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Starting an Online Business With No Money

How to Sell Online When You Don't Have Money for Inventory

Gather in close people because I want to talk to you about starting an online business with NO money.  

In fact, this is one of my favorite topics, because it’s seriously how I got started. That’s why I’m totally excited to tell you about some of the first products I sold.

Buying products when starting an online business with no money calls for ingenuity!

Now before I get rolling, I do need to say that there are some expenses associated with starting any business, like a business license and all that stuff.  So what you and I will be chatting about is starting an online business without having a lot of money to invest in inventory, websites and all that stuff.

Okay, so let’s talk products.

One of my very first ventures into e-commerce and online business was a website called Pick Your Plum. (I’ve since sold it to some AMAZING people.)  

Anyway, I didn’t have the money to invest in products, so I had to look for things that were:

1. super inexpensive
2. easy to get quickly
3. something people would buy if I showed them how they could use it

And you know what? A lot of time that meant looking for products in unexpected places.

So in my searches, I found a company called Uline, which is a company that sells tons of shipping supplies.  

But here’s the thing: I wasn’t looking for things to package my products—I was looking at things I could use as products themselves.


One of the things I saw were small linen and jute bags. Not exactly exciting on their own, but they met all three of my criteria, so I bought a crazy small sample of them. When they arrived, I took some paint I had handy, stenciled a heart on them, tied them up with a little ribbon (again—something I already had sitting around) and snapped some photos.

Guess what happened?  I sold a RIDICULOUS amount of them!!!!

The key was knowing Uline could get me things fast enough (2-3 days) that it removed the need to invest in tons of inventory. I could order exactly the amount I needed once orders had been placed, get them packaged into sets…AND get them to my customers within a week. Happy vendor, happy customers and happy ME!

I did it again and again and again with products like  

poly bags
gable boxes
bakery bags
CD sleeves

And that was just with Uline!

I also found other “non-traditional” sources that offered items that met my criteria—including wood I found behind our shed.

(Click to read the whole story.)

The important thing was that by selling these products I was able to build up my business and my bank account. That meant, over time, I had the money to invest in more expensive products and expand what I offered my customers.

So remember—starting an online business with no money is absolutely possible.

I’ve done it and I’ve taught a lot of others how to do it too.  If you want to know more—including how my girls started a hugely successful business before they were even in high school—check out my free Masterclass now.   

What are ya waiting for?


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