Can You Profit as a Franchise Pioneer?

Buying a new, unproven franchise can be a high-risk venture. Professional advice can help minimize the gamble

In 2005, business partners and first-time franchise operators Karen McGinn and Gene Bowen bought an iSold It eBay(EBAY) drop-off franchise and opened it in a storefront on a busy street in Woodstock, Ga., about 30 miles from Atlanta. At the time, the Solana Beach (Calif.)-based franchisor, which also lists items on marketplaces such as uBid (UBHI) and Amazon (AMZN), had a novel concept, but it would soon spawn its share of imitators in pursuit of its promising, untapped market: people who want to sell their stuff but don't want to go online to do so.

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