Today, I have a pretty good tip on how you can make some extra cash, locally, without a ton of specific skills.
I buy and sell on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Amazon--and it works pretty well. I started doing this primarily on eBay about six years ago. I would go to auctions and garage sales, find stuff undervalued, and then sell it.
Generally my rule is if I cannot double my money, I don't buy it.
The reason for that rule is because there are fees (10-20%) as well as shipping costs that need to be accounted for. So what I am going to do is lay out my playbook and you can be the judge if it works or not.
A few ground rules.
1. These things take time
2. Polite > Pressure
3. Know about what you're selling
I primarily sell iPhones, iPads, and computers. Why? Because it's what I know. I don't sell crafts and antiques because I'm not that familiar with it. I can replace most things on a laptop, so upgrades are easy and most of the time profitable.
Why do I do it?
A few reasons. First, it's like a game to me. How low can I get someone to go on price, how quick can I flip something, and how much profit can I make? Those are all questions I ask myself and try to improve on every time.
Second, extra money means more towards debt and retirement.
Third, it helps me hone my sales and customer skills. When I am selling online or in-person, it's a transaction and one that needs to be executed well. How well does the listing look? Is the product clean? Is it well-explained? All of these things impact how much things sell for.
An iPad that is cleaner on the outside (no dirt) and has great pictures can sell for $20 more than the same iPad that just needs to be cleaned. Crazy, right?
People think about those things when they purchase something. How well something is taken care of is often an indication of the strength of the product they are getting.
How do you do it?
I take the things I know about and search Facebook Marketplace (FBMP). Craigslist is irrelevant to me now that FBMP has come about. Then I look at models, storage, grade, etc. of whatever I am buying and look up *sold* listings on eBay of the same type and used listing on Amazon.
This is important…
DO NOT EVER base what you can sell something for off of other listings on eBay. You need to set your eBay filter to "Sold/Completed Items" and then you can see a realistic number. On Amazon, generally whatever the lowest "used" item is selling for is a reasonable price, usually.
Then I make sure I have the right packing materials and ship it out when I say I am going to. I have done maybe 300 transactions since I have been selling and so far I have a 5* rating on eBay and a 4.8* rating on Amazon. I try really hard to make sure I list things accurately and see that people get what they expect.
How much can I make?
It's up to you, really. The effort you put in is the product that you will get out. GaryVee had a 2017 flip challenge where he encouraged his audience to flip $20,170 worth of product in one year. Dollar stores, garage sales, and FBMP were all up-for-grabs and many of his followers did it. It took a lot of effort, but an extra 20k (minus cost of goods) is not a bad sideline for one year.
Anything to be aware of?
Yes, people are dishonest and will try to screw you big time. Here's my rule: If it is too good to be true, it probably is. I also have a few more rules…
1. I don't let people ship you something from Craigslist or FBMP, they will take your money and run.
2. If someone is new to Facebook (which you can see in the listing) I don't buy from them. People will create dummy accounts and sell BS products.
3. Whenever I buy a cell phone or iPad with cellular, I always get the ESN or IMEI number to verify it isn't stolen and that it can be activated.
4. I am always honest with people about what I am selling. Integrity reciprocates, don't be dishonest.
5. Be safe about meet-up locations. Daytime, public place, lots of people. Never go to someone's house or a secluded area. It's just too unsafe.
I hope this helps you get on your way to making some extra cash. You may be asking, Rob why are you telling us all this? Isn't this something you should keep to yourself? The answer is simple. No, because 99% of the people that get excited about this and all geared up, never do it. Or they will do it once and fall off. I hope you do it, because it isn't a bad way to make extra cash.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out. Rob@RobTalksMoney.com