Almost any skill or special abilities can be turned into a profitable side hustle to build your emergency fund or help you pay off debt.
The most direct way to improve your financial situation is to boost your income. Although the late great rapper, Notorious B.I.G state, "Mo money mo problems". In this case that's not totally true.
You can pay down your debt faster, relive your stress by building a well-funded emergency fund, build up your retirement account, go on your dream vacation or many other options.
The numbers show that having a side hustle is critical for most Americans. The Federal Reserve reports that 39% of Americans don't have enough money on hand to cover a $400 emergency.
It's highly recommended that every adult should have enough money in savings to cover a minimum of three months of essential living expenses. Ideally, everyone should have six months' worth.
Especially in the COVID-19 era where jobs are getting cut, wages getting cut and debt is on the rise. If you fit into any of these situations you should strongly look at adding a side hustle to your stream of income.
While you can ask for a raise or switch jobs to make more money, those options aren't always available. That's where you should look into creating a side hustle.
Any extra income is great to have, but sacrificing your precious free time should come with a proper boost to your bank account. The following side hustle that I'm about to share with has a proven potential to bring $1,000+ in side-hustle earnings.
And I'm 100% positive you alread possess the skills to get started today.
Earning Side Income On eBay
eBay has been around since 1995 and one of the first online marketplaces. Although Amszon sees about three times the annual gross merchandise volume (GMV), eBay still the second leading marketplace in the U.S.
As a seller (potentially you), they take advantage of the existing flow of traffic generate by the eBay platform to get their products in front of potential buyers around the work.
From a buyer's perspective, the eBay marketplace functions like a virtual mall allowing buyers to search for products of all types; clothes, electronics, health & beauty products and much more.
Benefits of Becoming an eBay Seller
It was predicted by 2020 that 40% of the online retail market worldwide will be through online marketplaces. That 4 out of 10 people will choose to buy goods online instead of physically going to the store.
Here are a few more reasons why you may want to consider selling on eBay as your side hustle:
- Over 1 billion active listings
- Over 180 million active buyers
- In the past year, eBay generated over $10 billion in revenue
- About 2 billion daily transactions
- 35-64 years olds make up 61% of eBay's audience
Why I Sell on eBay
Starting any business takes both time and money. Before deciding on side hustle venture to dedicate my time and energy towards I established some critiera. I only wanted to dedicate 10-15 hours per week, I wanted to start with less than $1,000 and something that I can operate from home.
My hit eBay business hits all of those marks.... I dedicate about 10-12 hours per week, working smoothly from home and to get started I spend $750 to get started. Even through the pandemic when everyone was getting cut back or laid off, my revenue increased for my eBay business.
Whether you've launched a business before or launching your business for the first time, below are some good reasons for you to consider getting into the eBay selling game:
- Free traffic;
- with 180 million active buyers on the eBay marketplace you get high exposure
- Minimal up-front work;
- building your own website and store from scratch is hard
- More brand authority;
eBay provides more opportunity for branding their other online marketplaces
- Different revenue streams;
ability to easily test various products for selling success
- Mitigate risks;
selling products through a marketplace gives you insurance if flop on a product choice
How To Get Started
1 - Register as a Seller on eBay
First thing you want want to do is register as a seller on eBay. It's highly likely you're already registered as a buyer, now you will just want to take the next step with setting up a seller profile.
2 - Build up Your Inventory
Starting you can use items like clothes, electronics and other items laying around your house collecting dust. The average home has $1,500 worth of items lying around that you can sell on eBay or any other marketplace. This is exactly how I first launched my eBay business which turned into $1200 profit in my first 60 days.
Next there's retail arbitrage which is an e-commerce busienss model centered around buying inventory at a discount from offline and online retailers, then reselling it online for a profit. Basically buying items as low as possible and selling them as high as possible.
If you want into any Wal-Mart, Target, or any other retail store they all have a clearance section to buy these types of items. I once bought a pair of New England Patriots sleepwear pants for $5.00 which turned into a $25 sell on eBay.
Next there is buying items in bulk wholesale in the form of boxes of items, pallets or even truckloads. My eBay store consists of men and women's casual & athletic clothes. My inventory is stocked using pallets (avg cost. $500-$2000) and thrift stores like Goodwill.
Note, if you're going to purchase inventory on wholesale from distributors you will have to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and register with your state as a seller. Distributors will not sell wholesale items to individuals, only companies.
3 - Storing Your Inventory
As you start to build up your inventory for your store you will want somewhere to store it if you don't have room in your house. I use storage units and system which allows me to easily find items when they are sold.
A storage unit in your area will cost anywhere between $80-$100 per month. I would strongly recommend you get at least a 10 x 10 unit, buy some vertical shelves and storage boxes to put your products in.
Additionally, I would strongly recommend that you pay the extra monthly fee for an environment control unit to keep your items safe from the outside elements of cold and heat.
4 - Shipping
When you sell items on eBay, as a seller you are required to ship those items to your customers. So you will be dealing mostly with the US Postal Service, but in some cases either FedEx or UPS.
You have the opportunity add shipping into the cost of your product so that cost can be transferred onto the customer.
Along with shipping you will want to have some shipping supplies on hand to make your fulfillment process to run smoothly. Things like a weigh maching (~$20), shipping envelopes & boxes, tape, yard stick for measuring and other useful tools.
US Postal Service allows you to use their shipping envelopes and boxes for free but you will be responsible for the cost of shipping.
5 - Taxes
Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional and will not be providing tax advice in this section. The only thing I will recommend here is that you set up a separate bank account for your eBay business, establich an LLC as mentioned above and consult with the best tax professional you can preferrably one that deals with e-commerce tax implications.
6 - Keep Track of Your Revenue and Expenses
You will definitely want to keep track of the money you've earned and what you're spending on a monthly and annual basis. #1 it gives you more clarity on how you're doing with your eBay side hustle venture.
#2 this will also help you quickly provide the necessary details to your tax professional to help you account for your taxes. Knowing your numbers is an essential task of running any successful business and especially your eBay business.
You may not find running an eBay business the most glamorous side hustle to run. To be honest in the very beginning I didn't either.
But after running my eBay store for quite some time now, it's been one of the most rewarding ventures I've ever started. The bottom line is people love to shop and even through the pandemic, seemingly one of our darkest periods ever, people still shopped.
This article is meant to be very high level as there are many other aspects to cover with successfully selling on eBay. I will be doing a walk-throug course in the future for beginners looking to get started.
Regardless if you don't find starting an eBay business intriguiging, I highly recommend you find something the resonnates with you. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that your income can be reduced or completely taken away in an instant.
If you're like me there's nothing more rewarding than the ability to create a dollar for yourself and not 100% depend on someone else (like a job) to create one for you.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found this information useful. If you know someone that could benefits from this please share this with them. It would mean the world to me. See you soon!