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There's more to Selling on the Internet than you may think

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For most people, the phrase ‘Selling on the Internet’ conjures up visions of bringing their products or services to a global audience.

But while the Web abounds with success stories of German sausage makers selling their wares online to customers all over the European Union, there are other potentially lucrative ways of making money on the Internet aside from selling yodeling courses to South Africans.

What all too few companies realize is the very nature of the Internet, which allows relatively small service industry businesses to reach and attract clients from other countries, and entice them into becoming paying customers.

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So what are these other ways of selling on the Internet?

Like its real-world equivalent, commerce on the web is driven by the basic laws of economics, one of which is ‘buy low – sell high’.

It may sound overly simplistic, but a little research into prices of services in other countries can often pay large dividends when packaged properly and marketed on the Internet. By finding a demand in a place where prices for the service in question are high and providing a lower priced alternative within that country, you will still be able to build an international niche-market business with relatively little effort.

For example, a Private Pilot’s License is up to 30% cheaper in the Republic of Cyprus (even after travel, accommodation, living, etc. are factored) than it is in the United Kingdom, Ireland or indeed most other North-European countries. One enterprising school of aviation in Paphos is now actively and successfully marketing its services to the rest of Europe, and attracting more clients from abroad than Cyprus itself.

Similarly, excursions to Egypt are usually substantially cheaper when booked from Cyprus rather than the UK. This has led a few enterprising Cypriot travel agents to offering foreign clients package holidays to Cyprus which also include Nile cruises and excursions to the many Egyptian attractions as part of the experience.

It has to be said that this particular approach to selling on the Internet takes a little thought and research, so here are a few tips to get you started along the right track.

How much does your service cost locally in relation to other countries?
The answers are at your fingertips. Use the web (Google would be a good starting point) to find out just how much is being charged for your particular service in neighboring countries.

Will a client still save money by coming to you?
If this is the case, commission a small website targeted at your prospective client’s country and see what happens.

When selling on the Internet, make use of exchange rates.
Although the results are debatable, many SEO companies have already outsourced much of their work to the Far East where labor and running costs are much cheaper than in Europe. If your location allows for lower overheads and prices, be sure to bring this fact to potential client’s attention.

Furthermore, the current economic situation has seen both the US Dollar, and the British Pound plummet in the international currency markets. And while this has caused many financial institutions to bewail their lot, it has also opened doors for U.S. and British websites to compete very favorably in the international online arena.


Given a little commitment, a little thought, and a little initiative, new opportunities will soon present themselves if you're looking to expand your company's online horizons.

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