Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies
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One opportunity for you as a micro-entrepreneur is to buy items at a low price and sell them at a profit. To build an inventory of items for your micro-entrepreneurial business, focus on paying the smallest amount.

Before you buy anything, you want to find out if the product you want to buy and sell is in a desirable niche and selling well before you invest.

Sell wholesale items through drop-shipping

Drop-shipping allows your micro-entrepreneurial business to sell goods that you don’t need to store, finance, or ship out. All you need to do is sell goods (through your website, blog, eBay, and so on) that you buy wholesale and have drop-shipped directly to your customer.

It’s very simple. You sell the product (at $10, for example) at retail, and the product is available wholesale (at $5, for example, from a manufacturer). When someone sends you an order for the product, you keep $5 of the retail price and send the remaining $5 (along with the shipping address) to the source.

After the source of the product gets the $5, it ships the product with your label (your return address and the customer’s address). You make a profit, the manufacturer makes money, and the customer gets his order. Check out these resources:

  • National Mail Order Association: This organization maintains a database of manufacturers that cumulatively offer more than a million products available for resale, and done via drop-shipping.

  • WholesaleCentral.com: Places such as WholesaleCentral.com offer sources that give you the ability to resell thousands of products through drop-shipping.

  • Worldwide Brands: This site is a directory of verified drop-shipping sources that offer thousands of products available for resale through drop-shipping.

Buy low-priced items from individuals

Lots of people on any given day are trying to get rid of stuff and get some cash for it. They don’t want to wait and spend time looking for a better price. You can use this opportunity to get something at a greatly reduced price and then turn it around and offer it through your venues (online auctions and so on) at a higher price.

To find motivated individuals who want to sell their stuff, you can look through online auction sites, online garage sales, online classified ads, consignment and thrift shops near you, and garage sales.

Another great way to find real value is go treasure hunting at places such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Both organizations have many locations across the country where you can visit and find some amazing bargains.

Buy low-priced items from businesses

Lots of businesses have unsold inventory that you can buy for a great discount. If these discounted products are in your category or niche, then consider buying them for resale. Check out these places:

  • Alibaba: Thousands of buyers and sellers converge here to buy and sell all sorts of products both in the United States and internationally.

  • Public storage companies: Public storage companies regularly have public auctions to sell the contents of storage units that are considered abandoned. To find out more, go to the Self Storage Association.

  • Liquidation.com: At this site, you can find many businesses and individuals buying and selling surplus inventory at great prices.

  • Trade Show News Network (TSNN): Many products get their start at trade shows. TSNN has a searchable database of hundreds of trade shows that you can attend and find new and exciting products available for resale.

Buy low-priced items from the government

The government constantly overpays for virtually everything and regularly sells property for less than market value. As a seller, you should be encouraged. Many products (both used and new) are available from the government and much of it is sold via government auctions.

Government agencies at all levels have products that you can buy at a fraction of their actual value. Here is a sample of what you can find:

  • US Post Office: The Post Office frequently has unsent and unclaimed stuff that it periodically sells through auctions. Contact the main post office in your area or visit the site.

  • Government Services Administration (GSA): The GSA conducts most of the federal government’s auctions. It actually has a website to help you find government property.

  • USA.gov: Check out this site that offers property and surplus items for sale from the government.

  • State governments: Most state governments have property (confiscated or otherwise) that is made available to the public.

  • Municipal auctions: Many local agencies have property available at deep discounts to the public, typically at public auctions. Many police departments, for example, sell seized property through police auctions. You can find them by using your favorite search engines (you can also start searching at the usa.gov site previously referenced).

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Paul Mladjenovic is a certified financial planner, micro-entrepreneur, and home business educator with more than 25 years' experience writing and teaching about financial and business start-up topics. He owns RavingCapitalist.com and is also the author of Stock Investing For Dummies.

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