Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
Selected items require more in-depth techniques in order to fully manage their capabilities. Indeed, these capabilities are accessed through the Manage command located in the Show Tools line in your Portfolio view, or the Your Item: edit line from within your item.
When you open your newly created Shop for the first time, a window containing only that information you placed in the Item Body when creating the Shop will be displayed.
MANAGE A SHOP
Clicking Manage opens a Management Overview window displaying the tools needed to set up, organize and run your Shop. Select the appropriate link and follow the instructions shown on the screen. Each section is explained below.
Settings: This section provides the framework for your shop and assures the proper housekeeping necessities are in place for your shop to operate efficiently. Indeed, you are setting up the file cabinet (your Shop), which contains the folders (your categories) and your items (the products for sale). You have the flexibility to set up your shop in a variety of ways. Many sections under Settings have editable features on them. Please be sure that you read all sections carefully; each setting has a default, which may not be what your shop needs. At this time, not all features are documented, but please feel free to ask if you need help.
General Shop Settings
Currency: Here you can set what the currency is for your shop, Gift Points or Dollars. Set the one that is best for you. The default currency is Gift Points. You will also be able to choose whether or not you want members to be able to create wishlists in your shop.
Notifications: The email notifications section is for members who are helping run your shop or are friends who want to know what is being ordered, when, and by whom. Whenever you add members to the email notifications, make sure they also have edit access to the shop. Without edit access to the shop, they will not be able to view the orders as they come in and go to their email.
Line Breaks: The Line Break part of this section is simply for those using HTML instead of normal text and WritingML. When using HTML, turning the choice to ignore the line break is good because then you can put in your own breaks. It removes a space at the top of the shop that is there when using HTML and the setting is off.
Sales Tax: When selling physical products using real currency, you may need to enter the applicable sales tax rate for any items shipped to specific states. This will not apply to products paid for with Gift Points.
Gift Point Settings: Shops set up within Writing.Com must accept Gift Points. Writing.Com charges shop owners a 5% fee on all Gift Point payments. You may designate a group bank into which any Gift Point payments may be directly deposited. The default setting sends the Gift Points to the Shop owner.
PayPal Setup: If you take real currency payments, you may wish to give your customers the option of paying via PayPal. Here you would enter an email address to which these payments should be sent. You should also set a minimum amount required for a customer to use PayPal. PayPal charges a per transaction fee to those receiving funds and setting this minimum to a reasonable amount helps you avoid high transaction fees.
Mailed Payments: You may wish to allow customers to mail in payments. The default setting is OFF. To enable this option, turn it on and include the following information--to whom to make checks out, the currency required, the address to which payments should be mailed, and any special instructions.
Invoice/Packing Slip Setup: This section allows you to type in the address that you would like printed on the invoice or packing slip. This is also a good area to add a contact email address and phone number.
Headers: You may customize your shop further by adding header information. There are six areas where you can add the header, including "checkout," "confirmation," and "thank you" information. Follow the directions when creating your shop and use only those parts you wish. You can change your header information at any time.
Categories: Categories are used to organize your products into various groupings. The categories are listed in the left column to make navigating easy for your shoppers. You must have at least one category set up in order to create a product. Click on the link Create a Category and follow the directions listed.
You may have a product that fits into more than one category. In this case, you will have to create the product multiple times and put it in each category separately. You can do this by using the Copy feature. However, adding products to multiple categories means more management of the shop and time spent tending to products, especially when a change is made because you would need to change all products.
Create: Use this form to add new and edit existing products in this shop. The basic product information, such as the name, description, pricing and an image of the product, is included here. You may also add product specifications, such as color, if necessary. Only the fields appropriate for this product need to be used; leave unused fields blank.
List: Once you've added products to your shop, you can review and manage your basic data for those products here.
Stats: This displays any statistics pertaining to your products, such as quantity sold, etc.
Shop Logs: Several options are available for managing your shop as a whole, including a log of all activity that occurs within your shop. Individuals can use this to help remember the reasons for making changes, questions about orders, etc. Groups can use this to help better see what management tasks the members within the group are taking on and to communicate about those tasks.
Orders: You can view all your orders here, including filtering orders by status and payment type.
Shops are still in Beta testing. If you find a bug, or just need help, please post in "Let's Talk 'Shop'" .1