OVERVIEW: Here you will find links to resources discussed in this lesson, as well as links to other helpful resources. These companies are reputable and have been handpicked by us.
1. DOBA 14 Day Risk Free Trial - Click on the Image Below (However, signing for the free trail will bring the owner of Members Learning Center another 10 bucks)
WORLDWIDE BRANDS - Not a Drop-shipper, but a directory of thousands of Reputable Drop-Ship Companies.
With Worldwide Brands the owner of Members Learning Center will make $74.75 if a click on his/her banner lead to a sale
Affiliate Marketing Resources : shareasale.com ; cj.com ; clickbank.com ; linkshare.com
Product Sourcing: alibaba.com ; thomasnet.com ; tradekey.com ; tradepub.com ; tsnn.com ; closeoutcentral.com
OVERVIEW: The Health and Welness industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. With the Baby Boomers wanting to feel better, look younger, and live longer, and with those same people controlling the majority of wealth in this country, there are few better industries to get involved in. We have found a product that people are looking for, and whose owners are looking for internet retailers to help them distribute and sell their product worldwide. With huge profit margin potential, and residual on going income, this is a product to consider, if you're not sure what you want to market or sell online.
What is FATE (F8)?
If you prefer to watch a video presentation of the following material, please check out the video
With drop shipping, you don't make the wholesale purchase until you already have a buyer. Once the buyer purchases the item from you, you transmit the order to your drop shipper. A portion of the customer's payment pays the supplier, who then ships the product to your customer. One advantage with drop shipping, you have no initial investment, but your margins are usually a little lower to compensate for the extra work required by the company ﬁlling your orders. Expected discounts through a drop shipping arrangement are 20-50%.
Many companies offer a full wholesale discount along with a ﬂat, per-order drop ship fee.Two major types of drop-shipping are vailable; regular and blind. With regular dropshipping, the drop ship company places their labels and company name on the packages and products. Any complaints, questions or concerns are referred back to the drop shipping company. Blind drop-shippers will place your corporate label and name on the package, referring all questions, concerns, and/or complaints back to you. If you choose to use drop shipping, you will need to decide which option works best for your business.
Many companies prefer not to deal with drop shipping customers. You may have to make several calls, until you locate a source for the products that interest you. Make sure your prospective drop shipper offers blind shipments which will ensure your packages are labeled with your business information, allowing your customers to contact you, not the warehouse that shipped it. If the company you would like to do business with doesn't offer drop shipping, they may use large distributors that do. For items such as CDs and DVDs, many small publishers aren't interested in drop shipping your orders. One major media distributor Baker & Taylor is happy to take on small drop shipping clients. Request additional information from the wholesaler about shipping To
reduce wasted time and frustration, you can purchase a membership to sites such as: Doba, and WorldWideBrands. Each rovides extensive research into brands and pricing, along with information on regular wholesalers, liquidation sources, and product sales data.
Afﬁliate programs reduce your involvement even further. With an afﬁliate relationship, your only responsibility is to send the trafﬁc to the retailer's site in hopes that the visitor will take a particular action. In most cases, that action is a purchase, but there are also afﬁliate programs that require the user to request a quote, sign up for an e-mail list, or take some other action deﬁned by the site owner. With an afﬁliate program, you don't need to have a payment processing system and you don't need to purchase products at any part of the process. You merely use your referral links to send the trafﬁc to the site you wish to promote. If something doesn't work, you've made little to no investment, so you can cut your losses and move on. Joining afﬁliate programs is easy.
If you go to almost any website and scroll to the bottom of the screen, you will usually see a link that says afﬁliates. Clicking on that link will display the website's commission structure, will have a form to ﬁll out to request to join, and usually several banners that you can copy and paste on your site to advertise your afﬁliate partner. A typical afﬁliate commission will range from as little as 1% to as much as 50%, depending on the type of product and margins involved. Consumer goods typically offer commissions in the 1-15% range, while information products are likely to pay anywhere from 25-50%.
