We get this question all the time

Since the pandemic started last year, as many of you are aware, people were losing jobs. As a result of this, auctions houses and businesses like mine got very busy with the million-dollar question, “What is this worth.”

For us as a company, We get that question asked all the time. However, people specifically come to us with baseball cards. During the pandemic, sports cards, in general, did see an off-the-chart demand as people were looking for something to do it. With all of that said, it created another wave of flippers in it to make a quick buck and get out. Once many of those people made their money. However, the cards they didn’t want or just the common cards were taken to local card shops or other places where you can sell stuff.

The problem is that most sports cards are extremely overproduced, which in turn drives down the value of the lot of cards that you are looking to sell as a whole. Most dealers, including myself, will not buy large lots like that unless it comes with a beautiful price tag.

As a result of the Pandemic, as of July 1, 2021, we made the executive decision to stop accepting consignment offerings.

Here is our reason why:

Market value is determined by demand and rarity as well as the economy. Also, a sentiment often affects the value potential a consignor attributes to their item. More than one person will have to want to buy your item to drive the price up. 

People seem to think that they can get what they paid for it or more and potentially profit. This isn’t always the case. This results in a lot of misunderstanding and having to educate on what an item and really gets. Not what they say it may be worth.

To keep in mind, you have to look at all of the available platforms out there to figure out where an item has the best chance of selling.

Honorable Side Hustles – Virtual Assistant

With how the world is changing, people not only have their full-time job, but they are also doing something on the side to earn some extra money. We already wrote about the top 10 side hustles that you can start doing right now, but we thought it would be good to do more of a deep dive on each to give you more insight into them. We will provide you with more information on Virtual Assistants and what they can do for a client.

General Assistant

If you have never delved into the world of Virtual Assistance, this is more than likely where you are going to start. A general assistant’s work varies massively from spell-checking documents for clients, helping with different admin tasks to alleviate some of the workloads to monitoring content on a website or becoming a moderator on forums, and more. The possibilities are endless when you are a general assistant, and it allows you to try many different things to develop a much broader skill set. General Assistants can earn from $15-30 per hour.

Social Assistant

Now we start to look into different specializations of an assistant. First, we have the Social Assistant. Social Assistants tend to look after the Social Media content while also looking after the other generic admin such as email management. Social Assistants slightly differ from Social Media Managers, as they will also engage with different brands and do hashtag research to ensure that the best results are achieved. The Social Assistant is suitable for those businesses that want to have continual content on their different Social Media channels. Pay for Social Assistants varies from $15-50 per hour, depending on the amount of experience you have.

Recruitment Assistant

That’s right; some businesses will recruit an assistant on a 20-hour package to reem through different CVs or even take interviews themselves. It can be a beneficial aspect of virtual assistance, especially if you already have some clients in the recruitment sector. The work is easy and long, meaning more money for yourself. You will find that the first job from a client will be CV skimming, then if you do a good job, they may well ask you to help within the interview itself. It is important to note that you cannot guarantee what sector your clients will be recruiting for, so having a four-year background in software engineering might not be as helpful as you think! Recruitment Assistants can earn from $20-40 per hour.

Writing Assistant

If you have a penchant for writing, being a writing assistant might be perfect for you regardless of the topic. Businesses need many different forms of content writing, from email marketing, website copy, letter writing, product descriptions, and more. The amount of paper that a business needs to be done would amaze you. Again, this is a much more generalized writer than a blog writer or copywriter, but it is a great stepping stone towards those roles. Some clients may even want to have a book written by themselves to then coin as their own to sell online! The pay for a Writing Assistant can range from $15-35 per hour; once you specialize in a single writing aspect like blog writing, it is possible to earn $120 per hour.

Design Assistant

All too often, businesses find themselves needing a graphic designer for different things such as email marketing design layout, website design layout, logo creation, and more. Design Assistants have a general grasp of graphic design. It isn’t to say that you are expected to understand and have highly rated skills using Photoshop and Illustrator. Design Assistants’ jobs tend to get are more for simple designs that can be carried out on Canva. Still, it is crucial that you set the right expectations with the client as some will try to get a graphic designer quality for the price of a Virtual Assistant. Design Assistants are looking from $20-50 per hour depending on previous work.

