How to Sell Baked Goods from Home in 6 Easy Steps

For people who are gifted with making sweet creations and have been the go-to cake-maker of family reunions, and even gotten treats giveaways or cupcake commissions from friends, the next progression is deciding how to sell baked goods from home.

And why not?

You have the skills, the passion, the market, and now you just have to make it official.

This post will guide you on how to sell baked goods from home, regardless of how big or small you’d like the business to go.

6 Steps to Take to Sell Baked Goods from Home

Selling baked goods to your officemates or family friends can bring you extra cash to your savings, but if you want to make this side gig income a lot bigger, follow these 6 steps:

1. Complete Legalities

The business permits and requirements will depend largely on your location. You may need one, any or all of the following:

  • Create a business entity (like an LLC or partnership) – Launching a business entity is smart because it separates your personal assets if ever your ex-customers decide to sue you for getting sick from eating your baked goods.
  • Business license – Most cities require a business permit regardless of how big or small you plan your business to be. Note that this license is needed for you to operate the business, but you might be required to obtain additional permits to run a food business from home, such as ‘food preparation license’ or ‘food handler permit’.
  • Zoning board permission – Sometimes, in-home businesses might not be allowed to open up shop in the residential area where you live. Check the zoning board about their policies or requirements to be given permission.
  • Health and fire department approval – When obtaining a food business permit, one major part of that process is to seek approval from the city’s health department and fire department. They will visit your home, check your kitchen (or any area where you’ll be baking) and give recommendations on how to renovate your kitchen to be fit for producing baked goods.
  • Sales tax – Some states will require you to collect sales tax on your baked goods and pay either monthly  or quarterly.
  • Insurance – Seek advice from an insurance company to determine the insurance type you need to run your home-based baking business.

Of course, the easiest way to learn which permits you’ll need is to go visit city hall.

They’ll direct you where to go, from the health or fire department, to the business regulations office, and so on. Prepare to pay fees for permits – these are rarely free of charge.

2. Gather Supplies

This will become a major part of your business plan, since gathering all the ingredients and supplies will give you an idea of how much investment you’ll need to start your business. During this phase, you should be able to:

  • Write a business plan – Not only will getting a business plan set-up help you in assessing finances, it will also help in anticipating the future.
  • Decide on you main products – Focus on your best-sellers, before expanding your menu. Once you settle into your new business, you’ll learn which ones are more profitable and marketable.
  • Make a list of ingredients – This includes flour, sugar, eggs, and any other items you’ll need to create your baked goods. You’ll have to replenish these ingredients regularly, so it is better to have a pantry or storage room to keep them organized and easier to detect once a particular ingredient is running low.
  • Make a list of supplies – Separate cooking equipment you’ll only need to buy once in a few years (such as oven, stand mixer, and so on) with supplies you’ll need regularly (like spatula or cupcake liners).
  • Decide on packaging for your baked goods – Go with a box, plastic, or an eco-friendly packaging. Regardless of the type of packaging you choose, you’ll get discounts when you buy in bulk.

Once you’ve gathered all the supplies, it would take you several weeks or a few months to have a regular shopping regimen for your ingredients. Make sure to keep all receipts so you’ll be able to do accounting accurately.

Sell cupcakes from home

3. Set-up Your Online Accounts

I know marketing can be scary, but the internet has allowed small businesses to thrive and compete with better-financed companies because promoting your baked goods business online is virtually free.

However, you do have to set-up these accounts and manage them by adding news, promos, and other relevant posts. For starters, make sure you build online presence on:

  • Facebook – Create a business page, set-up cover and profile photos, list down contact information, and update it with at least 1 post a week.
  • Instagram – Instagram is a haven for drool-worthy pictures, so there’s no better way to promote your baked goods than to share photos of them on Instagram. There are different ways to earn money from Instagram, but if you’re smart with marketing, there really is no need to explore other methods.
  • Twitter – For quick announcements and answering inquiries, Twitter is a great platform because it is designed to keep messages short.
  • Pinterest – Like Instagram, Pinterest is filled with beautifully-crafted photos. The main difference is that Pinterest could serve as your online menu or product catalog, while Instagram is a bit more informal for anything-goes kinds of posts.

All these platforms give you additional (but paid) marketing tools when you’re ready to expand. Boosted posts on Facebook is a good example and a cheaper way to promote your baked goods to a targeted audience.

4. Market Locally

Aside from getting the word out about your baked-goods business online, you also must be promoting your products locally. Print out fliers and posters, then post it on bulletin boards and other storefronts (with permission from storeowners of course).

The great thing about home-made products is that places like the Farmers Market welcome small business owners like you with open arms. As such, slots get filled out pretty quickly when registration opens up. Be on the lookout for the next dates and locations will be.

And if you’re having a hard time getting a slot into your local farmer’s market, here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure you always do.

Sell donuts from home

Word of mouth is still important, so make sure you build an excellent rapport with customers and your products would do the promoting for you.

When customers taste your baked goods and they become a fan, there’s a good chance that they’ll send referrals your way.

5. Keep Track of Incoming and Outgoing Funds

Tracking expenses and revenues is important to any business, since it is a solid representation of your gains or losses. You can track cost traditionally with files and folders, or you can utilize a do-it-for-you service like ShoeBoxed.

Make sure you begin your operations with a bookkeeping system, so you wouldn’t have to rush during tax season.

If you’re hiring people, set up a payroll system as well.

6. Expanding Your Business

If you’ve set up everything and you feel that your business is ready to jump off to another level, there are several things you should consider:

  • Product research – Add more items to your menu. Try seasonal offerings. Or make a survey what your existing customers would like you to make.
  • Competition research – Check out what your competitors are doing. You don’t necessarily have to copy everything they’re doing, but if you look at
  • Find partners proactively – Look for restaurants, cafes and other local food shops that will be willing to sell your baked goods on site. This is particularly helpful if your in-home baking business has no storefront.
  • Create an online community – If you don’t have a website yet, make one. You can even create an online community by working on a food blog and sharing recipes. It’s a great way to promote your company without being in-your-face to customers with ads.

The Bottom Line

It goes without saying that your baked goods should be better than most home-baked goods.

It isn’t really necessary to have baking certifications, awards or formal training to build a full-pledged baking business from scratch.

You do have to practice safe food preparation, learn everything about food allergies and other dietary issues. If you have a food service background, that training would have probably been instilled in you until today.

Plus, use the information above as a checklist of-sorts on how to sell baked goods from home and hopefully become one of the hundreds of home bakers with thriving small businesses in the country.

If you’re not into baking, you can earn money from your garden if you’re a green thumb or sell your food products to the nearest grocery store.

Here’s How to Get Paid to Shovel Snow in 2020

You may think that shoveling a neighbor’s driveway is only a teenager’s job, you’d be surprised to know that you can get paid to shovel snow, earn big bucks from just a few hours of work each day, and turn it into a snow-shoveling business.

Although seasonal, the trick to snow-shoveling as a business is to find a market, organize your time, and choose the right tools.

And if you’re still doubting how you can turn this into a real business, check out the steps below:

Snow-shoveling Business 101

For this to work as a full-scale business, you need several things:

  • Location – This is important. You need to reside in a city that gets heavy snow every year. It wouldn’t be feasible traveling to another state just to offer your snow-shoveling business.
  • Good health – If you, the business owner, will also be the one shoveling snow, you’d have to be able to take the intense labor you’re going to face. This is especially true if you want to stick to traditional snow shovels, instead of going for a more advanced equipment like an electric snow shovel or snow thrower. And since you will be outdoors in winter for several hours, your body should be able to take the climate day in, day out until the season ends.
  • Personality – The only thing that would give you an edge over your big snow-shoveling business competition is how many of your first customers are friends, family members and referrals. Because of this, your business will always have a personal touch, so your personality will definitely be a major factor in keeping and maintaining your clients.
  • Equipment – Technically, you can launch this business even if you just borrow a friend’s snow shovel. But this business require you to work smart and better equipment (like an electric shovel or snow thrower) would make the job a lot quicker, and let you accommodate more customers.
  • Time – Let’s face it, if you only have a couple of hours available each day, you couldn’t earn enough to consider snow shoveling as a business. There has to be a balance of having time to cater to several jobs and not stretching yourself too far.

Like any kind of business, you’ll need a business plan. You must identify your market and determine how you would like to approach marketing (by word-of-mouth, local ads, online, and so on).

It’s important to invest  in either better equipment or additional people (either a partner or employee). You’d like to accept as much jobs as possible during heavy snowfall, but you can’t do it if you’re using only a conventional shovel. Just think of the customers you’re going to have to say “no” to if you’re still working on a job all by yourself.

How Much Can You Get Paid to Shovel Snow?

You need to be able to decide on pricing before offering your services.

In general, you can get paid to shovel snow from $25 to $75 an hour, or from $100 to as high as $500 per job. The range will depend on several factors, such as:

Hourly vs. set fees

Hourly fees are better for larger properties with bigger areas to clear, such as longer sidewalks or drives, simply because it would take longer to complete the job.

On the other hand, you can also set pricing to certain packages, such as $25 for quick snow blowing under 10 feet area and below 2-inch snow, or $150 for 5-inch snow within a 24 feet driveway.

I recommend you find out how long you can shovel a driveway, sidewalk and so on. Take note of the area size and the amount of snow when you fulfill your initial jobs, so you’ll be able to charge more appropriately in the future.

Location and Demand

The demand for snow shoveling services will depend largely on where you are. Cities that have yearly snowfall will have higher demand for shoveling snow.

In the same vein, if your area has no big companies that offer snow shoveling, you’ll have a higher chance of making it big.

It’s all about supply and demand – the more snow to clear, the higher demand is for shoveling. And with no other business to take care of this demand, you can price your services a bit higher than other areas.

Other Considerations

When pricing your service, consider transportation cost (if you go to the client’s location by car), and maintenance of your equipment.

If you’re going to be using a snow blower, make sure to list down gas as an added expense.

Equipment and Tools

As I said earlier, you can start this business even with just you and a basic shovel in hand. Some people have ZERO investment when they began. But they worked their butts off during intense snowfall to cater to as many clients possible.