Even though you're not investing a lot in an afﬁliate product, it's important to know what you're selling. By having some familiarity with your market, you'll know where it ﬁts in among similar products, and you'll be in a good position to highlight the beneﬁts to your visitors. InternetEntrepreneurSeries offers an afﬁliate program with a generous 10% payout, which is a great way to get started on promoting products. Since you're right in the middle of it, you'll be able to tell your readers exactly why you like the product and how it can help them, too. Click on the afﬁliate link on top of our website if you would like to join. You can ﬁnd afﬁliate programs by joining free networks like ShareaSale, Commission Junction, LinkShare, Performics, and Clickbank. For even more afﬁliate resources, check out our Resource Section.
If you know how to market a product but you don't have one of your own, or if you have a product and no market, you may ﬁnd success with a joint venture. You can also use a joint venture to develop a product in partnership with another person. In simple terms, a joint venture is nothing more than a partnership between two or more parties that have joined together to share in a business venture with the goal of increasing proﬁts for everyone. Before you embark on a joint venture opportunity, you'll need to ﬁgure out what you'll bring to the equation.
Do you have an established newsletter with a great audience for niche products? Are you a master marketer with the ability to dissect a market and conquer? If you can bring buyers, you'll have no trouble setting up all the joint ventures you can handle. Most of the time, these relationships are formed by talking to everybody you network with. If someone asks what you do for a living, or what your profession is tell them you're an Internet Marketing Professional. Tell them you are always looking for a great product to market and you will be surprised how many people have something they want to market and just don't know how to go about doing it.
If you don't already have an established readership or marketing method, you may be able to join together with another marketer to develop a product. For example, if you're a corporate trainer, you could partner with a web marketer and develop a small business management course that would be both enticing and technically accurate.In addition to gaining access to the expertise of another individual, you'll also have someone there to motivate you to hold up your end of the bargain, which is something that not all of us are able to do if left to our own devices. Regardless of your current ﬁnancial situation or education, you can see that there's always something you can promote to start your business online. With a little practice and etermination, you'll be earning a healthy income in no time.
Now that you have the product or service in mind you want to promote and sell and you have your business setup, you're ready to source your product. In order to make money on your sales, you will need to get your product at a lower price then you are selling it for. In many cases you might decide not to sell a product on the internet because there are not enough proﬁt margins on the item to make it worth your time.
Before committing time, energy, and money to a website, it is important that you know how much money you stand to make on each item you sell. The other big decision you have as a business owner is deciding what type of product sourcing method you want to use. If you want a business that doesn't require you to be at a physical location, consider drop-shipping, joint ventures, or afﬁliate programs. All these relationships let you sell a product or service for someone else, and they do product fulﬁllment. This lets you spend your time marketing and promoting, and lets someone else do fulﬁllment.
Remember to be selective on the company you choose if you use one of these options. Your business reputation is built on the quality, reliability, and courtesy of these suppliers. If they don't ship products quickly, or ship a poor quality product, this can reﬂect poorly on your business. If you have the resources available to purchase, store, and ship your own inventory, wholesalers are your best option. By buying in bulk you will secure the products at a lower price allowing you to sell for less or take home more proﬁt on your sales.
This also lets you control the quality, reliability, and security of your business. Whatever relationship you choose to establish, you can be sure the product or service you want to offer is out there. Be persistent, resourceful, and creative and you will be able to ﬁnd a supplier for the product or service you want to sell.
If you prefer to watch a video presentation of the following material, please check out the video
OVERVIEW: Since there are several different ways to source the products or information you sell on your website, this tutorial will discuss the different options available to the internet business owner. If you're selling a service on your website, and your primary goal is to generate leads, you might consider selling supplemental products or information on your website to create additional income streams. We will discuss the pros and cons of each supply method, and discuss the process of establishing each relationship.
Product Sourcing (Sourcing the Product Yourself)
Direct Wholesale Purchase:
Most people think of Direct Wholesale Purchasing when they think of owning their own web or mail-order business. To make wholesale purchases, you'll need a resale license and establish a relationship with wholesalers or manufacturers. Orders can be as low as $100 with wholesale distributors, but most are closer to $500 or $1000. If you're purchasing items directly from the manufacturer, their minimum orders are often as high as 1000-5000 pieces of the item you are interested in.It is important to have a good understanding of the supply chain before you attempt to purchase products. At the top, you'll ﬁnd manufacturers, the factories that produceproducts in extremely large quantities. Some sell directly to retailers, many prefer to deal only with large wholesale distributors.