Bookkeeping

Somehow, bookkeeping has fallen under Virtual Assistants, leading to an influx of businesses contacting different VAs to carry out detailed bookkeeping. Suppose you have the proper knowledge and qualifications to be able to help companies with their bookkeeping requirements. By all means, you can make sure that if you don’t have the suitable skill set or level of skill, you let the client know; otherwise, you could end up costing them quite a lot of money in due course. Helping businesses with bookkeeping can bring in anywhere from $25-60 per hour.

Marketing Assistant

Some assistants get to a point where they can help with various services for a business and become an invaluable part of the team. Some of these duties can be website management, search engine optimization, lead generation, setting up sales funnels, ad management, and more. Again, they will not bring in the same level of service that a boutique agency would, but they have more knowledge and know-how than the layman. The earning potential is very high for Marketing Assistants, but they also start low. Pay can range from $15-75 per hour, depending on the experience and complexity of services offered.

The Final Piece

Virtual Assistants can do so much more than look at emails, and there are so many different ways you can go. The hardest part is getting those first few clients. After that, use other services such as Fiverr or Upwork to build a bit of a brand and gain some reviews online, as word of mouth is everything in the VA game. Networking is a great way to pick up some new clients, too; be sure to let people know that you are offering these extra services; you never know who will contact you to do some work.

With how the world is changing, people not only have their full-time job, but they are also doing something on the side to earn some extra money. We already wrote about the top 10 side hustles that you can start doing right now, but we thought it would be good to do more of a deep dive on each to give you more insight into them. We will provide you with more information on Virtual Assistants and what they can do for a client.

General Assistant

If you have never delved into the world of Virtual Assistance, this is more than likely where you are going to start. A general assistant’s work varies massively from spell-checking documents for clients, helping with different admin tasks to alleviate some of the workloads to monitoring content on a website or becoming a moderator on forums, and more. The possibilities are endless when you are a general assistant, and it allows you to try many different things to develop a much broader skill set. General Assistants can earn from $15-30 per hour.

Social Assistant

Now we start to look into different specializations of an assistant. First, we have the Social Assistant. Social Assistants tend to look after the Social Media content while also looking after the other generic admin such as email management. Social Assistants slightly differ from Social Media Managers, as they will also engage with different brands and do hashtag research to ensure that the best results are achieved. The Social Assistant is suitable for those businesses that want to have continual content on their different Social Media channels. Pay for Social Assistants varies from $15-50 per hour, depending on the amount of experience you have.

Recruitment Assistant

That’s right; some businesses will recruit an assistant on a 20-hour package to reem through different CVs or even take interviews themselves. It can be a beneficial aspect of virtual assistance, especially if you already have some clients in the recruitment sector. The work is easy and long, meaning more money for yourself. You will find that the first job from a client will be CV skimming, then if you do a good job, they may well ask you to help within the interview itself. It is important to note that you cannot guarantee what sector your clients will be recruiting for, so having a four-year background in software engineering might not be as helpful as you think! Recruitment Assistants can earn from $20-40 per hour.

Writing Assistant

If you have a penchant for writing, being a writing assistant might be perfect for you regardless of the topic. Businesses need many different forms of content writing, from email marketing, website copy, letter writing, product descriptions, and more. The amount of paper that a business needs to be done would amaze you. Again, this is a much more generalized writer than a blog writer or copywriter, but it is a great stepping stone towards those roles. Some clients may even want to have a book written by themselves to then coin as their own to sell online! The pay for a Writing Assistant can range from $15-35 per hour; once you specialize in a single writing aspect like blog writing, it is possible to earn $120 per hour.

Design Assistant

All too often, businesses find themselves needing a graphic designer for different things such as email marketing design layout, website design layout, logo creation, and more. Design Assistants have a general grasp of graphic design. It isn’t to say that you are expected to understand and have highly rated skills using Photoshop and Illustrator. Design Assistants’ jobs tend to get are more for simple designs that can be carried out on Canva. Still, it is crucial that you set the right expectations with the client as some will try to get a graphic designer quality for the price of a Virtual Assistant. Design Assistants are looking from $20-50 per hour depending on previous work.