However, if you have some funds as you launch this business, consider buying:

  • Additional shovel – You can buy any shovel for as low as $10 and it could last you for a good year. Adding shovels to your equipment ensure you sustain your business even if your existing set of shovel.
  • Traditional shovels with advanced features – You can also go for shovels with wheels or snow pusher/plow to make the job easier. It would cost a bit more than traditional shovels, but it isn’t as labor intensive as before.
  • Electric snow shovel – These cost somewhere above $50 to $200 depending on how long the cables you need and features you’d like to get. There are also battery-powered variations, if you’re not a fan of cords.
  • Snow blower/thrower – Spare $100 to $1000, if you’re interested in buying a snow blower. There are corded electric models, cordless electric snow blowers, and gas-powered snow blowers.
  • Snowplow for your truck – These removable snow plow kits attach to the front of your truck. They look massive, since they cater to larger spaces like outdoor commercial parking, or driveways of mansions.

Get Paid to Shovel Snow with Apps

Shovler is a cool mobile app that caters to both snow-shoveling businesses and the clients looking for these services. It is free to download, but Shovler does get a cut of your fees (15% of it) at the end of a job.

This app makes it a breeze to find people within your community who need their homes or business places shoveled.

As a snow-shoveling business, joining Shovler allows you to accept credit card payments via the app, send you notifications whenever a new job near you is posted.

What’s great about Shovler is that the app computes rates for each jobs based on the amount of snow, size of area needed cleared, and other factors. In general, Shovler charges $2 per square foot.

The Bottom Line

What makes a shoveling business interesting is that you could start big or small.

You have total control on how much you want to expand it – you can be aggressive with promoting via local ads, hunting through Facebook groups, and a wide range of marketing techniques. Or you can keep it small and cater only to family and friends.

Living in a colder climate can sometimes be a hassle, but if you use this time each year to offer your snow shoveling business, you can add significant income to your finances even if you only open up shop during winter.

How to Land a 2020 Census Job and Make $25/hr

The 2020 Census jobs are now open for applications, so if you have several weeks of free time available, you can be one of the hundreds of thousands of temporary workers hired across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Why would you want to apply to these jobs, you ask? Well, you’ll enjoy flexible work hours, paid training, weekly paychecks and competitive wages.

This post explains everything you need to know about applying to Census temp jobs, how much you can earn, who are qualified, and what types of positions are available.

Types of 2020 Census Jobs Available

Here are the 5 types of 2020 Census jobs:

1. Census Takers

These temp workers help in collecting responses from households that haven’t responded to the census.

You can apply for this position from January to April 2020.

Paid training is scheduled to begin in March and end on mid-May. Actual work occurs from May through July 2020.

  • Location: Field
  • Available positions: Hundreds of thousands across the country
  • Work hours: Since the job is done in the field, work has flexible hours and would depend on the area you’re assigned to. However, most census takers will be required to work on weekends or in the evenings.

2. Census Field Supervisors

They will serve as the supervisor of census takers working in the field.

Their roles would vary on a day-to-day basis, but focus on monitoring performance of census takers and ensuring quotas are met on time.

Applications and job offers will be made until February 2020.

  • Location: Field, office and at-home
  • Available positions: Thousands across the country
  • Work hours: Work schedules follow regular business hours, but can extend to evenings or weekends on specific days.

3. Recruiting Assistants

They’re like HR people, but exclusively working for the Census Bureau.

These recruiting assistants promote employment opportunities available in the U.S. Census and recruit local residents.

They are also the ones assigned to talk to media outlets, communities and other groups about current Census jobs. Compared to other jobs on this list, this one isn’t available at all times, but opens periodically throughout the 2020 Census.

  • Location: Field
  • Available positions: Thousands across the country
  • Work hours: Follows business hours, but can be flexible depending on the location assigned.

4. Clerk

These admin jobs are in-demand and handle many clerical tasks, such as recruitment, payroll, and other functions.

Job offers will be made periodically throughout the 2020 Census.

  • Location: Work is done at census offices across the country
  • Available positions: Thousands of slots
  • Work hours: Follows business hours, but could also extend to evenings and weekends depending on the area.

5. Office Operations Supervisor

These supervisors manage activities of Census clerks.

They work in or near U.S. Census Bureau offices and manage work schedules, conduct quality checks, and wear many hats to ensure operations run smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

  • Location: Work is done at census offices across the country
  • Available positions: Thousands of slots
  • Work hours: Follows business hours, but could also extend to evenings and weekends depending on the area.

How to Apply

To be eligible for any of the jobs above, you should be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old (or older) with a valid Social Security number, valid email address and fully completed application form.

You only need to submit your application ONCE. Your background and answers to the application assessment questions will determine which type of job you’d likely excel the most.

Applicants interested in being considered for supervisory positions must answer additional questions, which take approximately 10 minutes to answer.

For all positions, other requirements include:

  • Ability to speak, read and write in English
  • Basic computer and internet skills
  • Fingerprinting, criminal background checks
  • Complete training
  • Valid driver’s license (or access to a vehicle)

Non-citizens may be hired, only if no other applicants are willing to take the job.

If you’re bilingual, you have an edge over your competition because the Census Bureau is always looking for temp who can speak other languages other than English.

However, you may still be required to take an English proficiency exam.

Applicants located in Puerto Rico have the option of completing their application forms in either Spanish or English, but the assessments are only allowed to be completed in Spanish. Puerto Rico-based supervisory positions and office-based Census jobs are also required to pass the English proficiency exams.

Sometimes, additional documents may be required after the interview.

You can check the status of your application here.

How Much Can You Earn from these 2020 Census Jobs?

The U.S. Census Bureau only released hourly wages of clerks and census takers. Their pay ranges from $13 to $30 per hour, which depends largely on the town and state you applied to.

To check exact wages, find your location on the drop-down menu to see pay rates near you.

Temporary 2020 Census employees are paid weekly through direct deposit or a paycheck in the mail.

The first paycheck arrives 2 weeks after the first day of work, then every 7 days for subsequent paychecks.

If you were a bit worried about driving to the field, you’d be glad to know that you can be reimbursed for authorized work expenses such as mileage incurred while conducting census work.

Extra Side Hustle after Field Work

The cool thing about doing field work and having flexible working hours is that you can still participate in other side gigs after working your Census jobs.

Here are just several examples, but you can incorporate them into your schedule as you wish:

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, these 2020 Census jobs are only temporary. If you enjoyed your temp job at the Census Bureau, you can always check USA Jobs or the Census Careers page to see what other permanent jobs are available for your profession.

Don’t have time to work, but would love to receive free government money? (Click this guide to know about your options for free government money)

If you weren’t lucky enough to get a slot this year, don’t worry. Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau opens up these temp jobs once again. Add it into your calendar, so you’re ready next year.

Have you experienced working for Census before? Would you recommend applying for these jobs? Would love to hear about first-hand experiences from anyone below…

How to Make Money by Flipping Furniture

How To Make Money By Flipping Furniture

Flipping various items has proven to be a lucrative side hustle for many entrepreneurs. Clothes, shoes, electronics, and even houses can all be flipped for a profit.

Furniture is yet another one of those items that can be flipped, and probably one of the more profitable ones, that is if you have the skills.

Repairing and redecorating damaged furniture reduces waste and helps contribute to saving the environment.

Also, there’s something satisfying and fulfilling about transforming something that’s worn, damaged, or even merely unattractive into a useful work of art.

Here is all you need to learn about how to make money from flipping furniture: how profitable it is, as well as how and where to buy used furniture,

Can You Make Money Flipping Furniture?

It’s possible to make money from flipping furniture, but it all depends on your existing tools and materials, skills, and artistry.

Having all the woodworking or metalworking tools considerably reduces your overhead and initial spending. The same goes for materials like paint, varnish, etching acid, etc.

Furniture repainting

If you have to buy tools before you start, it might set you back some and you start your endeavor already too deep in the red.

You can try renting tools from places like Home Depot to minimize your initial costs and then purchase tools for yourself when you start turning in profit.

Cleaning and polishing furniture are relatively simple tasks, but refurbishing and repairing furniture take considerable skills.

Of course, you can take carpentry, woodworking, and metalworking classes locally, but again, this involves cost before you even start. Alternatively, you can learn by watching various instructional videos on YouTube. Real-time feedback on what you’re doing is very limited, but it’s free to learn online.

Even without these skills, though, you can start buying used furniture, simply cleaning them, and then reselling them for a profit.

However, because you can’t add anything to the furniture to considerably increase its value, you’re limited to flipping furniture that’s already in good condition, which is more expensive to buy.

Bottom line: Flipping furniture is most profitable for people who already have experience and comfortable repairing, remodeling, and redecorating used furniture.

Things To Consider When Buying Used Furniture

Type of furniture

There are many different types of furniture that you’d need to familiarize yourself with.

Types of furniture to flip

Wood furniture, when built and maintained correctly, can last for decades. In addition, there is a huge market for pieces of furniture that have been refinished so that it retains its old-world charm while finding its place in a modern home.

Upholstered furniture can also be profitable; simply cleaning the upholstery can spruce the look of the furniture, but reupholstering it can give it a whole new look that buyers may be more willing to spend on.

Another type of furniture that you can flip is outdoor furniture, although they don’t fetch as much as indoor furniture. The wear and tear may be a tad more than indoor pieces, so keep that in mind when you buy this type of furniture.

Antiques are one of the most profitable types of furniture that you can flip if you find the right target market. Because they’re higher in value, the level of scrutiny should also be higher.

Condition upon buying

If you’re buying something that’s already in good condition, you minimize the amount of work you put into it.

It might cost a bit more, but saving on materials, labor, and time can offset the cost and still give you a nice profit.

Uniqueness of the design

You want something one-of-a-kind so that your buyers don’t feel like they’re buying something they can buy from anywhere.

But you need to balance this with its functionality. For example, if a chair looks distinctive but you can’t sit in it, it’s worthless.

A uniquely designed furniture that doesn’t function as it should is no use to anyone.