Manufacturers / Factories > Wholesale Distributors > Retailers > Consumers
If you decide to purchase items from a wholesale distributor, you can expect discounts around 50% off the retail price. Discounts from a manufacturer can be as much as 75-80%. Some industries, such as electronics, will be subject to smaller proﬁt margins.
Don't forget to factor in the cost of shipping when you're making projections about the proﬁtability of your chosen products. You may want to purchase sofas from China at 50% off the U.S. retail price, but with the costs of shipping on such a heavy item, your proﬁt margins would be signiﬁcantly reduced. On the other hand, something small or light weight, such as a DVD or book would be extremely affordable to ship.
If you're interested in purchasing wholesale, or directly from the manufacturer, sites like Alibaba, Tradekey, and ThomasNet can help you locate representatives and product listings for a variety of manufacturers. You should always do extensive research on a company to validate them, before arranging to make a major purchase. When selecting a supplier ask for a free sample of the product, or a signiﬁcant price reduction on a sample, to check the quality of the goods you will be purchasing. Always ask for references and follow up on the references before negotiating an agreement with the supplier. Click on the links above to visit these websites. Our video tutorial covers the details for navigating these resources.
Questions to Ask Wholesalers & Manufacturers:
I'm an e-commerce retailer. Can I become a reseller for your products?
Many wholesalers and manufacturers are willing and eager to have web businesses sale their products. However, some wholesalers and manufacturers refuse to work with web-based retailers, particularly those who don't have physical stores. You may encounter this with manufacturers of luxury brands and others as well. Many suppliers aren't convinced that an internet retailer can sell as much volume as a brick and mortar establishment. Explain your knowlede of marketing and expectations for success. If they refuse to work with you, don't be discouraged and move on to another potential supplier.Occasionally, manufacturers refuse to deal directly with retailers, or require extremely large minimum orders. Most manufacturers are willing to work with you.
Can you tell me the names and numbers of your wholesale distributors?
Most manufacturers are happy to provide you with this information, though it may take a few calls to ﬁnd someone who has the contact details. In some cases, you'll be given the contact information for a smaller division of the company or a sales representative who can help you place orders for their products.
In other cases, you'll be given the contact information for a larger company that distributes products from a variety of manufacturers. These distributors can be especially convenient, as they make it easy to order numerous products through just one account.
What are your wholesale terms?
Every company you work with should have established wholesale terms that outline things like minimum orders (both initial orders and repeat orders), payment terms, and shipment times, among other important details. Can you apply for credit terms? Many businesses will allow you to receive products as much as 30-90 days before payment is due. Is it possible to pay with a credit card (thereby accumulating rewards points with your credit card provider)? Is there a minimum monthly or annual order amount?
Is there a minimum or maximum advertised price rule?
Sometimes, manufacturers will require you to maintain a certain pricing level in your advertisements. This typically means that all online listings must fall within that price range. Although this can limit your proﬁts, it also ensures that the pricing isn't driven down by competition.
Do you offer product images or video for web retail use?
You'll ﬁnd that many distributors and manufacturers can provide you with images for use on your website, saving you the trouble of taking your own product photos. Request web-optimized images, these are smaller, and faster loading ﬁles. You can usually have these images e-mailed to you or sent along with your order on a CD or DVD.
Do you provide a product data spreadsheet?
Many suppliers will be happy to provide you with a spreadsheet outlining the product basics like name, manufacturer, part number, SKU, description, suggested retail price, UPC number, and other details. These spreadsheets make it easy to import products into common shopping carts.
How are products shipped? How much will shipping cost on a per-unit basis?Depending on the product and shipping distance, the costs can vary signiﬁcantly. It's important to have a reliable estimate up front, then factor these costs into your calculations.
Take some time to think about any other issues that may come up. What happens if the product arrives damaged? What happens if they break once the customer has the item?
Will you have to get it back and return the item (which is frequently more expensive than the item itself, for cheap products)?
Finding Wholesalers & Manufacturers
Search Engines: If you have a product in mind, try searching the product's name plus words like “wholesaler”, “wholesale”, or “distributor”.
Shopping Sites: Sometimes, other retailers will list the name of their wholesale distributor in their product listings. eBay and Amazon, along with others, will often list their wholesale distributors.
Trade Publications: Nearly all industries have their own trade publications, which are magazines that can introduce you to many of the most reputable wholesalers in your chosen industry (not to mention, they can help you learn about the latest trends).