Bookkeeping

Somehow, bookkeeping has fallen under Virtual Assistants, leading to an influx of businesses contacting different VAs to carry out detailed bookkeeping. Suppose you have the proper knowledge and qualifications to be able to help companies with their bookkeeping requirements. By all means, you can make sure that if you don’t have the suitable skill set or level of skill, you let the client know; otherwise, you could end up costing them quite a lot of money in due course. Helping businesses with bookkeeping can bring in anywhere from $25-60 per hour.

Marketing Assistant

Some assistants get to a point where they can help with various services for a business and become an invaluable part of the team. Some of these duties can be website management, search engine optimization, lead generation, setting up sales funnels, ad management, and more. Again, they will not bring in the same level of service that a boutique agency would, but they have more knowledge and know-how than the layman. The earning potential is very high for Marketing Assistants, but they also start low. Pay can range from $15-75 per hour, depending on the experience and complexity of services offered.

The Final Piece

Virtual Assistants can do so much more than look at emails, and there are so many different ways you can go. The hardest part is getting those first few clients. After that, use other services such as Fiverr or Upwork to build a bit of a brand and gain some reviews online, as word of mouth is everything in the VA game. Networking is a great way to pick up some new clients, too; be sure to let people know that you are offering these extra services; you never know who will contact you to do some work.

Having an open mind when running an eBay business

Running a business can take a lot of effort and time to ensure that everything is managed as effectively as possible. eBay businesses are no different; sometimes, they can be even more demanding. When we put effort and hard work into something, we often have expectations of success, but that isn’t always the case. That is why it is so important to have an open mind when running an eBay business and have no expectations. Below we are going to talk about how that can pay off.

Deciding what to sell

Firstly, you need to figure out what products you are going to sell. This may not be the item that comes to mind straight away or even feel massively comfortable with as you have little to no knowledge of it. Quite often, the most profitable and successful products are those that are more niche. By thinking outside the box and stepping away from your comfort zone, you can start looking into products that you may have stayed well clear from in the past. For example, trading cards are doing incredibly well online at the moment, but you may have never touched trading cards before, don’t let that stop you. You can always learn as you go.

Look for top-selling items

On eBay, you can see what items are selling the highest number of units. This is a great resource and hunting ground for those who don’t have a clear idea of what they want to sell and give you trends in categories differing from what you are used to working within. Being able to pivot your offering or expand the offering is vast when owning and running an eBay business.

Learn new skills

When you first set up a business on eBay, you may have thought that you just need to list an item and be done with it; that couldn’t be further from the truth. You will need to do some number crunching based on the cost of delivery, the listing price that eBay will charge, and the cost of the product itself; you will then work out a profitable price for you to work. There will also need to be a low level of graphic design as you want to make sure that the pictures for your listings look good and stand out; otherwise, you may well get a lower click-through rate. Speaking of click-through rate, understanding analytics and statistics when it comes to business is vital. A listing could be generating a lot of clicks. Still, few sales and a few simple tweaks to the listing itself may well change that. Still, without the proper understanding, there is a potential of missing out on the opportunity entirely.

Promote

Initially, the eBay business may have been created as you didn’t like to work on Social Media, or you expected it not to be as laborious as other businesses. Regardless of what platform your eCommerce journey starts on, you will need to develop a brand and voice for the company. Luckily, the brand will evolve. Still, it is not immediate, which is why it is vital to promote the eBay store. It can be done through Social Media, such as Facebook or Instagram, as their marketplaces are made with the exact purpose of being able to list items and sell them. eBay also offers Promotion Boxes to help you promote your items within a listing. You can make certain aspects more visible, such as a sale, or increase the prominence of your listing by giving eBay a higher listing fee, helping you get a leg up on the competition.

Be able to pivot

When you first carry out your market research, you will note that sales volumes for items in a specific sector can be subject to seasonality and therefore have highs and lows. That is why it is crucial to understand when to change and what to change the inventory too. One possibility would be cycling the list and designing the store around the seasonality of holidays and events such as graduation season or the Super Bowl. Something that isn’t selling in January of this year may well be the product to break sales records in August!

