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Do Internet Businesses Really Work?

Mar 31, 2008
You may have heard rumors of people making tons of money on the internet, whether it's from selling things on eBay or just maintaining a website that actually pays them because of the advertisements they have on it. Are any of these rumors actually true? Are others making money with internet businesses, or are they all just scams and overblown promises?

In reality, internet businesses usually do very well depending on what is being sold and how they're maintained. Many people do quite a bit of shopping online, purchasing everything from sporting goods to gift baskets to cosmetics and even edible items. Understanding what people buy online and what they still need to see in an actual store before they purchase is part of making internet businesses successful.

Retail Type Internet Businesses

If you're considering starting an online retail site, you first need to ask yourself what people would buy online. For example, wedding dresses they'll want to try on before they purchase, but wedding favors can be purchased online. Their own groceries will probably still need to be bought from the corner store, but gift baskets they have mailed to someone else can be purchased on the internet. By using some common sense you can figure out what things can be sold through internet businesses.

Some people that start retail type internet businesses purchase overstock merchandise from a wholesaler. This means that you get a large amount of merchandise for a small price, and then turn around and sell these items from your website. This might be cosmetics or other health and beauty products, clothes, shoes, sporting goods, electronics, and so on.

Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is one of the most common ways that people begin their internet businesses. This refers to selling the products that are manufactured by someone else, and the other company actually handles the order fulfillment from their warehouse. You advertise the products on your site and set up an order processing method. You also handle the payments and collection. You then in turn pass the orders on to the company that produces and ships the goods, and they mail out the packages. They get a percent of the cost of the orders you've received. These types of internet businesses are very common; this is why you might find the same brand of a certain product being sold through many different websites.

To qualify for any type of drop shipping Internet businesses, you probably need a sales tax certificate from your state and then you send the company that produces the products a sales tax exemption certificate. They of course have the right to reject or refuse your application to sell their products on your site, but there are many places that are drop shippers so if you get rejected by your first choice, move on to another.


eBay is of course one of the most prominent of all the methods for successful internet businesses. People are finding that they can sell all sorts of items through an eBay store; many do the same retail type store or drop shipping type of business through eBay. There are costs that you incur to run an eBay store but these are usually minimal.

Also, you can typically find unusual items or use your creativity when it comes to running internet businesses through eBay. If there is a thrift store near you, there may be items you can find there such as designer clothes or household goods. Children's clothes also do well through eBay.

Selling Ad Space

Most internet businesses sell ad space on their site or set up an account through Google Adsense, meaning that ads run on your site and when a visitor clicks on them, you get paid. You may not actually get rich from this type of arrangement, but these ads often help pay for the charge you incur in maintaining a website.
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