Many small distributors are listed in trade publications, which can offer signiﬁcantly cheaper advertising opportunities than the listing fees on larger sites such as ThomasNet. An outstanding resource for locating these (usually free) magazines is TradePub.com along with active industry professionals who can help you ﬁnd the less obvious publications.
Trade Shows: Not only do most industries have their own magazines, nearly every industry has annual trade shows. If you're just getting started, these events will give you the opportunity to consult with hundreds of professionals throughout the course of the event. Manufacturers bring in new products, and offer special pricing arrangements, only available at trade shows. You can visit sites such as tsnn.com that let you search for trade shows by industry. Register for the trade show, attend and collecting product samples and business cards and ﬁnd new products, unknown to your competition.
Manufacturers and suppliers are usually willing to talk at tradeshows, their chance to promote products.
Shopping: Another method of locating wholesale companies is to simply browse stores and ﬂip over the products to view the name of the manufacturer. You won't generally ﬁnd the manufacturer information for privately-branded products (i.e. Sharper Imagebranded gadgets), you'll be surprised to ﬁnd many products are available to you as a small business owner. If you don't ﬁnd a product you like, look for one that is similar to what you're looking for, check the manufacturer, they may have an entire line of related products.
Sell What You Know: When considering what to sell, a great place to start is researching ﬁelds you are familiar with along with their products. You may also know someone who offers wholesale pricing on a particular item. Sell what you know, don't be tempted to forgo the usual analysis of the product in favor of convenience.
Liquidations & Closeouts:
The liquidation and closeout market is a sub-set of regular wholesale purchasing. Just like a regular wholesale purchase, you'll need a resale license and you'll have to carry inventory. The margins are generally higher, in the 60-90% off retail range. The liquidation business model can work quite well for those who don't mind constantly updating product listings and keeping up with product trends. eBay is a great sales outlet for those who hope to deal in liquidation and closeout products.
The downside is that many of the items are only available until the liquidator runs out. If you ﬁnd something that works, you may not be able to get a steady supply of it in the future. It may also be difﬁcult to locate the most popular products in closeout channels, since those generally sell out before they ﬁnd their way to a closeout dealer. You may ﬁnd liquidations of entire businesses. In cases of bankruptcy, the entire inventory of a retailer will be sold at discount, including many popular and successful products.
To locate liquidation and closeout products, you can use sources like Surplus.net and CloseoutCentral.com. Many retailers use eBay exclusively for purchasing lots of liquidated items.
Internet Business Owners who are able to purchase their products in advance, store those products, and fulﬁll the orders themselves will typically make much more proﬁt per sale than someone who uses an alternative sourcing method. The beneﬁt to using a wholesaler or distributor is increased revenue and proﬁt margin on each sale. The downside to using this kind of fulﬁllment relationship is that you typically have larger upfront costs. You have to buy the inventory up front, store the inventory, and sit on that inventory until it sells.
If you prefer to watch a video presentation of the following material, please check out the video
OVERVIEW: If you want your online business to really take off, you've got to have reliable product sources first. Our sourcing secrets will put you well on your way to building your own empire. After all you do want to make money right?
Deciding What to Sell!
In this lesson you will be taught strategies and techniques for deciding what to sell on your website. This is beneﬁcial for those students without a speciﬁc product or service that you want to sell, and is also beneﬁcial for those with a current product or service in mind. All the website marketing in the world will not help you if you try to sell something that people do not want to buy. We will discuss tools and resources that are available to show you what the potential market is on the internet for the product or service you wish to sell. If the market exists, then go for it. If the market does not exist, it is better to know now, rather than months down the road. You will learn in this lesson to take all the guesswork out of ﬁnding a product or service that will make you money online.
Step One: Brainstorming:
There are a million different ways to get product ideas, and each person will develop preferences over time. When you sit down to brainstorm, write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Don't rule out anything at this point. We'll focus on narrowing down the choices once we have a nice long list of potential opportunities. In case you're having trouble getting started, there are a number of highly effective ways to kick off the brainstorming process:
Check Out Catalogs:
If you're interested in selling physical products, there are few greater resources than the catalogs of your future competitors. By paying attention to which items receive the largest and most prominent placements, you can take advantage of the research that's been done by their well-funded purchasing departments. Their decisions to repeat products from season to season can also be very telling.
