How to start an online business for $100

Is now the right moment to put your long-lingering business idea into practice?

Build an E-Commerce Site on the Cheap

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If you're planning to sell a lot of physical goods, you'll need a service that can handle e-commerce transactions, process credit cards, and provide security for both. Setting all of this up on your own server is an expensive, time-consuming task laden with security risks. It's best to outsource the functions to a hosted service targeted at merchants. Such services can be surprisingly affordable. Yahoo's popular Merchant Solutions start at $40 a month. E-commerce sites at Netfirms start at a mere $15 a month. You can customize both extensively to match your desired look and feel.

Find a Big Sales Partner

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Thousands of merchants use Amazon to promote their goods, giving Amazon a cut when items sell. The big advantage: You don't need a Web site at all to sell there. You can sell just about anything that Amazon stocks by registering as a merchant, finding the product page for the item you're selling, and clicking Sell yours here. Merchants must pay $40 a month, plus a sliding scale of closing fees (6 to 20 percent). Individual sellers can sign up to sell with no monthly fees but must pay an extra 99 cent closing fee.

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