How much does Magento and M2EPro Cost?

How Much does the 3rd Generation of Multi Channel Software Cost?

Magento and M2E Pro Video Tutorials for eBay and AmazonHowdy ,

In this article I’ll be exploring how much does it costs to setup & use the 3rd Generation of Multi Channel Software.

So that’s using Magento & M2EPro to sell on eBay, Amazon and a Magento website.

Together we are going to be looking at the costs for the period of one year, noting that 2nd year costs should go down as items from the 1st year, generally aren’t applicable to the second, third etc… years.

If you already know the costs for similar systems, then you’re going to be shocked at how inexpensive & flexible this is.

I’m well known for covering topics in “Plain English”, this means that this article won’t be a quick read. So pull your chair closer and grab a cuppa.

Let’s dig into the real costs that you should be expecting to pay for the 3rd Generation!

Podcast /Audio Version

If you would prefer to listen to the break down of the costs of the 3rd Generation, we’ve published as a Podcast which you can either listen here or listen via iTunes here.

Press Play below and listen in right now:

 
Play

Two Things You Must Have

MagentoThe first thing to note with this generation is that everything but the first two things are optional.

The first is decent Magento web hosting and the second is a domain name.

During the setup video tutorials we suggest either SimpleServers ( UK & EU ) or SimpleHelix ( US & Canada ). Both of these web hosting providers are specialised in Magento web hosting and right now this will either cost you £16, 20€ or $20 USD per month.

We have used these companies ourselves and unlike the “cheap” web hosting that you can find, we know that if you select either of these two options, your system will be very fast and a joy to use each day.

It’s also worth noting that with SimpleServers we arranged a special deal with them, so you can get access to Magento optimised hosting free for 30 days.

And secondly you’ll need a domain name. They’re super cheap now with .co.uk domains for around £3 / 4€ / $5  and .com domains for around £9 / 12€ / $15.

Even if you are not looking to create your own Magento website and just want all the cool features & benefits that Multi Channel software provides you, it’s still a good idea to buy a domain name for your web hosting. It just makes it easier on you each day, so you type in a domain name in your web browser when you want to access your system, rather than an IP address like 10.168.10.87.

So let’s round up the costs here.

You need decent web hosting that is designed for Magento, that costs £16, 20€ or $20 per month and a domain name. Let’s say you went for a .com and that was a one time cost for a year of  £9 / 12€ / $15.

As we go along I’ll be using a table to add up the costs, adding in any notes and providing rough currency conversions as needed:

ItemCostNotes
Magento Web Hosting£176Required. £16×11. The first month is free with SimpleServers
A domain name£9A “.com”
Subtotal for Year 1:£185 232€ / $310 USD / $332 AUD

Believe it or not that’s where the required costs stop.

Magento Community Edition is free to download & use. Remember we’re after using Magento for it’s inventory & order management features and the M2EPro extension to list, revise & collect orders from eBay & Amazon. As eBay subsidises the extension and this is not accounted for in this list as it’s zero.

Even the step-by-step video tutorials for getting started with Magento & M2EPro that we have on this site are also free.

Optional Costs

The 3rd Generation is all about choice, if you want a specific feature or function you add it to your setup and if you don’t, you don’t. It’s what makes this generation of Multi Channel software extremely flexible and highly inexpensive.

Everything from here onwards is optional.

Remember this, as it is really is your choice.

A Responsive Magento Website

Responsive Magento WebsiteAlmost ALL 2nd generation Multi Channel software tools available right now don’t have a website included, let alone a Magento website.

As you’ll be using Magento for eBay & Amazon, your inventory is already in Magento and using Magento for your website here is a no-brainer. You might as well build yourself a responsive Magento website at the same time.

Although I’m saying it’s a “no-brainer” here, this is really your choice as it is with every section that follows. If you don’t want a website, you don’t have to have one and you can just use the Magento administration to manage your marketplace activities.

But let’s say you do and you also like our approach of building a Magento website. So that’s to save heavily on any bespoke website designs and to use an “off the shelf” Responsive Magento website theme called Ultimo. This  Magento website theme has been used over 9,000 times and costs just £60 / 74€ / $99 USD / $107 AUD.

