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Everything you need to sell online

Set up an online store in minutes to sell on a website, social media, or marketplaces.

how much is it to create a store

How Much Money Do You Need to Open an Online Store?

7 min read

Starting a business is a risky initiative. No one wants to waste their time and money selling online without a return. Some of you may have a friend who had a friend who took a loan, opened a business, went belly up and swore not to touch business plans ever again.

In this article, we will break the stereotype of spending gazillions dollars to start a  business online. This one is for beginners who haven’t opened an online store yet. Experienced entrepreneurs are unlikely to find anything new here. You might want to read how to increase your revenue with newsletter segmentation instead.

So, back to the beginners — let’s begin.

How to sell online
Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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To Spend or Not to Spend?

A bankroll is helpful for opening an online store, but not a must. Start with small things. Creating an online store is much cheaper than opening a boutique in the mall. You don’t pay for the space, decorations, and many other things.

Initially, your apartment or garage can serve as a store. Your cat will enjoy it.

At first, expenses for an online store may be confusing. One would think: “Okay, I need to build an e-commerce website. I need to find a hosting company. I need to buy a domain name, determine taxes, add payment methods, ooooh…”

If you don’t have a lot of money and don’t feel great at the thought of burdening yourself with a big loan, a good thing to do is to open an online store in two stages.

At first, plan to create a free one-page e-commerce websitea Facebook page with a free store, or to test your product at art shows and street markets, to check if the juice is worth the squeeze. And if everything goes well, dare to register a business and create an e-commerce website.

Ecwid Instant Site

Ecwid’s free one-page Instant Site

Build More as Your Business Grows

Let’s imagine it was off to a good start — you sold everything during the first month, and your online store’s following is growing. You’ll eventually need more than just a storefront with a cart. You’ll want more e-commerce tools and automation. At this point, you can create a more professional website and add an online store there.

Machines Work, People Earn

People invented computers to take on rote work and use their time more efficiently.

E-commerce platforms have the same goal: to make entrepreneurship easier. An online store serves as a storefront, a shop assistant for customers, and a personal manager for its owner.

The bottom line is that you can open an online store for free and add more features when you stand both feet on the ground.

Whether you decided to start selling online for free, or to build a fully featured website with an online store, take into consideration the following expences.

Business Registration

I added this part because lawyers asked me. JK.

To make your business legal, it must be registered. Most people start with a sole proprietorship because it has the lowest barrier. An annual business license for the State of California is $35.

If you have bigger plans or need to protect yourself, there are two options: LLC or Corporation. We discussed their differences in the article devoted to registering your e-commerce business. Small businesses generally prefer LLCs.


The domain is your site’s name or URL. Share it with your friends, print it on business cards and link to it on social media. You can buy a domain on special sites like this one.

The price starts at $1 per month.


A website is a set of files that needs to be stored somewhere. This is why you’ll have to  get a hosting account. The companies that sell domain names typically offer hosting. Like Ecwid, you can pay for hosting month-to-month or purchase rights to the domain for the entire year. The latter is cheaper, of course.

Basic hosting on costs $48 per year.

Online store

Ecwid is an e-commerce platform that allows you to create your own online store. Using Ecwid, you can display and sell your products on a website, calculate shipping expenses and taxes, monitor your orders and enable various payment methods.

It is free to create a store using Ecwid. If you have up to five products, a free plan will be enough to start. When you’re ready to implement advanced tools, premium features in Ecwid’s paid plans come around to grow your business.

For example, Venture Plan (allows 100 products) costs just $14.08 per month when billed annualy.

The budget

Let’s add everything up to see what it costs to start selling online.

With a websiteWithout a website
Business registration$35$35
Domain name$12$12
Annual hosting$48
Ecwid free plan$0$0

What does “without a website” mean?

Ecwid creates a free Instant site when you sign up. Later you can buy a domain name and connect it to the Instant site. It saves money and time.

New businesses have different goals and different budgets, but creating an online store can be cheaper than visiting Starbucks once a week. Whatever your budget, start a small business with an online presence on Ecwid, because it is a much cheaper, less risky alternative to opening a retail or physical location.

Share this article with your friends who are looking to start something new.


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Sell online

With Ecwid Ecommerce, you can easily sell anywhere, to anyone — across the internet and around the world.

About the author

Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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