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Selling Products Online Is A Big Opportunity

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My first three experiences of making money from the Internet all involve some kind of physical product. Online commerce obviously represents a huge opportunity to make money online, and having your own product or a passion for a product that you can source can lead to big profits.

You can sell product from your own website store, via community sites and classifieds (like Craigslist) and of course eBay and collectively make good money. The challenge, like with any business, is defining what is your competitive advantage and can you come up with a model that meets your needs. For me selling physical product was a great proving ground, but I eventually learned that profiting from information was a preferable model if I wanted to meet my aforementioned business goals.

I’ll leave it in your hands to decide whether physical commerce is the way to go for your situation.

Sell products from your own website

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My first successful website was about the card game Magic: The Gathering. At first the site was just a hobby with articles written by me and a few friends. Eventually as traffic grew I began making some money with the site.

Since I was already a card trader it made sense that my Magic site have a Magic card store. At first I stocked the website with my own cards, and eventually added retail “sealed” (unopened packs of cards) by buying product at wholesale from a company in Sydney.

It was a very simple card shop made up of text listings of the cards I had for sale, the quantity available and the cost per card or per pack. I maintained the inventory myself from my room, sorting and listing cards online by hand using plain text. I didn’t use any software and most of the payments I received back then was via check or money order in the mail. Some kids would even send money and even coins (!) in the mail to pay for their purchase.

My business did well enough, although the manual labor was…

Sell products in forums, bulletin boards, classifieds and other community type sites

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The card game Magic: The Gathering was a big part of my life from the end of highschool to the beginning of university. Although initially I was just a casual player and then tournament player, I quickly became a card trader and really enjoyed the wheeling and dealing. Although my interest in playing the game wained, most of my early projects online were connected with the game.

Before having my own website, I spent time reading websites, newsgroups, bulletin boards and forums about the game, and eventually started trading online. Back before search engines were any good most of my time was spent in particular Magic newsgroups, some that talked strategy, and some that were focused specifically on trading and/or buying and selling cards.

I managed to make spare change selling my cards through these sites. The main reason I could make any money was because I would win cards in tournaments, hence I had a supply source that would result in a good profit margin. Of course this wasn’t sust…

Sell On Ebay

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During my pre-teen and early teenage years I went from playing with Transformers, GI-Joe and LEGO, to playing Nintendo, Sega and Gameboy. Eventually I added the card game Magic: The Gathering to the mix at about 16 years of age. All of these things were passions for me at various stages of growing up, but one thing remained consistent throughout each stage; I traded and sold toys and games I no longer wanted to make extra cash.

In Brisbane where I live, before the Internet there was a newspaper called the Trading Post that was published every two weeks. It was an aftermarket for pretty much everything. Whenever I grew tired of a game or a toy I’d sell it via the Trading Post, usually in an effort to make enough money to buy the new toy or game I had in my sights.

Eventually the Internet came along and the Trading Post no longer commanded the secondhand market like it once did (though it did successfully transition online). It quickly became clear that eBay was the winner when it came…