Learn then selling guidelines. Each marketplace has guidelines that define what you can and cannot sell. State and federal laws also impact what items are prohibited. In general, you cannot sell alcohol, weapons, service contracts, animals or event tickets. Also, while not always prohibited, you may find restrictions on how you can sell items in some categories, such as art, gift cards and coupons. eBay, Craigslist and Amazon publish these guidelines on their websites.
Tutoring can be done in-home or online. The in-home tutoring will take networking and teaching experience to build your business. Online tutoring, however, can be done through companies that connect tutors with students while providing the needed infrastructure (i.e. web conferencing services) for a cut of the fees. Most require a college degree and teaching experience but for some those requirements may be negotiable.
eBay: eBay is one of the most popular websites in the world, period. That means it’s a great way to attract lots of eyeballs to your unwanted items, fast. Initially designed as an auction site for DIY sellers, it’s now primarily a venue for fixed-price (though often heavily discounted) sales by professional merchants. Still, as long as you include high-quality photographs and thorough descriptions in your product listings, you can likely break through the noise. eBay’s fee schedule is complex, but as a general rule, expect to lose 10% of your final selling price to the site’s commission.
When I started my first online business back in 2008 (GreenExamAcademy.com, formerly IntheLEED.com), the idea was to help aspiring architects pass the LEED certification exam. I hardly spent any money at all. All I did was start a blog, which at the time cost $6.95 per month for webhosting, and I used Bluehost. (As most of you know, I’m a big fan of Bluehost. And, because I have an affiliate relationship with them, you can get your business website going for much less than where I began, starting at only $2.75 per month!) [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
Do you need to build from scratch? Also keep in mind that depending on your particular business, it may or may not be necessary to build (or pay someone to build) a site from scratch. Especially when you’re in the early stages, options like Squarespace and Shopify simplify the process of setting up an ecommerce site by providing templates that don’t require much if any knowledge of HTML or coding.
You have likely heard of subscription boxes such as Birchbox and Julep. While almost anyone can start a subscription box service, they can be incredibly labor-intensive and the profit margin usually isn’t so great for those operating on a small scale. Did you know you could start a subscription for your knowledge that’s almost pure profit? With sites like SubHub, you can offer a monthly membership offering anything from meal plans to workout plans to crocheting patterns and beyond. The sky is the limit. You do need to provide new content on a consistent schedule to keep your customers happy. But if there is something your friends are always looking to you for new ideas, you may have an easy little side business on your hands.