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

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Creating Instant Products with CafePress

If you don't have existing merchandise to sell at auction, you can create products by e-merchandising. The site that does e-merchandising well is CafePress (www.cafepress.com).

E-merchandising is similar to having a blank slate to create your own customized products — and you don't have to buy and stock truckloads of inventory. You can make multiple products and then sell them one at time — or, rather, on demand. (Naturally, customers can buy more than one item if they want!)

Discovering the benefits

CafePress provides you with a long list of products, such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, messenger bags, and other apparel. Stores also provide the capability to sell books (self-publishing, printed on demand) and CDs. You use your own graphical design, text, or audio to create a one-of-a-kind product. CafePress even hosts a complete store for you on its servers (see Figure 5-5)

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Figure 5-5: A CafePress store makes selling simple.

The best part about this deal is that the site takes care of everything for you. Your job becomes marketing your products (and CafePress even provides support to help with your marketing efforts). Here's what CafePress does for you:

  • Inventory: Because the base products are bought and warehoused through CafePress, they're ready and waiting as soon as an order, however big or small, comes in.
  • Storefront: You're given the tools ...

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