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Mountain Money: SNO’s Newest Blog

Hi everybody and welcome to Mountain Money, the newest blog here at SNO, where our main goals are to help you make some money and have some fun, maybe without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Now, living up here in the mountains like we do it can sometimes be really hard to find work, as all the good jobs just seem to be so far away. I mean, I don’t want to have to drive to Fresno every day for work, do you? Instead, wouldn’t you rather make a decent living while working from home?

There are plenty of ways to work from home, and one great way of doing this is by becoming a reseller through the big reseller websites, such as eBay or Amazon or Craigslist. But there are also plenty of smaller resale sites like Poshmark, Mercari, Etsy, Rakuten, Newegg, Bonanza, eBid, Ruby Lane, eCrater, Alibaba, and maybe even a few more that you haven’t heard of yet.

Stick around and we’ll teach you all about them!

Now, the whole concept behind eBay and all these other websites is real simple. You buy something cheap, sell it at a higher price, take your profit, and repeat the process. This is called “flipping” and if you do it enough times they give you a mansion in Beverly Hills.

Now, most of our articles will be about making money with the big reseller sites (eBay, Amazon, etc.) but occasionally we’ll throw in a bonus article where we discuss other ways of making money working from home. This may include articles on such topics as social media marketing, day trading the stock market (really not for everyone!), real estate investing, artificial intelligence (no stopping it now!), building websites, creating videos for YouTube, and/or anything else that we think might make you money working (mostly) from home. If there is particular subject you would like to learn more about, send us an e-mail and we’ll see what we can do!

But first, a little bit about me. I’ve been running my own eBay store for almost two decades now (ever since Bill Clinton was president) and I’ve sure made my share of mistakes (like offering free shipping.) But maybe I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Hopefully, my past mistakes will help prevent your future mistakes.

Now, if you never want to leave home, you can certainly find people or companies online that will sell you something and then ship it to your front door, or your customer’s front door. This way you never have to hold any inventory (i.e. stuff) at your house. Having stuff sent directly to your customer by the manufacturer is known as “dropshipping” and I’m sure we’ll discuss it in future articles. If you want to start learning about dropshipping now, do a Google or YouTube search for something like “make money dropshipping from home.” That should get you started. As always, try to find current information. Internet articles from even a couple of years ago might have wildly incorrect or outdated information.

So let’s get started! Now, one of the most often questions I get asked is:

Where’s the best place to find stuff for resale on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, etc.?

In my opinion, and if you don’t want to dropship, then the absolute best places to find items for resale are garage sales or yard sales, followed by church or school rummage sales. For the most part, I tend not to buy too much from thrift stores, swap meets, flea markets, estate sales, antique stores, Craigslist, etc. While there are ALWAYS exceptions to this rule and bargains to be found anywhere and everywhere (which I’ll discuss in future articles), for the most part I’ve found garage sales to be the very best place to find stuff to resell.

Let me tell you why.

The most basic questions you should be asking yourself before you go out hunting are “Who’s the seller?” or more specifically “Who’s going to be pricing this stuff?” Do you want to buy from a professional seller? Someone who’s been doing this job day in and day out for 40 hours a week, maybe for years? Someone who going to take the time to check prices on eBay/Craigslist/Amazon and know exactly what an item is selling for online? You can do what you want, but I would much rather buy from someone that just wants to clean out their garage! Instead of digging and crawling your way through the thrift stores during the week, better to save your time, money, and energy and just go out on the weekends and hit up the garage sales.

To give you one example, not too long ago I bought this beautiful, glass-framed, lithographic, concert poster. It was about two feet by three in size, signed and numbered by the artist, and I got it for five bucks at a garage sale. Sold it right away on eBay for a little over $150. I guarantee you that if had I bought that poster from one of the regular sellers at a swap meet or from a big corporate thrift store, it would have cost me a lot more! This is because a professional seller would have taken the two minutes necessary to check its price/value online before they put it out for sale. No way would Goodwill have sold this for only five dollars.

Table at flea marketNow, church or school rummage sales are very similar to garage sales in that sellers tend to fit the same profile. They are often non-professionals just cleaning out their garages. They’re not doing this for a living. That’s important. However, one problem with these types of large group sales events (same as with swap meets or flea markets) is that because of their large size you will almost always have many other buyers to compete against, all arriving early and at the same time. In fact, before any large event like this even opens for business, you can rest assured that many of the other SELLERS have already have been around the lot and had a real good look at what’s for sale. The very best stuff may well be long gone. So if you’re going to go, plan on getting there early!

OK, that’s all for now!

See you next week with some more great tips!

Bill Clark

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