Wednesday, April 1, 2015

eBay! - How I Made My First REAL Money on the Internet!

eBay an easy way
In my last three posts I asked for readers of this blog to send in their stories on how you made your first money on the Internet.

I must admit, you’re a stubborn bunch.  I had three responses from readers that basically sent me one or two short sentences that I had to expand upon in order to make it interesting.
You can read those posts here if you so desire: 

In case you’re holding out on me, or are too constipated to get out of your recliner to write it up, my offer still stands.  You can send me your story on how you made your first bucks on the Internet here:

This offer will stay open until the hot, bad place freezes.

How I Made Some Real Money on eBay!

It’s relatively easy to make a little money on a venue like eBay! But it’s a real challenge to make substantial amounts of cash there, and it requires quite a bit of work.

The way I happened to make money on the auction site was labor intensive.  Actually, anyone that is making good money from an Internet venture will tell you, the same thing: It's a lot of work. 

My wife and I have had a few sewing businesses over the year.  She is quite amazing and has made everything from quilts to canvas covers on the backs of trucks.  I did the marketing, she did the sewing. 

embroidery digitizing
With an embroidery digitizing program any things is possible!
However, she knew how much I like doing graphic arts, so she started showing me embroidery that people were making using computer driven embroidery machines.  I was amazed at how beautiful you could make items using a single head machine.

The other part that I thought was cool,  was that you had to use a digitizing program that was similar to a graphics program to create the designs.  

So, with a little prodding, we decided to get the machine, digitizing program and go into the embroidery business.

However, the embroidery machine start up ran us around $12,000 for the machine, software computers, etc.  We had that money saved up so we didn’t have to get a loan or anything.  ($12,000 to start up regular bricks and mortar business is still dirt cheap, so don’t start accusing me of not being thrifty!  Ha ha!)

Why the Internet Is THE Place To Start a Business and Why I’d NEVER Go On Shark Tank
No, You're Dead to ME!!!!
As you already know from reading this blog, I don’t like going into debt to run a business because I’m too cheap.  As a matter of fact, you’d never see me on Shark Tank begging those folks to go into business with me because I just don’t want the debt and I hate owing people money.

My way of thinking is I don’t want the heavy pressure and stress that’s associated with borrowing money like that.  I’m always trying to think of other ways out of that situation.

The real value of Shark Tank isn’t the money, it’s the Sharks themselves and their connections.  Getting the opportunity to work with them would be the real value.  However, there is a cheaper way to find out how they do business and that’s read and study their books.

Almost every one of them have written books and blogs, made videos, given interviews and all you need to know is in the library on the Internet just sitting there for free waiting for you to read.  Not only do you have their resources, but you also have access to every single entrepreneur’s mind that is significant. 
dirt cheap information
How to drive your librarian crazy...

If you don’t see their books in your local library, then get on Amazon and buy their books used. 

Why?  Because it’s cheap that’s why! 

The reason why I’m mentioning the fact that I’m cheap here, is because when my wife and I started to scope out places to rent for our embroidery business, we were freaked out by the cost of renting a space. 

The mall in Lexington was only a few short blocks from our house, so we thought we’d rent a kiosk there.  However, the kiosk spaces were renting at $3000 a month, and during the months of October through December the rental went up to $5000 a month. 

So, in my estimation, many of the kiosk businesses at the mall were LOSERS!  I can’t figure out how the people that sell the little painted crabs that crawl around inside little glass cages make any money at all.  You’d have to sell a ton of those things just to break even!

The idea of all of that money being shelled out JUST to get started horrified me!

My Dirt Cheap Solution

Since I had already built websites and done some Internet marketing on my own, I put our single head embroidery machine into our finished basement and started the business there.  I figured out every cheap way I could to get website hosting, a merchant account and a domain. 

Back in those days, merchant accounts weren’t cheap like they are now, but they were a heck of a lot cheaper than renting a space at the stinkin' mall!

 Not only that, but all I had to do in the morning was get up and go to work.  No commute, no spending money on gas, and no rental fees.


I didn’t have to worry about when I had to lock up and go home either.  If I wanted to digitize a design and test it, all I had to do is create the design and run it through my machine because everything was right there for me to work with.  It didn't matter if it was 12:00 noon or 12:00 midnight.

eBay! –The Launching Pad for My Business!

Once I got my Website built, I knew I needed to pull in initial sales, however when you build a brand new website, it takes a while to get indexed by the search engines.  So, for the first few months you are pretty much invisible on the Internet.

It turns out that eBay! was my solution. 

I got an account with eBay!, plugged in all of the information I needed to start selling and proceeded to begin to make money.

Well, yeah I made money, but it wasn't much.  Since I’d never sold more than a few eBooks online, I really didn't have much Internet marketing experience to ride on. I threw my embroidery business out there without a clue as to what my niche market was, what my Unique Selling Proposition (USP) was or anything.  

Unfortunately no marketing plan = no business.

I remember some guy ordering a gardening hat from me.  I think I made $2.00.

So, I started reading.  A lot.  I got every eBook and Internet marketing book I could think of and I found a niche I was passionate about – musical instrument apparel.  

This turned out to be a nice niche for me since I liked the graphic aspect of creating my own digitized – embroidered designs as well as my passion for music.

Thus, Ellistrations Music Apparel was born!

So, in my next blog post I’ll tell you how I sold a $3.00 dollar hat for almost $60.00...

Until then, 

To Your Success!
Mark “Elmo” Ellis
"When it Comes to High-Response Copy - I've Got Your Back!"
(859) 797-9560

P.S.  If you really want to get started making money lightning fast on eBay! check out this video:

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