Creating and Managing Your Own Online Store for Free using Zlio

Its about time I had a post on an opportunity that may actually work. Many people have been inquiring about something that actually makes them some money. Before you get excited, I am not sure how much money Zlio can actually make for you. I just heard about Zlio last week from a reputable source and therefore I decided to test it out.

What’s Zlio?
Zlio is an online store that you can design and manage yourself. Its fairly simple to use and there are only about three steps until your website is ready.

The products that you can promote on your online store come from the biggest names in online retailing; Amazon, Hammacher Schlememr and more. Registration is also free which of course would make anyone wonder why they would give you something for free. Well its actually quite simple which brings me to my next point.

How does Zlio work?
Everytime someone comes to your online Zlio store and purchases a product you make between 1% – 20% commission on whatever you sell on your store. So where’s the catch? Every time you sell a product Zlio makes close to the same commission as you. So if you make 4% on a product sold through your online store Zlio also makes about 4%. Put it this way, Zlio is an affiliate for all the products that are sold through their domain. When you register your store through them you store becomes a subdomain and you become a sub affiliate. Your affiliate commissions on Hammacher Schlemer products give you about 6% for all purchases. If you sign up directly with HS then you make 10% which means that Zlio makes about 4% commission. The same with Amazon. Amazon’s affiliate program pays up to 8.5% commission and if purchased through Zlio it pays out 4% which means Zlio makes about 4.5% commission for all purchase made through its site. This is all just an estimate. Zlio also has to pay a percentage of commissions to the people who referred you to Zlio to build an online store.

If you had to pay to sign up with Zlio then it would be a big deal but since its free who cares.

Now here’s my Zlio review: (In case people are wondering why I only post two articles a week that’s because I spend most of my time reviewing the products and then writing the information. Believe it or not I am not too fond of writing. Yes I know, to be a blogger you need to love writing. Well for me its tough.)

1. The only way to view available products is to search for the product you want to see. I found this to be annoying.

The website should take you to a directory page with all the products listed under specific categories so that you could see what items are available for each category. Sort of the same way Amazon operates. When I visit Amazon and I want to see what products they are selling in a specific category I usually first go to that category and narrow down to what I am looking for. The only time I use a search feature is when I know exactly what product I am looking for.

In the case of Zlio if I want to view available books I have to search for a specific title or author. This could be annoying especially if someone wants to create a niche store for lets say ‘Parenting’. There’s no way of knowing what parenting books are availble unless you search for specific authors and titles. Wouldn’t it be much better if the program would tell me what it does have in the database and then I know I could add it in.

2. While it has a lot of products it doesn’t offer all the products from specific vendors. For example not all the books available through Amazon are available for your Zlio shop. I found this very frustrating. I wanted to add a book that I think is absolutely incredible and the product choices it provided me with were VHS and DVD versions of the book. Why wouldn’t the book version be available if its available through Amazon? Also, why would they have that product on VHS? Who uses VHS today?

3. Another frustrating component is that you cant control the amount of products displayed on your home page. I had only three books in my store but for some reason it would only display two books at a time. One would have to click on ‘More Products’ to see the other book I have listed.

4. The site is either extremely slow at times or down from time to time. This could be due to the number of people creating a Zlio store on a daily basis. I would imagine the response from people to any website offering something similar for free would reak havoc on the sites servers and bandwidth.

These were the problems that I had the most issues with. Of course it doesnt mean that I wouldn’t and shouldn’t build a store if the process is free. Obviously the benefits of Zlio far out weigh the shortcomings.

  • You don’t have to pay for a site
  • There’s a potential to make some good dough if people buy from your site or you refer people to build a site.
  • You make 10% of the commission on the products sold from people’s site that you referred to Zlio.
  • You make money on your purchases. For Amazon you make 4% or get 4% of the purchase price for everything you buy. Even if you are helping Zlio make money it doesn’t matter cause it doesn’t cost anything and you even save from it.
  • Most importantly, you get experience on how to manage and run an online store. Even if the products you promote are not things you would actually buy and even if no one ever comes to your store to buy anything you still gain from the experience.

While its true that every Zlio store created helps Zlio make money through affiliate commissions through products sold, the money isn’t coming from you and you have a chance to make some money too. However, with so many Zlio stores constantly being created its hard to imagine anyone will ever see your store unless you decide to market it. But once you do so, people will just create their own store instead of buying from you. Either way you still save money or make some money through referral commissions. But keep in mind that the potential for making some good passive income is really not so great.

Click here to check out my Zlio store and yes this time I am referring you directly to a product.