Play the long game

Regardless of the business that you start, the chance of becoming an overnight millionaire is incredibly slim. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was any business that is profitable and successful. So take the time to make a list of short-term goals and a list of long-term plans to help you build some momentum and stay interested and engaged with the store. In the short term, be sure to play with different tools, use other methods until you find one that generates some good traction for you to build on.

The last word

Starting a business selling items on eBay can be incredibly intimidating at first with variety and competition. Use some of the information above, plus some more of your research, to get yourself off to the best start that you can. If you are struggling to get decent results initially, that is fine – it can take time for a strategy to build awareness and push through. Lastly, have fun and make mistakes. The more mistakes that you make when starting, the less you will make when fully-fledged, so use that time as your trial period!

Ten honorable side hustles

Over the past year, many people have changed how they work, whether that be their full-time role or something that they ventured into on the side while maintaining their job. Side hustles have become commonplace as people want to bring in more cash to pursue other interests. The best side hustles are flexible such as project-based work, and a lot of them are usually around a passion that you already have or use a skill that you have already developed over time.

Should you decide that you want to take on a side hustle to earn some more money, it does mean that you will have to work more hours than you have previously. That fact makes it so much more important that your side hustle includes something that you enjoy. We will give you a brief overview of the top 10 honorable side hustles that you can start doing.

Write a book

This may sound like it will take a lot of work, and it may at the start. If you have an idea for a book that you would like to write, do it. Once you have written the content, you can self-publish the book on Amazon. Writing a book can be done over a long time to work towards completion. After uploading the book onto Amazon, the book can generate passive income for you with no other work! As soon as someone buys the book, Amazon sends it across, and that is it!

Test websites for companies

Believe it or not, there are different places that you can get paid to test someone’s website. One such example is UserTesting.com. Once you go through their application process, they will send you different websites that they need someone to test, and you get paid up to $60 per test. You can do this ten times per day, but it is an excellent way to earn extra money every month.

Pet sitting or dog walking

If you love to spend time with animals, pet sitting or dog walking might well be the best side hustle that you can get. Gone are the days in which you posted a flier on a post hoping that someone would call for you to help take their dog for a walk. With technology moving at the rate it does, there are now different apps and websites that you can apply to be a dog walker, pet sitter, or even give overnight stays for pets. You could even build it to walk 3 or 4 dogs at a time at $20 per dog per hour. $80 for an hour walking doesn’t sound too bad.

Food deliveries

Throughout 2020 and even into this year, the use of different food delivery companies has grown tremendously, and they are here to stay. You don’t even need to drive; as long as you have a bicycle, you can start to earn some extra income in your spare time.

Item Flipping and Upcycling

If you are pretty good with your hands and have an eye for potential, you can bring in some good money through item flipping and upcycling. You can stalk different thrift stores, garage sales, or even online such as Facebook Marketplace. When you find an item you want, purchase it, make it look better with paint or different design traits, and then sell it for a profit. Starting can take time to understand what is quick to sell once relisted and what isn’t the best.

Social Media Manager

Do you spend your days on different Social Media platforms looking at various businesses and ads while getting your Social high? If so, Social Media Management could be ideal for you. You help different companies create and schedule content on various platforms while engaging with their audience and commenters. The earning potential varies massively depending on experience; some specialists charge $150 per hour.

Transcription Services

If you have spent a lot of time using computers, you are probably fast at typing. Fast typing is a skill that people will pay for if they can do it while listening to others. You will simply listen to audio and type out what is being said, nothing too complex. If you have a niche that you understand clearly, such as medicine, you will charge more.

Freelance Writing

A lot of businesses will have someone that they use to write their content. The content itself can be from lead-acid batteries to modest fashion, but you will find people that will write about anything if they can research it. This can be used as a blog or article; it can also be used as copy for a business to have on the different pages of their website. When you get to a decent level of experience, you can easily earn over $30 per hour.

Local Travel Guide

Some people know a lot about the town or city they live in and are incredibly passionate about it. If you are one of those people, why not get paid to talk about it? With apps like Airbnb, you can create local experiences that travelers will book and pay for. You can set the days and times at which the tours take place, giving you complete control.

Virtual Assistant

Should you be good at lots of different things, you can be a Virtual Assistant. VAs carry out many other jobs such as Social Media Management, email inbox organization, Sales funnel management, and more. Being a Virtual Assistant throws you into different scenarios that you would never have thought of, and you learn some unique skills. Pay rates range from $15-45 per hour, depending on specialist skills.

