الأحد، 1 مايو 2011

eBay Crusher

I received a late-night call from my friend Jay… and he didn’t sound good.

You see, Jay was on the verge of losing his job as a Director for the large hotel he worked for in our town.  He was becoming increasingly worried that he would end up in financial ruin.  And although he never really cared all that much for corporate life, it did pay the bills.

With the economy worsening, Jay knew he had to do
something to generate additional income.

His real dream was to be an entrepreneur and own his own business.  But even though he tried, he struggled to make anything work.  He was frantic, but I told him to calm down and tell me exactly what he was doing to try to make extra money.

That evening, he told me about all of his ideas.  Some were actually very good, but as he continued to speak, something became very apparent.  He suffered the same “affliction” that a lot of new entrepreneurs do…

Jay would try something that excited him for a while but only give it a half-hearted effort.  He never concentrated on one thing for more than a few days (maybe a week) at a time.  He had too many ideas and he never properly implemented any of them without going off on a tangent with another idea that excited him even more.

He did manage to put a few things in place and even made a little money here and there – but he could never quite build anything that lasted or that made a significant amount of money.

Because he was somewhat of a computer novice, only one or two of his ideas involved making money on the internet.  I have always believed that the internet is the best way to make money, so I thought maybe we should explore it a bit more.

As I have some experience with Ebay, I naturally started with that.

But just as I started talking, he cut me off…

“Dave, I know about Ebay.  I have a Sellers account and I’ve been making a little bit of money with it for a while, but it’s simply not enough if I were to lose my job.”

I responded, “Well, what are you selling on Ebay?”

His answer to this rather simple question changed how I thought about Ebay forever…

But we’ll get to that in a minute.  Let’s back up a bit…
The Roadblocks

When most of us decide to start an Ebay business, we encounter many of the same roadblocks…

The number one roadblock happens to be finding something to sell:

We contact wholesalers and find out that we don’t have enough money to purchase in the quantities they require.

We contact dropshippers, but find that the prices these dropshippers charge us are higher than what those very same items sell for on Ebay.

We try liquidators but fear that we may get stuck with a pallet-full of outdated or worthless merchandise.

We even try garage sales - but quickly realize that a real business does not involve searching through our neighbors' cast-offs...

Starting an Ebay business sounds easy enough… but in reality, it’s much more difficult than we anticipate.

And that leaves us with a question:

How can you make money on Ebay if you don’t
have a product to sell?

And that brings me back to Jay…

Like I said, what he revealed to me that evening totally blew me away…

He said “I don’t sell anything on Ebay.

Ummm…. Huh?

He repeated it.  “I don’t sell anything - at all!”

Me:  And you still make money?
Him:  Uh-huh.
Me:  On Ebay.
Him:  Right.
Me:  You’re kidding.
Him:  Nope.
Me:  ……. [me staring at him in silence]

Okay.  I was intrigued.  I had to know exactly what he was doing and exactly how he did it because if he wasn’t selling anything but was still making money – I needed to know how.

After a bit of begging (and a few bogus threats), I got him to spill the beans…

What I learned from him that night was ground breaking.  It was beautiful.  It was simple.  And I kept coming back to what my father had always told me:  “It’s the simple ideas that always work best.”

My friend had just stumbled upon this amazing idea… but he didn’t have a clue as to how profitable this method could be.

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