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      06-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
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Small side business?

Does anyone here own a small side business in addition to their full time job? I'm looking to do something on the side to earn some extra income. Does any of you do something after you get off from your full time job or on the weekend for extra cash? Please do share if you do.

I'm thinking of starting a travel agency but that would require me to go at it full time. I'm now working at a company that I've been trying to get into for a long time so I'm not looking to leave it any time soon. I'm finishing up my MBA and will have some extra time to pursue a small side gig. Any advice/comment is welcomed!
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      06-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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Do something you're good at, or that you enjoy/don't mind doing.
I work on cars on the side (mainly fender rolling and suspension installs).
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      06-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Start a vending machines business.
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      06-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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You can sell some blow on the side...
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      06-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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      06-02-2013, 04:22 PM   #6
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      06-02-2013, 04:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by F1Venom View Post
Start a vending machines business.
That is an interesting idea. I feel that it might be too expensive to start up though?

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Originally Posted by PSUSMU View Post
Do something you're good at, or that you enjoy/don't mind doing.
I work on cars on the side (mainly fender rolling and suspension installs).
Hmmm perhaps I should get into photography. I'm not an expert at it but I do enjoy doing it.
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      06-02-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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I doubt you'd make much being a photographer. I mean if Peter Parker didn't get paid a lot snapping up close photos of Spiderman then I doubt you would.
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      06-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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I doubt you'd make much being a photographer. I mean if Peter Parker didn't get paid a lot snapping up close photos of Spiderman then I doubt you would.
Lol nice analogy. I would agree with you. The majority of photographers don't make much. I'm looking to do something in my spare time/weekend but have no idea what.
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      06-02-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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Lol nice analogy. I would agree with you. The majority of photographers don't make much. I'm looking to do something in my spare time/weekend but have no idea what.
Plus there's a heck of a lot more to photography than just snapping pictures. That's the easy/fun part.

Like said, do something you know.

Personally, I flip things. I mostly do fountain pens and watches, but I've done everything from mobility scooters, to antiques, to cars. It's easy as can be and I actually enjoy it.
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      06-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #11
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Plus there's a heck of a lot more to photography than just snapping pictures. That's the easy/fun part.

Like said, do something you know.

Personally, I flip things. I mostly do fountain pens and watches, but I've done everything from mobility scooters, to antiques, to cars. It's easy as can be and I actually enjoy it.
I actually considered that. That might be something I will pick up soon. Right now I'm thinking of a consulting business or travel agency (although this might be too time consuming). Perhaps I can be an auto broker as well. Thoughts?
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      06-02-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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I actually considered that. That might be something I will pick up soon. Right now I'm thinking of a consulting business or travel agency (although this might be too time consuming). Perhaps I can be an auto broker as well. Thoughts?
-What kind of "consulting" would you be doing? Do you think people would actually respect your advice?

-Travel agents are a dying profession. I wouldn't waste your time.

-As far as an auto broker: do you have the capitol to do this effectively? If not, are you willing to take out a sizable loan?

Most of those things have fairly significant start-up costs. The good thing about flipping things is that the start-up costs are very low.

When I was 18, I started buying and selling truck parts. At the time it helped pay to mod my truck.

When I was 20, I quit my summer job at Home Depot and still made more money flipping things than I would have working 40 hours/week.

I'm 24 now and I have a full time job that fortunately pays very well. However, this side business has been doing so well (for the time I put into it) that I've almost debated on doing it full time if I can eventually get to a point that it makes sense.

Right now I spend about 10 hours a week on this business and it's helped increase my income roughly 30%. If you do the math on that, I make more money flipping things than I do at my regular job.
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      06-02-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmahany View Post
-What kind of "consulting" would you be doing? Do you think people would actually respect your advice?

-Travel agents are a dying profession. I wouldn't waste your time.

-As far as an auto broker: do you have the capitol to do this effectively? If not, are you willing to take out a sizable loan?

Most of those things have fairly significant start-up costs. The good thing about flipping things is that the start-up costs are very low.

