It’s been said time and time again that if you want to make money online, starting up a blog probably isn’t the most lucrative option. Instead, you can try to start up a content-based site like The TechZone or you can launch an e-commerce site to sell whatever products happen to tickle your fancy.
The main problem with the second possibility is that it could involve a fair bit of financial risk. You’ve got to stock inventory, you’ve got to design a site, and then you’ve got to staff an email response and/or call center to handle all of your orders. But e-commerce doesn’t need to be that complicated. You can get started for less than two bucks with HerbalBiz, the home-based business affiliate program that serves as subject of this review.
HerbalBiz In a Nutshell
If you stop to think about all the costs that go into opening an online store, it can be quite daunting. You’ve got to prepare a product, design a website, set up the back-end, and ready a customer service system, and this is before you even have any physical inventory ready to be shipped. The HerbalBiz home based business takes care of all of that. All you have to do is show them the money. And by money, I mean less than two bucks.
HerbalBiz offers “a complete line of herbal and skin care products”, or rather, you will be offering a complete line of herbal and skin care products. You can have your own personalized website, complete with unique brand presence and an online shopping cart. The affiliate income payout is also quite lucrative as you earn 50% on every sale.
Here’s a look at their demo store:
They’re also quick to remind you that HerbalBiz is “absolutely not an MLM, pyramid or network marketing program.” It’s an opportunity for you to own your own online business with next to zero startup costs. You’ll naturally be responsible for your own marketing, but at least the store is up and running. Because you don’t stock your own inventory, there is very little risk as well.
What’s Up With This Dude?
The HerbalBiz website features a pretty clean Web 2.0 appearance, complete with lots of white space, mated with a soothing green and blue color scheme. Navigation to the site’s various sections — like About, Testimonials, and Contact — is very straightforward and easy to understand.
Despite this professional appearance, the HerbalBiz site has one serious negative and it involves a very intrusive guy in the corner.
Upon arriving at the main page, a video ad immediately starts to play in the lower-right corner. It’s just some guy in a suit, giving you a brief introduction to what HerbalBiz is all about. It’d be much better if this wasn’t set on autoplay, because it just comes off feeling spammy and infomercial-ish. As if the whole “own your own business selling herbal products” didn’t sound enough like an infomercial already.
Two Pricing Plans
There are two plans available on HerbalBiz, neither of which involves any monthly fees. Instead, you pay a one-time setup fee and then it’s up to you to maintain it.
The Basic plan is $1.95 and it gets you the features that you can see above, including all the code you need to have a “fully loaded website with HerbalBiz products.” I’m thinking that this might be a subdomain off HerbalBiz.com.
If you step up to $49.95 Premium plan, you also receive your own dedicated domain name, your own toll-free number and call center, and one year of web hosting. The numbers for these features (who pays $34.95 to register a domain?) are a little out there, but just the 1-800 number makes the Premium plan sound like the better option. I’m thinking that you have to pay $49.95 each year to maintain the hosting and call center.
Path to Financial Freedom?
Even if you get 50% of every sale through your HerbalBiz home-based business, I imagine that you have to make quite a few sales before you can quit your day job. The whole system, especially with the testimonials and promises of “how easily you can start being your own boss” remind me too much of cheesy infomercials. We’ve all heard of similar schemes in the past.
An alternative approach would be to set up your own shopping site of some kind, filled with affiliate links. Of course, you’d have to go through the process of coding such a site and all sales would be handled by a third party. With HerbalBiz, you get a fully functional e-store from the get-go and it can carry your own branding (presumably).