Introduction
 
The photo you can see is where I work when I’m working from home (which is most of the time). As you can see it’s not a high-tech or custom-built state of the art home office. In fact it’s an Ikea office in a cupboard. I’m not the world’s tidiest home worker either, but I AM successful. And getting more so every month.
 
I’m earning a minimum of around $1200 a month and last month I earned over $2100 (at the time of writing June 2004). I can’t see this decreasing, but most important of all – I can NEVER see myself working for anyone else as long as I live!
 
It’s a well-known fact that you’ll never get rich working for someone else. But it’s very hard to see this until you are self-employed. When you actually get around to making the move and start working for yourself you will ask yourself, as I do, each and every day, why didn’t I do this years ago?
 
Well put that thought on hold for a while until you’ve read through this publication. You may just find that you’re in a better position to fully consider the question.
You’re about to find out:
 
• How you have a HUGE advantage if you’re reading this as an e-book.
 
• How a picture says a thousand words, but also earns a THOUSAND Dollars!
 
• Why you will never be short of people desperate to give you money.
 
• Why people will be smiling and laughing as they happily hand over money to you.
 
• Why people will be practically begging you to take photographs for them.
 
• Why your digital camera is worth $500 each and every week.
 
• How it’s much more fun to quit your job and use your brain to survive, rather than rely on a steady (poor) wage packet.
 
• Why NOT working for an employer can make you rich
 
• Why buying an Ikea office in a cupboard can save your relationship (sorry couldn’t resist that – my other half almost left when I first started out – my paperwork was ALL over the house!)
 
• Finally, you’ll discover that you are an intelligent, enthusiastic human being capable of creating your own wealth, despite being down-trodden and having your confidence ripped out of you as an employee (I kid you not – you won’t realise until you’re free).
 
The camera never lies
 
My digital camera cost $120 four years ago. By today’s standards it’s a piece of junk. I’d show you a picture of it but it’s the only one I’ve got so I can’t take a picture of it (without using a mirror).
It’s an out of date, scratched, low resolution Fujifilm camera. You could possibly pick one up second hand on ebay or in your local papers for twenty quid or so.
 
BUT IT CAN MAKE ME $500 A WEEK WORKING FROM HOME
 
I’m not an expert photographer by any stretch of the imagination – I’m the bloke who cuts off the heads of relatives (not literally) in holiday snaps. If I’m being embarrassingly honest with you, I don’t even know how all the (meagre) functions on my camera work!
 
But all I actually NEED to know is how to point it and take a picture of the thing that I’m pointing it at! That’s it! Oh and maybe how to use the flash and connect it to a PC.
If you can do that then you are equipped to make money from your digital camera. In fact you could earn enough in a single week to buy yourself a brand-new camera every week! Although why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.
 
Especially when the alternative is using the money as your new wage – quitting work and spending your working week at home, doing just a few hours work if you want to. I’m not kidding – it really is like this! You have no idea! But you soon will have.
 
Once you start to work for yourself you will NEVER look back. And for those people out there who started their own businesses and failed dismally, let me say this:
 
You’re NOT going to need any start-up capital except a digital camera and maybe a spare twenty or thirty quid to start things off. Compare that to a ‘normal’ business where you might need $80,000 to open a shop (and the rest!) or $30,000 to buy a franchise.
 
Let me roam off on a tangent for a while. If you’re ever looked at buying a franchise before, far be it from me to put you off, but let me tell you of a ‘story’ I saw in a newspaper last week. I can’t remember if it was national or regional. This particular day the headline was something like
‘Norman is looking for dirty ovens’
 
I kid you not! Norman, if you’re out there mate, I’m sorry but I’m not taking the p***, you’re giving it away!
 
Norman had bought a franchise with a national (honestly! People are buying into this company as we speak), Oven-Cleaning company.
 
This company has regional ‘cleaners’ who, for a franchise fee of many thousands of pounds, get a van, some cleaning equipment and fluid, a business plan and no doubt (excellent) telephone support and training and they start work doing:
 
‘The job you don’t like to do!’
 
