How in the world are you going to make a living on Craigslist, my wife said to me. She thought I was nuts. So do you do this fulltime, many others have asked. Yes, I buy and sell things on Craigslist full-time. They are trying not to embarrass me, but their curiosity burns. Is there really enough money in it to earn a living, others will ask. Yes. Are you planning on doing this long term, they will finally blurt out. Yes, in some form or another. There is a lot of money to be made, as my most profitable day demonstrates.
Early last June, I had a day where I made $700 profit. It wasn’t a special day where I saved up my inventory and unloaded it all at once. In fact, the week ended up being one of my most profitable weeks ever, but that’s for another day. Before I list the transactions that led to my big day, I want to note a few things.
First, $700 in one day might not be a lot for a lot of people, but when you’re selling low priced physical goods, it’s a lot of money. It’s more in a day than I used to make in two weeks working a full-time, low paying job.
Second, I left a lot of money on the table. Other than the scrap metal, I probably could have doubled my selling price on everything I sold that day. I’ve learned a lot since then, and have adjusted my prices accordingly.
My Most Profitable Day on Craigslist
Conservatively looking at the sale prices, this could have easily been a thousand plus dollar day. But it wasn’t and that’s ok. It was a great day, and I learned some very important lessons about making money on Craigslist.
Inventory is Key
Sufficient inventory was the one thing that was going to prevent me from making the same amount of money the next day. It doesn’t matter if you sell blenders, or Iphones or couches, you must have good inventory to consistently make a lot of money. I think this was one of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever learned, because it’s an obstacle that can be overcome. To increase the amount of money you make, you must increase your inventory.
Expand Your Niche
Your local market might not be able to absorb your five iphones in a day, but it could probably handle five cell phones. The same goes for many other types of products, and specifically appliances for me. If there is only so many of a very specific product that will sell in a day, then add more items surrounding your niche. It could be just different brands of electronics, different types of appliances or different pieces of furniture. If you reach the ceiling of your niche, figure out how to expand it.
Don’t Be A Loner
You can’t handle the tools forever if you want to really increase your income, or build a business that will thrive without you. There is a limit to how much you can do before you will wear yourself out. This has been one of the most powerful lessons I’ve been learning this past year. It’s one thing to make a lot of money doing all the work yourself, but the key to long term success is being able to replace yourself and train up others to do the work. So, I’ve been working hard this past year trying to bring that about and am getting very close to it being a reality. I will be writing more about the process as it unfolds.
Increasing your profits is important, but not the most important thing. The more important thing is for each one of us to decide what we want our lives to be like. What do we want to do with all of our time? How much do we want to work? How much do we need to work? I’ve had many days over the past few years where I made a lot of money and then coasted the rest of the week. I spent time with my family. I worked on other projects. I read books. Making money is definitely important to me, but enjoying each day of life has become more important, and is often a greater challenge.