Flowing down the River of Life

Finding Your Niche

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21 Nov 2015

Real Estate Investing: A Big Leap But Doable?  1


If you have been thinking about a real estate investing business, I have some thoughts on the subject. First I would say that the upside potential is huge. The downside potential can scare the pants off most though.

I have been looking for the right mentor to suggest to you here. But I have found that it has been rather difficult.

There are so many pros and cons, but the truth is always in the application. In other words, you might learn from any of the sources that I might mention here, but what you actually do with it will be the real indicator of its worth.

Most people are great at starting projects and then simply don’t complete them. This is where most people fail and consistency leaves people looking like a stick in the mud.

Seriously if you just look at new year’s resolutions and gym memberships, you can tell that most humans are that suited for consistency.

Most kind of wander aimlessly.

I don’t know about you but I love watching HGTV and those flipping shows. They are simply fascinating and the finished projects look incredible. It really seems to take people with real vision.

So, it is no wonder that I or you for that matter may be tempted to try our hand at the deal. The only thing that I can say is that you have to go in with your eyes wide open. I did some researching online to figure out where to direct you to next and came across this guys site who explains how he had much the same hopes and aspirations but was met by unforeseen challenges that cost him it all. You can visit the site here.

In all I wonder if the market is too competitive. Based on my research it seems that you have to do a lot of mailers or networking to get leads to buy or even sell (wholesaling) homes. It’s kinda crazy and it just seems there has to be a more straight forward way to make money from home.

That is just my thought.

You can check out some of the other ideas I have had in the past. I think things like Ebay could be slightly saturated, but at least there doesn’t seem to be the risk present that something like real estate poses.

You can check out the EBay concept here.

 

In addition, I hope to bring you a post about starting your own cleaning business like I did at one point. I think that might be slightly easier than trying to shake your way into the real estate game.

In the meantime, check out the one I did on sewing. I thought it’s a cool idea.

 

20 Nov 2015

Sew to Float  1

 

Do you sew?

I know, it’s kind of a lost art.

But some of us out there had moms that taught us or school courses we took that actually showed us how to sew. You can use this skill for another income stream to bring in money.

A friend of mine in Virginia pays her whole mortgage with what she earns from her home-based sewing business.

Now this isn’t something she does full-time. Just a few hours here and there, at nights and on weekends, around her kids and other work.

What kinds of jobs does she do? A lot of basic stuff: sewing on buttons, stitching up seams that have come loose, hemming skirts and shorts.

She also does more advanced projects, and for these she can naturally charge more: altering clothes, making specialty curtains, sewing lab coats, etc. Her bread and butter comes from the clothes altering and repairs, though.

My mother-in-law needs to supplement her social security income, and she is doing this not only with repairs and alterations, but also with giving basic sewing lessons.

Some women took Home Economics courses in school, back in the day. They learned basic sewing skills, and now they’d really like their daughters and granddaughters to have those abilities. However they lack the confidence to teach the younger women themselves, so they hire someone like my mother-in-law.

My mom even has a single dad who brings his 9-year-old daughter for weekly sewing lessons. How cool is that?

So, if you can sew, try floating your boat with that!

15 Nov 2015

Sell Stuff on eBay  5

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Selling stuff on ebay is a really great, easy way to bring in cash.

The first place you can look for stuff to sell is in your own home.  If you’re like the average person, you have stuff way back in those closets and shelves that you forgot about long ago.

It’s stuff that someone else just might pay for! And you already have it, so all you have to do is list it and sit back and wait for the cash to roll in.
Ok, that’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s not quite that easy, but my point is: start with looking in your own home for stuff you can sell.
First dig through those closets (and that attic) and look for things that you aren’t using and won’t miss. When you have exhausted all of that—which will probably take some time—then move on to items that you occasionally use but can live without.

For example, at a time when I had ZERO dollars coming in from the outside, and I had gone through all the stuff I could find in my house that was basically just storage, then I turned to other things: my high-quality sewing machine and my set of china.

Whoa, stop there! You might be saying. I’m not selling stuff like that!
Well, if you don’t need to, that’s great. But if you’re faced with not making the mortgage payment or not being able to buy food otherwise, you might choose to get radical.

