The internet has created new opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. The biggest of these are successful stores no inventory.
For those used to dealing with standard “brick and mortar” stores, the idea of a store with no inventory may sound counter-intuitive; after all, how can you sell something if you don’t have something to sell? However, there are virtually millions of on-line store with no inventory that are doing quite well with no inventory.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that an internet business doesn’t require floor models. There is no way to test products out. Thus, all you need is a picture or a film of the product to sell it. I don’t need actual cookies; I just need a picture (preferably with a description) of the cookies I intend to sell.
There are several ways to operate an on-line store with no inventory. The first is to offer home-made goods, such as crafts or food. I just need to be able to fill those orders as they come in, and I should do acceptably.
The other way is to find a company that creates “print on demand” (POD) items. The company has items available, and its users can import graphics that can be placed on the items. A customer orders the item, and it is then made and shipped off to the customer. As the item is created as it is ordered, there is no inventory to buy and maintain. Although mostly used by t-shirt companies, there a number of POD companies for other items as well; self-publishing has definitely been helped by POD.
As the internet becomes more and more a part of life, there will no doubt be more interesting business models. For now, the newest and most fascinating one is the “no inventory” business.