They travel the length and breadth of their particular (bought and paid for) exclusive area cleaning dirty ovens because the oven’s owner hates doing the job themselves!!!
 
OF COURSE THEY DO!
 
It’s a crappy job! Why on Earth would anyone want to buy a franchise (a franchise to me, is when you do nothing more that buy a job) where they clean mucky ovens all day?
I presume it’s to be self-employed. So Norman has paid thousands of pounds to be a self-employed oven cleaner. Nice one Norm.
 
I might start selling a cat-litter emptying franchise company.
Fancy it? It’s a great business and the franchise will only cost you £9000. That includes rubber gloves and as many dustbin liners as you can carry.
 
Get my drift? The whole point of working for yourself is that you can do it your own way.
And surely that would mean doing something easy, something you like, and something that pays well. Please believe me when I say there is NO intrinsic value in back-breaking, hard work for little pay. That’s just a lie dreamed up by bosses who want you to work for a pittance.
And starting your own business, on your own terms and in your own way, by putting in a little effort, is what this manual is about.
 
Time to get started.
 
Take another look at the obvious!
If you’re reading the e-book version of this you’re at a distinct advantage because it means you have at least some experience of computers, the internet and ebay (you must have, because that’s the only place this manual is being sold at present).
 
Now you don’t have to be an expert in any way at all, you simply have to know how to use the basics of the above, because this is the basis for your business.
‘What??? Selling stuff on ebay?? What a rip-off! I do that anyway!’ I hear you scream.
Calm down, that’s only part of the business. Listen up:
 
If you were to sell that Clarice Cliff teapot your granny left you, or your DVD player because you won a new one in the scout’s raffle, where you would sell them?
Ebay of course.
 
So would I.
 
But because you’re SO used to selling your unwanted stuff on ebay you forget that there are hundreds of thousands of people whom HAVE NO IDEA what ebay is, let alone how it works. What’s more, they are struggling (and believe me they really are struggling) to sell the unwanted
goods through the now old-fashioned ways of advertising in local papers, putting cards in newsagents windows or on supermarket notice boards.
 
THESE are the people who desperately need your help. What’s more they will be smiling as they hand over cash to you, and will be clambering over each other to get to you, because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The beauty of the system is NEITHER DO YOU!
 
Business Overview.
 
You will be operating in your own area dealing with people who are desperate to sell their goods. You will be selling these goods for them, from your home, on ebay (although they don’t need to know that) for a generous commission by simply photographing their item, listing it on ebay on a no sale, no fee basis. That is a HUGE selling point!
 
You will not have to carry or store any goods, nor will you have to put any money up front (in fact you will have taken payment and passed it on to your customer, minus your commission, before you even put the buyer and seller in touch with each other).
 
There are a few things you need to have in place before you can start your business. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by spending ten pages on how to set up a business bank account, how you are responsible for your own Tax and National Insurance and so on (you are though!).
Two quick things. Do things (i.e. photocopying) as cheaply as possible, and use an existing bank account or open a normal, personal current account to use as your business account until the bank starts bugging you. They will do this for one reason only – they’re not making any money out of you. Let ‘em wait!
 
Here’s a step-by-step guide of the first three things to need to do. If you can, DO THEM NOW.
 
1. You need to make sure that if you’re not already registered with ebay then do it straight away. It’s free at www.ebay.co.uk but you will need a bank account and/or credit or debit card for verification purposes. I’m not an ebay expert myself (just look at my auction pages to see if you don’t believe me!) but if I can do it I’m sure most people can.
 
2. You need to register with Paypal. You can do this at www.paypal.com. Paypal is actually an ebay company so the procedure is very similar. Again you’ll need a bank account and credit or debit card. Why join Paypal? Well it’s not necessarily vital, but it does mean you can accept credit and debit card payments for the items you are selling for your client, this makes the whole process much quicker and safer, you simply deduct your commission (details later) and present the balance to your (very happy client).
 
