Today, we have a surprise Guest Article here! My friend, Dave Starr sent me an article to include on this site, as a “Blog Warming Gift”. Dave and I have been friends for a few years now, and we usually communicate in one way or another just about every day. I appreciate Dave’s gift for my new site! I hope you will visit Davao at his site, Talar Profit Systems.
I guess you could call this a sort of “blog warming” gift. Bob and I have known each other for some time, met in person several times and have worked together on a small project or two. I was writing a regular column for one of Bob’s online properties and recently quit that because, I have so little time for writing!
So why would I be guesting here on Bob’s new make money blog which focuses on and leverages his real world experience with eBay, the largest online marketplace in the world?
Well I felt this little story would be worthwhile to those folks who find their way here hoping to learn something about how to make money from eBay. I used eBay to make money for some time in a way most of you may never have thought of, so I figured this might be a worthwhile ‘adjunct’ to your normal eBay skills.
When most people talk about buying and selling on eBay their mind only runs in the area of selling items they already own, or can acquire, for a price higher than they paid for the item … the difference, of course, less fees and other overheads is profit.
What if I told you there’s a darn good potential in using eBay to acquire items relatively cheap and selling them in ways that have nothing to do with eBay itself, or even the whole spectrum of online commerce?
Here’s how eBay worked for me.
My wife and I were running a small brick and mortar business when we lived in the US. We sold and serviced relatively high-end GPS tracking systems to commercial truck fleet operators. Our clients loved saving money and making better use of their employees and assets once they know where those assets were at any given time.
Part of what had to be sold to every client was a software program called Microsoft MapPoint. It serves up great maps of the US and allows a lot of business-oriented drawings, time and distance calculations and so on.
MapPoint isn’t particularly cheap, though. It listed as high as $500 USD during times we were selling, and although Microsoft has a program for discounts to “authorized resellers”, after becoming an “authorized reseller” I found that the discounts were miserable… $25 or $30 off list.
This meant I still had to charge my clients like $500 for someone else’s software, and at a mark-up of only $30, I wasn’t making much money off MapPoint for sure.
Every now and then a client would mention to me that they had seen MapPoint for sale on Amazon, for much less than list. “Go ahead and buy it, then.” I would respond.
But it wasn’t a good choice for me . Not only did I lose out on my small profit, but I’d be waiting around for days for my client to get his software and install it so I cold start training him on how to use his new system. Horribly inefficient.
I went on eBay one day, and my whole business changed.
Just go to eBay right now. You’ll see licensed, in the box MapPoint brand new for as little as $40 or $50. I started ordering from eBay, for delivery to my business office, and keeping a few products in stock.
Instead of asking my clients to pay $400 or $500 for a piece of software which I made almost nothing from, I’d charge them $250 for the software, 40% or 50% off list, make $200 profit on the sale, and put my business back on schedule!
When we decided to close up our business and move to the Philippines, I was already getting queries from other dealers around the country, asking me to get them my fabulous $50 or$80 MapPoint boxes. If I stayed in that market I could have easily made a sideline reselling this software to my colleagues/competitors.
Couldn’t have those other dealers gone and bought from eBay just as I did? Sure they could. Couldn’t my end user clients have gone and bought the product for themselves? Absolutely. But there is something that you have to remember.
People basically are lazy. People generally won’t use a non-traditional method for finding a product. All you have to do to make a little business, or build a niche in a going business, is tell yourself that there is a way, and then go find it. People pay for the service of finding things for them, guaranteed.