How to sell photos on your WordPress website using Symbiostock

Applicable to: WordPress users
You may have been thinking whether you can monetarise the photos that you have posted on your website.
So that instead of just storing all these images on your phone or computer, you can showcase them and actually sell them to magazines and bloggers using Symbiostock!

Step 1 – Download Symbiostock Pro from Symbiostock

Download Symbiostock Pro from Symbiostock. Just download the free version of it. As they are currently offering the Pro version for free. https://www.symbiostock.org/shop
Uploading the files to your server via the WordPress Plugins section, and activate it.
Note – you’ll need to also have Symbiostock Lite installed as well, as it has some core components which the Symbiostock Pro relies on – https://wordpress.org/plugins/symbiostock/

Step 2 – Install WooCommerce 2.5.5

If you do not already have WooCommerce, you will be prompted to install it. Just click the link and it will be automatically installed.
I used a free WooCommerce Theme, Storefront, to make the push from Symbiostock to WooCommerce easier and consistent with the key features and functions I would like to have. However, you can opt to modify your current website to support it as well, if that’s what you prefer.

Step 3 –  Start uploading media/ photos

You’re ready to start uploading media!

Step 3 – How to upload photos to your account:

3.1 Upload media

Scroll over the ‘Symbiostock’ tab and click on ‘Upload Media’. Upload an image via the web form.

3.2 Run script to process images

Once uploaded, click on ‘Settings’ under the same ‘Symbiostock’ tab.

3.3 Click on the ‘System’ sub-tab (‘Run Now’)

You will see the Maintenance Command/Processor. You will see a link that says ‘Run Now’. Click on this. It may take a minute for your image to get processed as Symbiostock waits a certain amount of time prior to processing all new images to ensure they are finished uploading. Refresh that page a few times until you see that your new image has been parsed. 

3.4 Review and set images to publish mode (‘Publish’) 

Soon, the image you uploaded will show up under the ‘Symbiostock’ or ‘Media’ tabs. If it is still in draft mode, edit it and click on ‘Publish’. After that, you can click on ‘View’ or click on ‘View’ from the previous list page.

3.5 Check live website

You will see your live, new image available for sale in your store. Customers can actually buy and checkout that image now. It’s that easy.
More details on the upload of images on Symbiostock wordpress plugin process here https://www.symbiostock.org/docs/3-minute-guide-to-launching-your-store/

Future – Consider setting up the scheduler/ image processor so it is automated

Note – This requires access to your backend cPanel or Plesk.
The core functionality of Symbiostock Pro is built into the processor. This is a process that is run once every minute in order to process images, clean up data, organize downloads, and do a whole lot of other stuff. Symbiostock will not operate correctly if this processor is not run periodically, and should ideally be run once every minute.
You can manually run the scheduler by going to Symbiostock > Settings > System and clicking on ‘Run Now’. A window will pop up and this initiates the scheduler.
If you prefer manually doing it, you can do that – but it is highly recommended that you tell your system to run this automatically as it just makes things a whole lot easier. On Linux, these jobs are called ‘cron jobs’.
Different systems will implement this differently, but here are some links to some popular control panels:
Cpanel
Plesk
Please note that the script to run is in Symbiostock > Settings > System – copy that entire line into your scheduled task.
Once the processor is scheduled, it will keep checking and adding new images, regenerating thumbnails, and doing all the organization in the background.
https://www.symbiostock.org/docs/setting-up-the-schedulerimage-processor/

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How to get a Live Quote in comGateway

How to get a Live Quote in comGateway freight forwarder’s portal

comGateway has a live quote function that is available.
Live Quote can help you estimate the shipping fees.
Here’s an example of what a live quote looks like.

