The rise of Internet platforms and social media have changed the game of entrepreneurship, allowing small businesses – and even solo proprietors and vendors – to earn a solid passive income. It started with eBay and Etsy and has now exploded into a full-blown alternate universe of eCommerce gigs, side hustles, and a vibrant ecosystem of enterprising entrepreneurs.
For busy moms (and dads) taking care of kids during the pandemic, this presents tremendous freedom. Basically all you need is a good idea, a little bit of startup capital, and a working knowledge of Internet culture, social media marketing, and eCommerce wizardry.
Vendors and sellers who have strong social media presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, and a variety of others can parlay that popularity into ongoing sales. Using established eCommerce avenues like Amazon and its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program is highly popular at the moment because it offers the shipping and inventory management tools of a giant corporation.
Enduring consumer wares and differentiated products can earn a faithful consumer following when managed responsibly. In time, this may yield extensive financial opportunities. There are eCommerce companies, like Forum, that buy Amazon FBA business brands. Sellers who bring in at least $150K in Net Profit (SDE) during a single year may be able to cash out their businesses for lucrative financial gains.
So the only question you need to answer now as you get started is: what are you going to sell? Here are a few ideas:
There are many bookworms out there who have collected thousands of books over the years. As e-reader options grow, so too does a nostalgia for physical books. First edition and early reprint volumes are particularly in demand. What you may not know is that you can resell valuable books for a profit with very little upfront cash. All you need is an app that can scan the IPN or EAN/UPC barcode so that you can determine the value of the book.
If you find the right book – for example, a $2 hidden gem at Goodwill – you may be able to resell it for many times what you paid for it. Sometimes these books can be worth hundreds and are just sitting there on the shelf.
Similar to books, there is a cultural nostalgia for vinyl records that borders on obsession. If you know your records and find a gem in good quality, the resale value is significant. While tapes and CDs went the way of the dinosaur, vinyl has withstood the test of time, as many music buffs prefer the sound of the record over MP3s and digitally remastered tunes. The record case and cover art also adds nostalgic power to the overall product.
You may have an entire closet full of vintage garments you’ve collected from thrift stores for decades. Did you know that many fashion styles and clothing brands that used to be in vogue are having a resurgence? Resales of clothes through online vendors is especially popular right now during the pandemic as many thrift stores are closed and consumers are buying more of their clothing online.
This category includes, of course, baby clothes and accessories. In fact, baby clothes and baby products could be its own entire category.
These are just a few examples of the kinds of products motivated sellers can monetize. As eCommerce grows to dominate more and more of the market, the opportunities abound. If you use third party affiliates for things like fulfillment, dropshipping and other inventory-related matters, a single person can run a lucrative brand right from their home. Even with the kids home from school and a pandemic raging.