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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Selling Tangible Products

A natural choice for making money online is to sell some sort of product. You might already have a fantastic product, or you might need to search for a mix of products that you can buy and resell to others over the Web. Either way, selling a tangible product over the Internet has proven to be a successful online earnings model ever since e-commerce began taking off in the early 1990s.

Projecting how you'll make a profit

When you deal in tangible goods and services, the question of how to make a profit boils down to a simple four-word phrase: “Buy low, sell high.” As entrepreneurs have known for thousands of years, you have to sell something for more than you originally paid for it in order to make money. Even if you're able to catch fish from the sea and sell them to big food suppliers, or if you're able to create works of art with the fruit of your talent, you still incur business expenses. A fisherman has to pay for a boat, fuel, and equipment. An artist has to buy paint, brushes, and canvas. No matter what you sell, you have to project how much you're going to spend in acquiring or producing the product, and how much you can reasonably get for it in the marketplace. The difference is your profit.

Before you even spend your first penny buying or producing tangible products to sell, take a moment and ask yourself some basic questions that will help you project your potential revenue:

  • How much does producing or purchasing my product cost?
  • How much is ...

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