Where To Buy Used Furniture

Shipping and freight for heavy items like furniture may prove to be too expensive, so you might not want to order from too far away.

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for used furniture, here are some of the places where you can find and buy used furniture for flipping.

1. Thrift Shops

These are probably what first comes to mind when you say “used furniture.”

Thrift shop furniture

You can find good deals in thrift shops, secondhand stores, or charity shops, but just because it’s in a thrift store doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a bargain. It’s possible to find used, even slightly damaged items priced even higher than retail prices.

2. Garage Sales/Yard Sales

When one of your neighbors or other local people in your area do a Marie Kondo or plan to move out and get rid of their old stuff, you’ll want to be there.

They’re highly motivated to sell off their furniture and might be more willing to negotiate with you for a lower price.

3. Estate Sales And Auctions

Estate sales are a good place to find well-loved used furniture. An appraiser normally determines the value of the furniture before it gets offered, so the price isn’t as low as you’d find in garage sales.

Your local paper should have a list of estate sales in your area, or you can go to a website like Find Estate Sales.

If you can find businesses that are closing, they normally sell their assets for a much lower price than retail. Furniture businesses are of course ideal, but pretty much any business that has furniture can be a goldmine of used furniture.

You might get an even better price if you have a lot of cash to spare and can buy their furniture as a lot.

4. Flea Markets And Vintage Markets

Flea markets are another good source of used furniture. The good thing about flea markets is that there are many sellers in one place and thus, they’re driven to sell their merchandise at lower prices, as there’s plenty of competition in one place.

Vintage markets aren’t very different from flea markets; they’re places where home goods and furnishings are old enough to be collectible but not old enough to be antiques.

5. Online through Craigslist

Craigslist, the modern-day local classified ads, is another great source of used furniture from people in your area.

Since Craigslist is a free platform for displaying ads and not really a marketplace, they don’t provide payment or shipping facilities. It’s up to you and whoever you’re buying from to meet up and exchange goods and cash.

Thus, you’d have to be careful. There’s a reason why there are plenty of scammers in Craigslist and you need to exercise the utmost care. Meet up in public spaces as much as you can, take a companion with you if you can, always inspect the furniture carefully, and never ever pay first before you meet up.

Where To Sell Refurbished Furniture

As I’ve mentioned, shipping and freight for furniture may be too expensive, so it’s best to sell your pieces locally.

Of course, if a not-so-local buyer wants to buy your items and is willing to shoulder the cost of having the item sent to them, then there’s no reason not to accommodate them.

Here are some of the places where you can sell your overhauled furniture.

1. Online Through Craigslist Or Other Selling Apps

Selling locally is a better option than selling online, and Craigslist and mobile selling apps let you do just that.

Flipping furniture on Craigslist is as simple as buying them. But if you’re the one selling, you’ll need to market your furniture better, which also applies when you’re selling them through other selling applications.

Clear photos from multiple angles, materials used, size and dimensions, as well as any other details of your furniture should be included in your listing.

It also helps to mention the work you did on the furniture, such as any repairs, paint jobs, upholstery changes, etc.

These details attract serious and interested buyers.

You also should learn to protect yourself from scammy buyers, too. Make sure you’re meeting in a public place, such as the mall or any other building or structure that hosts plenty of people.

If meeting in a public space isn’t possible, such as if the item is too big or if you have some restrictions in driving or in motion, at least do the exchange in a publicly visible area such as your garage, porch, front yard, or anywhere else that people on the outside can see.

Never give up your item without at least seeing the money.

Here are the five selling apps that we highly recommend.

2. Consignment Shops Or Used Furniture Dealers

If you want a quick way to move inventory, this is a good way to sell your used furniture. In addition, selling through a third party give you exposure to a wider clientele who might want to deal with you directly in the future.

The advantage is that they come to wherever your furniture is, appraise it, and take it off your hands if they think they can sell it at a profit.

However, you might not get the best price for your items because these dealers also have to make a profit. It might help to think of this minor loss as the price for being able to offload your stock quickly, exposure to new clientele, and having someone else handle selling your items.

3. Flea Markets And Vintage Markets

Renting a space in your local flea market and selling your furniture from there is another good way to sell your furniture.

Buyers who shop at flea markets are normally on the hunt for original, well-made furniture that can’t be found elsewhere.

A good strategy to sell your pieces quickly is to have an attractive display and access to foot traffic so that buyers can see your items on display.

4. Garage Sales

Hosting a garage sale is another way to attract local people to your merchandise.

Advertise your items for sale through your community boards, if you have them, and then invite them to your garage sale.

It’s probably not a good idea to be posting your home address on public bulletin boards, though. Either hold a garage sale in a public space or post contact details such as your email address and phone number so you can send your address in private.

5. Thrift Shops

Selling your pieces to thrift shops should be your last resort, if at all.

You want your furniture to sell at a good price, but shoppers at thrift stores expect low-priced items, so you might not earn enough to make it worth your while.

Tips To Earn More From Flipping Furniture

Learn how to negotiate.

Haggling is a huge part of flipping anything; you want to buy cheap and sell high.

Knowing how to negotiate a good price for the furniture you’re buying to flip allows you to get a good selling price for your refurbished furniture as well.

Avoid working with fake wood.

You want to put out quality furniture every single time, not only to build your reputation but also to get repeat business and solid referrals.

To produce high-quality furniture that lasts for years, you need to stay away from low-quality materials, such as particle board or medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

Those pieces won’t last, no matter how much you sand them or how pretty you paint them.

Know how to take eye-catching photographs of your merchandise.

Half of your business is advertising and convincing your target market to buy your furniture.

A big part of it is making sure that the visual aspect of your marketing is done well. There are plenty of online courses that teach how to take awesome photographs of furniture that showcase details as well as display their overall aesthetic.

Consider expanding your business to doing custom work.

Sometimes, customers want to keep their furniture but also turn it into something unique to them and their taste without having to buy new pieces.

You can monetize your skills in revamping furniture without having to look for furniture to buy and flip. Thus, you can make more money from the same work.

However, before you can make this into a profitable venture, you’d have to have a solid customer base to do this work for and to spread the word, so consider doing this later on in your business.

Quality always trumps quantity.

This is the most important thing to keep in mind if you want to be successful in this business.

This applies to everything. For instance, it’s better to use quality tools and materials that are a bit more expensive rather than settle for cheaper but lower-quality ones.

In addition, putting out fewer, excellently made pieces is a better strategy than churning out inferior furniture.

Is Flipping Furniture For You?

As you’ve probably gathered by now, buying and overhauling furniture can be a profitable way for you to make some side cash.

Hopefully, I’ve given you everything you need to get started flipping furniture and making some side cash from it.

Other Things You Can Flip To Make Money

Buying and selling furniture isn’t for everyone, though.

If you decide that flipping furniture isn’t for you, or maybe you just want to up your flipping game, here are some other items that you can buy at a bargain and then sell:

 

Is refurbishing furniture already something you dabble in? Or is it something you’re interested in learning? Tell us in the comments section below!

5 Places to Get a Free Business Phone Number in 2020

While many of us might not make a lot of phone calls anymore (at least, I know I prefer to mostly send text messages), businesses still do and that’s because speaking to a client over the phone is just easier and builds more trust than an email can.

If you’re a small business owner, gig-worker, or a freelancer then you might want to look into these services that provide free business phone numbers.

Here’s why it’s important to get a separate phone number for your business:

I know that as a small business owner you need to save where you can. Having a free business number for your side-gig not only spares you the cost of getting a landline or an additional phone plan but it also adds a sense of credibility and professionalism to your business.

These days, a lot of people tend to just use their personal phone number as their business number, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, some of our personal lives tend to spill over that way.

For instance, if the client has a messenger like WhatsApp too (which is likely since it’s such a hugely popular messaging service), then they will see all of your profile pictures, statuses, and updates.

On top of that, keeping things organized on a phone that’s used for both your business ventures and personal life gets tricky after a while.

Luckily, there are a number of ways you can get a free business phone number here in the US. I’ve listed some of them below so you can find one that fits your needs.

Do Freelancers and Gig-Workers Really Benefit From Having a Business Phone Number?

It might not seem like it, but yes, you can benefit from getting a separate phone number for your business whether you’re starting a catering business or you have your own floral boutique at home.

Depending on the work you do, you’ll have to pitch to clients, save important contacts, maintain a list of leads, and set up a schedule so you don’t forget anything.

Getting a free business phone number means you can do all of that without having to pay for an additional phone number or another phone.

Though some people do like having a separate phone for work, which is fine as well – it doesn’t have to be an expensive one and you can still use a free phone number on it instead of going for a full plan.

While having a business phone number won’t help you with your scheduling, it can help you keep your personal phone number out of the public eye. There are a number of benefits attached to that, but the two ones that instantly come to mind are:

– not getting bombarded by spam, and

– not having to deal with creeps who now have your phone number.

But probably one of the biggest positives to having an independent phone number for your business is that you don’t have to answer it after hours. Once you’re done for the day, you can just mute those calls and even set up an automatic answering system that says you’ll call them back the next day.

How do Free Business Phone Numbers Work?

Most free business numbers are either virtual or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) numbers. There are a few places that provide this type of service and they will either be able to provide you with a local number or a toll-free number, or both.

Make sure to check that distinction before you sign up. If your clients are spread out across the country then you should opt for the toll-free number instead of the local option.

There are also a couple of different ways this could work. You could do your inbound and outbound calls over a desktop phone. But you would need a headset with a microphone for that.

Otherwise, you can just have your business calls forwarded to your regular phone. This works just as well and is the better option if you tend to frequently be out of the office during work hours.

5 Free Business Phone Number Services

1. Google Voice

We use Google services for pretty much everything these days – from getting work done in Docs or Sheets, to using our Google Calendars for scheduling appointments. So, of course, there’s a Google Voice as well.

The Google Voice app is pretty easy to use and you should be fairly familiar with its setup if you already use any other Google services. The app lets you make free calls (and send free text messages) on your computer and Android or iOS phones.

It comes with some great features too, including the ability to filter spam calls – something all of us need these days – and transcribe voicemails so you can read them later.

