing before accepting the job/s. If you are going to learn to do it yourself, make sure you know how. If you are going to outsource, who are you going to outsource to?

    After you gain this knowledge then you can consider what you should charge. How much inventory is the client looking to have? How many pages? Things like this are very important when determining a price.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Search for 'e-commerce' in the Warriors for Hire section. (You can also find people who will do projects like this on odesk and some of the other freelance websites, you don't really have time to get bids if you have to provide a quote by this evening.) Look at the prices and the reviews of the offers. This will give you a general idea of what it will cost you to do an e-commerce website, then add your profit to the price.

    The pricing will also depend on how many items they want to sell on the site, and how many product changes they want per month. This is not a project you want to lowball, there is too much work involved, even if you are not actually building the website. Do not feel like you have to charge less for your work just because you are dealing with a cheapskate, that's his problem not yours. Is he going to maintain the website or does he want you to do it? If he wants you to do it, you have to estimate how much time per month it's going to take and charge accordingly.

    Don't be afraid to ask for the money. One of the initial questions you should ask any perspective client is "what is your budget for the project?" This will give you an idea of what they hope to get it for, if it's way under what you think you should get for the project, don't be afraid to let them know that their budget is unrealistic for the scope of the project. If it is over what you thought you wanted to charge, then come in slightly under the budget, they'll think they got a deal and you'll look like a hero.
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  • Profile picture of the author ShaunQ
    Thanks for your help. My main priority is closing the first guy, the second one would be a bonus. I asked him for his budget during the call, and he asked me to speak to my friend who would be doing the work.

    How difficult are ecommerce sites to build? I can use templates well, but I don't know much about coding, so I would be unable to edit the template.

    Could you give me a ball park figure of what a standard ecommerce site would usually sell for, and the hours involved/price of the monthly work. This will be my first sale, so I really don't know how to value my time, I have yet to even sell a static site. I wasn't going to take it on initially, but because the guy was insistent on giving me a chance it seemed worthwhile trying to close the deal.

    I understand that its hard to quote something where you don't know all the details, I am just hoping for a ball park figure before I call him back to try and fill in the gaps of what he wants.

    What other questions should I ask? Is it OK to ask if he is happy for me to use a template, or should this sort of question be avoided.

    Thanks so much for your help! I feel a little out of my depth.
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  • Profile picture of the author ShaunQ
    OK, a little more information, I have just spoke to the potential client.

    He says the site will only be small, several pages in total, which will have no more than 40 items at one time. They are unique items, so there won't be any inventory. He said he wouldn't want me to do any maintenance/updates, instead he would want a content management system so he could remove sold items and add new products as he pleases.

    I asked him again if he had a budget in mind, and he said that he prefers a quote to be given first. He was friendly but told me the price had to be reasonable, and that if he thought I was trying to rip him off he would stop doing business with me, but if the price was in the right ball park he would negotiate.

    Given this additional info, does anyone have any suggestions? For an ecommerce site like the one outlined above (albeit quite vaguely) does anyone know what a fair ball park figure would be?

    Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author kebertt
    Granted that you're just starting and this is your first sale I would offer between $600-800 for the project. From what you've stated, this is a small project that will require minimal management in the future. Before giving him this figure be sure to look into how you are going to accomplish this project.
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  • Profile picture of the author bryson
    This doesn't need to be outsourced. Pick your theme, download the woocommerce wp plugin (free), buy a payment gateway from them (approx $50) and you are in business.

    I would charge your regular website fee and add on a few hundred for the cart option. Also, adding product to the store can be time consuming especially if you are adding seo to each product. I charge extra if it is over 10 items and my fee is per extra item.

    Good luck.
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