June 10, 2006
Open an Online Store in Minutes: The Ultimate Micro-ISV Tool
There is an open source .NET based project called Commerce Starter Kit that attempts to solve this problem in a different approach. It provides a free download that is basically an web application that you host. While providing a bit more flexibility and customization, it still requires a bit of work to get up an running not to mention monthly hosting fees.
Shopify is free to build a store and sell products in. It only charges a 3% commission on each sell up to $10,000, above $10,000 the commission drops to 2%. You must also sign up and provide authentication details to a payment gateway (PayPal or Authorize.net). Your store comes with out of the box templates and allows for complete customization. They even provide a tool to work on your custom design offline with no need to setup databases for the dynamic stuff.
One feature that I would like to see added would be the option to change the workflow a bit for downloadable software and license key management. It is setup right now to handle the typical workflow of buying a tangible product that is shipped and would be a bit clunky to handle the retail of software packages that could be downloaded and license keys sent in email as is typical with many applications sold by micro-ISVs on the Internet.