When people consider starting their own business, most get stuck thinking about large upfront investments and wondering how long it will take to get their first customer. However, many small businesses can be started from your own home with little or no investment – and most people overlook one of the most obvious ways to go into business for themselves.
Selling your things online is just that. Countless entrepreneurs got their start selling their own things online before expanding the business to sell items acquired in bulk and from others. Some of the most well-known platforms to sell items are eBay, Etsy, and even Facebook. But, sites like Craigslist and apps like LetGo also offer appealing ways to connect with potential buyers.
Low or no start-up fees
Selling your unwanted items online is a great way to begin earning money with low or no start-up costs. And, you may be surprised to see how much some items can sell for. For inspiration, eBay maintains a list of popular items that sell fast online.
Watches, jewelry, computer accessories, old cell phones, video games, clothing, cameras, auto parts, and electronics are just a few types of items that sell well.
Beyond items you already own, you may also want to explore buying and selling second-hand things from either thrift stores or yard sales to keep you ticking over once you have exhausted your own unwanted stash. But, don't overlook buying new things on sale that you may be able to sell for full price online. Ryan Grant's story is a perfect example of just how much you can make with this strategy.
Be sure to do your research and make sure that you can buy the items cheap enough to make a reasonable profit.
What you need to get going
Getting started selling things online may be easier than you think. A computer or laptop, internet connection, and the camera from your smartphone are probably all you really need to begin selling online.
If you're in the market for a new laptop, remember there are almost always laptop deals available online. Here are a few additional things to keep in mind:
- Laptops are compact, transportable, and perfect for running a small business.
- Laptops nowadays are more powerful than they ever were. When it comes to running a small home business, you do not need to have a big computer that has all the bells and whistles.
Carve out (a little) space in your home and get started today
Once you have the devices you need to take pictures and list items for sale, get started by making a list of things you no longer need. Then, compare that list vs. listing on eBay and other online marketplaces to get a sense of their value.
As far as space goes, all you really need is a small place to pack and ship items from your house. A kitchen table, spare bedroom, or basement can all be good solutions. Your workspace does not need to be fancy. It just needs to get the job done. Remember, Jeff Bezos' first desk at Amazon was made out of a wooden door with 4×4's as legs.
So, this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. The reality is that that what you need to start a small business is a market. You need to have a lot of people who are willing to pay you for something – not just a place in your house or a laptop.
What is key is and this is first, is a market for your product or service. Everything else is secondary.