3. Design a business card, or even better, a large business card that doubles as an advert – a Flyer. Now obviously feel free to design a business card if you really want to. Have both if you fancy it. I would however recommend that you use a flyer rather than a business card. A flyer is a small advert. I use one that’s A5 size (half A4) and has my contact details on along with the service I provide. Most people who use and are happy with your service will do so again – in fact they may actually go looking in the attic for other stuff to sell once they’ve had a successful sale through you. If they don’t have anything to sell (at the moment) tell them to stick it on the fridge door, or keep it behind the clock until they do. That way you will create ongoing business.
This is what a typical flyer would look like:
 
NEED SPARE CASH NOW?
 
Why not free some of the cash tied up in your unwanted belongings?
YOU SET THE PRICE – WE SELL IT FOR YOU
NO SALE NO FEE!
GOODS REMAIN IN YOUR POSSESSION UNTIL YOU HAVE THE CASH IN YOUR HAND
ANYTHING CONSIDERED
WE DO ALL THE WORK – YOU GET THE PROFIT*
Phone Tony now on 01234 567 8900
*We charge a 10% fee on all sales. NO HIDDEN EXTRAS
 
Simple but effective.
 
You DO need to stress that you don’t take the goods away until they receive the cash.
Many of your customers will be old folk who have been subjected to TV programmes such as ‘Watchdog’ and ‘The Cook Report’ for the last 10 years and are absolutely bloody terrified to open their doors!
 
This is blatant scare mongering, by the way. Ask yourself how many old people you know personally who have been the victim of either violence or scammed out of their pensions. Not so many, I’ll bet. We are force fed terrifying reports DAILY of how lucky we are to still be alive in such a dangerous society. This is complete and utter crap (but that’s another book!)
As a business person though, you must be aware of the fact that a lot of your customers will be wary until they come to trust you, so you must make them feel as secure as possible. Once you have sold old Maud’s unused Crown Derby tea set and she’s out larging it at Bingo every night, her friends will become interested, and Maud’s recommendations can make you a lot of money.
Notice the headline on the Ad isn’t something like
 
‘LET ME SELL YOUR JUNK’
 
Or something like that.
That’s because it’s BORING and no-one likes to be told that the teapot they bought from the car boot sale because they liked it is junk.
Headlines must always appeal to the emotions. Everyone wants more money. Everyone.
OK so that’s the very first few steps done. You’re ready to sell on Ebay, you’re registered with Paypal to take credit cards and you’ve designed your business card/flyer.
The next thing to do is:
 
Decide how much you’re going to charge!
 
This is the fun bit!
 
I would recommend you charge 15% of the item you’re selling. So if you sell an item for $300 for your customer you’ll end up with $40. Doesn’t sound a lot? Well firstly, some people work for $250 a week, which is $40 a DAY. You’ll have made the same amount in a matter of hours.
Secondly, the point of this business is to have multiple items for sale on Ebay at any one time.
It’s easy to have TWENTY items listed on Ebay at any given time. If they all result in a profit of £30 then you’re looking at $750. A day!
 
But for now let’s set the amount of money we’re trying to earn at $400 a week. Not a vast fortune I agree, but it’s a nice figure to get started. It’s more than I was earning working a 37.5-hour week before I became self-employed.
 
Once you’ve achieved this figure, you’ll understand how easy this business is to profit from. If you set your sights at £1000 a week, then it would seem like a much harder task. Once your mind has seen that you can very easily earn $400 a week FROM HOME, then it’s much easier to condition it to expect a figure of $1400 a week, and you’ll achieve it so much more.
For more on conditioning your mind (but not in an in-depth, horribly boring way) try reading ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill, It’s an old-ish book now, but rumour says it’s responsible for more self-made millionaires than any other.
 
To earn $400 a week you need to sell just ten items worth $300 a week. That’s two a day.
Ah! I hear you say, what about listing fees and ebay fees?
Very good question. Read on.
Price ‘fixing’
This is a legitimate practise in the business world. It’s often confused with ‘mark-up’ but is slightly different.
 
