We'll discuss marketing in detail in the next part. The important point here is not to give up. Sites like Café Press and Zazzle have a lot of customers, but you'll also have a lot of competition. Don't think that just because you've uploaded what you think are the world's greatest designs, everyone will rush to your store to buy from you. It might take awhile before people even find your store, and you may find that many people like to browse around and check out a few different stores before making a purchasing decision. So when you take a loss in the first month, and in the second month, and make 43 cents the third month, don't give up. Keep at it. No business is easy, and an online design business like this may take a very healthy dose of perseverance to make work. Don't get discouraged if you don't see the results you want right away. Stick with it and grow the business.
Back in the early 1990s, when the Web was just beginning to gain mainstream popularity, some very driven, motivated, and creative individuals came up with innovative ideas for launching Web-based businesses to cash in on what would be a complete paradigm shift in communication and commerce. But for all the attention they got, the number of people who built online businesses was still relatively small. It wasn't until the launch of one site in particular that the masses saw money-making opportunities for themselves on the Web.
eBay is one of the oldest and most successful consumer-based sites on the Web, and it helped shape how consumers buy and sell products online. Although many of the sites launched in the 1990s have long since disappeared, eBay continues to be a popular destination and a leading way for those with an entrepreneurial spirit to build a small business and generate some additional income.
I should mention that eBay isn't the only place where you can sell items and create your own little store. Amazon.com , Etsy, and others also let you sell products through their site. But because eBay has such a massive following among people looking to use the Web for extra income, I've decide to make it the focus of this section—although much of what's covered here may apply to other sites where you can sell products online.