An antique book by J.M. Barrie from 1912; is it priceless or is it worthless.
Give me a smartphone and about 45 seconds and I'll let you know.
For the Part Time Picker blog, when I talk about "junk" to resell, I'm talking about mostly second hand goods. I started with mostly toys and other collectibles from my private hoarded stash. I would sell these on eBay or to other collectors via Craigslist. Soon enough I got myself an Amazon merchant account and started selling some of my books, CDs, and DVDs. Once I got my smartphone, everything was up for grabs.
With my iPhone, I was able to quickly research what a book was selling for online, and in other nearby shops. All I had to do was scan the barcode on the back. I also used other Apps for doing quick price research for items. I did quick searches of completed auction listings on eBay, or found other useful information with a Google search.
With my portable-internet-pocket-computer-phone, I expanded into selling a broader range of books and collectible items. Soon enough I was picking and selling used electronics, kitchen items, handbags and clothing, cameras, fabric, and even office supplies.
I'm not interested in Full Timing. I'm fortunate to enjoy my "day job", even if it isn't making me rich. I want to look at my side business as a fun option, not an obligation. I want to do it when I want for extra cash, not as my sole means of support... That would be too stressful.
I'm also not interested in sourcing wholesale, drop-ship, or imported items. Don't get me wrong... there are many successful folks out there who use an eBay store or an Amazon account as a storefront. I have very little experience or interest in managing that type of business. Like most people, I have limited time and space to be doing something I'm not very interested in.
What I'm into is searching the neighborhood thrift shops, flea markets, and garage sales for my inventory.
If you don't enjoy the thrill of the hunt, picking might not be for you.
If you would rather stay behind your desk than get dirty on the floors and in the crates, you should look into finding some low-margin / high-volume product and hope no one else can get it cheaper.
I'm into collecting things and learning about them.
I'm into finding the big score.
Oh, I'll sell new in-the-packaging items when I can find them, if I come across them through my usual rummaging. If I'm really low on inventory I might even hit the outlet stores and discount shelves. The same Part Time Picker concepts apply, just generally lower profit margins.
Now, there are a lot of books out there that tell you all the "secrets of selling on eBay" or about becoming a "millionaire home bookseller", and I've read most of 'em. While there are certainly a few good tips and observations, these books are mostly obvious (and often outdated) instructions on the basics of eBay or Amazon with hardly any "secrets".
Now, I know I don't have to tell you about the basics of how eBay auctions and Amazon sales go. But if you're a little hazy on the topics, or if reading this blog is literally your first step towards starting out, by all means, do your homework and build yourself a proper foundation first.
What you'll need is an eBay account that has been cleared for selling, a Paypal account, and an Amazon merchant account. I'm going to assume you already have a checking account and email.
If you don't have these things set-up yet, go ahead now. We'll be here when you're ready.
Here are some links to get you started:
- eBay's Quick Start and Selling Basics online guide.
- Selling on the Amazon Marketplace tutorials page.
- A good blog by Sam Baker about the basics of eBay selling.
- 5 Selling basics (for Amazon) from the author of "Selling on the River" (you can bet he's also promoting his book for sale there, too).
- You can find lots more links if you still need them by searching phrases like "eBay selling basics" or "Amazon Marketplace basics". Watch out for all the links that won't give up any real information unless you purchase a book or service. All the basic information is out there for free.
Now, for the rest of us, it's time for the show...