A side gig is something that you choose to do, so it must be something that you want to do. Over the next few months, we will be covering more about the different side hustles that you can take and do more of a deep dive into what is needed.

Why affiliate links are essential and how they can make you money if done right

As time has gone on and consumer usage of the internet has grown massively, the number of opportunities to make money online has multiplied yearly. Affiliate marketing is one such method that you may not have heard about or you may but are doing it wrong. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to spend money on stock or inventory; you don’t need to worry about customer service or deliveries. You generate leads for companies; once those leads convert, the company pays you a commission.

Now, this isn’t the standard salesman pitch in which you call people or go knocking on doors (maybe if you want to). All you need to start is a link. This link, once clicked, directs potential customers to a product or service that you are an affiliate of. Once you have a link, you can move onto different ways to get consumers to click on the link. We will cover some of the different ways you can drive traffic towards your affiliate links.

Find a niche

First thing, you need to find a niche that you want to start being an affiliate for. This will then help you decide what different channels you will use to drive traffic towards your affiliate links. Should you have a lot of knowledge about PC Gaming equipment, Razer has an affiliate program and pays you a 10% commission on all sales up to 30 days after the consumer clicks on your link (we will talk about the cookies after this). Once you have a niche, you can start to think about the target audience and design a strategy.

Understand the cookie limit

If you are relatively new to affiliate marketing, this may be something that you overlook when joining an affiliate program. The cookie length is the amount of time allowed between a user first clicking on your link and purchasing. If the limit has been set at seven days, but it takes the customer ten days to buy, you won’t get a cut. When deciding what affiliate program to join, it is crucial to think about this; if the product is $1200, but the cookie length is seven days, it may not be worthwhile as people will take a bit longer to decide on spending that amount.

Think about traffic before money

We know that you signed up for affiliate programs to make money, we all do, but before you can generate any income, you need people to interact with your link. Some affiliate programs require you to have already something set up that produces traffic, such as a blogging site. For example, if you have a blogging site, create blogs to help people with a problem. Once you generate traffic and are accepted by specific programs, add the relevant links to the blogs but don’t try and make money from day one!

Build a community

Whether you have a YouTube channel that you post videos to, a blogging website that you upload to, or even Social Media that you create content on, it is vital to engage with your audience. If people are leaving comments, respond to them, even if there are 500+ comments. It is a massive part of building a community, and it allows readers/subscribers to ask you questions and feel genuine.

You will also want to get more people to sign up for your mailing list. Different email marketing companies have other packages; some allow you to reach 2,000 subscribers before even paying. This list will be your honey pot when you have a new program or post a new blog or video. Keeping a list of email subscribers is essential in driving more traffic to your affiliate links and website/channels.

Avoid Penalties from Google

If one of your methods or traffic generation is your website, you will rely heavily on ranking on search engines. Make sure that you follow Google’s guidelines when it comes to affiliate marketing. When someone lands on your website, you need to make sure that it offers value to the readers. Otherwise, Google will penalize you and rank you lower and make sure that you write a disclaimer stating that you are an affiliate and may receive some form of commission if the reader purchases through any of the links on the blog.

Create the pitch

Ensure that all content you create to help drive traffic to affiliate links has the correct pitch. No one will click on a link to a hosting company if you make no mention of why they should engage in the video or blog. Stay on top of the newest features and benefits that the affiliate’s product has so you can use it to build more hype and generate more sales off the back of it. Once you have the right pitch, revisit it every month to ensure that it isn’t getting stale (if you are still promoting that link, of course).

Keep building

After you have one niche set up and have continuous traffic flowing through generating income, it is time to look at more niches. Creating more websites and channels covering different niches allows you to cast a wider net. One month, the gaming niche may only bring in $300, but the website development niche brings in $4000. Eventually, you should have multiple sites and channels covering different niches and have few avenues of income from affiliate links alone!

Affiliate marketing is a powerful way to build passive income and has the potential to generate more revenue than a 9-5, but it takes time. Using the information that we have given you will help make sure that you are always looking at the analytics to identify what isn’t working. Now get out there and make some money.