Bravisa is a site that allows you to start an online store for free.

It’s tempting to compare the site to Zlio, since they both have the same overall goal: to let you make money opening your own shop. I never have been able to resist temptation, so I’ll do this review as a comparison between the two sites.

Both allow you to pick a title and a web address for your shop. A Zlio shop address looks like this: http://kidspuzzles.zlio.com/, while a Bravisa shop address looks like this: http://www.bravisa.com/mybstore/ecofriendly.

The advantage here goes to Zlio, since a subdomain based address is a bit more SEO friendly, directory friendly, and people friendly. For example, I can use Directory Maximizer to auto-submit directory entries for a Zlio shop, but not a Bravisa shop.

Both sites allow you to pick products to sell in your shop. In Zlio, your shop starts out empty and then you search for specific products to add. In Bravisa, you choose a category of items and all items in that category are added to your shop. You can then remove individual items you don’t want to sell. Which way is best? This is purely personal preference. My mind works more naturally in the Zlio model, but I got along fine in the Bravisa model.

Both sites provide a wide range of products to choose from. My quick test on the breadth of their offerings was to search for roleplaying materials (a nicely obscure niche area). Zlio had quite a lot available, while Bravisa had none. This isn’t really a fair comparison, though, since Bravisa is brand new and Zlio is more established. If you really want a product at Bravisa, ask them to add it to their catalog.

Both sites allow entering the Google webmaster tools ID. Zlio allows putting your own Adsense ads in your shop with a nice point and click interface. I didn’t see any way to put Adsense in with Bravisa.

Bravisa has some great tutorials, including one on getting your products into Google Base. This should help expose more people to the products in your shop.

The one area where Zlio has the clear advantage is that when you refer other people who create a Zlio shop, you earn a percentage of what they make. Bravisa doesn’t appear to have any referral program.

It’s still a bit early to say which online store creator I like the best. Zlio is more polished, but that’s to be expected since Bravisa is still in beta. I’d expect Bravisa to improve quickly and address the areas where Zlio is clearly superior.

Click here to check out Bravisa.

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