A big pile of Construx toys... do I sell them or play with them?
One of the reasons I have had such success with Part Time Picking for extra cash is that I've always made keeping it fun a priority. Don't get me wrong, it's important to treat your business as a business by keeping good accounting and understanding tax implication, etc. However, I'm wary of this side business becoming a stressful burden. When your hobby becomes a job, it's easy for the enthusiasm and enjoyment to quickly dissipate.
I have lots of small techniques for keeping things fun. I listen to music while creating my listings and packing my shipments. I like to drink coffee or tea while working on the computer. I reward myself with small purchases using a portion of my paypal cash every now and then. I remind myself of not only the money I've made, but of the friendships I've made through researching and selling items. I even write this blog for the same reasons.
Most importantly, I try to focus on picking and reselling items that hold some interest for me. A lot of my time in this business is spent researching items. I find that if I'm interested in learning about the things I'm selling, this research time is a pleasure. I confess that the brief time I'm in the possession of an item between picking it and selling it is a joy. It's like I get to own all these great things, if only for a few days.
Sure, I'll flip just about anything if the price is right. And when it comes to selling books on Amazon, I really don't care if it is a book I would normally read or own. Amazon is different.
But if I'm going to be spending significant energy photographing, researching, and then writing about an item, I'd prefer to enjoy the process. Heck, often times I struggle to tear myself away from the photographing and researching because I'm having such a good time. I'm just a collector at heart.
I guess what I'm saying is: specialize in picking things you are interested in. A lot of folks do this. I don't go searching for used lady's shoes and handbags very often, even if there are big bucks to be made reselling that stuff, because I know I don't want to spend the proper learning time required to maximize those auctions. But there are lots of folks out there who love reading and thinking about shoes and handbags. A lot.
As you will likely soon discover (if you haven't already), I tend to specialize in genres of items that match my own interests... nostalgic man-child items like toys and video games, oddball collectibles, sports items, 35mm cameras and film gear, music memorabilia and instruments, art supplies, and vintage ephemera. These are the types I things I'm often looking for to add to my own collections, and I love scanning the internet forums and learning about them. Before I got into reselling online, I did a lot of picking and researching as a hobby with no financial incentive at all. If the biggest threat to my Part Time Picking business is that I get too into the items I'm selling (sometimes even keeping them for myself), I'm doing it right. I'd rather be too interested than struggling to stay interested.
Like I said, I'm not foolish enough to forego big profits because something isn't right up my alley. If a quick check on my iPhone reveals big profits in some item outside my sphere, I'll suffer the time it takes to make those profits. Who knows, I often end up finding myself suddenly fascinated by all sorts of things. Luckily, I enjoy learning about things, so I have a pretty wide net in that regard. Maybe those handbags aren't so boring after all.
So, let us know what types of things you are into. What are your big scores? What other things can you do to make you time Picking and Selling more enjoyable? Leave a comment or send me an email.