Hand Over Fist?
(hennhaus: Hard Baud)

Hand Over Fist?

“You can turn your back on this opportunity right now, but in 3 years you will be kicking yourself.”

The opportunity is a Thornhill-based company’s book ($54.00, please), ‘How to Develop a Six-Figure Income on the Internet.’ Not just garden-variety money, you understand, but “quick and easy money.” It may not surprise you that the company in question also offers seminars on the same topic. Though I cannot accurately support nor denounce this particular situation, ‘get rich quick’ books and seminars oftentimes enable the authors and leaders of same to rake in plenty of money; readers and attendees, in the main, tend to be disappointed.

An online Australian company asks that you “knock on the door of prosperity to change your life”, through which it offers “genuine researched opporunities [sic].” One of these is the opportunity of
investing $200 in a Belize corporation, then sponsoring three others to do the same (whose $600 will plunk your invested $200 into a ‘trust’). Their subsequent sponsors are worth $40 to your trust. I could go on, but you’ve probably got a good idea of what a pyramid scheme smells like. Be warned
that there are numerous pyramid versions online, and remember what Barnum said about fools and money.

A Texas company has written a lovely program (US$350) that strips “MILLIONS” of email addresses from newsgroup postings and Web sites, places them in a database, then enables you to send the same unsolicited advertising message to all of them with the click of a mouse. Lest this may have some surface attraction, note that unsolicited email — especially in the form of advertising — is generally greeted with either polite disdain, or creative invective. Neither of these are likely to line
your pocket with anything negotiable.

Is it possible to legitimately make retail money (without receiving grumpy email) on the ‘Net? Certainly there are no shortage of companies and individuals who are convinced it is; like any medium, the ‘Net carries plenty of advertising. Web sites that sell products can be quite successful; overhead is generally cheap (usually limited to whatever the Internet Service Providor charges), it’s often not necessary to actually have product in stock — it can be shipped directly from distributors — and there are Web site listings that will advertise (read: list) your site at no charge. Users searching for your product, assuming you’ve listed your site somewhere, are likely to find your site: Selling to someone who already wants your product and has specifically sought you out shouldn’t prove too difficult — especially as neither you nor salespeople need be present for the transaction to take place.

Personally, I haven’t made a cent from the Internet; I haven’t tried, given a decided lack of widgets to sell. Still, if I found myself laden with the things, I’d definitely give it a shot. With users worldwide visiting mercantile sites of their own volition, it boils down to having the right product at the right price . . . a truism that holds sway regardless what medium you advertise on.

Unrelated sites of unusual interest:
How to Make an Elizabethan Corset: http://www.dnaco.net/~aleed/corsets/
Scads of online newspapers: http://gopher.uconn.edu/~jpa94001/papers.html
X-rays of cakes and pies with strange inserts: http://www.demon.co.uk/prodmon/imgsel4.html

Still driving just inches from the car ahead of you? Expand your talents with ‘How to Drive Like a Moron‘ : http://members.aol.com/doggiesnot/moron/driver/index.htm

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Copyright © 1996, 2006 by John Rudzinski. Note the date the column was originally published; any links contained therein are probably outdated.

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Related Reading:

Internet Riches: The Simple Money-making Secrets of Online Millionaires The AdSense Code: What Google Never Told You About Making Money with AdSense How to Use the Internet to Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business or Website with Little or No Money