Let me give you an example. We recently bought a ridiculously expensive, hand-made sofa. It’s the size of a small boat, can seat five people and cost $2700. My wife saw it a coffee shop and had to have one. She usually gets what she wants.
 
My point is this. We bought it for two grand (still hurts to think about!). The shop we bought it from probably bought it for $1900 from the manufacturer. The manufacturer set the RECOMMENDED retail price that the shop should sell it for at $2400. We discovered afterwards that we could have got it from another shop for this price.
 
The shop that we actually got it from was a fancy place, all low lighting and attitude. What my mum call ‘all fur coat and no knickers’.
But what they do to allow themselves to run such a costly establishment – i.e. fancy lighting, complimentary coffee when you go in, craftsman-written, hand painted signs on the windows and so on – is to make sure that their larger goods, i.e. our sofa, are ‘price fixed’ to absorb the cost of their overheads.
 
Another example is a Corgi-registered plumber. I have a friend who charges $110 to connect a new cooker to the gas mains. It takes him around ten minutes. When I ask him how he dares charge this amount he tells me that the customer isn’t paying for him to connect their cooker, they’re absorbing the $1700 per year cost of him taking training courses and exams to remain Corgi-registered.
 
He is able to do this because only Corgi-registered fitters can connect new equipment. He’s price fixing. It’s perfectly legal, and happens all the time. It’s just not usually explained to the customer. I sometimes think explaining it to them would be a good idea – otherwise they think you just charge a fortune for the job!
 
So in the same way, you will be making sure that your listing fees, ebay fees, internet connection charges, phone bill, petrol (if you have to drive to see customers), mobile phone and all other expenses are covered, in the total price you charge.
So how do you do this?
 
Well if you’re listing a $300 antique tea caddy on ebay it’ll cost you around £10 in fees. All your other costs might come to $30 a week (petrol, internet charges, phone calls and whatever). Now obviously you can’t bung all these charges onto one item or your customer would be out for your blood, and you’ll never sell them anyway.
You must do two things:
 
1. DO add your listing and ebay fees onto the item that incurs them.
 
2. Divide the rest of your expenses by the number of items you expect to sell in a week. For example if your costs are $40 a week, and you expect to sell twenty items, put another $2 (£40 divided by 20 items) on the price of each item. So your sale would look like this:
Your customer tells you she wants you to sell her antique tea caddy for $200. You agree and tell her your fee is 15%. So now she knows that she will be receiving $200 less $30 (15%) for her caddy = $170
 
THIS IS YOUR CONTRACT WITH HER!
 
Should the item sell you must present her with $170 as per your agreement.
So how do you build in your listing/ebay and overhead fees?
You have two choices. Either add them on to the item and put a reserve price of $212 ($200 + $10 ebay fees + $2 weekly overheads), or let them come out of your $30 commission (not recommended).
 
If the item doesn’t sell, return it to your buyer. No sell no fee, as per your agreement.
If it sells, for example, for $250, you can still give your customer the $170 you agreed. You have the option of either telling her it sold for a bit more and giving her the extra, or realising that this is part of your business and as long as you honour your original agreement everyone will be happy. Especially you because you will pocket $80 from the sale. The choice is yours to make.
 
Either way, your customers will be absolutely delighted when you return to them with a fistful of cash for them. You’ve done all the hard work, and they’ve been presented with some very handy extra cash. Sometimes you may receive a tip on top of your agreed fee. Most customers think you’ve done them a favour and don’t realise how lucrative this business can be.
 
Think of it from their point of view – You’ve arrived at their house; have taken a photo of their goods. You’ve then gone away promising you can sell it for them. The item is still with the customer, there’s no fee if it’s NOT sold, and there’s no risk whatsoever for them! No wonder they’re happy to see you!
 
There’ll be more about selling techniques later. For now I want to talk about the most important aspect of your business (apart from profit!)
 
