Business: Middleman
Automatic online store   (+1)  [vote for, against]
Online store that takes little/no maintenance

There are some places on the internet which sell very, very cheap goods.

My plan is to have a online store which is, basically, a different front end to a different store run by someone or other company.

In my example I'll use DVDs.

I find the *cheapest* dvd online store on the market (or that I can find). Now my store every day trawles their site -- and adds all their DVDs, prices, and any pictures they have to my own store (this naturally can not be copyrighted material - its only the names of films!). All nice and automatically. BUT the trawner adds 10% to their price which it's on my site.

Now I know my price isn't the best on the net -- but it's still gonna be really, really cheap. So I will still get customers who haven't heard of my supplier (heck - I still shop at Amazon sometimes).

Whenever someone order a DVD my online store automatically buys it from the first, cheaper store. No human link necessary - imagine the lack of overheads.

As soon as its delivered to me, I repackage it (a 20 second job) and post it out to the customer. Of course there may be DVDs not avaiable etc. so I may need to spend half an hour a day dealing with that .. on occasion refunding customer's money etc.

What a simple business. I don't have any stock to look after .. or virtually any of the hassle of actually day to day running a business (apart from publicity and stuff). Basically I just sit there making money from the customer who doesn't know about the cheapest site on the net. The other business even tell my 'trawler' about new releases -- provides the titles of the new DVDs .. I just sit there and take sales.

This idea can be extended to other products / businesses.

Just to make it clear -- the 'even cheaper company than mine' is not known to the customer .. he's just found 'Brits DVDs' and has thought '$15.68 for a DVD? I'll go for that'.
-- britboy, Mar 15 2004

Kanban http://www.geocitie...e/1848/japan21.html
Japanese just-in-time inventory [Laughs Last, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Is this not how many Japanese subcontract suppliers advance their inventory?
-- dpsyplc, Mar 15 2004

6 minute abs?
-- theircompetitor, Mar 15 2004

Slow delivery times, and complexity if there are any refunds.
-- kropotkin, Mar 15 2004

It works, but it's not new. And I thought it would be entirely automatic. This'll be a full time job if you get enough orders.
-- yabba do yabba dabba, Mar 15 2004

[britboy]'s proposed software sounds like a shopping portal that also does automatic form entry. It also takes an extraneous step of re-branding the shipping package. That seems siginificantly different than drop shipping, Kanban, or just-in-time inventory.
-- Laughs Last, Mar 15 2004

instead of shipping it to you, then you re-mark it . just have it shipped from them to your customer. that's what they did where I used to work.
-- cornpad, Sep 01 2004

random, halfbakery