It seems like there has to be a catch to this, but I haven’t found it yet. Zlio.com is a service that allows you to set up an online store and choose from “millions” of products. That’s it. You get paid a (small) percentage of whatever gets sold through your store.
While it may not technically be the case, it looks like what’s really going on here is that Zlio acts as a proxy for various affiliate programs (e.g., Amazon.com, Buy.com, Roxio.com, Skype.com, TigerDirect.com, or Petsmart.com, to name a few of the 19 currently listed) and provides you the front end and some personalization features. As is typical with affiliate programs, you get a small percentage (frequently around 3-4%) of sales through your links. The nice thing about Zlio is that sign-up is incredibly easy and you really don’t have to do anything else but add products.
The aggregation of products from varied and diverse merchants makes the breadth of your product choices pretty impressive.
There are some nice personalization features for those who want to go further, but it’s not quite as user friendly as I’d like overall. There are certainly plenty of development areas that they could concentrate on (and unfortunately product search is one of them), but the site is functional and easy enough for those less demanding souls among you.
One further nice feature is that you also make a smaller percentage of sales on sites of people whom you’ve referred. That’s a nice incentive to try to get other people involved (note to Dave: they have comics).
You do have to have a PayPal account to get paid. I suppose that could be considered a “catch” for some.
In case you missed it, I signed up myself and decided to add a few products/shows/movies that I’ve reviewed previously here in the blog, as well as some items that I’m planning to review. The result is a new sidebar “widget” and a new static page (listed across the top of the blog).
This was mostly an exercise just to try out Zlio. I have no delusions that I will net any more than $0.50 per year doing this, if I’m lucky, but it may get me a free soda or something. Plus, I can get that same 4% back (on Amazon) on things I buy myself, so it’s like having my own extra discount card, which is kinda nice. That feature alone makes it worth the small effort to sign up, in my opinion.
If anyone does want to sign up, though, I certainly wouldn’t object if you used my referral link. Feel free, also, to buy anything you want, that you would normally buy through Amazon or similar stores. If you don’t see what you want on the product list, do a search to search the whole of Zlio’s product offering.
I’ll let you know if I run up against anything troubling, but for now, it seems to work as advertised. I was able to create the store, do some basic personalization, and add 17 items in under 1-1/2 hours, and I could have done it much faster if I wasn’t experimenting so much.
[tags]Zlio, online stores, affiliate programs, product reviews, sales, movies, amazon.com, e-commerce[/tags]