Any hobby can be a great source of income. I can hardly think of a topic or product that doesn’t have a market out there. Near my home there is a company that buys garbage. This guy makes $80 an hour for giving out hugs. The things I can sell out there surpass the things I could even imagine. My fiancé makes $1000 a month from her knitting hobby, dedicating only five hours a week. I make another $1000 by flipping items related to gaming, electronics or whatever interests me at that particular moment.
PayPal earnings this month.
I spend less than 7 hours a week doing this. Though $1,000 a month might sound like a lot for a beginner, it is quite easy. It only takes two items for sale daily, with only a profit of $17 each. Some days I don’t make any profit. Other days I make double. It always balances resulting in the same monthly amount with few hours of work.
What to Sell and Why Would Anybody Buy It?
Practicing my hobby daily means I know a lot more about it than the layman. This gives me insight as to what the customer might want. I know nothing about knitting yet my fiancé knows exactly what type of yarn people prefer because she is too, a customer. This “insider” knowledge is the key to profit. There are several types of business models I use to create income.
- Selling my great taste.
- Selling my knowledge.
- Taking advantage of people’s laziness.
Selling My “Great” Taste
Sophia Amoruso, the founder of a multimillion dollar clothes industry, could attribute her success to creating a “brand”. Sophia’s products were representative of an exact, specific taste in clothes. Much like selling soy seeds at a vegan support group. Selling generic products means competing with the big retailers out there like Amazon. What amazon.com cannot sell is my personal touch. For example; I like computers cases with a dark-textured exterior featuring a silver tag in its front panel. This specificity would mean I am the one-stop shop for anyone with similar taste.
Inside my hand-built PC.
In the days when I rented movies from a physical store, one could find a list of related films chosen by another user. I would find myself always going back to Tom, the creator of similar movie lists. I knew he would give me the best viewing experience without the hassle of choosing films myself. I apply this technique to business and have the customer always coming back for more.
Selling What I Know
I will use hiking, a hobby I know nothing about as an example. How do I get started with this hobby? What tools do I need? Where do I buy these tools? What are the dos and don’ts when hiking? A beginner hiker might not want to go through the same research phase and would prefer to just buy a comprehensive guide. There are free instructions out there but most are always lacking great information I capitalize from this need by going the extra mile, including images from every angle, thorough descriptions or a basic list of items. I am always sure to include information I myself, would find valuable.
Once I create my instructional Word document or PDF file, I upload my digital download for sale. Shopify is an easy tool for selling digital downloads.
Taking Advantage of People’s Laziness
Doing what others are too lazy to do is the whole business model of landscaping, restaurants and a myriad other services. Recently, I wanted to build a budget desktop computer. With so many choices out there, it would be quite an undertaking to find compatible, cost effective pieces and assembly instructions. I researched for a month, put the PC together and ended up selling it on craigslist for 50% profit returns. My customer was not willing to go through the trouble so I profited from his inflexibility, haste and lack of research.
Another good technique is to “bundle” items. Bundling provides the customer a beginner friendly package rich in information. Bundles sell like hot cakes because we are giving the customer a hassle-free buy – like chewing their food for them.
I have fun selling my hobby-related wares. If I feel like I’m not enjoying it, I’m doing it wrong. I know I won’t turn my hobby into etsy.com anytime soon and I wouldn’t want to. It’s about money coming from enjoyment.
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