A byproduct of this is that any budget you have can be spent wisely on marketing your Magento website, which is exactly what we believe you should do as that will ensure the long term success of your business.

This brings us to the topic of the Premium membership for UnderstandingE.

Magento Responsive Website Design CourseThe video tutorials that show you how to set up a responsive Magento website step-by-step is one of the exclusive video training courses.

Premium membership gives you access to ALL of the free & premium video tutorials with myself Matt and Dave on Magento, M2EPro, eBay, Amazon and Magmi, exclusive forums access, plus many other perks too. You can read more about premium membership here.

This is optional of course because you could elect to read the manual for Ultimo and work it out yourself. However the video course that we have will give you copy & paste examples & the step-by-step approach will make this extremely easy for you to build your own highly customised Magento website on a shoestring budget.

This is why I am including this earlier on rather than later.

Remember, it’s extremely unlikely that you will be provided with a website with any 2nd Generation Multi Channel software provider, let alone a responsive Magento website that costs $99 off the shelf and then show you how to fully customise it!

So where do we now stand with costs?

ItemCostNotes
Magento Web Hosting£176Required. £16×11. The first month is free with SimpleServers
A domain name£9A “.com”
The Ulimo Magento website theme£60Optional: You can buy this here
Premium Membership£180Optional: Works out to be £15 per month
Subtotal for Year 1:£425 530€ / $710 USD / $762 AUD

In this section our yearly costs more than doubled, however let’s put this into perspective.

You will have a Responsive Magento website that could cost anything between £2,000 to £4,000 ( or beyond! ) to have built for you and such a website site isn’t likely to be included with any 2nd Generation provider.

You also have exclusive access to myself & Dave in the forums, access to all the video tutorials that we have published ( and the future ones ) and other perks that come with the premium membership.

Oh and if you were wondering about updates & support for the Ultimo Magento theme, these are included in the price of the theme.

Making Magento More User Friendly

Magento Admin Theme in ActionOne of the things that we identified early on was that the Magento administration pages are not the nicest to be working in each day.

They’re a bit “Nerdy”.

We couldn’t have that, so we built a customised, user friendly administration theme for Magento.

While this doesn’t add in any new “features per-say, this theme re-skins the admin pages to make them much more user friendly.

So that’s any dangerous button in Magento, like a delete or cancel buttons are in bright red. Any primary action buttons such as adding a new product are super sized and completely Matt & Dave proof. Especially important if you have several members of staff that are going to be using the administration pages on a daily basis.

We even went as far as tweaking the interface for the M2EPro extension for eBay & Amazon and the screens for these are much easier to read and use.

Basically the Magento admin theme makes Magento much faster to use. If you’re a premium member of UnderstandingE you’ll be able to grab this for half price at £14.99 ( full price is £29.99 ).

And again this is optional but we feel this will make the nerdy looking Magento pages pleasant & easy to use every day.

So where do we now stand with the costs?

ItemCostNotes
Magento Web Hosting£176Required. £16×11. The first month is free with SimpleServers
A domain name£9A “.com”
The Ulimo Magento website theme£60Optional: You can buy this here
Premium Membership£180Optional: Works out to be £15 per month
Magento Admin Theme£15Optional: £29.99 off the shelf, half price for premium members
Subtotal for Year 1:£440 549€ / $735 USD / $788 AUD

So we’ve gone up by £15. Not a huge jump by any means, however I’m being as transparent as possible with you to reach your year 1 costs.

It’s also worth noting that this is a one time cost and just like the Ultimo theme any updates & support is included.

Order Processing Extensions

Magento Order Management ExtensionsHere’s the thing. Magento out of the box for managing orders, while functional, is not what I would personally class as well adapted for processing & customising the documentation for large amounts of orders daily.

Many of the businesses that use Magento & M2EPro process thousands of orders each week and many of them do over $1,000,000 each month.

