Creating Extra Income Part 2
Capitalizing on Your Assets & Resources Making Money by Selling Products
Your skills, talents, knowledge, and resources take many forms. However all of the forms can be divided into two basic structures. These structures include services and products. This chapter is dedicated to products. We’ll take a look at services in the next chapter.
Your personality, time, income goals, interests and abilities will all help you decide which route is right for you and then within that route, which income path best meets your needs.
So let’s get back to selling products. As mentioned, there are many avenues you can take to earn money selling products. Some of the products you might already have in your possession. For example, you might have a collection of cell phones in a drawer. That is something you can resell. You might have a basket full of knitted hats because you love knitting. That’s a product ready to go too.
On the other hand, you may want to create a new product. You can create everything from an ebook to jars of homemade strawberry jam. Let’s take a look at all of your options starting with selling stuff you already have on hand.
Selling Your Stuff
You might be surprised how much extra stuff you have around the house that you can sell. In fact, it’s often a great idea to take an annual inventory of your home. Anything you haven’t used or worn in a year can be sold, donated or thrown away depending on the condition of the item and the value.
Here are just some of the things that you can sell online to make money quickly:
* Cell phones – delete any information and remove micro SD cards first!
* Gaming Systems
* DVDs and Blue Ray
* Sporting Equipment
* Computers and computer parts – keyboards, mice, hard drives etc…
* Misc electronics like printers and scanners
* Cameras and video cameras
* Home décor including pillows, vases, and rugs
* Wall art – mirrors, pictures, tapestries etc…
* Small appliances – toasters, juicers, blenders etc…
* Pet gear – used crates, clean beds, and water bowls etc…
* Collectibles like figurines, coins, and dolls
* Cars (Yes, some people have extra cars and car parts and selling them often makes great sense!)
* Lawn, yard, and home maintenance equipment.
You’re thinking about all of the stuff you have in your home that you can sell, right? Great. Grab a basket or make a list and start gathering your belongings.
What if You Can’t Part With Something?
If some items are difficult to part with set them aside and think on it for a day or two. Examine why you want to hold onto it. If the item was hidden away in a box or on a shelf in the basement it’s probably not honoring the reason you want to hold onto it. Either make use of the item or sell it and let someone else enjoy it.
Make Sure the Items Are In Good Condition
Once you have gathered the items you want to sell the next step is to examine it. Make sure it is in good condition. If not, do what you can to improve the condition. Polish, clean, and mend when it makes sense.
Choose Your Outlet
Once your items are ready to sell it’s time to decide where to sell them. You can sell them yourself by listing them on classified ad sites like Craigslist. You can list the items in your local paper’s classified section. That costs money though and Craigslist is free. You can host a quick garage sale too.
However, it might be quicker and more profitable to sell them on an auction site or sell them back to a retailer. Auction sites like eBay let you list your items and receive bids on them. This bidding process often means you get more for your stuff than you would otherwise.
You can sell just about anything on eBay and if you’re not interested in listing your items yourself you can take it to a service provider who specializes in selling on eBay. They’ll take a commission for the service so be aware of that. There are other auction sites you can use to sell your stuff too.
Etsy is a place to sell vintage or handmade items. If you have antiques or novelty items check out this site. Jewelry, home goods and clothing are particularly successful here.
There are also buyback places where you can sell your stuff. They include but are not limited to…
Amazon buys back used books, electronics, games, DVDs and more. Log into your Amazon account or create one, it’s free. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and under the caption, “Make Money with Us” you’ll see “Sell on Amazon.” Click that tab and follow the pages.
Play it Again Sports
If you have used sporting goods you can take them to a consignment store that specializes in sports equipment. Play it Again is one of the more popular stores but most communities have other options too.
Gazelle is a company that buys back electronics. They buy everything from cell phones to computers. There are many other stores that also buy back electronics too.
If you don’t need the money ASAP then you might consider taking your items to a consignment store. These stores sell used items and take a percentage of the sale as a commission. If you’re selling high quality items or items that are in demand like children’s toys and clothing or designer clothing and accessories then consider a consignment store.
It can take a few weeks for your items to sell so the cash isn’t immediate but you can make good money for your items. Before you drop your items off and sign up, make sure you understand and agree to the store’s policies.
For example, some consignment stores donate the items if they don’t sell and if you don’t come back to pick them up in four weeks. And most consignment stores don’t call you to tell you if the clothes have sold or not. You have to stay on top of it and call them.
The good thing about consignment stores is that even if your items don’t sell at one store, you can take it to another one or you can try to sell the stuff yourself on an auction site or at a garage sale.
What if you don’t have stuff to sell or if you don’t have enough stuff to sell to meet your extra income needs or goals? Then it’s time to see if selling a new product is right for you.
First, let’s remember that you are a talented person with your own unique skills, knowledge and abilities. Maybe you make amazing birdhouses or maybe you’re a skilled photographer. Maybe you make really cool dog treats that dogs love or maybe you knit awesome hats. And maybe your grandmother’s secret mustard recipe is cash just waiting to fill up your bank account.