Analyze Your Hobbies:
The best businesses are often born out of the passions of their founders. Don't overlook the things you love when you're getting ready to start a new business. If you enjoy snowboarding, explore the possibilities in snowboard sales, athletic apparel, or perhaps even winter vacation sales. If you love playing the ﬂute, perhaps sheet music or band instrument sales would suit you.
Consider Your Career:
Even if you're not in love with your current career, there's a good chance you know more about it than you think. When you enter your endeavor with some pre-existing expertise, you tip the scales just a little bit further in your favor.
Ask Your Family & Friends:
No one knows you like those who are closest. Sometimes, our friends and families know us better than we even know ourselves. By asking your friends and family members for product suggestions, you not only get valuable ideas, but you draw them into our business and make them more likely to help you if you need it later. They'll feel more invested in your business.
Look At the Mall in a Different Light:
When you run your own business, you'll start viewing the world in a different way. Every ad becomes a case study in copy writing and design, and every store becomes a showcase of products you could sell on your website. As with catalogs, pay close attention to placement and longevity. If you see a busy display, try to ﬁgure out which factors attract interest from the nearby shoppers. You may be able to apply some of the same techniques in your own online presentation.
Check out the Classiﬁeds:
Whether you hope to sell goods or services, the classiﬁeds sections of relevant newspapers and magazines can be tremendously helpful. The larger ads in the middle of the magazine are frequently purchased by larger, more traditional companies that hope to brand their products or services. Classiﬁed ads, on the other hand, appeal to a more value-conscious, direct-sales oriented client. As helpful as it is to view the publications in your own industry, you might also get good ideas from trade publications in other industries. If you're reading a magazine for construction professionals, you might come across an ad for a company that offers e-mail marketing templates for independent contractors. Even if you have no interest in servicing the market of construction managers, you could take the idea and offer it to a different market.
Rules of Brainstorming:
1. Gather together as many people as you can in a quiet room with no outside distractions and provide nothing more but pens and paper. Plan on the session taking longer than an hour.
2. Postpone all your judgment of ideas until the brainstorming session is over. Don't discuss the ideas in detail until after the brainstorming session. Your goal here is quantity over quality. Try to get as many ideas down on paper as you can. Evaluating and discussing ideas can take up valuable time and energy. Use that energy to generate new ideas and get them down on paper.
3. Encourage crazy or unique ideas. Shout out wild and crazy ideas: the crazier the better. See what other ideas a wild and crazy idea will spark. State and consider ridiculous or impossible ideas.
4. Get as many ideas down on paper as possible. Get a large group together and spend as much time as possible thinking of ideas. Make sure you exhaust every possible thought you have. The more things you have written down, the more likely you are to ﬁnd that product that is going to be a success. Keep each idea brief and short. Don't describe or develop the idea during the brainstorming session as this can be done afterward.
5. Build and expand on ideas as you hear them. Don't just focus on new ideas but branch out off of the ideas you hear of others. Take each idea into as many directions as possible.
Step Two: Research:
Once you've come up with a list of potential products, you'll need to do a bit of research to ﬁgure out if someone actually wants what you're offering. Instead of purchasing the product or starting to promote it on your site, you can use a resource like the Reverse Search Tool. This tool will instantly tell you whether or not you have a good idea before you waste time and effort on pursuing it further.
Because it examines searches made on major search engines in the previous month, you'll immediately know if there's a demand for your product or not. Links to these types of reverse search tools are included in the resources section of the site. These tools will quantify how many people are searching for the product or service you're thinking about selling.
When using the Reverse Search Tool, it's important to remember to try several different variations of your chosen keyword. Start with a more general query to get the best data. For instance, if you were creating a website on leadership training materials, start with a general query like “leadership” or “management skills”. Broad queries can help you determine the size of your potential market.
You want to make sure that the market you're entering is large enough for expansion as you become successful with your product. Once you know that the overall market is sufﬁciently large, you can move into more detailed keywords. These are the keywords that will help bring in the most targeted visitors. In the beginning, you'll use them to work your way into the market. The search volume will be lower, but you'll also ﬁnd that advertising with these keywords is more affordable. Some people refer to these more precise phrases as “long-tail keywords”. To ﬁnd more speciﬁc keywords, start brainstorming as though you're a buyer. Enter in phrases like “leadership books” or “leadership training guides” to see what kind of volume you can expect.
