One popular start-up home-based business opportunity I keep seeing is the pre-stocked ‘turnkey online store’. I’m not sure if that’s what they’re generally called, but I’ll use that term anyway. They work something like this:
- You sign up (usually paying a recurring fee in advance)
- They provide a website
- They provide the inventory
- You sell the items
- They fulfill the orders
- You profit from the transactions
Hmm. So what’s wrong with that? Price, Competition, and Legitimacy are three things that come immediately to mind.
Price – In cases that I’ve seen, you cannot compete with the pricing structure they offer. They will often sugarcoat this by showing a retail price (usually an inflated list price), your ‘cost’ and then the difference — with the implication that you will make that difference as profit. Trouble is, the ‘cost’ is often far more than the items are worth on the open online market.
Competition – With pre-stocked turnkey online stores, someone has already decided what items will be offered for sale. No matter whether they’re offering 300 or 3000 items, trouble is it will be the same 300 or 3000 items that everyone else who signs up will be selling! How can you differentiate yourself? Success hint #101 – You’ll have a much better chance at success if you play the niche markets.
Legitimacy – I have personally gone through the sign-up process (short of paying) on at least 4 of these turnkey online stores and not once was I asked for business resale tax id, a federal tax id, or proof of a business license. This underscores point #1 (price) – their prices are not real wholesale prices. They’re just retail prices.
I could be wrong about these home business opportunities and if I am I’d be very eager to hear from anyone who is actually monetizing a turnkey online store. So far the only turnkey online store owners I’ve talked to are ones who gave it up because it wasn’t making money for them. I personally don’t believe in turnkey home business opportunities. Someone is making money from them, but I doubt if it’s the men and women who sign up.