Are internet kiosk businesses scams or opportunities

Are Internet Kiosk Businesses Scams or Opportunities?

For the last several years there were many TV commercials and Internet ads about Internet kiosk business opportunities. The idea is that any person can purchase one or more kiosks, install them in public places, sell Internet access plus some other products and make good profit.
This sounds like a good plan for many people. Some companies also successfully implemented such ideas and do make some profit. However whether this opportunity can be profitable for inexperienced entrepreneur-wannabes is very questionable.
According to a number of recent publications and lawsuits most of such business opportunity ventures turned out to be scams. In this article I will try to summarize facts about the Internet Kiosk business opportunity.
The following arguments (the arguments can either be true, very subjective or simply lies) are provided by Internet kiosk business opportunity sellers.
* Many people need Internet access wherever they go. People would like to pay for public Internet access.
* There are many potentially profitable locations — airports, malls, truck stops, nightclubs, hair salons, etc…
* People made a lot of money out of ATMs and pay phones, now is the time to profit from Internet kiosk business.
* You are just in the right place and in the right time! You are lucky to be among the first who take this incredible opportunity. Other people are already making $1000-$3000 a month. You must be not a smart businessperson if you do not take advantage of this opportunity right now!
* Investment amount ($7000-$15000 per kiosk) is very reasonable and will be paid off in a matter of 1-2 years.
* You must act now in order to secure the best locations in your area. Or other people will take this business.
* Quotes from trusted sources also support the idea:
o «250,000 to 300,000 terminals will be in service throughout the U.S. by 2005.» — Frost & Sullivan
o «By the end of 2005, 71% of all users will access the Internet via an appliance such as a terminal.» — eTForecasts
o «High Speed Public Access Internet Terminals may soon become as common in airports and shopping malls as pay telephones and vending machines» USA Today
o «Public Internet Access Terminals will replace not only pay phones but also banking machines, because they will offer capabilities as well as all the other highway applications, from sending and receiving messages to scanning maps and buying tickets. Access to terminals will be essential, and available everywhere» -Bill Gates
Is there is anything wrong with the opportunity? The reality makes the opportunity look different from what is being advertised:
* Not that many people actually need or want to use Internet Kiosks. There is an increasing number of other ways (wireless services, mobile phone devices, etc…) to connect to the Internet including free options offered at many places such as hotels and coffee shops. Another reason is security. A responsible person may not want to type their private information on a public Internet terminal.
* Equipment price is usually too high (100-300% more than it should be), additional expenses are underestimated (or simply not mentioned), and potential profits are highly overestimated.
* It s very likely that inexperienced people cannot operate this or any other business without high risk and losses. Kiosk equipment is much more complex than regular vending machines, therefore regular people can not be qualified for this business.
* Once equipment is bought, people are not able to get locations. When they use locator companies, many locators cannot provide good locations or do not provide any location at all after taking money for their service.
The actual Internet Kiosk Business opportunity business is to make money for the opportunity sellers. They make money by selling overpriced equipment while promising unrealistic returns. If a person or company is trying to get into the Internet kiosk business, they do not need any help from business opportunity sellers. There are many kiosk manufacturers, trade shows and conferences where one can get objective information about the business and industry. I believe there is no such thing as a turnkey business opportunity.

Only a qualified person or company with extensive research and experience might be able to succeed in the Internet kiosk business.

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