My sewing machine covered half my mortgage payment and the china covered the other half.
After you’ve exhausted your own cache of saleable items, branch out into getting stuff from garage sales or thrift stores.
This week I found a brand-new doll that goes with the book, “The Old Lady That Swallowed a Fly.” Still in its original packaging. Beside it was the collection of bean-bag animals, also still in original packaging.

I got them both for $5, came home, looked them up on ebay, and saw that they are selling together for an average of $35.
I also found a whole stack of Express T-shirts in excellent condition, for 50c each. Bought 11, came home, researched them, and am confident I can probably get $40-$50 for the lot.
How did I know I could resell those for that much?

I’ll be honest.

About the doll and animals, I didn’t know. Since they were brand new, I knew I could use them for a gift for someone. It was only when I got home and researched them that I saw their value.

With the Express shirts, I happen to know that Express is a higher-price brand than, say, Aeropostale. That stack of shirts I found actually had about 10 Aeropostale tees in it, but since I knew I was buying these for re-sale, I cherry-picked the pile and got all the Express ones.

So, when it comes to finding things of value at garage sales or thrift stores, you need to know which brands have value and which don’t. Lots of things I don’t have a clue about, and I probably have walked by items with great resale value that I was ignorant of and let them go. But when I know, it gives me confidence to buy something even if it’s used.

When you’re ready to list your stuff to sell on ebay, don’t get overwhelmed. Expect that it will take you time to learn how to list things. Ebay walks you through it, though, step by step.

A big tip I want to give you when determining if something has value is this: Check the sold prices! Those are going to be invaluable to you!
Here’s how.

On eBay, search for the item you want to sell. When the page comes up, look at the column on the left side of the screen. This is where you can narrow your search. Scroll down toward the bottom of that list and check the box where you can look only at Sold Items.

That will bring up the pages of sold items, and the prices are in green instead of black. Scroll through that and you’ll get a sampling. Note if those prices include shipping or not (it’ll say “Free Shipping” under the price). If it says that, know that the sale price has the shipping wrapped into it. Deduct that and you’ll have the actual sold price.

Looking at the Sold prices is, I think, the biggest tip I can give you for determining the value of your item—if it’s actually worth selling, and if so, for how much!

Once you’ve decided to sell something, you have to choose between an Auction listing or a Fixed-Price listing. If you know your item is going to be a hot seller, put it on as an auction and start it at 99 cents.

Yes, a buck. (But only do this when your research has shown you that your items is in demand!)

If your item has value but it’s not an out-of-the-park seller, put it on as a Fixed-price listing. This just means setting your price and people buy it instantly. No waiting for three or seven or ten days for an auction to finish.

And also, no possibility that the price will rocket into the stratosphere (as has happened to me a few times, to my incredulous delight.) But Fixed price is a safe way to go when you just aren’t sure.

I have an eBay store now, where everything is Fixed Price. But before that, when I didn’t have the store, I mixed up my listings. I had items on as both Auctions and Fixed Price. (Not the same item; I mean different ones.) How I sold them totally depended on the demand for them that I learned about by checking the Sold prices first.

When you have learned your way around eBay and figured out how to get your items listed, look into eBay’s free TurbloLister app. This is a tool you use to list items offline and then upload them onto eBay all at once.

I love TurboLister. It’s the only way I list items now.

I mentioned looking in thrift stores for things you can sell. Don’t spend huge amounts of time in a thrift store. Cruise through, look quickly, and move on.

Thrift store prices will be higher than garage sale prices, so your profit will generally be less.
The smaller thrift stores are better than the established giant ones like Good Will or Salvation Army.

Smaller stores are often staffed by volunteers or people who don’t know the value of everything they’re putting on the shelves. This again is where it helps you to know which brands/manufacturers have value and which don’t.

I found a brand-new Pampered Chef item in a thrift store for $6, grabbed it, and sold it for $26.

So hopefully that gives you some ideas of where to find things to sell on eBay and how to sell them. If you have a question about anything above, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

P.S. One last tip. Take the best pictures you can of the items you’re selling. Make sure the light is good, and the focus is sharp. Post more than one picture of your item. You can talk about it all you want in your listing, but it’s the photos that will reassure the customer that they’re getting what they’re buying!!