When I was 18, I started buying and selling truck parts. At the time it helped pay to mod my truck.

When I was 20, I quit my summer job at Home Depot and still made more money flipping things than I would have working 40 hours/week.

I'm 24 now and I have a full time job that fortunately pays very well. However, this side business has been doing so well (for the time I put into it) that I've almost debated on doing it full time if I can eventually get to a point that it makes sense.

Right now I spend about 10 hours a week on this business and it's helped increase my income roughly 30%. If you do the math on that, I make more money flipping things than I do at my regular job.
Nice. Any tips that you don't mind sharing? You can send them over PM if you want. I just want to do a little something on the side because I feel like I might have a little too much free time. I could put that time into something more constructive.
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      06-02-2013, 09:51 PM   #14
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Nice. Any tips that you don't mind sharing? You can send them over PM if you want. I just want to do a little something on the side because I feel like I might have a little too much free time. I could put that time into something more constructive.
I won't share my exact specifics as I have a certain competitive advantage over most people (nothing illegal, lol).

I will say these things:

1.) What do you know about that costs a lot of money? For me I specialize in fountain pens. It sounds silly, but that's exactly why it works. I can buy a pen from one seller for $200 and re-sell it for $500. I occasionally do the same thing with watches, but those are a bit harder. Everyone knows a Rolex is worth money. Not everyone knows if I pen is worth $500 or not.

2.) Learn some basic restoring practices- You'd be amazed how much even a simple cleaning will do for re-selling something. I will replace parts in extreme circumstances, but usually I just clean and polish whatever I'm selling.

3.) Learn to buy from the people that don't know what they're selling and sell to the people that do know what you're selling. That's usually at estate sales, garages sales, Craigslist, etc

4.) Try to keep your inventory constant and keep your costs low. What I mean is that you don't want to have a ton of inventory never actually sell anything. For me, every time I get up around 50 pens I sell them off until I get back to around 40. Instead of growing my inventory, I try and increase the value of each item: I'd rather have 30 pens worth $500 each than 300 pens worth $50 each. The good thing about pens is that the take up very little space, have low upkeep and I actually enjoy them. Cars are going to obviously need to be stored somewhere, maintained, and washed. The upkeep is fairly tougher.

5.) Keep track of all your expenses. I keep track of how much I paid for something, how much I expect to pay in fees for Paypal/Ebay/Shipping, extra parts if needed, etc.

6.) Don't screw people, but don't be afraid to maximize your profit margins. I've bought a few things for less than $50 and re-sold them for over $1000. Those people were ignorant. I'm not going to take advantage of a nice old lady, or someone who needs money badly, but if the person doesn't care about what they have, I'll try and pay as little as possible.

7.) If you plan to do this long term, don't get into fads or trends. Remember how much Pokemon cards used to sell for? Look how much they're worth now. Buy things that are timeless. Pens may not have much value except to collectors, but they've been collected for over 100 years. The same goes for watches.

If you have any specific questions just ask me. I'll happily tell you 95% of my experiences and how I run it.
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      06-03-2013, 12:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmahany View Post
- I make more money flipping things than I do at my regular job.
Do you have your own TV show? I would guess a Competitive advantage would be speaking a certain language your competitors don't or having an inside man for shipping....

OP, I would just like to say....that volunteering also presents opportunities...
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      06-03-2013, 12:35 AM   #16
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Do you have your own TV show? I would guess a Competitive advantage would be speaking a certain language your competitors don't or having an inside man for shipping....

OP, I would just like to say....that volunteering also presents opportunities...
Hmm that's true. I'll check out volunteering opportunities in my area. Thank you!
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      06-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #17
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my first biz was selling stuff on ebay, ran the entire thing from my room. it was pretty awesome, making all the decisions (inventory buying, advertising, customer support, billing/shipping). ultimately i outgrew it and moved on to other stuff, but had a great run and no regrets at all.
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      06-03-2013, 10:53 AM   #18
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Do you have your own TV show? I would guess a Competitive advantage would be speaking a certain language your competitors don't or having an inside man for shipping....

