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All Systems Go

Here's how to get sales of your new product off the ground, using the Internet as your launching pad.

This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Start Up.

There are two ways to successfully sell your invention on the Internet. One is to launch your own site, link it with other sites, learn how to work the search engines and offer free information to lure visitors to your site. The downside: Setting up and developing your own site is expensive because you need to work virtually full time to pull in traffic. It's even more expensive if you have to hire someone to do the programming.

The other Internet strategy is to sell your products to online merchants who have active sites that already draw plenty of visitors. In many ways, this is the ideal setup for inventors. Unlike most retailers, Internet merchants can buy a few units of the product, put them on the site and then see how they sell. If they don't sell, the merchants haven't lost much. If they do sell, you could win big.

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