Starting as an information exchange between scientist and engineers, the Internet gradually became the world’s marketplace. It is like a giant mall that sells everything from ant farms to Zodiac charts. Internet marketing can be very profitable to those who know the ropes. It can be a big disappointment to those who don’t.
Many storefront businesses realized that they could sell on the Internet. Others started without a storefront business. Now this mix of merchants has the world as its marketplace. Some giants sell a mix of products such as those sold by Target or Wal-Mart. Others sell in a niche market of like thinkers.
You can see this in the mall as you walk the aisles. You see JCPenny, Sears, Macy’s, etc. But you also see small kiosk selling sun glasses, cell phone cases. And there are the specialty stores that sell only cheese or flowers or candy or books or art, etc.
I have some friends who sell only doll clothes. They greatly expanded their market by going on the Internet, at first not realizing the potential for extra sells. There are many success stories like that.
What to Sell Online
I have a friend who lives on a farm here in Idaho who sells lotions, and such, which she makes from the lavender she grows there. She makes a six-figure income marketing her products locally and on the Internet, her Internet sells surpassing her local sells. If you create your own products, you can cut out, or at least reduce, the competition.
Some folks find local products that they do not create but that they are allowed to sell exclusively online. Say an apiary operator allows you to sell his honey online. Honey is not a commodity in the sense it is different according to where the bees collect the honey. Some people take honey for allergy prevention. They want local honey where the bees coat their little bellies with pollen distinctive to the area. Also, honeys have characteristic and distinct flavors. Folks don’t want just any old honey. There can be a niche market.
For a number of years I have been selling flagpoles on the Internet. I am a dealer for a manufacturer. I have the flagpoles on one of my websites where I take the orders from the customer and the manufacturer ships the order directly to the customer. This is called drop-shipping. There are many middlemen and scams in this business so you must beware.
I suggest that anyone going into this business deal directly with the manufacturer with a clear understanding of what is expected from each party.
Some people sell digital products online. ClickBank is a main affiliate network for such products, but other products are sold by affiliates too. Digital products have a good profit margin and the product is usually downloaded immediately after purchase. You can sell the digital products you create from your web site using PayPal or through affiliates on ClickBank. Merchandise sold through large affiliate networks often have a low profit margin but the vendor handles all the details.
If at all possible, sell products over which you have some control.
Can you create your own product?
Fly Old Glory!