To process small & even large numbers of orders and have complete control, this is where the use of two “off-the-shelf” extensions will meet or exceed anything found in 2nd Generation Multi Channel Software.

The first is an extension called “ShipEasy“. This allows you to batch process orders in Magento, add in flags, new columns and also colour code orders based on their status.

You can see this in action in the screenshot above. Click the image for a bigger version, you’ll love the colour coding.

If I told you that any white coloured orders are ready to be despatched, pink orders are pending payment and green orders are dispatched, you can easily see how this can transform the Magento orders page in to a destination where you can deal with large volumes of orders easily.

The second extension is called PickPack which enables you to create customised documentation from Magento.

This includes picking listings, packing lists, invoices, order separated picking lists and even export CSV and XML files. Also you can add in your own logos, custom messages, Royal Mail PPI logos, return labels and even use a barcode scanner to process orders too when used in conjunction with ShipEasy.

Basically we think you should consider using these extensions as part of your system and we’ve arranged exclusive pricing on these two extensions when purchased together and I’m adding these to the current list.

So this is where we now stand:

ItemCostNotes
Magento Web Hosting£176Required. £16×11. The first month is free with SimpleServers
A domain name£9A “.com”
The Ulimo Magento website theme£60Optional: You can buy this here
Premium Membership£180Optional: Works out to be £15 per month
Magento Admin Theme£15Optional: £29.99 off the shelf, half price for premium members
ShipEasy & PickPack£117Optional: Bundle pack with a 10% saving
Subtotal for Year 1:£557 695€ / $929 USD / $998 AUD

The Costs Per Year

Stopping here is sensible as the sections that follow are going to be unique to your business requirements.

We’ve arrived at a value of £557 for the year.

If we now divide this by 12 for each month of the year we come out with £46.42 per month.

And if you’re in Europe this is 57.92€, in Australia $83.17 or in the USA $77.42 per month.

If you’re on a very tight budget, don’t want a responsive Magento website or access to any of the premium content from UnderstandingE, this would come in at £302 for the year, or £25.17 / 31.36 € / $42.09 USD  or $45.07 AUD monthly.

I personally know that you will not be able to get access to all of these features in any other Multi Channel software globally anywhere near this price.

Your research will confirm this and it’s also worth noting that some 2nd Generation Multi Channel software will charge you more than FOUR times this just to sign up with them.

So to clarify this is a Multi Channel system that sports:

  • An inventory & order management system
  • Listing, revision & templating features for eBay & Amazon
  • Support through the forums, any of the Q&A sections, the weekly live seller meetups and access to +200 video tutorials
  • Complete control over the order processing & despatch documentation
  • A Responsive Magento website
  • No limit on the number of products or users that you have
  • And every other feature about Magento & M2EPro I didn’t mention here as I didn’t want to overwhelm you with them all

However I’m not stopping here. I’m setting this as the base line of a system that you can use to manage your marketplace orders & listings, own a responsive Magento website and be able to process thousands of orders over the course of a year.

Everything that follows is your choice.

Some options are free and some are paid for. The thing is I can’t answer these for you as they’ll be your decision and will vary on your own business requirements.

Oh and the following currency conversions were used on the 16th Aug 2014 via xe.com and I rounded up to whole numbers for easier reading.

1 GBP = 1.66960 USD / 1 GBP = 1.24598 EUR / 1 GBP = 1.79094 AUD

PS. As SimpleServers offer a one month free trial, Magento Community Edition is free, the setup video tutorials are also free and so is M2EPro. Yes that does mean that you could put together a working Multi Channel system for the price of a domain name.

Ultra Fast Product Imports to Magento

Importing Products Into Magento with Magmi Video CourseOne of the benefits of using software is that you’re able to create & update your inventory using external databases or Excel.

One of the best kept secrets of Magento users is a tool called Magmi.

Magmi is like the swiss-army knife of import tools for Magento. You can import oodles of products into Magento from CSV as fast as lighting and there are a heap of plugins available for free.

The one negative with Magmi is that it was built by a developer for use by developers. And the thing is we’re guessing you’re not a developer.