Customers!
 
Obviously you can’t run your business without customers. The good news is, in this particular business you can divide customers into one of two categories:
1. They’re extremely easy to find and are grateful when you contact them
 
2. They come to you.
 
To start with, you’re going to have to go and find customers. When you first start there are two ways of doing this. I would start with the first, and while you’re waiting for business to come in, get on with the second. If you do this, you will need to put a mobile number on your flyer.
The first method is to get 1000 copies of your flyer printed up by a local printer. This shouldn’t cost more than $20 if you go to the right place and haggle a little. Tell him there’ll be repeat orders.
 
Then pick a nice day, put on some comfortable footwear and go post your leaflets through 1000 letterboxes. You can pick any part of town. It’s probably a good idea to leaflet your own area to start with.
 
Be cheerful and polite with anyone you meet. It gets a little boring but never forget, you’re working for yourself. The profit from this little exercise goes straight into your own pocket, not some factory owner or wherever else you may be working (I picked factories, because a year a did working in a factory gave me more motivation to change my life than any book or seminar I’ve ever read!).
 
When you’ve fly-posted 1000 homes (keep a record of which streets you’ve done), you can move on to the second of your marketing strategies.
Go to the nearest newsagent and buy copies of all you local papers, free Ad papers and free local papers. When you get home you need to go through ALL the classified adverts in all the papers looking for items to sell. Below is a list of all the items I’d go for, in order. The top ones are the most desirable, right down to the bottom of the list that are a little more hassle to sell, but just as lucrative (except for number 5 – try and leave them alone).
 
1. Items valued over $100 that are small and can be posted, or packaged up and sent via parcel force. I.e. they’re not too heavy!
 
2. Technology that is priced well below shop value or is the ‘latest’ thing- at the moment I-pods are very desirable second-hand.
 
3. Collectables and Antiques (the higher the value the better)
4. Jewellery
 
5. Heavy bulky items.
 
The more valuable the item the better. If it small and easy to post, even better. If it’s all of the above and unusual too then you’re onto a winner!
When you’ve ringed the items that are of interest to you. I reckon about 50% of all ads are ‘possibles’. Immediately reject ad’s such as:
Mahogany Double Wardrobe
8’ High with Brass Handles
$40 ono
 
It’s just not worth your while advertising it. You need to be able to either send items to your buyer, or have them pick it up. You can do this by telling them so in your ebay listing, and where the item is, geographically. People who cannot get to your part of the country to pick up their purchase simply won’t bid, so you don’t have to worry about them.
 
As I said, when you’ve ringed the items (use different colour markers so you can contact the priority ones first), it’s time to pick up the phone and call them.
 
WHAT!!??
 
Sales calls? I hear you say???
 
I can’t do that!!
Don’t panic – this bit is optional. You can stick to leafleting and putting your flyers into shop windows if you want. I would recommend that you try this though, it’s easy, gets results, and once you’ve done one or two, there’s nothing to it.
 
Set yourself a target of making 20 calls a day while using your other advertising methods at the same time it’s well worth it. If you really don’t fancy it. Go on to the next section.
Remember though, this is a real business and you will need face to face contacts with your customers – it’s not some dodgy ‘Biz Opp’ where you simply post 100 chain letters then wait for cash which never, ever arrives.
 
Once you’ve got into the mindset of speaking coming into personal contact with your customers, you’ll love it! Working from home can be very isolating.
Back to your ‘sales calls’
 
Well for a start they’re not a sales calls exactly – you’re simply helping people out who are having problems selling their goods. Here’s how to do it.
 
1. Go to your priority Ad’s and circle the number.
2. Pick up the phone and dial (smile when you speak – it’ll come across to the other person)
 
3. When they answer, use the following ‘script’:
 
4. ‘Hi, I’ve just seen your Ad for the antique tea caddy, is it still available’?
 
