Are you looking for independence and financial freedom through owning your own online business? Since the early 1990s, the world wide web has made it possible for the average Joe to become an entrepreneur. The internet has leveled the playing field by enabling one person with a computer to remain competitive against the retail ‘brick & mortar’ super giants. Making money online is as easy as having your own website, products to sell and some basic marketing skills. Or is it this easy to earn a dollar online?

Everyone venturing into eCommerce knows there’s more to success than products and a storefront. For example you need to consider:

– Merchant Account for Credit Card Payments: setting up a merchant account can be both a costly and challenging piece of starting a new business. Cost $3360.

– Fraud / Dispute Resolution: unfortunately, the Internet is rife with fraudsters and you will need to be prepared to deal with this. Your time converted to average labour costs could equate to $960 per year.

– Customer Service: Your customers will have questions and need assistance – you will have to provide prompt and knowledgeable customer support. Live online support and/or 1-800 service are the most common two methods. Telephone lines for business (excluding long distance) can cost as much as $600 per year – not including the time and effort to field the calls.

– Business License, Security (SSL Certificate) and Web Hosting are mandatory and can cost as much as $1100 per year.

– Marketing Campaign: you need to understand basic marketing tactics and know about search engine optimization. Driving traffic to your storefront is a key success factor in growing your business results.

– Refunds / Returns: to ensure your consumers can buy with confidence, you must have a refund policy that protects the buyer. Your time converted to average labour costs to handle all product returns could equate to $600 per year.

– Merchandise ‘Direct-to-Customer’ Shipping: partnering up with credible drop ship companies will help you avoid the cost and hassle of double shipping your merchandise. Most drop ship suppliers charge an initial set-up fee for exclusive access to their catalogue of products. Range $100-$1000.

If you have no idea what drop shipping is… here’s a simple explanation of how drop shipping works:

– A drop ship distributor is a wholesale company that will ship your product directly to your customer.

– You don’t need to pay for an item unless it is sold.

– You don’t store any inventory.

– You don’t package and ship merchandise.

– You simply place an ad on your website, eBay or Yahoo Auction to sell.

– Your customer pays you for the product and you pay the cost of the product to the drop ship company. The difference is your profit.

With Drop shipping you would never make a loss. You decide your retailed price and pay the drop shipper wholesale price. You are making a guaranteed profit every time a customer pays. Another advantage of dealing with drop ship wholesalers is that you don’t need any money to invest in merchandises. You just need some money to advertise your products on eBay, other auction sites or your own web store.

To make things easy to get started, there are online services that provide a complete online business solution for everyday people. For a low monthly fee, they would provide the tools, products, and resources for you to build a fully-functional and profit-capable business. Before signing up, you should look to get a top of the line E-Commerce website complete with inventory. You would then be able to choose the products you want to sell from their warehouse. Once you make a sale, they should ship the order directly to your customers anywhere in North America and/or international. You would never have to deal with the inventory and you would earn the difference between the price you sold the product for and the wholesale price in the warehouse.

Remember to partner with a service that provides full customer support for both you and your customer. This way there is no need for you to install any additional phone lines, 800 numbers, or be at home answering queries. They should also handle all returns, replacements, frauds, or any other unforeseen costs, not you.

Here is a suggestion of such a service 7-day free trial; risk free.

Remember, if you were to start your own online business, you’ll have to spend over $10,000 and a countless amount of your time to get what Shopster gives you for only $29.95 a month.

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