Author Archive q292u


Nearly there now.. Hello to

Ok, so things have now moved on somewhat..

We have a name, and a logo to go with it. sounds like a girl who is into shopping.. In reality, she’s my dog, and you can guess what’s in the bags.

The logo cost me £12 on fiverr

I learned a !eason : don’t waste time setting things up until you have the domain name, or you will have to do it all again..

Lesson two: Paypal is being an arse with “premier” accounts like mine: they have hidden the seller tools, including the Api settings.  I got around this using the url of the business account settings,they are the same.

Now, what to sell? I took a look at Oberlo’s “black friday” videos and noted down all their suggestions..

Now, how to find suppliers? I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, so I used, which is like Oberlo but for alidropship. You get 50 products to start with (you pick).. Not all Oberlo’s suggestions were available, but I still got 6 products for zero research! is another WordPress plugin, you get an activation code with the download, which gives you the free 50 products. Later on, you can buy more, as packages. For a newbie like me, this is ideal. No supplier research!

I have to admit that setting pages and categories was a grind.. Menus are a pain..

So, we now have a site, with payments set up, products, categories, and I used the default pricing rules.

Next up we will be looking at marketing..


Picking a name is Sooo difficult!

So we have a (new) hosting account with AliDropship, and we have bought the plugin.

What we don’t have (still) is a name..  This is turning into a nightmare.

We’ve tried all sorts of “name generators” and domain name tools.. still stuck..

We’ll let you know when we sort this out..

Note: this is NOT procrastination. More like “writer’s block’..


We signed up for AliDropship!

AliDropship pulled a master-stroke last weekend: they offered us FREE HOSTING for a year! (Try joining their mailing list and watch out for the offers)

That was enough for us to get off the fence and buy-in.

So, for the usual price of $89.95 (£72), we got the plugin and free hosting.. Result! (we could have save 15% if we didn’t take the hosting, by using code: STARTER15)

So we now have a hosting account for this project that doesn’t rely on our usual “unlimited” hosting (slow).
AliDropship have also agreed to set this up for us. For free.

All we need now is a name for the shop.. which will also be the domain name.

And that’s trickier than you think. Most of the ones we thought of are already taken..

Oberlo have videos and tutorials on this subject, so we’ll take another look at those (I think Wholesale Ted may have something as well.)

So, we’ll get back to you when we have a domain name.

Then, it’s just a case of setting the site up, picking a niche, and some products..

And then comes the real work: Marketing…


[updated] Why we chose to use WordPress & AliDropship

There are two main ways to set up a dropshipping store:
Shopify/Oberlo, or WordPress/AliDropship.

We have chosen to use the second option, because
1. we already have hosting (£4/month!) – if you don’t, try AliDropship hosting..
2. we are familiar with domain registration (GoDaddy)
3. we already know our way around WordPress ( we run several WP sites )
4. the AliDropship plugin is $75 (one-off payment, with discount)

The alternative (which we think is better suited for beginners or non-techies, is:
1. £29/month for a shopify account
2. £13 a year for a domain name
3. Oberlo (free up to 50 sales)

** please note: within the WordPress/AliDropship route, there are two options:

  1. Use the non-woo AliDropship plugin
  2. Use WooCommerce and the Woocommerce version of the AliDropship plugin

For the sake of simplicity, and also because we’ve never used WooCommerce before, we’ve decided to use the Non-Woo version.

This may come back to bite us later, and it also means we are stuck with the themes that come with the non-woo plugin, but it should reduce the learning curve a bit.

BOTH versions of the plugin are included in the one-off $75 price.. don’t forget to use the “STARTER15” discount code..

Actually, you can save yourself a LOT of effort if you buy a custom-built store direct from AliDropship..


We are getting into dropshipping..

There are two main routes we can take:

For reasons I will explain more fully later, I am going to be going the AliDropship way..

This means I need to purchase the AliDropship plugin, which usually costs $89, but I’ve found a discount code: STARTER15, which knocks 15% off that. ($75).

Here’s the link to the AliDropship site:  Get the AliDropship plugin for 15% off (don’t forget to apply the STARTER15 discount code)

I’ll let you know how I get on with this.. and why I picked this option.





Simple Solution to SSL (HTTPS://)

My hosting company finally got around to enabling Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. I’d been nagging for at least a year.

I managed to move ALL my sites to SSL for free (apart from the ones I’d already bought certificates for), in one morning.

All I did was enable Let’s Encrypt for each site in turn, in PLESK, take the default options, and then use the “Really Simple SSL” WordPress plugin.

That’s it. Sorted. For Free. If your hosting company doesn’t support Let’s Encrypt, MOVE.

REMEMBER: Google promotes encrypted sites above others in search results. Chrome marks unencrypted sites as “Not secure”. You don’t want that.


Really Simple SSL

I recently needed to upgrade an existing wordpress site to SSL/https:.

This was made more complicated by the fact that it was on a shared hosting server, AND used cloudflare CDN.

This should have been simple:

  1. Generate certificate request
  2. Buy certificate
  3. Install certificate
  4. Tell WordPress to use https://
  5. Redirect http to https.

Except it didn’t work.

I couldn’t get it to reliably use https:// or redirect or

Eventually, after raising tickets with Cloudflare and The hosting company, I found a plugin called “Really Simple SSL”.

This configured wordpress to use https AND rewrote the htaccess file to do the redirects. In the end I had to manually edit the file as my htaccess file is secured, but at least they gave me the code to do that.

I left the cloudflare CDN SSL setting as “flexible”, as anything else caused problems.


WordPress post-by-email feature.

The best way to make this work is to use the Jetpack plugin, and enable the post-by-email feature.

That gives you an e-mail address where anything it receives is published as a blog post.

However, I found I couldn’t get it to work until I switched from ithemes security to wordfence. Apparently, it’s a known problem: ithemes security blocks xmlrpc, so post-by-email isn’t available..

Worth knowing.


Online Selling & Marketplaces in 2015

As you have probably gathered by now, I do a bit of online trading.. (understatement)
A few years ago, my list of online marketplaces would have included ebay(uk), amazon(uk), cqout, “play” store, and ebid.
These days, I’ve narrowed it down to ebay(UK) and amazon(UK). I sell more stuff on Amazon than ebay by a massive margin.
While it has become much cheaper to list items on ebay, it’s still FREE to list on amazon, plus you simply use their catalog system – meaning no tedious listing blurb.
I currently have a large inventory on Amazon, but only list the occasional item on (eg a Korg microsampler, sold to a German via ebay worldwide shipping).

I have completely stopped bothering with cqout – I sold barely anything, and the site is painfully slow to navigate. I’m amazed it’s still there! And why does it insist on listing prices in $dollars on the UK site?
Play Store closed down some time ago, after Rakuten took over. That was a shame – I sold a few books on
eBid UK still seems to be there – but as I recall, their audience is tiny compared to eBay. Their USP (unique Selling Point) was no listing fees. I’ve requested a password reminder, but I’m still waiting.. not impressed.

Over the last year, I have used Gumtree a LOT more than before – it’s a good place to source cheap stuff. Example – a pair of powerline adapters for a tenner. (RRP £50-ish).
Finally, I have also bought a few things on local Facebook trading groups. Well worth a try. Example: a pair of doctor marten boots for £30 – RRP £80. They’re great, BTW.

A couple more that I haven’t tried are Etsy and Preloved.  Etsy is mainly nad-made stuff, and Preloved is second-hand classifieds.

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