Monday, March 06, 2006

Is Shopping A Hobby?

Is shopping a hobby? You bet it is!

What is even better than learning that shopping is a hobby is learning that you can do something productive with that hobby. If you are into bargain shopping, then you may be able to turn your shopping addiction into something that you can do for some extra cash.

Look around your home. Are there things you have bought on a shopping binge that you really do not want? Take the time to get them all together. Then get your camera. If you have digital, that works better, but you can do it the old-fashioned way, too. You will just need to make sure you get enough items to use a whole roll of film.

Take a good close-up shot of each item you have gathered. For larger or detailed items, you may want to take a couple of shots from different angles. Then you will need to check out the pictures. Scan them if they are prints and get them on your computer. Okay, now what?

You can go to Craig's List or the Yahoo! auctions and begin listing your items. Both of those sites have free listings, and they have good amounts of traffic. See how you do with these items. Remember that the goal is to learn how to market the items. What made you buy them in the first place? Focus on those characteristics. Tweak your ads as you go until you are able to tell what will make people buy.

After you have sold the extra items in your house, it is time to pull out the big guns. If you want to specialize, decide what area you want to focus on. Basically, what do you love shopping for the best? That would be your best bet for selling online because you will be more knowledgeable about the market for those items. You also will know where to find bargains, which is the key to selling online.

You should take some time and research. No, really. I am ordering you to shop. Go online and look around. Head out to bargain stores. Check the sale papers. You will need to be on the lookout all the time to get the best deals in the product you are focused on selling. That means that you now have a really good excuse for continuing that shopping fetish that you have.

If you are selling online, you need to have a space in your home where you can store items because you will want to limit how much you list each week. You probably should start with only 10 or so items so that you can keep up with all of your auctions and can get an idea of how everything is going.

Selling online does mean shopping all the time. You need to be willing and able to jump on specials when you see them. If the Barnes and Noble in the next town over is going out of business, you had better jump in your car and get all of the bargains you can. If you can convince Aunt Sally to let you sell those old copies of magazines that she has stashed away, get them. Always look for new things to acquire and then sell.

As you move along in the hobby, you may even considering buying items wholesale. The fun part for you is that shopping wholesale is a different ballgame than shopping retail. You can learn about and experience an entirely new set of shopping rules! You will be able to speak to manufacturers and talk about the pricing of items. You also will need to invest more (read: shop more) to get the selling to a level that can sustain you.

Overall you will find that shopping will be on your mind all the time and for good reason. You will be making money from your shopping. That is something that very few shoppers can say about their hobby. Never again will anyone in your family complain about your shopping fetish because it will be helping to pay the bills for your family!

Who knew having a hobby and a side business could be this much fun?

By Julia Mercer

No comments: