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Ecommerce Guide:
Basic Intro
Business Type
Create Catalog
Process Payment
Online Marketing
Tutorials Index
Web Hosting
Ecommerce Tutorial - Business Type

Before we can sell online, we need to know what we want to sell and what type of business we will run.

1. What to sell

Just about anything can be sold over the internet.

It's a good idea to sell items you are very familiar with as you'll know what shoppers look for, which features are important, how much pricing matters...

See what others selling these items online are doing on their web site to get a feel for the competition.

Once you have found a product line of interest, decide what type of ecommerce business you want to run.

2. Ecommerce Business Type

This basic choice will set your cost, profit margin, inventory and support requirements and more.

2.1 Affiliate Program

This is an easy way to get involved with ecommerce quickly. No need to carry inventory or provide support.

You can sign up as a partner/affiliate with companies who will pay you a commission on items purchased by shoppers your web site sends to them.

You build a web site targeting shoppers for these items and provide links to the company selling them.

Each time a sale is tracked back (via the link) to your ecommerce site, you get a commission, which can be a fixed amount or a percentage of the sale.

While this is an easy way to sell online, it also means you have no control over pricing and profit margin.

You are at the mercy of the company or companies you partner with, which can affect your success.

2.2 Drop Shipping

This solution allows you to run your own ecommerce business without dealing with inventory or shipping.

The shopping cart software on your web site collects order and payment information from shoppers.

You send the list of items purchased and the delivery address to the drop shipper who ships the order.

You collect payment from the shopper and pay the drop shipper for the goods plus shipping and handling.

2.3 Full Service Business

This option gives you full control over your ecommerce business. You stock inventory, ship orders and handle customer service.

The items you sell can be purchased from wholesalers or they could be something you create yourself.

To find wholesalers or drop shippers to use for your internet business, go over this directory.

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