When looking back, it was relatively easy to set up a simple page on eBay with instructions, collect some IMEIs, submit, unlock, and contact – next.
It was easy until the orders started piling up and delays were introduced. Maybe having an integrated eBay “storefront” or whatever they call it would have helped, with all of the invoicing, tracking, etc, etc. However, I wanted more control, flexibility and choices regarding my “site”.
I relied heavily on the eBay messaging system, placing specific notes in the payment notifications. Manually updating a spreadsheet provided me with a source for referencing all transactions including usernames, emails and dates.
It wasn’t long until I realized that the entire process from collecting the IMEI to customer notification needed to be fully automated. Some customers were in need of an invoice as well. Needless to say, as the orders increased, so did all of the necessary keystrokes it took to update, contact, explain, refund, and console the customer.
Sales were up and continuing, but it was wearing me out! Unlocking iPhones on eBay was “way too successful” for me to keep up. I always dreamed of having my own hosted e-commerce website and the time had arrived to make it happen.
How would I go about making the final technical decision? Could I build this thing from scratch? What was out there that would provide a solid starting point?
It wasn’t long until I came across Drupal and the Drupal Community. I knew some things about programming, but not a whole lot about presentation or content management. Drupal would take care of everything I was looking for.
There are so many Drupal templates out there with a unique look and feel that I could have decided upon. Either way, I needed a crash course in Drupal development and there are some pretty cool folks out there that made it all happen.
Next time, we’ll talk a little more about building my own unlocking website.