My Secret Is Out

There’s this concept online called crowdfunding. In basic language, crowdfunding is a group of people that buy into another individual’s/company’s idea. I mean buy as in money and buy as in you like what they are selling. I actually can’t tell you how I got involved, but believe me, it had to be something I saw online that made me say, “Wow!” I was working then, though money was tight, but what I saw made me say, “I’ve got to have this!” The problem was my spouse, who wasn’t my spouse at the time, but we were dating and living together. I knew that spending money on a watch was not going to fly. Yes, the first geeky item I pledged to was a watch. This watch connected to your phone and you got notifications. This was before smart watches were the rage. What I did was to first talk up the watch by saying how it could keep me from missing messages on my commute from New York to New Jersey. Well, that didn’t work, so I did what I knew was fail proof: it was an early birthday present to myself. While I was wheeling and dealing with my spouse on this watch, I went to a newfound website of geek items and saw another watch. This time, not only could I get notifications but I could talk into it. Dick Tracy here I come! Now, I’m talking about two watches. Well, I only have one birthday, so how could I get her to see things from my point of view? Nope, it wasn’t going to happen, so I did the unthinkable and just kept my big mouth shut. The website that had grabbed my attention that I was not mentioning was Kickstarter. 

Kickstarter
was started in April 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler. The Kickstarter headquarters is located in New York City. Kickstarter is a very user friendly site for project owners and backers. Kickstarter responds to questions and problems about their site very quickly and you can communicate with the project owner by clicking on the comments section or emailing him/her through the website. The comments area is also a place to interact, not only with the project owner, but with other backers, during the course of the project.
Kickstarter has a global community of people from more than 220 countries and territories. Roughly 35% of successfully funded projects now come from outside the United States, as do 45% of backers. Together, these backers and creators use Kickstarter to reach across borders and shape culture into what they want it to be, rather than accepting it for what it is. And as ideas from different cultures collide with one another, they inspire new conversations, creative approaches, and cross-cultural connections.
 

Kickstarter Project Manager 
I will discuss the technology area of Kickstarter; however, there are many types of projects that you can back, such as films, music, and books. The Kickstarter site enables people to discover and back as many projects as they believe will become a reality. When a person, or groups of people, decide to start a project on Kickstarter they must first build a project page, which includes a video with a description explaining their project. The next step for the project owner is to provide information about their budget and a timeline from beginning to end of the project. The project owner must then decide what kind of rewards they will offer backers, such as a choice of item color or engraving the item with the project name and year. These rewards are given when the project funding reaches certain milestones. Project owners have to keep in mind that they pay for all of the rewards offered to backers. When project owners think about the funds necessary to bring their project to fruition, they must consider everything because Kickstarter will not let their project become a reality if the funding goal is not met. A very important part of the project is promotion. A project needs active promotion because a project no one knows about will never get funded. Kickstarter’s fee is 5%, with an additional 3 to 5% for processing payments. If the project owner doesn’t meet their funding goal, they owe nothing.

Kickstarter Backers
There are different tier amounts that a backer can pledge. When a backer pledges early there is usually a perk from the project owner as a way of thanking a backer for coming aboard early. The different pledge tiers not only tell you the item, but an estimated month and year that you will receive the item. The shipping information will also be listed in each tier box, along with any accessories that might be given. Once he/she has met the project funding level, the project owner will give their backers updates as the project develops through each stage. Backers like to know they’ve made a wise decision in backing a project and hate it when shipping has to be pushed back time after time. My experience with Kickstarter is that projects are always pushed back for different reasons. The project owners try to give realistic shipping estimates, but often a project of this magnitude is new to many of them and they are not prepared for the problems that arise. You, the backer, have to be aware that there are also scam artist that will go through the motions of creating a project, but once funding is met and they receive their money, you never hear from them again. There is really no recourse for backers when a project owner takes the money and doesn’t fulfill his/her part of the deal. Kickstarter backing is partially about being first to get an item that no one might know about or have even envisioned. As I stated, not all projects make it to the backers. An example of this was a watch that I pledged for my daughter. It was supposed to be the thinnest watch out in 2013. The company wasn’t able to make the watch because they encountered too many hurdles that they weren’t prepared for. I recently received a letter informing us that after liquidating all of their assets, there was no money to give to backers.