ESTIMATED WEIGHT: 0.50KG
SHIPPING TO: SINGAPORE
QUANTITY: 1
SHIPPING SPEED
COST TO SHIP THIS PURCHASE ON ITS OWN
COMBINE THIS WITH ANOTHER PURCHASE
STANDARD SHIPPING
$11.80
$3.25
EXPRESS SHIPPING
$13.57
$3.74
YOUR SHIPPING GUARANTEE REFERENCE
$3.00
(EXCLUDES INSURANCE, TAXES AND DUTIES, FUEL AND REMOTE DELIVERY SURCHARGES)

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How to buy items in the US without a US credit card

How to buy items in the US without a US credit card

Not all US online stores will accept your local or International credit card and will require you to have a US credit card to purchase from them. So here’s my guide on how to work around it.
You should only consider these steps if you can’t buy using your normal credit card. Otherwise, read my guide on How to buy directly from US websites and have it shipped to you via freight forwarder – comGateway.

So, how to buy items in the US?

One way is to use a freight forwarder.  It’s essentially a freight forwarder is an organisation that will receive freight (goods/ items) on your behalf and forward it to you.
comGateway with their BuyForMe service (US founded) and vPost4U from SingPost (Singapore founded) offers you the ability to buy from an overseas merchant that does not accept international credit cards. They both work by allowing you to pay them first, and then they will buy the item/s on your behalf. They both will ship to many countries around the world such as Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.
Here’s how I used comGateway’s BuyForMe service to buy items for me.

Step 1 – Sign up for a US address at comGateway

As soon as you register with comGateway, you’ll be given a free, sales tax-exempted U.S. shipping address, and the fun can begin!

Step 2 – Start shopping and find the items you want

Start shopping and find the item that you’re looking for. That is, shop at your favourite U.S. online stores, ship packages to your new U.S. address. As the store won’t accept your credit card, we will use comGateway‘s BuyForMe service.

Step 3 – Once you find your items enter the details in the BuyForMe section of comGateway

Once you find your items enter the details in the BuyForMe section of comGateway. This is under the “Tools” menu.

Fill in your items in your BuyForMe cart

Step 4 – Check out at BuyForMe

Once you are ready, check out and pay for your items with your local or International credit card. comGateway will then buy your items on your behalf.

Step 5 – You will see a confirmation BuyForMe screen

Step 6 – You’ll also receive a confirmation email

You’ll also receive a confirmation email with details on your comGateway BuyForMe purchase.

Please note the 5% service and admin charge below that comGateway will add to your bill for buying the item on your behalf and factor this into your costs.

comGateway
Dear Vu,
Thank you for shopping with comGateway BuyForMe service.
We have received your order request with AMAZON.COM. View your Orders here.
BuyForMe order Confirmation
Product Description Quantity Unit Price Sub Total

AMAZON.COM
TP-LINK N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender (TL-WA850RE)
Amazon.com
1 US$19.86 US$19.86

Sub Total US$19.86
BuyForMe service charge US$0.99
Total US$20.85
You have chosen free or lowest cost domestic delivery.
You have chosen to hold the order if one or more items are unavailable.

Next Step:
We will proceed to place your order within the next 48 hours. We will send you another email when your package arrives at your U.S. Address.

Step 7 – Check your Dashboard for your items

Check your Dashboard for your items. Once they are received by comGateway, you will see them in your dashboard.
comGateway dashboard. Packages will be here once they arrive from the US online stores

Step 8 – Packages are shipped to your US Address at comGateway

comGateway notify you as soon as your packages arrive. When you log in, you’ll have full control over what happens to your package next.
This includes:

  • View full scans of each package’s invoice and chargeable shipping weights
  • Enjoy 30 days of free storage while all your shipments arrive for consolidation
  • Make easy returns if you change your mind
  • Manage international shipping options and track your packages
Tip – It’s generally best to group all your items together if you are buying from many different US online stores. This helps you to maximise your purchases and make save you from paying more than one freight postage costs.

Step 9 – When you’re ready, ask comGateway to ship your packages home

Make sure everything you ordered has arrived, tell us how you want them packed, and give us the OK to ship them to you. You’ll be able to track the packages until they arrive in 3-8 business days. comGateway uses FedEx and DHL to manage their logistics delivery here for you.

Step 10 – Enjoy your new items!

Enjoy your new goods, shipped directly from the US.
Sound good? Check out more details here at comGateway. Happy shopping!

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