If they say ‘No I’m sorry it’s sold’, say thanks and hang up. They don’t need your service.
If they say ‘Yes it’s still available’, continue with the following:
‘If you’d allow me, I could sell it for you. In fact I think I have someone already lined up for it. All I’d need to do is take a quick picture of it. There’s no fee if I don’t sell it and the item stays in your possession at all times’.
 
THEN SHUT UP!
 
The temptation here is to follow up with all kinds of promises and assurances, ALL of which will have one outcome – they’ll make you sound desperate!
Keep quiet and let them think about it. If they say no, ask if you can leave a number in case they change their minds. Then thank them and hang up.
 
If they say OK, or more likely, ask more questions, you’ve got them. Just answer the questions honestly and make arrangements to photograph the item. Be honest with them, but whatever you don, don’t tell them HOW you sell it, or they’ll do it themselves.
You can avoid giving specifics by saying you have ‘contacts in the trade’ or have a number of regular buyers. Say whatever you want, just don’t tell them about ebay.
They obviously don’t use ebay themselves or they wouldn’t be advertising in the local rag. If you wanted to sell something tomorrow where would you go? Ebay – exactly! Me too. But if I didn’t know I’d go to the local papers. So do your customers.
 
Take the address, make the appointment and you’re on!
If you’re still not sure think it through the other way around. If you were trying to sell a two-year-old laptop (and you didn’t know about ebay) for $300, and had advertised for a week in the paper without a single call you’d be little depressed.
 
You might consider taking it to the local computer shop but you phoned him first and he offered you $150 (he has to make a profit – remember price fixing?).
So you thought ‘$150?? No sodding chance’ and decided to put it in the paper.
A week goes by with no joy. THEN you get a call from a polite chap who says he can sell the laptop for around $300. All he needs are some details and a photo and that’s it. You don’t need to pay any money up front, you don’t need to even DO anything else, and best of all it’s still sat in the cupboard so you know he’s not up to anything dodgy. Wouldn’t you say yes? I would too!
 
The appointment.
 
So you’ve got your first few customers. Arrange to see them when it’s mutually convenient, and turn up bang on time with your digital camera.
Incidentally while we’re on the subject, one of the BEST places to find customers is by placing your own ad in the local paper in the classified section. This has two advantages. Firstly people will see your ad while they’re checking that their own has been correctly worded and run, and will call you when their own item hasn’t sold.
 
Secondly people will remember your ad and associate it with the local paper, therefore giving you more coverage, and more respectability.
It doesn’t matter WHERE your customer came from, the classified ads, word of mouth, shop window advertisement or from your leafleting, the following applies to all.
So you’ve turned up, on time, camera and notebook in hand.
Look smart. You don’t have to wear a suit (or you’ll look like a double glazing salesman!), but DO be neat and tidy.
 
Be polite. Answer any questions they have. Elderly people can feel threatened by a stranger in the house; so don’t be pushy or abrupt. These are the people who will be the ‘bread and butter’ core of your income.
 
Don’t be afraid to move the item around to get the best angle for a picture. I find the best results are in daylight, but using the flash. Ask if the customer has a white tablecloth to put the item on as a backdrop if it’s small. GET THEM INVOLVED!
 
That way you will get all the co-operation you need. Take five or six shots. You won’t be able to go back without looking like an amateur, and unless you have an appointment immediately afterwards, you can download all the pictures from your camera onto your PC when you get home.
Next you need to talk to the customer about the item they’re selling. They might know about its history, or some technical details you hadn’t realised. Note how it makes them feel – remember use emotive language in your website descriptions. People buy on emotion, not on rational decision, no matter what you might think.
 
Make good use of your notebook. I constantly used a small, cheap Dictaphone until some git nicked it. It was much quicker than writing and easier to use.
Make sure you come away with the following information:
 
• How much they want to sell the item for
 
• They understand how much commission you charge and how much money you will be giving them back (i.e. sales price minus your commission. This step is simple but VITAL)
 
• That they must NOT advertise the item while you are trying to sell it – usually fourteen days
 
• Who will post the item and pay for postage or
 
• Who will arrange collection / delivery
 
• Make, model, serial number, technical specs, and other DETAILED info about the item.
 
