From Chris Hall, founder of

Almost 19 years have passed since we've listed our first item to sell on eBay. And what a ride it was... by 2007 we (everyone involved in online retail) were all thinking that it was going to last forever, real profit for all, the demand was huge and still very few serious online sellers. From my Pentium 3 "strategically placed" on the kitchen table and garden shed serving as "stock warehouse" I was competing with high street retailers. Or so I was thinking...

Then Amazon came to Britain and all free ad posting websites, and more of my stock needs could be satisfied online, and online banking, and many more shipping companies... so we "went international" and continued to grow, and it was all good. But then the worldwide financial crisis came, recession, and not everyone got out of it, not without huge loses and licking our wounds in order to survive as a business. Once again we had to adapt to the times.

Forced globalisation followed, with social media and PayPal and downloadable products, digital goods, and ten thousand places where you can buy exactly the same thing for, of course, a different price. As online retailers we can embrace international business and thrive or hold fast to our old ways and disappear. We adapt to new, day by day, or we are left forgotten.

For a long time I believed in selling only real, material goods through my online shops, items that once sold I pack up nicely and ship to my customer who will then receive the parcel, unwrap it and enjoy whatever's been purchased.

   But think about this, even if you already are a successful retailer or just someone thinking of how and what to start selling... somewhere online, anywhere - eBay, Amazon, AliExpress, etc. :
   A smart 16 years old kid with a laptop, some Internet knowledge and a PayPal account buys unlimited download access (memberships) on a few websites selling downloadable games, software, music, movies... anything that can be downloaded as digital goods. He then himself advertises to sell access to these digital goods, one by one and everywhere he can - Amazon, eBay, social media, advertising sites... it is in fact very easy, once paid he sends to customer a link and one time only passcode to download their desired product.
   So he pays a monthly or annual membership to have and then give access to others. Looking for a 5 dollar/pound/euro profit on each sale after everyone was paid off (eBay, PayPal, membership, advertising)... what if our guy makes 10 sales a day? Maybe a hundred, maybe a few hundreds? It's very doable as he does it all with just a few clicks, no packaging, no buying postage, no shipping needed.
   So how is it possible? How is he doing it? Very simple answer: he has the right knowledge, the right access and also doing the right math for a small profit every time.
   No matter how small the profit is for every sale you make as an intermediary (middleman) with only moving one finger, a profit is a profit.

   This day and age even the idea of buying for 1 and selling for 2 is pretty much becoming obsolete. Does anyone think the world of online retail will eventually come to a stand still or at least a steady pace? Only in 2016 we've witnessed the beginning of the end for the European Union with Brexit and the American people voting for the most unlikely character to take the White House.
No, the world of business will once again bring itself to the brink of suffocation, collapse and be reborn. It's a very natural course of events.
Where will it find you and your business?