You can turn those skills, talents, and abilities into money. There is literally no end to the types of products you can make and sell. Here’s a small list of ideas to help you begin brainstorming the possibilities:
* Bath and body products like lotion, perfume, and lip balm
* Pet toys
* Pet food
* Pet clothing and accessories
* Knitted or crocheted clothes
* Knitted or crocheted toys
* Baby clothing
* Baby blankets
* Gift baskets
* Jewelry: earrings, necklaces, bracelets
* Art: paintings, drawings, computer generated arts
* Ornaments and holiday decorations
* Dried flower arrangements
* Food: baked goods, sauces, candy, soups and more
* Bird houses, dog houses, bat houses
* Ebooks and information products (more on this in a bit!)
Okay so you get the point. This list really could go on and on. It all comes back to what you know, love, and are good at.
Make a List
Sit down and make a list of the things you would enjoy making and selling. Don’t worry right now about how you’d sell it. Just focus on types of products you can make. A word of advice here…
If you need money quickly then focus on making products you can create quickly. For example, you can make hundreds of bars of soap in a weekend but you probably can’t build an entertainment center or paint a masterpiece in a weekend.
A Quick Mention About Information Products and Ebooks
If you have specialty knowledge about a topic you can make good money creating a book, workshop, or even a video series on the topic. Ebooks sell very well online and more and more people own digital readers and are actively searching for ebooks instead of print ones.
If you enjoy writing, or talking, about a specific topic and have specialty knowledge on a topic then consider creating and selling an information product.
For example, are you an expert organizer and do you have a system that works well? Do you have a stockpile of old family recipes you can gather into a cookbook? Do you have expert knowledge about how to rebuild old cars or train horses?
Your specialty knowledge can make you good money. And there are web services that can help you market and sell your book. Smashwords, Amazon’s self publishing service and ClickBank are all options to look into if this path to profits is interesting to you.
Back to Selling Your Own Products…
There are a few key decisions to make before you begin creating and selling. They boil down to three main questions:
1. Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
2. How/Where Will You Sell Your Product?
3. How Much Money Can You Make?
Within those three primary questions there are smaller questions that you can answer to help create a plan.
Who Are You Selling To?
Take some time to assess who your customer is before you try to sell a product. It will help you earn more money quickly.
Why Will They Buy Your Product?
How does your product solve a problem or provide value? Outline the benefits your customer receives when they buy from you. You’ll use these benefits when you write your flyers, advertisements, and even your business cards.
How Much Does Your Product Cost?
Research your competition, evaluate the cost of your product and the price of selling and price your products accordingly.
How Will You Sell It?
You may already know the answer to this question. Perhaps you’re selling on eBay or Etsy or maybe you’re selling at the farmer’s market or you plan on creating your own website. If you’re selling food you can also sell on Foodzie. Find the best method for you based on your product and your customer’s needs.
What Are Your Policies and Procedures?
How Will You Market Your Products?
You can market online, offline or both. Flyers, advertisements, social networking and word of mouth area all viable options. Consider where your customers hang out and how you might reach them quickly and cheaply.
Income and Expenses
How much will it cost you to make your product and how much income do you expect to earn? How will you track your income and expenses (don’t forget that you’ll need to report it when tax time rolls around).
Take the time to sit down and plan your quick income strategy. Things will go much more smoothly and you’ll be able to earn that money you need even faster.
Finally, if making your own products or selling your own stuff isn’t right for you consider selling other people’s stuff.
There are many ways to make extra money and many people have found great success by selling other people’s products. The advantage to this is that you don’t have to take the time to create products or dig through your attic. You can get started almost immediately.
Here are a few ways you can sell other people’s products:
Have you ever been to a home party where you bought lingerie, baskets, cookware, candles, or jewelry? That’s direct sales. As a direct sales consultant you can make extra money pretty quickly. You do generally have to make an initial investment to buy supplies. However, it can be fun and if you’re money motivated you can make great money.
An affiliate marketer has a blog or website. They earn commissions when their visitors buy products (or services) they promote or advertise on their website. If you already have a website or blog or you’re interested in starting one, you can earn extra money as an affiliate marketer.
There are two essentials to affiliate success. The first is that your website or blog is about a specialized topic. For example, a blog about weight loss is pretty general. However, a blog about natural weight loss for women over sixty is a bit more specific.
The more specific your topic, the less competition you’ll have. Also, it’s easier to attract readers and earn affiliate commissions if you have a specific topic.
The second essential for affiliate success is content. The more articles, blog posts, and/or videos you have on your site the better. Your content is what attracts readers, it’s what keeps them at your site and it’s what motivates them to click on your ads and links and those clicks can earn you money!
Speaking of clicks to earn you money…You can also earn money by selling ad space on your blog or website or by participating in a Pay Per Click advertising campaign like AdSense.
Wrapping It Up
Selling products, whether you make them yourself, dig them out of your attic, or sell other people’s products, is a great way to make money quickly. Some income models and products can generate cash more quickly than others. Time is definitely a consideration to make, especially if you need the money right away.
Other considerations include your passions, skills, interests and resources. Take a look at who you are, what you like, and what you have around you. And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. There are people, websites, and services out there to help you. From auction sites to farmer’s markets there are places designed to help you earn the money you need.
If the idea of selling a product isn’t appealing consider selling a service. The next article discusses the possibilities!