Some might think this is throwing money away because these projects aren’t cheap, and if a project fails you can’t get your money back. I think of it like this: It’s no riskier than the lottery or going to the casino. You never know when you’ll hit the jackpot. There is a certain rush you get as the months go by waiting for your reward to make it from the project owner’s vision to you.

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Paparazzi Jewelry – A Great Side Hustle


Amy Out Selling Parparazzi Jewelry

We all want to make money, especially these days when everything is so expensive. There are many side hustles out there that can bring in that extra cash you need. One of those ways is selling Paparazzi five-dollar jewelry. 

 Paparazzi History

Paparazzi Jewelry was founded by two couples who saw a market for inexpensive jewelry. They have brought this company a long ways since they started it in 2010. Paparazzi stated as a party planning company, and, not long after, they introduced their jewelry. The jewelry is made mostly of aluminum, steel, and other minerals and is hypoallergenic. The founders, still to this day, are involved in the design and manufacturing of their jewelry. They are located in Utah. Paparazzi jewelry is sold online or through one of their many consultants.

The owners had the jewelry but needed a way to bring it to the masses. The idea of using consultants was born. I want to address the elephant in the room right away. Their model is based on direct sales, which many companies use today. The company is very successful at doing what they do.

How It Works
  Selling Paparazzi jewelry works like this: You join a team that’s already established, or you can start your own team. The startup cost is about $100 to become part of the Paparazzi family and purchase your first order of jewelry. The concept is simple. You buy the jewelry from Paparazzi and resell it for five dollars. You make a 45% commission on each piece of jewelry you sell. There are sets that cost more, but they are still very reasonable. There is constantly new jewelry being released, and the look and appearance of the jewelry is not cheap. 

No, I do not sell Paparazzi jewelry because I don’t have a salesman bone in my body. I have met two women (Amy Briggs, website: blingwithamy.com and Adrian (Pink-Diva) Jones, website: paparaziaccessories.com) who are doing well as team leaders and salespersons. They are both dedicated to having a successful team, and they aren’t just in it for themselves. They are bringing members of their teams with them as they climb the Paparazzi ladder of success. Amy went to a convention that Paparazzi had in Vegas, and I could tell by the excitement of her voice that she is all in when it comes to selling her jewelry. The Vegas convention was a success; from what I was told the amount of people was staggering. There were classes, lectures, team building, and she got to see the newest styles in jewelry coming out. There were women from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. This is not just for women, but men, too, can become a Paparazzi consultant. There is a men’s section available for them. There are some things about Paparazzi that I feel are great, such as the camaraderie and incentives that are offered. If you need a side hustle, are retired, or just want to try a different job, this could be your answer. You can be anywhere and join a team. Amy is in Florida, but her team consists of women living in South Caroline, Tennessee, and Florida. She interacts with her team mostly online. While Adrian is in New Jersey, she is very hands-on with her team. You can find Adrian and her team at flea markets, church functions, and anyplace where she can set up her jewelry board. 

What is there not to like about making money and friends? The jewelry that is sold is not only nice to look at, but for that price you can have a color and style for every outfit. The Christmas holiday will sneak up on us soon, so why not join a team now. You know that as the holidays and birthdays come along you’ll be scratching your head trying to think of something to give your family, friends, and coworkers. Well, Paparazzi jewelry might just be your answer. I know the question that everyone wants the answer to is, can you make money doing this? The answer is definitely yes, and just like any job, you must put in the work to be successful. The higher you rise, the more money there is to be made. There are women making in the six and seven figures, and some have quit their 9-5 job to sell Paparazzi. Entrepreneurship is beautiful. You can work when and how many hours you want without any pressure from a boss.