This free service is really great for anyone that travels around a lot, but the only caveat is that it supplies you with a local number. If you need a toll-free number to connect with clients in other states then you’ll need to go for a different option. Luckily there are plenty of others!

2. Phone.com

This is a fairly well-known VoIP service that is easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices.

This service isn’t technically free as they have a few pricing plans based on the number of minutes you can call every month. However, their base plan (currently $13/month) does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and so I felt they warranted a mention here because Phone.com is pretty popular.

The service offers a long list of standard and premium features, that I’m not going to go through here. But a few noteworthy mentions include professional voice recording, voicemail to email, Caller ID (for incoming and outgoing calls), and hold music.

Phone.com provides both local and toll-free numbers which means you’re free to choose the option that best suits you.

3. eVoice

This virtual phone service offers both local and toll-free business phone numbers to people in the US and Canada. It comes with a 30-day free trial, after which you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription, unfortunately.

There are several perks to eVoice, though, and they have a few different subscription tiers to choose from so you can pick a cheap tier if you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles.

There are some terrific bells and whistles, however, if you want them. You’ll get to choose your own number from a list, have a professionally recorded greeting, and get an auto attendant who answers your calls and can route calls to your smartphone or another device (or both if one is for customer service and the other is for billing, for instance).

4. CallCentric

CallCentric is a great option if you want a free business number for inbound calls because it’s free to receive any number of calls on the service. But if you want to make calls yourself, then you’ll have to pay.

That said, any calls you make to other CallCentric or VOIP numbers are also free. And if you do need to make calls to non-VOIP numbers then their plans are still a fantastic option. You get 120 minutes a month for just $2 on the basic plan.

5. FreedomVoice

This is another service that offers a free 30-day trial, after which you’ll have to pay $10 per month (for the basic plan). While this isn’t ideal considering you actually want a free service, the perks help make up for it, at least.

With FreedomVoice you also get a virtual auto assistant, can forward calls to any phone, have unlimited voicemail, and the ability to send and receive faxes online.

If you want, you can also opt to get a vanity business phone number instead, for a $30 activation fee (luckily it’s once-off). This is a tempting option for anyone who would like a unique and memorable number.

The Bottom Line

Keep in mind though, that calls through any of these services are made over the internet and so you will need a connection to be able to make and receive calls.

Depending on how strong your connection is, you might also experience dropped calls or bad “reception” at times.

Also, remember that any calls you make over a network could be intercepted. Although, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure your business stays safe from online threats (and not just in terms of making a phone call) so be sure to check them out.

How To Sell Vinyl Records For Side Cash

How To Sell Vinyl Records For Side Cash

It’s probably hard to imagine now, but vinyl records were the standard format for decades before Sony came up with the compact disc in the early 1980s. Since then, music has evolved into MP3s and into streaming, the format we all know and love today.

But streaming music on demand can make listeners feel like they don’t really own the music, leaving the door open for a vinyl resurgence in the mid-2000s. There’s just something about buying and collecting vinyl records that fill a need for actual ownership.

The comeback of vinyl has spurred on entrepreneurial types to cash in, and you can certainly join in if you have some quality records to sell.

In today’s article, learn how to sell vinyl records: from determining how valuable your records are to where you should sell them to get as much out of them as you can.

Is Selling Vinyl Records Profitable?

The short answer: Maybe.

Unfortunately, I can’t just predict whether this will be a profitable venture for everyone.

What determines the value of your vinyl records? Two major things: release version and condition.

Release version applies to vinyl albums that have been released multiple times. Some of these pressings are worth more than others, so make sure to

Condition will greatly influence how much you can sell your albums for. It doesn’t matter how valuable the release version of your album is; if it doesn’t sound or look good, you won’t fetch a very high price for it.

Vinyl records that look like new, such as if the sleeve looks pristine, the record hasn’t been played, and in general doesn’t have visible dents or dings, are almost guaranteed to be worth more.

Vinyl records for sale

On the other hand, if the record is warped or the sleeve has scratches, water spots, or any other visible damage, it will be worth less.

While you’re inspecting your vinyl records, you’ll probably want to clean the opened ones, especially if they haven’t been opened in a while. Invest in a high-quality vinyl record cleaner, especially a good brush that will clean dust out of the grooves while not scratching them.

The most widely used guide for buying and selling vinyl records is called the Goldmine® Grading Guide. Check it out and learn it so you can grade the vinyl records you’re selling for yourself.

Other factors that determine the value of your vinyl records include:

  • Artist
  • Sealed or opened?
  • Autographed or not?
  • Commercial or promotional?
  • Small label or major label?
  • Mono or stereo or quadriphonic?
  • General release or limited edition?
  • Black or colored or picture disc?

 

Additionally, there are websites you can consult to find out the price of your vinyl records.

Popsike is a database updated every two days that aggregates data from eBay’s sold record listings. You can easily search and filter their listings, both from their website and their mobile app.

The number of searches is limited for non-members, and $17 can get you full membership and thus unlimited searches for 6 months.

Another website tool to help you price your vinyl records is a site called Discogs, which as you’ll see later, is also a marketplace to buy and sell vinyl records. Records are listed here as individual releases as opposed to per album or master release, so you’d know exactly which release you have. Registering for an account in Discogs is completely free.

Other websites you can use to price your stock are MusicStack and ValueYourMusic where you can search for your records and they give you prices based on data on various auctions.

Where To Get Vinyl Records To Sell

From your own house

If your parents or grandparents were big music fans in their day, they might have a few (or a few boxes, even) of vinyl records lying around in your basement or your attic.

Start sifting through them, list the titles and whatever metadata you have, and using the Goldmine® Grading Guide to classify the records you have.

Group records together based on their condition and release version and create a detailed inventory so you’d have an estimate of how valuable your entire collection is.

Buying from secondhand stores

Stores that sell secondhand items have some potential of earning you some money if you flip them. Thrift stores, used book stores, flea markets, and even garage sales may have some hidden gems.

Records store

They may also be more willing to sell them to you if you’re willing to buy them in bulk. Just make sure you have some way to know if what you’re buying has some value.

Buying at record fairs

A record fair is an event where music lovers go to buy and sell records, and sometimes even swap or trade them.

You’ll be more likely to find records that are in good condition here than in garage sales or thrift stores because the people who participate are record collectors themselves, or otherwise in the music business, like record store owners, record producers, or DJs.

The trick is finding out when and where the next record fairs are happening. Check out your social media communities and local message boards to find out.

Where To Sell Vinyl Records

1. Online Through Discogs

Discogs helps you price your records (as we’ve seen above), it’s a way to organize your own personal vinyl collection, and it’s also a very popular online marketplace to buy and sell vinyl records.

You already have a strong advantage of being in a community of genuine music and vinyl lovers. Plus, Discogs provides seller tools and shipping materials, allows you to leave your records up as long as it takes, and provides a dedicated support team to resolve whatever issues that you might have.

They do have a price, though; Discogs takes 8% as a fee. Also, they require you to submit highly detailed data and metadata about each record, such as country of release, pressing information, material, artist credits, conditions of the discs and the sleeves, and other identifiers.

Best for: Rare, mint condition vinyl records

2. Online Through eBay

A popular way to sell vinyl records is through eBay. The advantage of selling through eBay is that you can put up more valuable records for auction and less valuable ones for sale for a set price.

It’s easy to start selling through eBay; a few seconds and you have your account set up (if you haven’t already got one). Plus, eBay has looser metadata standards, so you don’t have to input too many details about what you’re selling.

Thus, you can expect buyers here to be more casual collectors of vinyl.

However, if you haven’t sold anything on eBay, you’d have no seller rating, and you might not get good bids for your records. Plus, eBay charges a 10% fee, cutting in on your possible profits.

Best for: Any of the vinyl records that you want to sell at a fair price

3. Your Local Record Store

If you’re desperate to offload your vinyl records that aren’t in very good condition or not very popular, consider selling them to your local record store.

Not only do you get to help a local business but you can get some cash for doing so.

If you do wind up selling your vinyl records to your local record shop, make sure to manage your expectations. They need to make a profit off the records you’re selling, so they’ll try to offer you a lowball bid for your records.

If you’ve consulted pricing websites and the Goldmine® Grading Guide, you should have an idea of how much you can get approximately for your records. Be willing to accept a lower offer than you normally would, but don’t allow yourself to be stiffed.

In general, if they say they can’t offer you at least a dollar for a record, it’s not something they want to carry in their store. Worst case scenario, call their bluff and don’t sell it to them. If they really want it, they won’t let you leave.

Your old vinyl records may not be worth as much as you’d like, but it doesn’t mean you can’t earn a few dollars from them.

Best for: Not so rare, not so mint condition vinyl records

4. Garage Sales Or Record Fairs

The point is to go to where the buyers are. And you’ll find plenty of vinyl enthusiasts looking to add to their collections in record fairs or in the grounds when there are concerts or music events.

Records at garage sale

Location is important here. If you think you can get buyers near where you live, then holding a garage sale is a low-cost, low-overhead way of selling your merchandise.

Otherwise, go where the buyers are. Participate in record fairs so you can find enthusiastic buyers.

If you’re selling other items aside from your vinyl records, here are some garage sale tips to take note of.

Best for: Popular vinyl records that aren’t in mint condition but are in high demand

5. Online Through Selling Apps

Offering your merchandise through a selling app is another option if you want to appeal to a local buyer but don’t have the energy or motivation to host a garage sale.

An advantage is that it’s similar to selling in an online marketplace but there are no fees and you can negotiate prices with the buyer in person.

Here are the five selling apps that we recommend.

Best for: Any of your records that have local buyers

6. Repurpose And Sell Online Through Etsy

The resurgence of vinyl means there’s also a resurgence of vinyl record-themed décor and other knickknacks. With a little DIY spirit and some elbow grease, transform your unsellable vinyl records into crafts and sell them on Etsy or on your own website, if you have one.

Repurposed Vinyl

Here are some ideas for repurposing vinyl records.