So we needed to do something about that as well. Which we promptly did.

If you would like to be able to import new products or update existing products in Magento, the non-geeky way then we build you the UnderstandingE version of Magmi.

This is simple to install and free to download and use. We even made a video course to show you how to do this as well.

So if you want flexible, fast imports for Magento, you can have this off-the-shelf for free because it’s “on us”.

PS. I personally wrote the installer script for Magmi, anyone with no-prior experience can use Magmi with the help of the video tutorials.

Courier Integrations

Order Management Couriers are one of the reasons why you’ll be reading this article and taking notes down in the background.

The decision here around couriers is like an piece of string, it doesn’t have an end to it. So I’m going to cover a couple of the common options here and let you do the further investigation.

If you’re in the UK and just use Royal Mail PPI, the the PickPack extension mentioned earlier is most likely all you’ll need.

The reason for this is because you can swap the images that come out on your invoices & packing documents to put a Royal Mail 48 or 24 logo on them automatically.

If you’re using couriers like Parcelforce, DPD, Australia Post, DHL, Interlink, Yodel, TNT, MyHermes, CityLink then you’ll want to see if there is an extension on Magento Connect ( the online library of Magento extensions ), that you can purchase and use off-the-shelf.

To set expectations, factor a one-time cost of £100 – £150 for a Magento courier extension to one of these couriers.

Also we shouldn’t overlook MetaPack and the services from Global Freight Solutions ( “GFS” for short ) for the UK. These vary in price, however deep integrations with the UK couriers and GFS also have multi-workstation software for larger despatch operations.

If you’re based in the United States, use USPS, UPS, FedEx etc… then you’ll want to take a look at one of two options for courier integrations. These are called ShipWorks & ShipStation.

Both are software packages that are designed to collect orders from Magento & other sources and they deeply integrate with all the common USA couriers. They’re a pay-monthly service and vary in price. If this is you, check them out, they both come highly rated by their users.

Transactional Emails

Transactional EmailsI’m not going to cover the ins & outs of how these work here as this is covered in this video course, if you would like to send customers emails for new & shipped orders, be aware you may be charged extra for this in 2nd Generation software tools.

This is a default function of Magento out of the box.

To help ensure the delivery of such emails you can use a service called ManDrill. You may not have heard of ManDrill before, but you’re likely to have heard of MailChimp and it’s the same company.

In the video course above, we’ll show you how to set this up in Magento for your website, eBay and Amazon orders. Mandril is free to use for up to 12,000 emails per month and if you go over this, the prices go up in small amounts starting at $0.20 per thousand emails and then go downwards in price for higher numbers.

Oh if you’re having to pay for this service with ManDrill, then that means you’re receiving heaps of orders.

And if you go this route and use Mandrill as we show you in the video tutorials, then you’ll also have the MailChimp extension installed which will help you enter the world of email marketing ( not part of our courses yet, but it certainly will be! ).

Custom eBay Listing Templates

Responsive eBay Listing TemplatesFor almost all of the 2nd Generation Multi Channel software providers, customised eBay listing templates will be an additional service that will cost several hundred pounds or dollars.

We built a custom eBay listing template builder if you’re using Magento & M2EPro which you can use for free and includes options that you’d normally have to pay extra for, like dynamic eBay categories & a related items widget.

If you’re a UnderstandingE premium member, then you will not only gain access to the perks I mentioned earlier, you’ll also gain access to a WidgetChimp.com subscription, saving you up to £28.99 per month. Access to all the widgets are included which also includes exclusive access to the brand new responsive listing template builder too.

By the way, this alone has probably just paid for the ALL of the base options I covered previously to arrive at £557 for the year and saved you some extra cash as well.

What About My Time?

Your time costs money, so why have I only raised this now?

The answer is simple, it will take you anywhere between 3-6 weeks to learn any Multi Channel software properly. As this is typical for any software tool, there is no point including this as a cost as it’ll be pretty much the same for all Multi Channel software.