OP, I would just like to say....that volunteering also presents opportunities...
I sense a bit of sarcasm in your post. That's perfectly fine and I understand where you're coming from.

Again, I'd rather not specifically say what it is, but it's a certain method of finding/buying things that most people don't know how to do. It's not a competitive advantage in the literal sense of the term, but it's a way for me to buy things for a very good price before anyone else even realizes it's for sale.
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      06-03-2013, 10:56 AM   #19
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Start a vending machines business.
I know a couple of guys that do this. It's physical work and you get paid in quarters.
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      06-03-2013, 11:18 AM   #20
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You can re-sell things on Amazon.com

I know many people that buy from wholesalers or distributors and just have them drop ship the items for them. You never have to touch the product, just paperwork of keeping track of placing orders with them and making sure they ship the items on time.
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      06-03-2013, 04:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmahany View Post
I won't share my exact specifics as I have a certain competitive advantage over most people (nothing illegal, lol).

I will say these things:

1.) What do you know about that costs a lot of money? For me I specialize in fountain pens. It sounds silly, but that's exactly why it works. I can buy a pen from one seller for $200 and re-sell it for $500. I occasionally do the same thing with watches, but those are a bit harder. Everyone knows a Rolex is worth money. Not everyone knows if I pen is worth $500 or not.

2.) Learn some basic restoring practices- You'd be amazed how much even a simple cleaning will do for re-selling something. I will replace parts in extreme circumstances, but usually I just clean and polish whatever I'm selling.

3.) Learn to buy from the people that don't know what they're selling and sell to the people that do know what you're selling. That's usually at estate sales, garages sales, Craigslist, etc

4.) Try to keep your inventory constant and keep your costs low. What I mean is that you don't want to have a ton of inventory never actually sell anything. For me, every time I get up around 50 pens I sell them off until I get back to around 40. Instead of growing my inventory, I try and increase the value of each item: I'd rather have 30 pens worth $500 each than 300 pens worth $50 each. The good thing about pens is that the take up very little space, have low upkeep and I actually enjoy them. Cars are going to obviously need to be stored somewhere, maintained, and washed. The upkeep is fairly tougher.

5.) Keep track of all your expenses. I keep track of how much I paid for something, how much I expect to pay in fees for Paypal/Ebay/Shipping, extra parts if needed, etc.

6.) Don't screw people, but don't be afraid to maximize your profit margins. I've bought a few things for less than $50 and re-sold them for over $1000. Those people were ignorant. I'm not going to take advantage of a nice old lady, or someone who needs money badly, but if the person doesn't care about what they have, I'll try and pay as little as possible.

7.) If you plan to do this long term, don't get into fads or trends. Remember how much Pokemon cards used to sell for? Look how much they're worth now. Buy things that are timeless. Pens may not have much value except to collectors, but they've been collected for over 100 years. The same goes for watches.

If you have any specific questions just ask me. I'll happily tell you 95% of my experiences and how I run it.
it is the Pawn Star business model. If you watch what they do, is exactly what you stated above. Buy for fair price clean it up and find people who know what it worth and sell it to them and even if you can get for cheap and the other person may not know what they have you maybe work paying extra to get it so not to total screw someone.
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      06-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #22
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it is the Pawn Star business model. If you watch what they do, is exactly what you stated above. Buy for fair price clean it up and find people who know what it worth and sell it to them and even if you can get for cheap and the other person may not know what they have you maybe work paying extra to get it so not to total screw someone.
Haha, I'd compare it much more to "American Pickers." They don't really show you much of the actual selling process, but the buying/acquisition process is very similar. I don't do it so much any more, but when I had more free time I was the guy digging through old boxes and hunting for "diamonds in the rough" so to speak.

Pawn Stars is also similar, don't get me wrong. However, I'm actually going out and finding deals rather than having people come to me.
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