Depending on the price of your product, you may not need a huge market to be successful. If you ﬁnd that there are few results or little activity for a given product or service, go back to the drawing board. Don't spend time, energy, and money trying to market something that people are not looking for. People go to the internet to ﬁnd things they want and are familiar with.
If you have a unique product that is not well known, the internet can be a difﬁcult place to begin your marketing. Sell items people want to buy. Reverse search tools are used to show you how many people are searching each month for what you are thinking about selling. If 10,000 people a month are looking for you sell, and 1 percent of those buy, that is 100 sales a month. If your proﬁt per sale averages $20.00, that is $2000.00 per month. If that meets or exceeds your income goal you have a winner. If if does not, you want to keep looking.
Remember, because of the advantages of the internet, it is possible to manage multiple websites effectively. Imagine 5 websites each generating $2000.00 a month in revenue. Multiple websites generating modest revenue is the same as one website enerating a huge income.
Step 3: Survey the Competitive Landscape:
If your product idea has weathered the search volume test, you'll want to check out your potential competitors. Using the keywords you obtained in the last step, go to Google and see what comes up. As you look through each of the sites that rank on the ﬁrst two pages or so, ask yourself the following questions:
· How would my product differ from this product? Or, how many other sites are selling my product?
· How does my price compare? If higher, can I justify the price? If lower, will your product be perceived as low-quality? How could you combat that problem?Are other sites discounting the product to the point that it will be difﬁcult to sell it at a proﬁt?
· How long have other products been around? Is that a positive or a negative? In some industries, like online marketing, a newer product might be better due to changes in technology. In other markets, customers may favor a more established product.
· Is it a one-time purchase or subscription-based product? There are pros and cons to each, but it's not something you should overlook as you compare yourself to others in the market.
· Do the other sites appear trustworthy? That means good web design, clear writing that's free of excessive errors, and enough information to make buyers feel comfortable. If your competitors are lacking in this area, it's a good thing to focus on to give your site a competitive edge. If your competitors offer highly professional sites, you'll see what you need to live up to.
Step 4: Can You Do It?
When you were a kid, the answer to this question was always, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” While that's deﬁnitely true, not all goals are created equally. If it takes an inefﬁcient amount of effort to make a product work, it may be better to put the idea aside and come back to it if it makes sense later. To evaluate whether your product will work for you, you'll need to do a realistic assessment of your costs. How much time or money will be involved in getting your product ready for sale?
How large is the market? Are there related products that you could promote to the same market once you break in? How much do you stand to make if you're successful? While it's important to consider the competition in your assessment, remember that some competition is desirable. If you can't ﬁnd much competition in your chosen market, be especially cautious. It could be a spectacular, hidden opportunity, but it could also mean that there's no market for your product.
In most cases, it's best to choose products with a moderate amount of existing competition. Remember that most of your competitors are not particularly skilled in the art of promotion anyway, so you will generally have plenty of opportunities to outshine the others and grab part of the market. If you plan on drop-shipping products made by others, you can probably afford to spend a little less time on this stage. If you're planning to develop a course or information product, however, you'll want to do a very critical evaluation of your product before investing too much.
Don't get too attached to your ideas for now. If something looks less appealing after your assessment, it's okay to move on to something else. It's much easier to start over at this stage than after you've spent weeks or months on development. The world gives us almost inﬁnite opportunities for success, and a motivated entrepreneur will always ﬁnd more ideas.
Your success on the internet depends on your product, your price, and your marketing efforts. You can get all the trafﬁc in the world to your website, but if your product is notsomething people want to buy, or it is not priced correctly, you will not make any money.
Do your research. Sell a product or service that people are looking for. Brainstorm and consider everything.
Look at what people buy from malls or out of catalogs. Get ideas from friends and family. Don't necessarily limit yourself and sell only what you would buy, or become married to one speciﬁc idea, rather sell what people on the internet are searching for.
Study your competition. Price your products or services in a range consistent with what other websites are charging. Proper research on the internet will save you time and money! If you sell something people want, at a price they are willing to pay, and learn how to get those buyers to your website, you can and will succeed.