A reseller is simply defined as someone who sells something, be it product or service, to an end user, and who makes a profit on such sales.
In a nutshell, that is what Reseller hosting is. A reseller
buys a Web hosting package from a hosting company and then tries to sell it independently. Usually the reseller`s profit lies in either the discount or the commission they get for selling each hosting account.
You can also earn commissions from a hosting company, by referring customers to their services - basically an
affiliate plan. Sometimes a referrers commission will take the form of a percentage paid once only, and at others, the reseller will be paid recurring monthly comissions for as long as the customer remains with the host. Usually the reseller needs to be a customer himself if he is to take
advantage of such a plan. Some hosting companies even extend their terms to a multi level marketing plan whereby resellers earn money not only for customers
they refer directly, but also for the customers of other resellers who they recruit into the business.
A high number of web hosting companies try to outsource their services to resellers as it helps them to extend their business reach without such high costs in respect of
marketing and sales and enables them to focus more on the business aspects of their operation.
As a reseller, it is down to you just what services you sell - shared, dedicated or co-location web hosting, merchant hosting, store front accounts - the choices are
pretty wide ranging. As a hosting reseller it is also wise to offer related services such as domain name registration.
The cost, resources and chances of success as a reseller are dependent on many things but it is possible to get started on a very low budget if you do not have much
cash to invest. If you just plan to earn commission by referring people to hosting companies online, all you need is time, a website of your own and an internet connection.
Your ISP fees, domain name and hosting charges and that`s really about it, although you will need to consider an advertising budget too.
Start small and not a lot of money is required. Purchase your reseller package from the hosting company of choice with an upfront payment and if your computer can handle the customer accounts and you have a high speed internet connection you`re good to go.
If you`re new to the business start small and expand along with your knowledge. Grow your customer base and you can consider the lucrative area of domain registration services to build your profits.
If you have the money and the technical experience you can buy your own server equipment but this introduces far more in the way of overheads - maintenance, repairs etc. Even if you lease a server you will probably find yourself responsible for all the maintenance and running costs. You would also have to ensure multiple connections with the hosting company to avoid problems in the event of one of them going down.
So, the upside of being a reseller is that you do not require a lot of upfront investment. You don`t need much technical knowledge, just a little internet savvy and some
marketing skills and the hosting company provides and maintains all the hardware and software. Make sure that the company have good support staff and take care of
their customers as this will make things even easier for you. Bad support will mean lots more complaints and customers taking their business elsewhere -
it is a cut throat market nowadays and consumers have plenty of choice.
It is also worth mentioning that some customers may not be comfortable if they realize you are a reseller and not an actual hosting company - there isn`t much you can do if that situation arises.
If you choose your partners wisely, hosting can be a lucrative little business and great fun too!
About the author:
Maurice Snell lives and works in the Cayman Islands and has been involved with various hosting companies since the mid 1990`s. See more about hosting issues at The Cayman Host and hosting business opportunities at Our Dedicated Masterprofit Hosting Business.