Not sure if you heard, but this e-commerce thing is for real. The Holiday season now sees not only "Black Friday," when the malls are packed with rabid shoppers, but "Cyber Monday," when the Internet is packed with rabid online shoppers.
If you want a piece of that action but don't want to pay rent for a store, buy any inventory, or deal with rabid shoppers of any kind, think about retail affiliate marketing. There are many retailers who will pay you a pretty penny to promote their goods.
Retail affiliate marketing is all about being a good shopper. But in this case, the deals that you're hunting are not only the products themselves, but the commissions that go along with them. If you find a great product that pays a great commission, this Christmas will be merry indeed.
When combing the earth for this ideal deal, realize ahead of time that the majority of retail affiliate marketing is based on the percentage model. That is, for each customer you send your affiliate marketing partner, you receive a cut of the sale. Therefore, do your homework as to what the average sale is per customer, and how often browsers become buyers.
As with real world retailers, you're playing a numbers game, and you need to play it well or else you'll be playing it to an empty house. With retail, your data mining skills, as well as your data analysis software tools, must be top notch if you want to play with the big boys.
Or you could just find a niche product--pet rocks with mohawks, anyone?--and milk that for all it's worth without worrying for a second about what the numbers say. For that is the fundamental rule of online retail: if you've got a hot product and other people don't, you're hot.
And you're even hotter because unlike a bricks and mortar store, you don't have to pay rent, salespeople, janitors, and all the rest. All you have to do is attract people who are interested in that product. Plus you can sell not only to your neighborhood, but the whole world.
It should be noted, however, that few affiliate marketers get really rich off retail. It's possible, but many content creators view retail affiliate marketing more as a way to pay the bills while they pursue what they love. Amazon.com, for example, has a popular affiliate marketing program not because they pay high commissions (they don't), but because people who love to talk about books can do so and recoup some of their website costs, which are usually minimal.
No matter your goals in retail affiliate marketing, think about the products and partners you choose to work with. If you are endorsing crappy products, you're never going to benefit from the viral word-of-mouth advertising that drives profitable e-commerce websites.
If you're working with a crappy partner, meanwhile, you might not get paid your commissions at all--which is the epitome of unacceptable.