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Selling Other People's Products Via E-commerce Mirror Sites And Affiliate Links

Jan 31, 2008
Today, more and more people are choosing to work from home selling other people's products via an E-Commerce site. If you are also thinking about going down that path, I have some good news for you! The great thing about an E-Commerce site is that you don't need to fill up your spare room with stock inventory, and you don't have to ship any of the products either as all that side of the operation is handled for you. Depending on the products that you sell or promote, you can have quite a lucrative business without having to do anything more than to promote your site. That makes running an online business so easy that many people who have never before been involved in managing a business quickly learn how to operate one of these sites.

In most cases, you make a contract with a company that set up the E-Commerce site. (Before you sign the contract, make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company.) The E-Commerce company then provides you with a "mirror" site, which is a replica of their original site but with your own website address and affiliate codes. The affiliate codes are built into the site so that when you make a sale your account will be credited with the sale and you will earn commission.

While you will not be handling the shipping or maintaining the inventory, your job is to promote your site. This is the perfect business for someone who has a busy lifestyle or who hates to be tied down to a desk all day. Furthermore, you are not obliged to sit at your computer waiting for someone to buy something because the sales side of things will be automated for you, including the installation of credit card links. Again, the only thing you will have to do is promote your site. Promoting your site is an absolute necessity if you are to generate a steady flow of traffic and sales.

Of course, running a mirror site is not the only E-Commerce option available to you. You may prefer to set up your own personal or business website and post links and banners to companies with whom you have agreed to be an affiliate such as http://Amazon.com and thousands of others besides. When you post an affiliate banner on your site, the concerned company will pay you for click-throughs that generate a sale. Although affiliate commissions vary widely, they are often not as profitable as the type of E-Commerce site I described above. Indeed, unless you generate a great deal of traffic your profits will be slim as some of the companies only pay perhaps ten cents a sale, or offer just four or five percent of the total sales price in commissions. On the other hand, other companies such as ClickBank pay much higher commission rates so it is definitely worth checking out the commission structure and payment methods of companies that you are thinking about affiliating with. Of course, if you have the time and motivation to promote your site, you may generate enough traffic to earn a worthwhile income from affiliate commission checks.

So it all comes down to promotion in the end. Promotion is the key issue with both an E-Commerce mirror site and a website with affiliate links. How much money you make is directly related to how much time you spend promoting your site and how visible your site is on the Internet. A well promoted site will be highly visible and generate enough visitors to earn you a reasonable income. However, the amount you make depends on the scope of your site, the way you have laid it out, the information you provide on it and the nature of your target audience. A well focussed site that is easy to navigate and has a lot of regularly updated original content will do much better than a site that lacks those attributes. But getting a site to that condition takes effort. You have to sow the seed before you can reap the harvest.
About the Author
David Hurley writes articles on a variety of subjects. For more information about Internet success strategies, sign up to his free Internet marketing tips newsletter at: Grasp-The-Nettle.com.
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