What To Sell Online in 2002
You want to make money online and you want to do it fast.
After all, there's nothing better than rolling out of bed
when you want and firing up the ol' computer to see how much
money you made overnight.
Whooaaa.... not so fast...
Before you can get to that stage, you need to decide exactly
what to sell. That's right, in order to make money online
you'll need to sell something, usually a product or service.
Today I'd like to help you decide what that something should
be. After all, there are lots of choices, but unfortunately
many of them lead to a dead end, wasting your time and money
in the process. I plan to help you avoid that today.
When deciding what to sell online, you need to consider the
three basic online business strategies entrepreneurs have to
Each of these three options have successful models and
unsuccessful models. Of the three choices, I feel that
choice number two gives most small businesses the best
chance of success. But before I go into that, I'd like to
talk about choice number one...
- Buying and Selling
- Creating and Selling
- Selling Existing Products and Services
Buying and Selling
The obvious model for buying and selling is called retail.
Basically, you purchase large quantities of items at
wholesale and then retail them at a higher price.
My opinion of this model is that it should be left to the
big players. Only huge companies have the buying power
necessary to be able to sell cheaply. And that's a big key to
success in online retailing -- selling cheaply. Sure, there are
companies who have carved out a niche in certain areas or
created brands that sell at higher margin, but for most
small businesses online, retail is a tough nut to crack.
Unless you have deep pockets and a great niche, you may want
to steer clear of the retail model.
However, there ARE some buying and selling opportunities out
there on the web, if you are clever. Here's an example...
A couple years ago I met a local fellow who makes his living
buying things locally and selling them online. He spends a
few hours a day visiting flea markets, yard sales and local
auctions. With a knack for spotting deals, he snatches up
anything he considers grossly underpriced then markets it
internationally, via the web.
OK, "market it internationally" may be a bit too fancy of a
description for what he does. Basically, he takes a couple
of snapshots of each item using his digital camera then
sells the items at auction on ebay.com - the number one
meeting place for buyers and sellers across the world. And
believe it or not, he makes quite a comfortable living doing
So who says buying and selling is not a good choice for
small business owners? As the person above proves, all you
really need is a unique selling position. His unique
position happens to be his location. The east coast of
America is a great place to find many undervalued antiques
and other authentic items. Why not find a new home for the
items and fill a need at the same time? After all, where else
would someone fromsay Hawaii, find an authentic New
England antique table?
OK, let's hop into choice number two...
Creating and Selling
This is the path I chose to make my own living online. (I
also mix in choice three below, buy I'll get to that in a
minute.) I prefer the creating and selling strategy above
all others, since I have complete control over exactly what
I sell and how much profit it yields.
As most of you already realize, I sell information. I simply
create it using my computer and then mold it into many
different marketable formats including print books, ebooks,
and private websites.
Information is a top seller online. If you have, or can
research and gather information on a hot topic, you can make
money using this model. For centuries, people have been
making money selling information, and it will continue
It all boils down to helping people save time and money
avoiding learning something the hard way -- through
research. Basically, you do the research and sell the
results. The better the information, the higher prices you
And creating and selling is NOT limited to information
marketing. With a global audience online, you can create and
sell just about anything! If there is a market for it, you
can build a business around it. And therein lies the
Before starting ANY business you must consider carefully,
WHO you will be promoting to. Think hard about the people
who might be interested in what you plan to sell. And
beware... if the answer is "everyone", that's usually a BAD
As an example, let's say you plan to sell giftware. You'll
have 1000 items and your target market could be just about
everyone shopping for a gift. Sounds great, right? Wrong.
A major problem rears its ugly head when you start your
promotion and advertising. How do you reach ONLY the people
who are most likely to buy from you, if you cannot identify
them? Unless your giftware is focused on one niche audience,
say, antique hummels or something along those lines, you'd
have no niche to identify. And identifying a niche market is
an important aspect of selling that many entrepreneurs
overlook. It's the best way to keep cost per sale to a
minimum. When you have the ability to target ONLY your
prospects you spend FAR less making sales. If you cannot do
that, you will be invariably dragged into a price war, in
this case with other gift sites.
So do some market research BEFORE you start creating your
product. Here's a little trick I use...
Start your research using this keyword suggestion tool from
overture.com - the most popular pay per click search engine
on the web...
At that page, enter a keyword relating to the ideas you have
in mind, and the tool will present you with the number of
times that keyword was searched on via their network. It
will also show the number of times related keywords were
search on. This will give you an indication of what your
niche market(s) bear for interest.
If you find a decent amount of interest, say a few thousand
or more combined monthly searches on keywords directly
related to what you want to promote, then you may be in a
solid niche. Keep a file of the results of your keyword
research. You may want to eventually bid on those
keywords at overture.com once your business is set up -
they can generate some excellent targeted traffic.
Next, go to your favorite search engine and search on some
of those same keywords. Visit the sites that appear to be
selling related items or offering related help and advice.
Ask the webmasters brief questions, like how's business?
What's your revenue model? Etc. Keep a file of these results
of your research too. The information you uncover will be
invaluable to you as you go along.
As you can see, creating and selling can require a bit of
legwork. Heck, even after you do all of this research, you
still have to create your product or service. But as with all
good things, you get out of it only what you put in. And
this online business model can yield excellent results
when done properly.
Finally, let's consider an angle for those of you who do not
have the time or inclination to "create and sell"...
Selling Existing Products and Services
Can you grow a new business online selling existing products
and services? The answer is yes. I've seen it done. Many of
my own affiliates are brand new to business online and have
generated income from month one. While it is usually not a
huge amount, it is income and that's what it's all about.
"Growing" an online income has to start somewhere.
Affiliate programs are actually a good match for many just
starting out. There are affiliate programs on just about any
niche product or service you can imagine. Whatever niche you
plan to develop your business around, you'll more than likely
be able to find an affiliate program you can join. That's
the key -- stay targeted and focused on ONE niche as we
Another solid strategy for selling existing products is to
locate information with resale rights. Some authors pass on
resale rights with their products so that others can earn
income from them.
A unique example of this can be found at the following site:
Tom Hua has set up that site to allow his customers to sell
a growing arsenal of ebooks and keep 100% of the profits.
What's more, every title can be fully personalized with
quality affiliate products and services, leading to lifetime
income for each promoter. (This one is so ingenious, I'll be
promoting it myself!)
One more thing I should point out about selling existing
products and services; it is a great strategy for established
businesses who want to grow their bottom lines. When done
properly, it can yield income growth of more than 30%
literally overnight. How can I make such a bold statement?
Simple, I've experienced just that, by simply selecting
existing products and services carefully and then
introducing them to my current prospects and customers.
There are numerous ways to make money online selling
existing products and services. So if you've been waiting for
the right idea to come along so you can start a business of
your own, you may want to simply jump on someone else's
idea instead. Many sites, as seen in the examples above,
have already done all the research and development for you.
So why not make 2002 the year you finally start your own
About the author:
Written by Jim Daniels www.bizweb2000.com - Read Jim's free web-based guide at www.make-a-living-online.com - it reveals how
he makes six figures a year online in his part time, and how you
can do the same... http://www.make-a-living-online.com
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