As the internet matures, so do the attitudes of people buying more and more online. Many companies exist that will ship merchandise to nearly any address specified, without being the same address as the buyer. This opens the door for selling opportunities for just about anyone with the initiative to do a little work online and keep track of their earnings. One of the problems with having a retail website, is you become the buyer, seller and shipper all at once. When you offer merchandise for sale online you are opening the door to a global audience and will need to have an inventory of merchandise that you offer for sale. Constantly sending out apologetic emails informing buyers their choice is either discontinued or on back order will not win many repeat customers and will eventually leave you with nothing but a nice looking website. You can, however get hooked up with wholesalers who maintain a large inventory of merchandise and allow you to sell it on your website. When an order comes in, it goes directly to the wholesaler who will pack it and ship it as well as handle all the finances. You make money based on the profit from the sale of the item. For example, you advertise a DVD player on your site for $59.99 plus tax plus shipping an handling. A customer buys it and submits the order. Once payment is received and the item has shipped. If you are getting that DVD player from the wholesaler for $40, you will be paid the difference of $19. Many drop-shippers work with online auction sellers who simply list the merchandise on their auction site and the wholesaler takes over the shipping of the merchandise. For auction merchandise there is a risk to the seller in that if a listed item doesn’t sell, the seller is still responsible for any listing fees for putting them item on the auction. Additionally, once an item sells, the seller is charged a final value fee, which is a percentage of the price at which the item sold. Consequently, the seller has to sell the item at a price higher than the unit cost, plus listing fees plus the final value fee before they make any money. Selling straight off your own website may not elicit as much business, but by the buyer paying shipping and handling charges, everything paid over the unit price is your to keep. You can also choose to buy small inventories of merchandise you believe will be in high demand and list in the item’s description how many are available. Being honest with potential buyers on the front side that only so many are available may improve the chance of a sale, as well as diminish disappointment when you run out.