  • Jewelry
  • Guitar picks
  • Clocks
  • Canvas for pour paintings
  • Coasters
  • Cupcake stand
  • Stools

If you don’t have the skills, tools, or just don’t have the time for DIY crafts, you can always sell your banged-up records as is and advertise them as good for crafting. Other crafters get their raw materials, you get some money out of them, and everyone’s happy.

Buyers pay for the shipping fees, while you pay a 20-cent listing fee plus 6.75% in transaction and payment processing fees when your records sell.

Best for: Beat up, damaged, heavily played vinyl records

Get More For Your Vinyl Records

Take care of your records.

The main thing to remember is that when you get them out of your storage, or once you buy them, store them properly.

Record collection

Make sure to place them upright in a dust-free, waterproof container. Stacking them or laying them flat is going to warp the records.

Also, remember that the sleeves are protective, so keep the records in them. The sleeves will keep dust and other elements away from the records.

Find the coolest, most consistent area in your house and store your records there. Alternatively, if you have too many records to store in your house, find a temperature-controlled storage unit or space that’s pest-free and have ample ventilation.

Have your most valuable vinyl records appraised.

Having a mere idea of what your records are worth is one thing, but when you have a record in your stock that could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, the best thing you can do is to have those appraised by a professional.

One of the most popular appraisers online is Marshall, more widely known as Mighty John Marshall. You can send in your records to him (minimum of 5) through his website MoneyMusic, which he’ll appraise for $1 per record.

Consider more than one buyer.

Unless you’re looking to move your items really quickly and get cash right away, you’d want to consider as many offers as you can. You want to get the best price, but more importantly, you want to examine all the potential buyers so you can weed out the sketchy ones.

Start Selling Vinyl Records Today!

After all this, you’re probably wondering whether people will buy vinyl records in the first place.

For a vinyl enthusiast, it’s not just that the quality of the audio is much better when playing a vinyl record (some music experts even argue that this is a myth).

The entire experience—taking out the record from its sleeve, putting it on a turntable, and focusing your attention on listening to one side at a time—is almost ritualistic. It adds a new, aesthetic aspect to music that isn’t available in its other usual forms.

Plus, nothing says collectible more than the huge cover art and the liner notes that provide context and a personal glimpse into the artists’ musical journey.

Want to sell other things in your attic?

Do you have other old stuff in your attic aside from vinyl records? You might want to sell them for side cash, too. Here are some articles to show you how.

Are you sitting on some vinyl records in your house that you want to get some side cash for? Or do you plan to start buying them up and flipping them? Share your stories with us on the comments below!

8 High-Paying Work from Home Copywriting Jobs

Work from home copywriting jobs are in-demand more than ever because companies big and small require experts to fill up their websites, social media platforms, e-newsletters, traditional brochures, and other content-driven marketing techniques.

Web-based copywriting is a multi-million dollar industry with a fantastic outlook.

This is particularly true since copywriting is expected to survive AI and branch out into various industries such as video marketing, and public relations, among others.

If you have a knack for writing, you’re already half way there.

Finding copywriting jobs today is super-easy, as long as you know your chosen market like the back of your hand, and you’re open to adapt as the industry changes along with technology.

Whether you’re just starting out as a copywriter, or you’re planning to switch from traditional office-based copywriting to online, this guide can help you decide which route you’d like to take.

Are Work from Home Copywriting Jobs for You?

Copywriting is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising a product or service. The written material, called “copy”, aims to increase brand awareness and in the process, persuade people to take a particular “action.”

This action can be anything from joining the company newsletter, clicking the Like button of a company Facebook page, or buying a product from the company site.

Like other types of writing, copywriting follows a set of rules. If you’re new to this field, check this guide for copywriting basics.

Before signing up for this career, here are two important things you should consider:

Work from Home vs. Office-based

Traditional copywriters (usually employed by ad agencies) do the same tasks as online copywriters, except those who work from home have the option of taking on multiple clients or sticking to just one exclusively. Of course, both have pros and cons.

What I’ve discovered is that there is no criteria for going with one or the either – a person’s working habit, environment, and mindset all play a role on whether he/she will flourish in a work-from-home setup…or not.

Salary of Work from Home Copywriting Jobs

Australian copywriter Kate Toon broke down the complexities of pricing copywriting jobs.

Because you are not bound by a fixed salary as employed copywriters, you can control if you want to be paid by the hour ($25-$35/hour), by the word (10 cents to $1 per word), by the project, or any other basis.

Now that you know that working from home isn’t for everybody and that your salary as a freelance copywriter will be based mostly on personal output (unless you are a remote employee of a specific company with a fixed pay structure), then you’re ready to hunt for work from home copywriting jobs.

8 Sites Where You Can Find Work from Home Copywriting Jobs

1. Copify

This company has a pretty busy traffic, boasting of fulfilling over 2,500 writing jobs a month.

  • Copywriters can apply as a copywriter no matter the country you’re from.
  • Once you pass the application (assessment takes about 48 hours), you can take on assignments instantly without having to bid jobs or submit proposals.
  • Finish the job before due date following the guidelines provided and receive payment via PayPal as you finish each job. Depending on your skills, you can earn up to $30 per 500 words.

2. Contently 

A massive network of writers supporting Contently.com call this their home.

  • To be able to get access to the Contently platform, you need to sign-up, optimize your portfolio, get your application approved, and complete training.
  • When you begin, Contently will match you with its clients and you’ll work in collaboration with the client, Contently editors, and other people involved in a particular project.
  • Once you’ve submitted your work, payment will be credited to your account instantly. Cash out via PayPal anytime.

3. Clearvoice

ClearVoice helps established copywriters and influencers by connecting them to brands and receiving premium for their work. If you have been published on major publications in the past, your application has a higher chance.

  • It’s important to work on your CV, since the info you put into it will dictate how ClearVoice matches you with client assignments.
  • Clients choose writers based on ClearVoice recommendations based on the freelancer’s pay rates, industry and experience.
  • Once you’re chosen, simply complete the job and receive payment via PayPal upon assignment approval.

4. Ebyline

Create a free profile, add work examples, build social connections and wait for Ebyline to connect you with top brands that is perfect for your niche.

Ebyline has over 2,000 freelancers across 72 countries and works with Fortune 500 companies.  

5. Skyword

This company connects freelance copywriters with Fortune 1000 brands and has reportedly paid over 30 million dollars to its contributors.

  • Join as a writer by creating a Skyword account, fill out the forms and share details about your experience. Last step involves connecting your social networks.
  • If you’re accepted as a writer, you are given assignments based on what you put into your profile.
  • Complete the assignment once you’re chosen to work on a project, submit and get paid via PayPal.

6. Quietly

Similar to other copywriting job sites on this list, you have to create a Quietly portfolio and wait for Quietly to match you with a client they think would be a good fit. 

  • Join the writer network, fill out a comprehensive portfolio, and wait to be paired up with a client.
  • The frequency of workload varies between clients.
  • Invoices are received twice a month (prior to the 15th and prior to the 30th). Payment frequency is twice a month, following the invoice dates.

7. The Chat Shop

If you have experience writing for the web and some knowledge of WordPress, Google Analytics, Hubspot and Adobe suite, apply to become a coywriter for the Chat Shop.

  • Email your CV, cover letter, and portfolio to hello@thechatshop.com with ‘Copywriter Applicant’ in subject line.

8. iWriter

Available for writers from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, iWriter is continuously on the lookout for talented writers to join their platform.

  • There’s a quick application that involves creating an account, which also includes a small writing test and research test.
  • It would take up to 2 weeks to receive a notification if you pass or fail.
  • Once accepted, a writer begins at Standard level and make his/her way up to Premium, Elite and Elite Plus as the writer works on more projects.
  • Some clients could send assignments your way directly.

Pay begins at about $1.25 for 100 words, but increase as you progress to other tiers.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a natural at encouraging your family or friends to buy something, and you are a skilled writer, copywriting can be a fruitful career choice for you. And if you go with work from home copywriting jobs, then you can do it from the comforts of your own home or while traveling around the world.

If you love writing but prefer fact-based news (news writing), journal-type (blogging), or other types of writing aside from copywriting, there are plenty of ways to get paid to write from home and still make it into a career.

How to Work from Home as an Online Personal Trainer

An online personal trainer is just any kind of personal trainer employed by your favorite gym, except the coaching and guidance all happen online.

Our fast-paced lives and technological advancements have paved the way for online personal trainers to be a thing. They’re actually pretty in-demand…and for good reason.

The market for online personal trainers are pretty diverse.

They can be:

  • People who prefer not to spend on gym memberships – In the S., the estimated average monthly cost of a gym membershipis $58, but this can vary depending on gym location, specialization, and even in-house trainers.
  • People who have home gyms – Those who have invested money to build their own home gyms, but require a bit of guidance beyond what he/she reads online will definitely benefit from hiring an online personal trainer.
  • People who prefer to work alone – Whatever reason may be for wanting to work out alone, whether you see yourself as an introvert, moody person, or just lack social skills, having an online personal trainer means you can skip huge groups of people and just focus on one.
  • People who have limited time for extracurricular activities like going to the gym – If you’re busy with work, kids, school, business, or any other tasks that make it impossible to add visiting the gym into your schedule, having an online personal trainer would make total sense.

So if you’re passionate with fitness or have been a personal trainer in brick-and-mortar fitness centers, here’s your chance to broaden your clients, start your own personal training business, and make money in fitness. 

5 Ways You Can Become an Online Personal Trainer

You can always mix and match these types of programs whichever you feel fits your client base, but in general, these are common ways personal trainers earn money online:

1. One-on-one or Group Online Coaching

Whether you offer your personal training services to a single person or a group, this kind of training is personal because you provide tips and advice to all the people involved in the program.

This type of online personal training is very similar to gym-based training, except you communicate to your clients via phone, e-mail, Skype, through an app, or even a special software.

2. PDF or Video Fitness Programs

You can also bring your personal training experience without personalized coaching, but you’d have to put in effort in developing a complete fitness program wrapped in an eBook, or a series of videos that clients can follow.

Either PDF or videos are pre-made, so any new client could just hop on board and follow the program without additional work from you.

