Starting Your Own Website

Just wondering if anyone has started their own website, to either compliment 3rd party sites or to stop using them.

One of the big pains is dealing with sales tax. I am very curious as to what types of headaches doing this has brought.

Yes! We even have a separate forum here (not very active, but it’s nice to have: Own website - Sellers Ask Sellers )

I have a Shopify website and I have it set up to collect sales tax. My nexus is only in my state, I just run reports quarterly and file/remit as needed. It is a bit of a pain only because otherwise I’d never have to do it thanks to marketplace facilitator.




One of the driving factors behind no longer actually selling on the website, instead using the site to direct customers to purchase on Amazon, for example. We get the freedom (within the bounds of the law) to say whatever we want, etc. and Amazon gets the headaches of taxes, etc. and the Lion’s share of the blame when there are performance issues such as lost/damaged in-transit.

Same. Easy to set up, easy to use.

I do not integrate with Amazon, although I did try to at first. That function seems really for folks just using Shopify to dropship (the Amazon-prohibited way), so I did have to recreate my listings onto Amazon–or actually, vice-versa.

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We did this way before Amazon. Even before Amazon was born in a garage, or wherever they started.

In modern times we have used Wordpress, the .org open version. Modern as in 20-17 years ago. We added WooCommerce since it came online.

We did these brand websites way before Amazon Brand Registry, and that helped us to establish our brands on Amazon.

Sales Tax? We don’t need no stinking Sales Tax. We are one of the 5 states that do not have one. “Live Free or Die”


Chose wisely…

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We did the Shopify route as well. Pretty easy setup and don’t have to worry about getting your own payment processors setup and all that jazz. Downside is the cost. Also I a bit hard for an amateur like myself to modify

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Original we built our site through godaddy and had a company oversee it for us. We called them the Russians because of their very thick accent. I have no idea what their nationality is, that is just what we called them. It was started back in 2003 and was clunky but worked for a very long time.

Then we switched to shopify mainly for pricing and ease of use. Now we only use shopify for one of our side hustles.

We switched over to BigCommerce and we like that more than shopify. It has more options and I feel our site looks much more professional.


We are a small retail chain and our website is our primary focus, with Amazon (FBM) serving as a way to try and make some extra low effort sales on the side.

My preference is selling through our site over Amazon; there’s definitely more that goes into managing our site, but I’ve found the greater flexibility when it comes to “delighting our customers” on the post-sale/customer support side of things to be something I really appreciate.

I also have a small sales team that sells over the phone + in chat. They help boost revenue, but also help teach our customers about the products we sell which helps reduce returns/exchanges.

We’ve definitely had some trouble with sales tax, and have tried a number of different solutions over the last couple of years. From my experience the actual collection of sales tax isn’t so difficult, and instead our challenge has been getting good reporting for our accountant to use.

The requirement for better reporting is because our site is run on a cash basis, and my understanding is that the services we’ve looked at only report on an accrual basis. We’re working on a solution to that but if you start your site with this knowledge, and set up your books accordingly, then sales tax really shouldn’t be too difficult!

We’ve been running the open source version of Adobe Commerce/Magento, but are in the process of switching over to Shopify.

If there’s anything in particular that you have questions about, or if you want more info specifically about taxes let me know!


Good thoughts here.

Unfortunately, Shopify is not going to be an option for us.

They have a policy to censor and terminate relationships over political disagreements. That is a hard no for me.

Can you elaborate more on the troubles that go on with sales tax?

I am sure California is a nightmare.

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Why would that be any more difficult than any other of the 47 states who legally require you to collect and remit sales taxes for their destination sales?


I have a website for our brand and it uses Shopify. We only collect sales tax for our local state and remit quarterly.


Based on what I read in the media and how they have harassed sellers for years

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Being a “jingoist” I would not use Shopify, I prefer dealing with an American company rather than a Canadian company.

I would recommend that if you use Shopify, you have a backup plan because I do not like their recent financial statements.

But we all know how negative I am.


Well, Well, Well. What in the actual EFF…

These came in the mail today to our building. One for each Ste, including tenants who haven’t been here in years. :expressionless: 16 Total.

My new name for them will be ShopiSpy…

We have used this site format for years …

We use a local website host and OSCommerce platform to build on. Since we have been using this open source website for years, we have found that we can customize it to our needs and even create additions into both the front end and back end. The database structure is easy to understand.

If you do not need customized items (like we do), it can be pretty much a plug in play set up.

We have been playing with a WordPress site, but haven’t been won over by it yet. We are kind of leary of plugins that could end up costing money. The database would be hard for us to transition current data into it and the coding to write additions (a functional plugin) will take some learning on our part.


We actually had our own website well before joining 3rd party sites. Amazon and eBay are just used as a small compliment to our site. We currently use Magento.


Everything on our website is done by us since I worked in IT for over 20 years. We use OpenCart which is free and open source. We used to host it ourselves on our own servers , but we have recently moved it into the cloud as it’s cheaper and more reliable. I don’t like sites that include hosting like Shopify because you have little control over the platform and for reasons @lake mentioned.

I realize not everyone has the technical expertise to go open source with paid hosting, but you could actually pay someone to do that for you and it would most likely still be cheaper than Shopify or others where they run the entire ball of wax for you.

I’m not even going to touch the sales tax issue, because it is our belief through thorough research that we only need to collect tax where we have nexus which is in our home state. no use debating it as we’re not going to change anyone’s mind.



You are a practical guy. I do not see negative in you unless you are saying something that is negative and calling it like it is.


I have my own web site but I have not updated it recently. The domain name owner is a friend of mine and he has graciously allowed me to have a dedicated page on his site.

He wrote that he was experimenting with Joomla and really liked it. This is from a man who has been working with computers since the 1960s-70s. He’s one of the most tech-savvy people I know. He’s recommended Joomla to me and I hope to try it soon.

I plan to increase my available offerings especially sheet music and songbooks. Amazon and eBay are not always the best place for these items.