You also need to come away having established a good relationship with your customer. If they like you, they are likely to use you again, regardless of the outcome of the sale.
 
Selling the item.
 
So now you’re armed with your digital picky and all details (make, model, technical data etc). Now it’s time to sell.
 
So you’ve sat down at your PC and you’re about to list your item on ebay. First of all, write out a description of it in rough, before you come to type in onto the auction page. I’m assuming you’re familiar with ebay at this stage.
 
(If you’re unfamiliar with ebay I suggest you buy a book, or an online tutorial and familiarise yourself with the basics of how ebay works. Then come back and read through this section again)
You can use descriptive language. Which sounds better?
Antique Tea Caddy
Or
Stunning Antique Rosewood Tea Caddy
 
I don’t know if tea caddies are made from rosewood but I DO know that I’d find out (from the owner – get DETAILS!! Remember?), and would use all the info I had to make my auction description as inviting as possible. Remember the more money you make on the item, the more commission you get.
As for the question is it better to use an auction listing or fixed price listing? I would always suggest an auction. All it needs are two buyers bidding against each other and the price (and therefore your cut) can go through the roof. If you had listed the same item as a fixed price auction, the first person to see it would simply buy it at the price you’d set.
 
BUT if you’d have set the price too high, chances are they’d not bid. It’s a strange thing (or not), but people want bargains – they’re more likely to bid for an item that starts at a low price, and then go much higher, than an item with a high buy-now price. There is a bit of psychology involved with ebay.
 
I like to use a lot of 1-day listings. They seem to work for me. I think people realise that they’d better bid now because by the time they’re home from work it’ll be gone. With a 7 or 10 day auction people seem to ‘watch’ the item for a while, which makes it easier for them to forget about it. We live in a very ‘instant’ society, and I think people’s buying habits reflect this, although this is just my opinion.
 
I would always set a reserve price at the price you have agreed with your customer. If it sells for less, they may be displeased, and you might find you have to fork out the difference yourself.
A ‘dodgy’ Ebayer would probably realise he could register a second user ID and use that to bump up any auctions. But of course that would be a ‘dodgy’ ebayer, and I don’t endorse any sort of ‘iffy’ practises!
 
When you’re listing your item, make it absolutely clear how the item will be transferred – will it be posted, couriered, collected or any other method.
If you’re sending it by post make sure you use the best service for the job – recorded, registered, special delivery etc. Also make sure you know how much it will cost so you can let potential purchasers know before they buy.
 
Be as transparent as possible. Let them KNOW what they’re getting – hence the most important piece of equipment – the digital camera. It enables them to SEE the item. Remember the buyer pays the postage and packing costs. Be honest though – they best way to get negative feedback is to charge outlandish postage charges.
 
Buyers are NOT stupid!
 
When it’s sold, email your buyer and make the arrangements clear. Tell them what payment methods you take – Paypal is the best in my humble opinion, as there are various checks and safeguards in place, but you can always take payment by cheque, postal order etc.
If you’ve haven’t received payment in 3 days send them a polite reminder.
 
It’s important to tell your customer that you’ve sold his or her item. That way they won’t try to sell it themselves. If there is going to be a delay because you’re receiving payment by cheque, TELL them. As long as you’re up front people are willing to wait.
 
If it’s sold for more than you agreed, you may NOT want to mention this. It’s up to you.
Do make sure that cheques are payable to you and have cleared before you send the item. On the rare occasions that the buyer will pick up the item from the house of your customer, make sure you are there. In this case it would be wise to be totally up front with your customer about the selling price of the item. If it comes out in general chitchat with the buyer you will look like a crook to BOTH of them.
 
If the item can be posted, go to your customer with the money ready in cash. They won’t want to wait for a cheque to clear. Take the item and post it to your buyer. That’s it – a simple, extremely lucrative business that you can start up almost immediately from home.
Future developments.
 