In the case of the 3rd Generation using Magento & M2EPro, you have video tutorials that you can watch in your jim-jams, on the bus or tube and can pause & rewind at any time. Plus if you need a hand, myself ( Matt ) & Dave are never too far away, along with the thousands of other business owners just like you in the community forums.

We work to a simple ethos “that there is no such thing as a daft question if you don’t know the answer“.

There is no need to feel alone. We’re here to back-you-up, along with thousands of other business owners like you too that have already started.

What if M2EPro Start Charging for Amazon?

M2EProMy personal view on this is simple.

M2EPro should start charging for their Amazon integration in Magento.

M2EPro isn’t free, it has a cost associated with it. In the case of the eBay integration via M2EPro, eBay have been subsidising the extension since 2012 and to the best of our knowledge this is set to continue for another two & half years.

Basically eBay are paying for the eBay side and someone has to pay for the Amazon side sooner or later.

Is it fair that they ask a sensible price for this?

Absolutely it is, remember they have to earn a crust too and developing such in depth software isn’t easy. They’ve been building & supporting this for over six years now.

You would hope that we have a fair idea on what the pricing model might look like for when M2EPro do start charging ( which we do ). The numbers I shared with you to arrive at the costs above, any extra for M2EPro charges for the Amazon integration is not going to make any real dent in them at all.

And if M2EPro did suddenly get super-expensive for the Amazon integration ( which it won’t ), the market norm dictates that this can’t exceed a one time cost of 290€ because there is an off the shelf extension that is priced at this level available on Magento Connect. And yes we’re firmly in the unique, separated position of being able to show you both options if needed in later video courses.

And In Summary

The 3rd Generation really is the 3rd Generation of Multi Channel software for eCommerce business owners like yourself.

Nowhere else in the world are you going to find the features & flexibility that you can get when you combine Magento & M2EPro and add the insight that we can give you as part of this website.

  • You can have access to comprehensive Multi Channel Software
  • You can list on eBay & Amazon from Magento
  • You can have access to templates to expediate the listing process
  • You can manage website & marketplace orders from Magento
  • You can have your very own responsive Magento website
  • You can build a highly inexpensive, flexible system for your business

And it doesn’t need to cost the GDP of a small country to do this.

The costs for an entire year came in at £557 and I wasn’t joking when I said it could cost you more than four times as much for 2nd Generation Multi Channel software. I know I used to work for one these companies!

This means that you can get access to comprehensive, flexible and scalable Multi Channel software for £46.42 per month. And if you’re in Europe this is 57.92€, in Australia $83.17 or in the USA $77.42.

If you didn’t want a responsive Magento website, access to any of the premium video tutorials from us or the admin theme this would come in at £302 for the year, or £25.17 / 31.36 € / $42.09 USD  or $45.07 AUD monthly.

Also remember you’re extremely unlikely to be given a responsive Magento website with any 2nd Generation provider.

Magento Community Edition is open source, there are thousands of extensions available on Magento Connect, M2EPro which adds in the marketplaces features is just one of these extensions.

If you would like to add in any extras, like a courier integration, emails and any additional extensions that I didn’t include ( because there are thousands of them ) you can. On the flip side it’s easy to do, but if you don’t, you don’t have to pay for them.

This is your choice.

Thousands of business owners just like you have made the step in to the 3rd Generation already.

When you’re ready, here are the video tutorials to get you started immediately.

Matt & Dave

PS. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this article or have something to say about what we’ve just covered with you above, let us know in the comments box below. We would love to hear from you.

2 replies
  1. Jim @ Moogento
    Jim @ Moogento says:

    This is a great, well-written summary of the Magento system, and how to set it up. Love the staged descriptions, this will help a lot of people get their head around Magento without being too scary!

    Reply
    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:

      Howdy Jim,

      Thank you.

      With a basic entry cost of £300 for a year for the features you would gain access to, just doesn’t compare with anything out there. We wanted to demonstrate that it’s not expensive and it’s completely flexible to what the business requirements are, this article achieves this.

      Plus we just added in a Podcast version as well to dive into the details even further.

      Matt

      Reply

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