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Selling Sunglasses: Cost Of Starting An Online Retail Business

13th Mar 2013

Selling sunglasses online can be extremely lucrative, however there is many things to consider . Whether it is home-based or a full time enterprise, you will have to determine what amount of money, and time will be needed. Low overhead and minimal start-up costs make this business model one of the least expensive and easiest types of retail businesses to start.


If you are looking to run your own online retail business, but are unsure of what products to offer, one of the most popular products to sell online is sunglasses. With many wholesale sunglasses providers available, you can easily find a provider of quality sunglasses at low prices, which will help you to lower your initial start-up investment and begin to make profits faster.

Starting an online business will take some start-up capital, but if you budget wisely, and follow the tips in this post, you can easily keep the costs down. For the initial planning stage you will need to budget in five basic costs, which are as follows:

Choose a business name Pick a platform Design a website Find top-quality sunglasses Choose a place to store inventory

Selling Sunglasses: Choosing a business name

Before you get too far ahead of yourself you'll want to first brainstorm a business name. Try to think of something unique, catchy and not too long or complicated.

Once you've got something good you'll next need to register it. There are three levels in which you can register your business name - federal, state and municipal - each has a different level of protection, such as in the event that someone else chooses the same name as you. Federal provides the best protection outside of getting a trademark or a service mark. The State is a good idea if you are targeting a small region, and the municipal registration is sufficient if you are doing business with in the city.

To register your business name can be as low as $25 depending on the level you choose and your local area.

You should also purchase a domain name for your website, and you can even use your business name if it isn't too long or complicated. To register your domain name is anywhere from as little as $3.99 to $9.99 per year.

Selling Sunglasses: Picking a platform

Since you will be accepting transactions online you will need some form of e-commerce platform to allow you to accept purchases. There are plenty of options when it comes to e-commerce software and depending on the option you choose, (there are three basic categories: hosted, open source, and hosted shopping cart), monthly fees can range anywhere from free to $180+ per month.

Hosted e-commerce platforms charge a monthly fee, however, this usually also includes hosting, which means that you will have to host your website with the platform. Monthly fees on average can be anywhere from $9 to $179 depending on the level of service you choose.

Open source is the free alternative to hosted e-commerce platforms, however, this means you will still need to have your own web host. There are many options for hosting and on average they can run from as little as $4.99 to $14.99 per month.

Hosted shopping carts are a little different than the first two options. With a hosted shopping cart you still need to have a web host to run your website, but the checkout is completely taken care of by the platform. Hosted shopping cart options have different pricing options, usually containing a monthly fee with a price per sale tacked on as well. One of the most popular options has a minimum of $20 per month with $0.15 per sale with the first 100 sales being at no charge.

Selling Sunglasses: Designing a website

When it comes to the overall look of your website it doesn't pay to cheap out. After all your website is your storefront, so even though your teenage nephew can design you a working website from his parent's basement, it will be a worthwhile investment to go with a professional web design company. A simple website can run you anywhere from $1000+, so be prepared to budget quite a bit for this expense.

Selling Sunglasses: Finding top-quality sunglasses

Looking for a supplier of quality sunglasses will be a priority. Not only do you want to get a great product at affordable prices, but you also want to ensure that the company can meet your needs when it comes to supplying you with stock.

It's also a good idea to read some reviews on the top wholesale distributors and order sample packs to get an idea of not only the quality of the product but also how the company processes your orders.

You should easily be able to find a wholesaler that can provide you with sunglasses ranging from $8 to $24+ per dozen depending on the style and design.

Selling Sunglasses: Choosing where to store inventory

Having a dedicated area to store your inventory is crucial. The area must be clean, dry and in an area that is odor free. If you are just starting out a dedicated room or closet in your house may work, but as your business grows so too will your need for storage. Locating a storage facility that is close, convenient and cost effective is crucial. Many self-storage lockers can run as low as $25 per month.

With a little hard work, some research and wise budgeting you can easily keep the costs to a minimum when starting your very own online retail business selling sunglasses.