There are various directions you can go in when your business is up and running.
The first move, and possibly the best step you can take when you’ve a little more confidence and experience is to provide the same service that you give to your customers, but also do it for shops.
Approach your local antiques, collectables, object d’art shops, and go to your nearest ‘touristy’ town. Ours is Harrogate in Yorkshire. It’s chock –a-block full of artsy, touristy little ‘bijou’ shops that sell all manner of goods. Some wonderful, some utter c**p. But it’s exactly the sort of goods you can sell using your digital camera and new-found skills.
 
Dress up a bit and go see them. This time you will need a business card. Your flyer is aimed at the general public and will look a bit ‘rag and bone’ to a dealer who considers himself (wrongly) to be above selling everyday items.
 
Chat to the shop owner. Ask them what they do if something doesn’t sell – try and see if they already use ebay. A lot do, but a lot don’t either. Tell them you can sell their goods for them. Go through exactly the same explanation of how your service works that you would with your everyday customers. Obviously don’t tell them about the ebay connection.
 
Take your camera with you. You might be able to come away with a deal there and then. Ask if you can prove it to them. Agree a nice piece and take a few (well positioned) snaps. Go away, put it on a one-day auction and phone the shop owner when you’ve got a buyer. They’ll be incredibly impressed. Again go for small, portable items, if a buyer has to call at the shop, it can give away the whole secret to your business.
 
Leave them with your card and phone number and go on to the next shop.
Get five or six of these shops agreeing to let you sell their goods and your business will be set up for a long time!
 
The second progression for your new business is to open your own shop. It’s not as hard as it seems. You can rent shop premises for maybe $50 a week. Of course there are overheads but this is for when your business is established and earning more than you thought possible!
A shop like this, using the same selling methods, but now with the luxury (if you want it) of being able to store stock, undertake house clearances – just hire a van, or if you can’t drive, a van and man. The possibilities are endless.
 
There’s more here to just running your own business. Very few people actually operate the digital camera business as described in this manual. It’s so easy to do, and it works!
More than that though is the amazing feeling you get when you realise that you are making your own way in the world, and are not at the mercy of any employer, who, quite frankly is out to squeeze every last little drop of work from you. If you think about it, why on earth would anyone want to make themselves a ‘slave’, making someone else rich for 40 hours a week. You think you’re not a slave? Try popping out of work to WALMART to do your shopping without asking permission. Then you’ll see who’s free!
 
I apologise for the sermon – but if you take nothing else away from reading this publication then take this:
 
I was a wage-slave for almost 20 years on and off (I’m 37 now), and it was only a relatively short while ago that I discovered there is an alternative.
It’s terrifying at first. You wonder how you’ll pay the mortgage, the bills or even buy food! But you DO! You really and truly do. When you work for yourself you work 1000 times harder than you ever could for a ‘boss’, but you’ll love every minute of it. Never in the remotest depths of my mind, in the darkest, deepest corners of my imagination can I EVER see myself going back to working for an employer.
 
This business is easier than working for someone else, and far, far more financially rewarding. The hard part, and it IS hard, is taking the leap. Why not start part-time until you see the results coming in?
 
Don’t be put off by what other people say – they WILL try to put you off. People are like crabs in a bucket, when they see someone trying to climb out they pull them back because it makes them think a little too hard about their own lives. Whack ‘em with your claw until they let go!
I expect an email from you in six months telling me how successful your business is, and how happy you are.
 
Good luck!

Let me know how you get on?

Mastermind Strategist Moe Nawaz

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Moe Nawaz
Moe Nawaz, has been engineering strategies for struggling businesses & making good businesses great since 1989. “Whilst my competitors are very good at what they do, I have a much greater commitment to finding strategic solutions quickly, easily, safely, enjoyably and more predictably than any of my rivals.” “I am better at both minimising your liabilities and maximising your gains. I can also show you more legal and ethical short cuts, quick fixes and fast track strategies than anyone else operating in this marketplace”.(read more about Moe Nawaz).

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