Sitting on the Side(business) Lines

We’ve been busy this year so far. A super small side business that I started last year with the intention of learning a bit more about opening an online shop and making a little side money has turned into something that’s become a decent source of side income. with room to grow. With two kiddos at home, what I could work on in my spare time (in actuality) was limited. I decided to do two things. 1) Open a shop on Etsy to sell fun vintage items I found or owned 2) Open a shop on eBay to move a little more volume. #1 is more of the vanity business, with volume a little slow but higher return and #2 took a bit of research and learning to get to a place where I think I know what I’m doing.

eBay can be a wonderful way to get items in front of a lot of people. The downside, of course, are the fees, which after Paypal range in the slightly over double-digit range. Of course, I could open my own online shop, but then I would spend a decent chunk of money on driving traffic there (ironically, my pre-SAHM job!), to *maybe* have people buy. so eBay it is (for now).

I also learned a great deal about the underground world of the second market for items. I primarily buy Amazon returns, which come in a variety of conditions, but overall, even at 1/2 of retail, are a bargain for eBay shoppers and make a good profit. There’s also, of course, dealing with the general public and the crazy things people try to do. Fortunately, that only ends up being a small percentage of honest, great buyers I have, but those few can really be a PITA.

I hope to grow the side biz a bit, but it really depends on how much time I have, and of course, where to put the inventory. Right now we have a decent size cabinet in the garage, but to scale, I will grow out of this, fast. We’ll have to see how it goes this year.

Another upside is that now my mail carrier and I are good buddies!

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