3. Hybrid

You are the boss of your personal training business, so you can create a hybrid fitness program if you want to. For example:

  • Personal Coaching and Pre-made Fitness ProgramsAs an online personal trainer, you can also mix pre-made fitness programs with personalized coaching. You can be involved every step of the way as your clients follow the ebook or video series that you made.
  • In-person and Online Training – Maybe you own a boutique gym and still cater to clients personally. If this is the case and you want to transition into online, this kind of hybrid training could work for you. Just make sure your clients would bite as well.

If you have certification in nutrition, you can even add diet programs into the mix.

4. Site Memberships

Site memberships combine everything from videos to personal coaching, fitness and diet programs, as well as other new activities. Just take a look at Fitness Blender’s PB Plus, which gives special access to programs, premium apps, and no-ads viewing to those who pay for membership.

5. LIVE Video Chat Workouts

Online personal trainers also offer live training for their clients. In this scenario, both the trainer and the client are communicating via video chat (such as Skype), or a special personal training software (such as gymGO) where trainers can correct posture while clients lift weights, dance the zumba as the client follows, or even hold a yoga lesson for a group of friends.

Things You Need to Start an Online Personal Training Business

Before setting up your online personal training business, make  sure you work on these several things:

Specialization

Personal training requires magic. Either you have what it takes to inspire people, drive people to reach their goals, and coach them to do better… or not. As such, it’s very hard to become a “do-it-all” personal trainer, especially if you’re doing this career online.

Stick to what you know best. For example, focus on weight loss, HIIT exercises, Crossfit, Zumba, yoga, weight training, MMA, and so on. You’ll have a more targeted niche, which will attract a specific crowd as well.

Unlike other service-based businesses, a personal trainer’s personality is a big reason why would-be clients would choose him/her over dozens of other trainers. When building your business, market “yourself” as the product and service, but make sure you’re not just about the business. Keep it honest, keep it human.

Experience and Certification

If you’re new to the industry, it is better to build experience at traditional gyms first, before transitioning to the online world.

Certifications are not really a requirement, since you are allowed to coach people with training, but being a certified personal trainer could land your name on official lists across the city, state or country. That alone could bring in new clients to your “door” without any effort.

Clients

You’ll need clients to turn your passion into a money-making business.

Building a client base is definitely the hardest phase, but once you’ve coached a few people with everything you got and they’ve given you nothing but praises, the word of mouth can jumpstart your career.

Other ways of finding clients include advertising, networking, “going viral,” sharing valuable information, and hosting contests or giveaways.

Note that you have to think about finding new clients continuously, even after your business picks up.

Love for Technology

Because you are now an online personal trainer, your business will revolve around the web, social media, your website, special fitness software and even fitness apps. These apps and programs will help you in accepting payment, hosting giveaways, organizing contact list, and so on.

As much as you’d like interacting with people. personal trainers should also have a natural love for technology and be up-to-date with the latest organizational program, schedule “meetings,” and so on.

Willingness to Adapt

Technological advancements are never-ending and people want the next best thing. You should be able to adapt as changes happen. This also goes with your self-written ebook fitness programs, or video series, since new information in the medical or fitness fields could dispute the information you taught in the past.

Adapting to changes ensure that your clients won’t leave you because of a poor app you haven’t updated for years, or an old workout routine that has been recently proven bad to the knees.

10 Ways You Can Grow as an Online Personal Trainer

I’m going to tell you a story about a husband and wife named Daniel and Kelli Segars, who started creating YouTube fitness-related videos from their garage in 2009 and has since turned their fitness coaching channel “Fitness Blender” into a million-dollar business.

And if you’re interested in an online fitness coaching career without relying on a client-to-client basis as traditional fitness trainers do, check out several tips on how to make it work based on The Segars’ success story.

The Story of Fitness Blender

Before Fitness Blender launched its own website and offered comprehensive weight loss programs there, Daniel and Kelli had been uploading YouTube videos to earn “extra cash” during the start of the recession.

By 2012, the couple was able to quit their day jobs and focus on Fitness Blender full-time.

As of mid-2017, their YouTube channel has a whopping 44 million subscribers, while its most popular video “10 Minute Ab Workout” has 47 million views.

The Segars have also moved to a new house with the same-looking white-background garage, but now with a spare room as their office.

10 Things You Could Learn from Fitness Blender

1. Find a Unique Selling Point

The Segars just got married, signed for their first house, Daniel lost most of his personal-training clients, and Kelli’s work hours from selling gym membership got reduced – all in one weekend in August 2008.

With the Great Recession in full swing and the couple doing several odd jobs to pay for mortgage, the couple had the idea that if people can’t afford personal trainers anymore, they should offer their services online (for free) in exchange for cents from YouTube’s ad program.

To this day, authenticity is the theme of Fitness Blenders, and subscribers love it.

2. Start Small

The Segars had $5,000 to invest on the production of their videos.

They kept everything simple – a white-painted wall as backdrop, no music (to avoid legal fees), a DIY studio light from hardware-bought light bulbs and just an ordinary video camera.

The couple even edited their videos themselves via iMovie.

3. Know What You’re Selling

Daniel has a degree in Food and Nutrition, with years of experience as a personal trainer.

Kelli has degrees in both Sociology and Psychology, with work experience in the fitness industry since 2006.

The workouts that they do are simple, but they’re all backed by science. So are their weeks-long weight-loss programs and meal plans.

The couple didn’t just decide to become online fitness coaches out of the blue – it was their real-life profession and you can definitely see that they know what they’re doing.

4. Avoid Gimmicks

Daniel and Kelli’s videos become popular because of how genuine they are.

Both of them looked nothing like the cookie-cutter images of the fitness industry – Daniel wasn’t buffed to the extreme with veins popping, while Kelli never tanned or put on sexy clothes for the clicks.

They also never yell, or pump you out to “do your best.” They simply instruct.

Aside from their looks, Fitness Blender videos are never gimmicky.

Viewers actually relate to the couple, since they don’t edit out falls (while performing workouts), or panting.

You can even see them sweat, or have a hard time during parts of the workout. They’re not as preppy as what we’ve come to know in fitness videos.

Kelli even admitted that she was so shy about appearing on those videos at the start that Daniel had to voice-over instructions. She eventually got out from her shell and began instructing moves on the videos, but the authenticity remained.

5. Learn SEO and internet marketing

The couple’s first AdSense check (from YouTube views) was worth 9 cents.

They were happy with their initial earnings. But what propelled their videos was Kelli’s knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing. She was an expert, but she knew how to use keywords to Fitness Blender’s advantage.

While working odd jobs to stay afloat in 2008, Kelli was writing “how-to” articles online part-time.

With this job, she learned how to create click-bait titles and content, which The Segars used with every video they uploaded. Soon, their SEO-optimized videos reached the top of Google searches and were able to legally manipulate search engine results extremely well.

6. Sell Affordable Products

When the couple launched their website, they decided to sell complete workout programs.

What’s interesting about these programs is that most content are readily-available on YouTube for free, but people bought them for how The Segars packaged their product.

First, the programs were affordable (somewhere from $5 to $15 with discounts every now and then).

Plus, the couple took advantage of the number one question their YouTube subscribers asked: “what workout should I do in order to …” lose weight, build muscles, etc.

From there, they organized their videos and created a workout calendar people could follow based on their needs. Having a guide to sort through hundreds of Fitness Blender did the trick, and their programs sold like hotcakes.

7. Choose Your Opportunities Wisely

Fame brings all kinds of opportunities and there were various offers that landed the Fitness Blender team.

One hotel wanted Fitness Blender to shoot their videos in front of their beachfront property.

The couple was even offered a TV show. But Daniel and Kelli declined, knowing that if they accepted these opportunities, their authenticity (their unique selling point) along with their reputation could be greatly affected, and not in a good way.

Instead, the couple decided to upgrade their website with more content. This time, they created meal plans that would work perfectly with the workout programs they were currently offering.

8. Provide Value

Viewers of Fitness Blender love the no-nonsense approach of the videos.

Whether the couple is giving out fitness tips, or announcing a new product, viewers accept these with open arms because every video Fitness Blender uploads provide some kind of value to the viewers.

9. Give Thanks

Daniel and Kelli have come a long way since they began their YouTube channel, but the couple knows who made it possible.

Every now and again, The Segars give thanks to their subscribers, customers, and followers just because. It’s always good business to make your customers feel valued, and the Fitness Blender team’s genuine acknowledgement of their market is the reason why they have happy, loyal fans around the world.

10. Never Stop

Even with 500+ videos uploaded on YouTube and a million-dollar business, the couple still uploads new content every week.

This, even if Kelli admits that she doesn’t like to work out sometimes (even if she knows it would make her feel better afterward). It’s a refreshing thing to hear, and inspirational for regular folk like us who hate working out.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, personal trainers begin their business on social networks. Those who found fame as brand ambassadors or influencers get their client base directly from Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. In these cases, the personal trainers themselves serve as their portfolio and people get inspired by their transformations.

If you’re starting out from real-world to online, it’s never too late as well. By following the steps I posted above, you’ll have a basic understanding how you can operate your own personal training business even in the comforts of your own home.

7 Work From Home Insurance Jobs You Could Try In 2020

There always seems to be opportunities opening up in the insurance industry, which continues to boom straight through into 2020.

I guess it makes sense since people need to keep insuring their stuff, but whatever the reason, you can capitalize on it by taking on a work from home insurance job.

Here’s why:

The insurance industry is particularly flexible and allows for a lot of leeway in work from home positions as well as telecommuting opportunities.

If you do a little digging, you’ll see that you often don’t even need experience in insurance for many of the positions they have available because a lot of skills transfer well from other industries.

You’d also be surprised at just how many different jobs are involved in insurance, many of which don’t require that you be in the office all day.

Because insurance companies need such a huge range of talent, they often prefer to have their people work from home or telecommute – they save money and their employees are happier too.

Some companies require that you work in-house first before switching to a telecommuting position, while others just let you work from home right from the start. Generally, this also depends on the type of role you’ll be fulfilling, so take that into consideration when making your decision.

Below, I list the types of work from home insurance jobs you’ll typically find (with the exception of health insurance) and which companies typically hire for these types of positions.

