When I was about 18, I discovered that there were opportunities to make money online. The internet was still in it’s infancy and AOL was really popular. These are the ways that I’ve tried to earn extra cash.
eBay + Amazon
It all started when my friend showed me Techdeals. I could find a product at a discount then sell it at a higher price on eBay, price arbitrage. SlickDeals and FatWallet weren’t around yet and people weren’t as web-savvy. Nowadays, if you see a deal online you have to jump on it. If it has been over 30 minutes since the deal was posted, there’s a good chance it’s sold out. I never had the balls or the funds to buy a lot of inventory to resell.
I recently found a product, that normally sells for around $40, on sale for $9. I researched on Amazon and saw that they were selling for $32. I thought I found a goldmine so I placed an order for 50 of them. As soon as they came in, I sent them right off to Amazon to sell through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Amazon takes a cut but I don’t have to buy packaging, pack them, and ship them off individually. It appears that 30 other people had the same idea. As soon as my products went live, I had about 30 other competitors that weren’t there when I did my initial research. Now instead of making $15-20, if I match the low prices I’ll barely make anything after the FBA fees. It’s not the late 90’s anymore. I can afford to buy more than one or two, but my margins are much lower.
My Own Product
Other guys were saying you have to sell your own product. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. Last year I made it my mission to go through with it. I found a product with a really low cost and a very high margin. I built the site, set up my social media accounts, made some posts, and waited for the orders to come in. I posted on reddit and got a bunch of orders the first weekend. I haven’t been able to repost an offer so I can’t rely on that again. I haven’t been able to get much traffic but I haven’t run any ads either.
Then something shitty happened. First I got my eBay listings taken down with a message about trademark infringement. WTF?!? Then a few weeks later, I got a certified letter stating I was being sued. I was not alone either. This guy is going after about a dozen of us. This has killed my motivation to try and grow the brand right now. I’m hoping that it ends soon and I can get back to pumping up the site.
Even after I had this site up, I was and am still thinking about another product to sell. My mind is always thinking about ways to make money.
I was first introduced to internet marketing through a forum I regularly post on. The most popular topic in the thread was affiliate marketing. I was definitely intrigued but I never put forth enough effort. I would find an offer to market and get excited. Then I’d set up one campaign with one ad and sit back and watch. Nothing happened so I would eventually lose interest. Since I was lazy, I always tried direct linking. That has not worked out too well for me.
I’ve tried setting up niche websites. I’m not selling anything on these but I was hoping I could earn some money through ads and some affiliates. As with any website, you need traffic. The problem is that I never got enough traffic. Then after about a month, that project fell to the wayside.
I need to get over that hump and keep at it. We as a society have evolved to need instant gratification. If that site doesn’t make me $10,000 in the first month, it’s time to move on to the next idea. I’ve come to realize that I’m even lazier than I thought I was.