If you would like to join or get more information on either team, here’s their contact information:

Amy’s website: Blingwithamy.com
Adrian’s website: Paparazziaccessories.com

Learning to Sell On EBay

We all would like to make extra money and the business of reselling seems to be a hit with a lot of people. My spouse K  got into reselling on Ebay recently and actually loves it. I recently went with her to a thrift shop and watched her work. It was nice to see her work as she checked items for its origin and scanned items to see what it was selling on places like Amazon and Walmart. I got a better understanding, though if you look at her makeshift garage office with boxes and products I sort of had a idea it was a lot harder than I gave her credit for.

My spouse did a  question  and answer about eBay Selling.

1. Compare Ebay to website selling on Unique

The biggest difference of selling on eBay is the traffic, consumers like to shop with establish brands. eBay has already earned a level of consumers trust. People need to know that they are shopping at a store that’s not going out business soon. Unique Things is the new kid on the block, so we must market our brand to drive consumers to our website.  Once you earn their trust they will continue to shop there. Biggest difference is established vs not having a name brand.

2. How did you get started with Ebay selling?

  It’s funny that you ask that question, it was never my intention to sell on eBay.  The products I was selling on Unique Things, my spouse didn’t think they belonged  on our Unique Things Store, so I was forced to remove them, since I didn’t what to establish another website I put them on eBay, and they started selling there.  So, we decide to move all the products from Unique Things to eBay, funny thing is the stuff we couldn’t sell on Unique Things store was selling on eBay. Again, that is why selling from a establish store helps.

3. How do you find your merchandise?

 I find my sources all over, I go to retailer’s clearance section, I have a business account with Earth Entertainment, I only joined them because I wanted Funko Pops at a discounted price. I also use BULQ, Bulq is where you can get returned items from stores that could’t move merchandise, so they need to make room for the new merchandise coming in. You don’t need a business license to get merchandise from them, there is also the thrift stores and yard sells that you can use for sourcing. You can use offer up or let go, and even FB market place.   You can also get products from Alibaba and Dhgate. While I have used Alibaba I wouldn’t recommend them if you are just starting out because of the shipping. DHgate is a little better because it ships the products for free but they up the product price to compensate for the shipping. I’m starting to get my sourcing for US because of the shipping cost.

 

4. How many ways are there to sell on Ebay?

There are three ways to sell on eBay.  Auction, Fixed Price, Best Offer. Each has itsadvantages and disadvantages.

Auction: is when you place an item up for bid, this is good if it’s a hot item, the price can go up over the original price you pay. That’s when you have a bidding war. The downside is if the bidders are trying to out smart you they will bid a nickel at a time or even a dollar over the bidding price, they are trying to get the item at lowest price. So, you may not get the asking price you were hoping for.

Fixed Price: is when you set a fixed price on an item, this means you will not budge on the price. However, you can set it up to where you willing to negotiate the price by having lowest price you will except. That’s when the best offer comes in,

Best offer: if you have negotiated the price and the consumer has agreed on the price. You meet somewhere in the middle for the price.

5.Give a step by step instruction on selling on eBay.

1: Make sure this is something you want to do

2: research the product  you want to sell. This was my biggest mistake getting items I liked and not having a market for the item. Before I buy a product, I use an app that tells me what the item is selling for. The app I use is Shop Savvy

3: open an account to sell on eBay, you don’t need a business license or anything.

4: load the items you want to sell

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6.What about shipping do you charge shipping or not?

When starting out you may what to offer free shipping even if you can’t afford it, this helps you get established on eBay. If you simply can’t afford to do that then make sure you offer the cheapest shipping to the consumer.

7. What shipping supplies do you use?

You’ll need an array boxes from big to small and medium. This will also cut down on the shipping price. The smaller the box the cheaper  it is to ship, specially if under 1LB.  I get my boxes from packages I receive. I’ve also dumpster dive for boxes, and I’ve ordered boxes online. You will need packing tape and a box cutter. I also use a scraper  tool to remove labels from products and boxes.

8. How do you come up with pricing?

 I price based on what amazon prices are. I try to be a little lower than amazon . I also gauge what the prices on eBay are  selling for.  I use the eBay profit tool to give me an idea of what my profit margin would be. Again, you can use Shop Savvyor Profit finder apps.

9. For someone new just starting out in the business of reselling would you recommend eBay?

Yes, it is worth the time invested to me.