Thinking about starting my own business

pondpalJune 22, 2006

I have been thinking about starting my own kind of trash to treasure business, and would appreciate any advise you all could offer.

What I'm thinking is to buy stuff at auctions and sales, redo them, and sell them on ebay. I am a decent painter, and have had a craft business before. Although that one was busy at first,it was in a location where it couldn't have survived long term.(very small town).

I'm wondering if you all think a person could sell enough of this kind of stuff to make a good income?

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Depends on where you live, I guess. Do you have a lot of competition in this area? Is the area relatively well-insulated from economic ups and downs, since that kind of item is likely one of the first to be removed from the budget (if it ever makes it into the budget)?

There are lots of resources on the Web and in your local library about how to start your own business and some of the rewards and financial pitfalls you may encounter. You'll want to create a business plan to identify anything that hasn't been thought through enough. And you will do yourself a favor by being mercilessly honest about your prospects in your geographic area and what you might offer customers that others don't or can't.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 1:43PM
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Have you found stuff on eBay similar to what you think that you might be able to produce, and at a price that you would find attractive? Would there be major issues over packaging and shipping that might detract from the enthusiasm of potential purchasers?

Do you propose to do this full-time, or part-time for at least a period of time?

Do you have enough surplus resources to keep not only the business, including vehicle but your home and table afloat for a year or more? Including shoes for the kids.

Have you had any experience at how much "trash" you might be able to locate and whether it would be enough to keep you busy?

Just a few ideas off of the top of my head - I thought that it was fairly flat up there, but as the hair falls out, it seems that it comes to something of a point. Too many dunce caps as a kid, maybe?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 4:36PM
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I would contact eBay sellers with similar items and see if they would tell you how much they are able to sell. I often look at quilt tops and I know the people aren't even getting what they invested in fabric. It appears to be a way to help pay for their hobby.

You could certainly start with a few items and see how it goes. eBay is an inexpensive way to sell things and you would have very little invested. I would doubt if you could make a good income this way, but it can't hurt to try.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 12:29AM
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Yours would not be a business that would need a plan, a corporation, etc. Start with the first items--buy; sell, fix up and learn to sell on Ebay. The key is--are you good at spotting a value that you can fix up and resell at a profit?
A friend of mine took me to the Rose Bowl swap meet. He walked through a bunch of places and found several tole trays. He knew which were valuable; how to clean them and resold them at a profit. He wasn't trying to deal in lots of different items. He didn't have fancy business cards or a plan--he just knew his own niche. DH knows waterford and spotted a large dirty set of an old waterford pattern juice glasses; we got it. Make a fortune on it? I don't know.
People who make lots of money on the trash to treasures & sell on Ebay are writing books about it; selling tapes on how to do it and doing seminars. That way they have no inventory; and they may not know a great deal more than you do. Good luck, get started.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 10:54AM
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I did some selling on eBay to support a small business a few years ago. Unfortunately, the eBay marketplace is extremely competitive in my area (children's accessories) which drove down the sales price so I found that it was not very profitable. I could sell items at my local farmer's market and in boutiques for about 4x what I could get on eBay. You don't indicate your level of experience with eBay, so it's hard to tell how much advice you need to scope it out. I would recommend perusing the eBay community boards relevant to your products (not sure which, but there's a bunch to choose from) and also do an advanced search to find similar products that have actually sold to see the going rates. Unfortunately, just looking at active auctions isn't very telling because you don't know the final price -- that's why you search only "sold" items.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 5:00PM
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