So I'm an entrepreneur right? Having no stable income requires me to find ways to earn money in many different areas. I have to have the ability to see a profit in very random things and to know when to go for it. Here's one example of a creative way I have made a few bucks.
One of the first areas of entrepreneurship that I explored was an Ebay business. I bought and sold DVDs (before they became basically obsolete) for about 2 years, making a healthy profit. I was all of 19 years old. I used Ebay pretty heavily for about 5 years, becoming a Power Seller and all of that mumbo jumbo. I dealt mostly with sports cards and collectibles later in my Ebay career. I still dabble in Ebay sales every now and then. I am pretty good at spotting a potential profit, so I'm always on the lookout for opportunities.
We stumbled across a garage sale recently that had 14 brand new Barbie dolls from the 1990s for sale. They were all unopened, which turned on light bulbs for me right away. I know from my experience with collectibles that unopened products 20+ years old are worth a second look. I memorized a few of the Barbies and jammed home to check Ebay sales. I saw how much they were going for and knew that, for the right price, I could turn a quick profit. I wanted to make it so that I could make my money back pretty easily after selling only 4-5 of them. The rest would be all profit. That meant I would have to get them for $100. Since it was a garage sale, I knew this probably wouldn't be a problem. I asked how much and she wanted $10 a piece. I took out $100 and asked if she would take that. She did and just like that, I owned 14 more Barbie dolls than I ever thought I would own.
We're in the process of selling these right now on Ebay. One of them sold right away for $40 and 3 more have bids. Even if those bids don't increase at all and end as-is, we will have made our money back. That means we have 10 more dolls to sell at 100% profit. Conservative estimates will put us at a $200 profit. All in all, it will take at the most, 4 total hours of our time. $50 an hour? I'll take it!
Note: when selling things on Ebay, you can get really into it, or you can keep it as easy as possible. We prefer the latter. We use flat rate Priority Mail boxes, which are free from USPS. We prepay for the shipping online, print the label at home and just drop the packages off at our local post office or UPS store (yes, they take pre-paid USPS packages). We sell only to U.S. buyers because if you ship something to a foreign country, you have to wait in line at the Post Office and ain't nobody got time for that.
So all in all, this turned out to be a very good decision. Based on our average monthly expenses, we just covered groceries for a month!
Here's a helpful eBook that happens to be free as of 5/30/13: The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping. Grab that and learn some tips on paying bottom dollar to maximize your profits!