Types of Work From Home Insurance Jobs

1. Insurance sales agents are representatives of one or more insurance companies, who sell their products.

There are two types of agents – those who only work for one insurance company (captive) and those who work for multiple companies (independent).

Most states and countries require that insurance agents have a license to sell the specific types of insurance they do. So make sure to check whether you need to sign up for training and go through any required exams.

2. Insurance brokers work for the people who are buying insurance instead of any particular insurance company.

They submit completed applications on behalf of their clients and request insurance quotes and policies for them.

An insurance broker doesn’t have the authority to legally draft or enforce a policy. There are also different types of insurance brokers, such as wholesale and surplus lines brokers.

3. Claims specialists or claims adjusters are responsible for determining whether a claim is covered by the policy that a client has.

There’s a lot of open positions in this field because so many claims get filed on a daily basis. In a big company, a claims specialist can receive as many as 50 to 100 claims a month.

It’s the claims adjuster’s job to make sure that the claim is settled fast and that the company pays out as little as possible.

4. Auditors fulfill a couple of roles in an insurance company.

There are financial auditors who review company records, financial statements, etc., in order to make sure the books are legal.

But there are also auditors whose job it is to evaluate policyholders’ documents and records for validity as well as to detect any possible fraud.

5. Insurance appraisers are the people who work through an insurance claim to ensure that it’s genuine.

These specialists are the people you see inspecting buildings to appraise the value of items, gauge losses and ensure that the claim is valid when there was a fire, for example.

They will also usually be the ones who determine the settlement the insurance company has to pay.

6. Underwriters use software programs, statistics, and analytics to calculate whether it’s financially feasible for the company to approve an insurance application.

If approved, they also decide the terms of the coverage, how much coverage a person gets, and what their premiums will be.

7. Customer service representatives are the backbone of any insurance company.

These are the people who handle incoming claims or disputes and relay that information to the appropriate people.

So, naturally, every insurance company employs plenty of customer service people to handle the multitude of calls the company receives every day.

This is a really solid option as a work at home job for moms with young kids too because it doesn’t require your full attention every minute of the day.

8. Insurance Risk Analysts are the ones who process any policy applications that get sent through.

They’re also in charge of adjusting policies if the client requests it, or if the company requires it after a certain period of time or a claim has been made, for example.

How to Find a Work From Home Job in the Insurance Industry

Your best bet for finding work in the insurance industry is scouring job boards for the specific role you want to apply for.

However, many insurance companies will also list vacancies on their websites and LinkedIn pages so make sure to check them out and follow them on social media so you don’t miss any potential opportunities.

On top of that, you could also check out freelance sites and work from home job forums since you’re looking for a work from home position.

Some companies might list work from home or telecommuting positions there.

7 Insurance Companies Offering Work From Home Jobs

The number of companies that offer work from home jobs with benefits is steadily increasing every year, and you’ll find that a big chunk of them are actually insurance companies. Here are several big insurance companies that regularly post work from home jobs:

1. Farmers

If you’re looking for either underwriter, sales, or customer service jobs then Farmers might be the way to go. Check out their website and search for openings in their available jobs list using the “work from home” keywords.

2. Progressive

According to their website, Progressive offers work at home opportunities for sales representatives, claims specialists, customer service representatives, and corporate positions, like recruiters and HR consultants. Check out the work at home page on their site for more details.

3. Cigna

Select “see all locations in the United States” when searching for jobs on Cigna’s website. They generally hire developers, audit specialists, and analysts for remote positions.

4. Humana

This Fortune 500 company regularly hires a diverse range of remote workers from every state in the US. Select your state on their career site and have a look through the different jobs available there.

5. GEICO

This company periodically hires people for remote work in different positions – usually fieldwork like fraud investigators. Their website might not be the best place to find these, though, so you should keep an eye on job boards as well.

6. ING

This is a good option if you’re looking for underwriting, sales, or marketing insurance jobs from home. ING is actually a global banking company, but they also sell life insurance. Again, keep an eye on job boards as well, just to be on the safe side.

7. MetLife

Metlife is a global company that has had telecommute options available for various positions within the company. The usual suspects are claims specialists and inbound sales.

How Much Can You Earn Working From Home?

I usually try to give my readers a reasonable estimate of what they can expect to earn for the work from home gigs I talk about. But it’s a tough question in this case because there are so many types of roles in the insurance industry and their compensation differs considerably.

That said, here’s a quick list of what you can reasonably expect for each of the roles I listed above.

Note that these are rough estimates and could differ wildly depending on your experience, the company, and whether you’re hired full-time or not.

Insurance sales agent: Base pay of $38,377/yr with many companies offering sales commissions as well.

Insurance broker: $69,505/yr

Claims specialist: $56,169/yr

Auditor: $49,571/yr

Insurance appraiser: $51,140/yr

Underwriter: $46,289/yr

Customer service representative: $27,834/yr

Insurance risk Analyst: $61,833/yr

The Bottom Line

I’ll be honest – insurance might not be the most glamorous field to work in, but there’s a steady stream of jobs available in this area and it pays relatively well.

The other upside is that the industry draws a wide field of talent, so you don’t need any particular skills or experience to get into insurance, depending on the career path you choose.

I didn’t list any health insurance jobs here, but there are plenty of those too. Although, if you’re a registered nurse then you might want to look at these 29 work at home nursing jobs instead.

10 Places You Can Sell Your Old and Used Laptop for Cash

How do you sell used laptop without settling for bargain prices? Is it better to sell it whole or for parts?

This is a common dilemma for people who upgraded their laptops even before their existing laptops begin to be problematic. Most of the time, the old laptop ends up being stored away while you decide what to do with it, and eventually forgotten.

If you have an old laptop collecting dust somewhere, the best thing you can do with it is to sell it and recoup some of the money you spent for a new one.

Things to Do Before You Sell Used Laptop

Although you could just hop on eBay and list your used laptop, there are things you must do first to ensure you’re going to end up with a good deal.

Check for damages

Check your laptop for damages. No detail is too small.

Look at the exterior (keyboard, monitor, USB ports, etc.) and interior (hard drives, CD drive, and so on).

Be clear about the defects you know, such as ‘laptop not charging’ and admit if you haven’t found a diagnosis to a broken laptop.

Find the original boxes, cables and other accessories

Prepare the original box that came with your laptop.

If it isn’t available anymore, find the accessories such as charger, cables, manuals, CD installer, and so on.

In general, if you have original accessories still working, you have a higher chance of selling the laptop for a better price.

Save copies of your files and clear the laptop

You also have to copy your files, photos, videos, and even browsers (with saved passwords).

The easiest route is to move it to Google Drive, or any cloud-based storage you have. Once you’ve saved everything, just delete all your files and reformat the laptop.

If the laptop isn’t working when you plan to sell it, find out how to retrieve files off a hard drive.

Know the value of your used laptop

Like all kinds of gadgets, the value of laptops decrease quickly.

You should visit appraisal sites like Gadget Value to learn how much you could sell your laptop for.

It’s important to know the make and model of the laptop to get the most accurate estimate possible.

Unfortunately, the site only values laptops from the last 10 years, so you can only get laptops from 2010 to the current year appraised.

Compare pricing

Visit buy and sell sites like eBay and search for the laptop make and model.

Do this for all similar sites, so you could get an idea how much you could sell your laptop.

Now that you’ve prepped your used laptop for sale, it’s time to list it on (one or all of) your chosen sites below…

10 Places to Sell Your Used Laptop

eBay (with over 170 million users) remains the best place to sell any used items, but Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Groups comes in a close second.

Craigslist isn’t the most intuitive or best-looking design-wise, but it is still a popular way of selling used items locally.

All three are free of charge, so you can list your item there simultaneously.

Note that the list of the best places to sell your used laptop below no longer includes eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

1. Device Pitstop

Device Pitstop exchanges laptops for cash and accepts trade-in as well. They also accept tablets, smartphones, and game consoles.

Unfortunately, since you do have to bring in the laptop to the store personally, this will only help those living in or near Minnesota, Colorado, Michigan, and Kentucky.

2. Gadget Salvation

This service is a hassle-free one.

You simply fill up a form with details about your laptop, which will help them quote your item properly. Once you agree to the price, they will send you a postage-paid shipping label so you could ship off your laptop to Gadget Salvation via any UPS store.

Once Gadget Salvation receives the laptop, the company’s team will test the laptop and assess if the laptop conditions you stated are accurate.

If not, they might send you a revised offer. You have the option of  accepting or rejecting the offer. You can cancel the deal anytime and still have the laptop shipped back to you free of charge.

If you do accept the offer, expect the payment after 48 business hours via PayPal, bank transfer, Venmo, or check.

3. LetGo, Offer Up, Varage Sale, Close5 and other Buy-and-Sell Apps

Launched in 2015, LetGo lets you sell your laptop (and other items like furniture, cars, clothes, and so on) as quickly as taking a photo and listing it onto the marketplace.

Sellers decide on the price and who they sell the laptop to.

If someone is interested on your used laptop, you have to meet up so they could review the item in person and you could receive the cash once the buyer decides to buy it off your hands.

Offer Up, Varage Sale and Close 5 work exactly the same as LetGo.

4. Mac Me an Offer

As the marketplace of MacOfAllTrades.com, it’s pretty obvious that the site focuses solely on Apple products.

So if you’re trying to sell a Mac, just fill out a form telling them all about your laptop, wait for an estimate and formal offer, then decide if you’re OK with the offer or not.

Once you accept the price, just ship the laptop using Mac Me an Offer’s paid shipping option. Receive the agreed-upon amount within 3 business days via check or PayPal.

5. SellBroke and SellLaptopBack

SellBroke and its sister site SellLaptopBack both let sellers list their laptops and other devices.

Like other marketplaces on this list, SellBroke and SellLaptopBack will quote your item based on your detailed description of the item. They’ll send you a quote back, and if you agree, they’ll give you a pre-paid shipping label via UPS.

There’s one difference though: SellBroke and SellLaptopBack guarantee that all personal information of the seller would be permanently deleted before putting the laptop back on sale.

