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Old January 11, 2007, 08:34 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,076
Default It's Not a Crime to Make a Dime Online...

Hi Mark,

Originally Posted by mtran2000 View Post
Using the Internet to sell things is a great way to make some extra money, however getting to the point where you can make a living doing it is tricky. Too many people think it is as simple as making a website with a few products and the money will roll in.
It's not necessarily easy to create a successful business - online OR offline...

However, one good thing about many online activities is you can do it part-time, while you're still getting an income from a regular job... Because of that, your personal risk is lower...

E-Bay is a good cheap way to test whether your products will sell, if you can find a niche product all the better. I know a person that sells a lot of items and started on E-Bay and now still sells on E-Bay but has enough repeat customers that buy directly from an online store he created. The key was getting a client base and going from there.
I'd say eBay is one of the easiest types of "online" businesses to start. Buy stuff offline, sell it online at a profit. Of course, you have to figure out what you can buy that you can sell online for a profit.

One guy I know supplements his income buying and selling second-hand books, and the occasional video (some obscure "cult" movies are still hard to get on DVD). I've sold various things on eBay for profit, including new Rio MP3 players (back in the early days of MP3 players), new DVDs, and hundreds of new music CDs.

Subscription based memberships web sites has been a hot item but a lot of the sites go under after a while because there was not enough value for the monthly subscription. You really need to be creative and come up with new things every month to keep paying members.
As someone who once ran a paid-subscription membership web site for a while, the drawback is that you need new content all the time. Ours was profitable, but my partner in this venture lost interest - since it is continual work! But, it is a workable model.

Saying it's no longer viable is a bit like saying magazines are no longer viable. Subscription web sites are kind of like a "souped up" online magazine. As long as people still want the information, people will want to subscribe. And if you deliver on what you promise, people will be happy to continue subscribing.

Hot sheets and E Books seem to be flavors of the month and market got saturated very quickly. Business opportunities are something many are trying to sell on the Internet and more often than not most buyers are disappointed and are not repeat customers.
Saying the "ebook" and "hotsheet" market is "saturated" is kind of like saying that printed books are outdated, or that audio books have become boring...!

The "key" is the "content" of the ebook or hotsheet... The "ebook" or "hotsheet" is just the medium for the information...

People don't buy because it's an ebook. They buy for the information! As long as people are interested in the information, some will buy the product...

My prediction is - I think the ebook market will "heat up" in the future - especially with new technology like the Sony Reader.

I am not saying you can't consistently make money on the internet, what I am saying is you need a product or service that has value and keeps customers coming back. Like a store on main street, you need repeat customers to make a living.
Aiming for repeat sales is good advice!

Even if you don't get repeat sales (some products can be sold once-only, or very rarely - for example, how often do you buy a new car?), it still pays to please your customers because they may tell others about you, and that will bring you new customers - at no marketing cost to you!

- Dien
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