[thelist] does anybody make any money with e-commerce?

Richard Bennett richard.b at gritechnologies.com
Thu Mar 14 05:32:04 CST 2002

Except the web-developers, consultants, and software-vendors, that is.

I'm wondering, can we now finally admit that e-commerce doesn't work for
small businesses?
Sites have always been rather guarded about how much they sell online, and
more to the point, how much profit they make, and whether it covers the
e-commerce-site's costs.
I'd also noticed an increasing number of malfunctioning e-commerce sites,
where database or script errors prevent you actually buying anything, I
often wonder if these companies know about these errors, or if they've just
written the site off, as a bad investment.

I did some checking, these days Paypal shows how many sales the said vendor
made through their services so far.
I searched for "pay by paypal" on google which brought up many small
e-commerce-site's shopping-carts.
There were many with 0 or 1 sales.
Many with less than 20 sales.
2 with more than 100 sales.
The worst performers were software-licenses, and home-produced CDs, from the
selection I tried.
The best were US flags and drugs related things.

I wonder, are there any studies out there showing which goods sell on the
internet, and which don't?
Are any small businesses actually making a profit from e-commerce?

I feel as developer I am better off advising small businesses not to invest
in e-commerce, but to provide information, and free additions to their
products on the web, and to regard it as customer-relations/advertising not
as a profitable set-up in itself.


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