6. Nextworth

Nextworth has been around for over 12 years and has paid out over $210 million through the 3 million gadgets that has passed their way.

Unlike other sites, Nextworth may not accept certain brands or types of gadgets depending on need.

If you get lucky and the site is accepting your laptop’s make and model, follow the same process of quoting, shipping the device and getting paid through check or PayPal.

7. SellAGadget

This site was launched only in 2017, but it has a pretty solid ranking on TrustPilot.

Like others on this list, the quotation and shipping process are straightforward.

SellAGadget provides free mailing labels through UPS and USPS. Payments are sent via PayPal, Chase Quick Pay, or Amazon.com Gift Card.

8. Swappa

Founded in 2010, Swappa is a user-to-user marketplace for gently used laptops and other devices.

You have control over pricing and who to sell the item to. Swappa just makes it safer and easier to handle payments. The site doesn’t charge seller fees, which gives it an advantage over more popular sites like eBay.

Trade-Ins and Swap Sites

If you’re open to trading your used laptop instead of selling it for cash, there are several programs you may find interesting:

  • Best Buy Trade-in ProgramBest Buy’s Trade-in Program makes it easy to get rid of an old gadget. Just let them know about your device’s make, model and condition, wait for an estimate, and if you agree with the offered price, bring it over to a brick-and-mortar store or ship it to Best Buy for free. Payment is via a Best Buy gift card.
  • Amazon Trade-in Program – This program allows customers to receive an Amazon.com Gift Card in exchange for Amazon Devices, laptops, electronics, books, video games, and other eligible items.

The Bottom Line

This is list is everything you need to sell used laptop for cash or trade in for another gadget.

The cool thing about buy and sell marketplaces these days is you can do the transactions from start to finish with minimal effort on your part.

Just send the device using a prepaid shipping label, let the company assess your laptop, and if you (or the company of your choice) do not agree on the price, the laptop will be sent back to you without charge. How easy is that?

So instead of leaving your old laptop collecting dust in a corner of your room, put it to good use and turn them into cash today.

How to Buy Amazon Returns and Flip for Profit in 2020

A Complete Guide To Buying Amazon Returns

We’ve often heard how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

But in the case of Amazon returns, one man’s returned goods is another man’s inventory.

Buying Amazon pallets and then selling them doesn’t sound like a solid business plan, but other people have earned thousands of dollars from doing this.

However, just because others have profited doesn’t guarantee that you will, too. The key is knowing everything you can about the process: where to buy the pallets, how you can find good products for flipping, and maximize your profits.

In today’s blog post, we’ll look at how buying Amazon returns and flipping them can be a profitable exercise.

How Do Amazon Returns Work?

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, and one of the reasons they’re the biggest in the world is they do their best to make it easy for their customers to buy from their website.

One of the ways they do this is through their return policy.

Amazon’s return policy is a lenient one. For most items, Amazon allows customers to return orders within 30 days of receiving it, whether it was a damaged or defective item or for whatever reason.

The thing is, even though many of these products get returned unopened, and presumably, in the same condition as when they were shipped out, Amazon sellers can’t sell these unopened products back on sale as brand-new.

Shipment delivery

So what happens to all those returns that Amazon readily accepts?

Some of the returned items end up on Amazon Warehouse, where they’re sold at a discount.

The items that end up in Amazon Warehouse are usually those with packages that have been opened, even damaged, and the products have been used but still in good condition.

Amazon liquidates the rest of that returned inventory to small business buyers through their own online US-based liquidation marketplace as well as a European liquidation marketplace.

Business buyers go to these sites and look for liquidation lots of returns and overstock inventory in various sizes and parts.

These lots may have been casually sorted by product category. For instance, home décor, kitchen equipment, apparel. But this isn’t very strict. A liquidation lot marked as containing “home décor” may very well contain random pieces of clothing, toys, or beauty products.

In addition, these lots are sold via auction, much like eBay. That is, buyers can name their price and the highest bidder wins the lot.

Because Amazon only sells these liquidation pallets to businesses, individuals like you Instead, you’re going to purchase from what’s known as a third-party wholesaler or liquidator.

They buy the liquidation lots from Amazon in bulk and then they sell it to smaller businesses and individuals for a profit.

Pros And Cons of Flipping Amazon Returns

Advantages

  • Much lower cost per item than buying retail or even wholesale
  • Can attract more buyers by selling items at competitive prices
  • Can select certain pallets containing certain categories of products

Disadvantages

  • Requires research to find the right liquidator
  • Quality of items in a pallet is hit-or-miss
  • May end up more expensive with the freight costs

Where To Buy Amazon Returns

Here are some reputable places where you can purchase Amazon return pallets.

1. Liquidation.com | Amazon Liquidations

Liquidation.com is probably the largest liquidation company on the internet, working with over 11,000 retailers aside from Amazon.

Similar to eBay, they auction off the pallets based on a starting bid.

They source their Amazon pallets from customer returns from Amazon, as well as through Amazon Liquidations. Not all of the pallets they offer have photos displayed, especially those from Amazon Liquidations from fulfillment centers, which are usually sealed.

Liquidation.com provides a list of the contents of each opened pallet, like those from customer returns. The retail prices are also indicated on the list.

They give you the location of the warehouse they’re shipping out from, but they don’t allow you to pick them up physically. You can opt to let them handle the shipping or find your own shipping service.

2. Direct Liquidation | Amazon Liquidations

Direct Liquidation offers plenty of Amazon pallets, and they also work with other big retailers, such as Walmart, Target, Lowes, and other retailers.

Again, similar to eBay, there’s no fixed price for a pallet. There’s a starting bid based on a percentage of the estimated retail price of all the contents of the pallet and you get to compete with other bidders to get the pallet.

Direct Liquidation also shows photos of the pallet to give you an idea of the condition of the contents, plus it gives you a list of what’s inside plus the estimated retail value.

They indicate the warehouse location, too, so you’d know if it’s driving distance from you, or at least you can estimate how much the freight would cost if you have a pallet sent to you.

3. BULQ

BULQ is another reputable liquidation company that offers pallets at a fixed price. They even have a measurement for what a pallet is: 48”x40”x42”. They also sell smaller units called cases, which measure 24”x20”x23”.

BULQ works with many different retailers, but the website doesn’t have a specific section featuring pallets that they sourced from Amazon, so you’ll have to search for “Amazon” on the search box to see those pallets.

The prices for the pallets are fixed. The shipping fee per pallet is fixed as well at $200, no matter where the pallets are shipped from.

The pallets are organized by category, and the contents of each box are examined for quality, which they list down on the pallet description.

BULQ indicates the quality of the items in the pallet prominently on the pallet page, as well as a detailed list of the items inside plus the retail price of each item. They even guarantee a 98% and up accuracy for this list, or they refund the difference in price.

4. TDW Closeouts

TDW Closeouts offers pallets from various department stores and online retailers, but of the other companies here, they’re the most secretive.

They offer the pallets online, but you can’t order from the website. You have to call them and inquire about what pallets they have available, how much they are, and how to get it shipped to you, wherever you are in the world.

It looks like it’s geared more toward medium to big businesses, not only in the US but worldwide. They’ll ship to various countries.

But if you’re from Florida, specifically in the Fort Lauderdale area, you’re in luck: you can visit their 35,000-square feet warehouse and buy from them directly. They’ll give you better prices as well if you buy direct.

Things To Consider When Buying Amazon Return Pallets

Making money from flipping Amazon return pallets is a relatively new trend, so here are a few tidbits of advice to help you make as much money as you can.

1. Buy only one or two pallets initially from a liquidator.

You’ll want to get an initial, first-hand grasp of what a particular liquidator’s pallets are like.

Not to say that all liquidators aren’t trustworthy, but buying a liquidation lot is already a big risk, and you don’t want to add more risk by going in blind.

2. Manage your expectations of the condition of the items.

The items in the box won’t all be brand-new, in the original packaging.

The packaging, if there’s even any of the original packaging present, will be damaged, at the very least. The conditions of the items range from slightly used to almost worn out.

Buying liquidation lots is a numbers game. When buying a lot, you’re essentially betting that at least a few of the items are still in sellable condition.

Don’t get discouraged if you’re halfway through your pallet and it’s all trash. In his business, it’s typical to throw away a third to half of everything.

3. Electronics involve a larger investment.

When you buy an electronics lot, be aware that you’re signing up for a huge time investment.

First, you have to test each and every one of them if they’re working. Once you’ve sorted out the working ones and the non-working ones, you’ll have to check if there’s a market for broken units of these electronics.

If you do manage to find a market for these broken units, then at least you can sell them off. Otherwise, you’d then have to find a market for its parts.

It’s a lot of time to invest in items that you don’t even know if people will buy.

4. Understand freight costs.

Pallets may weigh hundreds of pounds, depending on the merchandise involved, meaning it might cost you a few times more to ship the pallet than the cost of the pallet of returned goods.

Focus your search on companies within driving distance to minimize your costs.

5. Sell your inventory as fast as you can.

When you sell an item, it may seem like the logical pricing strategy is to get as much profit as you can for it, so you tend to price it higher.

But when you’re dealing with pallets of Amazon returns, it makes more sense to sell more of your inventory, even if it’s for a lower price than you wanted than squeezing every dollar you can out of a single item.

This strategy makes sense when you’re dealing with plenty of inventory. The more units you can sell, the more profit you earn from all the units sold.

6. Invest only what you can afford to lose.

The most important thing to remember is that buying Amazon returns is NOT a guaranteed way to make money.

And because there’s a high risk, I would absolutely not recommend investing all your life savings in this endeavor.

The Bottom Line: Is Buying Amazon Returns Worth It?

Buying Amazon returns is an interesting side cash opportunity that will only grow as online retail grows.

If you find the right places to buy Amazon return pallets and if you buy the right pallet, you have a great chance of being successful.

Other Resources

Here are some other ways to make money with Amazon.

Or if you want to start a profitable business from home, here are some of the possibilities.

Have you ever bought a pallet of Amazon returns, or returns from any other retailers? Share your experiences in the comments section below!