by Tim Knox
Copyright © 2005
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I wish I had a dime for every time I've been asked, "Tim, what's the best product to sell online?" I also wish I had a nickel for every blank stare I received when I answered: "That's simple: information." I'd have enough money to finance another startup or two.
As more and more entrepreneurs move to the Internet seeking their fortunes, "What's the best product to sell online," has become the number one business question of the decade.
The next question is always: "Why information?" Again, the answer is simple: because no other type of product is easier to create, faster to bring to market, easier to distribute, and potentially more profitable.
Many info products net as much as 75% to 95% profit on the initial sale after all costs have been deducted. And residual sales to established customers can offer 100% profit.
Informational products come in many forms. An info product can be a digital book (e-book" is the accepted term), a digital report or white paper, a piece of software, a website, a newsletter, etc. Any product that is informational or informative in nature can be considered an info product.
Here's why information is the best product to sell online:
Fast to create, fast to market
Forget a product development cycle that is years in the making. Forget an intense design and costly manufacturing process. I have literally created info products in as little as two hours and had them generating revenue shortly thereafter. If you have an appealing topic and a computer, you have all the tools you need to create an info product.
No inventory to stock
Forget filling your garage with boxes of cheap watches and cases of mega vitamins that you will never sell. When you sell information there is no inventory to stock. Your product is digital (I like to call it electronic air) and requires no space in your garage, just a little space on your computer. One of my most successful info products is a 30kb e-book that requires almost no space at all.
Low startup costs
When you sell information you can literally create a product for next to nothing. If your product is an e-book the only investment required will be in the time it takes to put words to digital paper. If you become an affiliate marketer of someone else's info product your investment can be zero.
You can automate the sales and delivery process.
Thanks to internet technology you can sell info products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and never lift a finger. In fact, you don't even have to be awake or at home to make money with an info product. I know many successful info entrepreneurs who are getting rich despite the fact that they work as little as an hour a day.
They check the website and their email, then go play golf or hang with the kids for the rest of the day. You can completely automate the sales and delivery process so your website does everything for you.
An automated website can give a potential customer your sales pitch, take the order and process the payment, deliver the product by email, and even follow up in a few days to make sure the customer is satisfied and offer to sell them additional products.
You can offer immediate access or delivery
Online consumers are an inpatient lot. They want things NOW! These are people who stand in front of the microwave impatiently tapping their foot and frowning at their watch. Selling information is the best way to give your customers immediate satisfaction. As mentioned earlier, an automated website can process the order and payment, then immediately email the download link for the product to your customer.
There's no shipping and handling
One of the things I never liked about selling hard goods was the manual process of taking the order, running the credit card, placing the order with a dropshipper or filling the order of my stock. I hated finding a box and packing peanuts and printing the label and taping it all up and lugging it to the post office. Every minute I spent filling orders was time that I was not being compensated for, therefore, my profit grew less and less with every minute spent on shipping and handling. Informational products require no shipping and handling. Most are delivered by email. In the time it takes you to click your mouse, you can deliver an info product.
What if you don't have your own info product to sell?
This is one of the most appealing aspects of selling information. If you don't have an info product, creating or finding one is much easier than you think.
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