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How to turn hobbies into profitWhat can I sell on eBay to make money?

Most of us have a hobby or an interest of some sort outside of the usual work, kids, life in general scenario, something that we do to relax or to de-stress or to make us feel good about ourselves, so you must take a look at what you enjoy doing. After all, doesn’t it make sense that if you enjoy doing it then there are likely to be many others out there that will enjoy doing it too.

What’s even better is if you happen to have a hobby or an interest that you are really good at! The advantage being that if you are, or you can become, an expert on your chosen subject and then convert that into becoming an expert on a product or niche that ties in with your hobby or interest, you will ultimately do better with your business. This is because buyers like to purchase from people or places that are knowledgeable about the goods they are selling and this is especially important when you are selling online.

When you talk about something you love, you become animated and you talk louder and with depth and the same applies when you are writing about something that you love or are knowledgeable about, in this case, your eBay listing description. For a start your enthusiasm will come through in your descriptions and you will be giving your potential customers something they can identify with – you – someone who has the same interests as them. This will hold their attention and you will immediately gain respect, trust, undoubtedly more sales and ultimately more profit!

So, as a starting point to making money using eBay, the idea is that you build a business around your own hobbies and interests which is easier than you might think!

By way of example and to show you that what you might think is not very interesting to anyone else, actually is, I did some random searches on eBay using ‘hobby and interests’ type keywords in various categories. The results will encourage you and give you some starting points if you are struggling with what to sell on eBay or feel that the skill or knowledge that you have really isn’t interesting enough to anyone else. I think you’ll be surprised by what I uncovered!

Anyone for golf? Or squash or tennis?

My recent golfing search on eBay found a seller with over 10,000 feedback selling personalised golf shoe bags and golf towels. Now, not being a golfer myself I am not fully aware of the type of things a golfer might need in his or her kit bag, but judging by the sales, this is exactly the sort of product that those who do play golf or who are looking to start playing golf will want to purchase. Another seller who deals purely in golfing products – i.e. he has built his entire eBay business around this niche – is selling magnetic golf ball markers and when I checked the completed listings for this product it seems that these are very popular!

Are you creative and arty? Do you enjoy card-making or cake making for example?

Card making and cake making are two very popular hobbies and if either of these are pastimes that you already do, why not contact a wholesaler of card-making materials or cake making implements and put together a ‘how to’ style instruction package. You could include the actual materials required to make a particular set of cards for example. Or you could put together a ‘Party Cakes’ instruction kit, CD or DVD. Or how about selling wedding cake accessories?

eBay showed 754 examples of ‘kit’ types of product when I searched for Card Making Kit and 2,658 results for Wedding Cake Toppers. These are good size niche to go into – not too big so that the competition overwhelms you and not so small that there is obviously no demand, but you do need to watch the prices and your profits in both of these areas.

Are you interested in classic cars or revamping old vehicles?

A quick search on eBay revealed that a ‘How To Spray Paint Your MG’ DVD (weird, but rather wonderful!) is selling like hotcakes. What’s more you can create an information product like a DVD or e-book on CD very easily and cheaply yourself. One enterprising seller is cleverly advertising his ‘Spray Painting Your….’ course with different cars listed each time – for example How To Spray Paint Your…. MG, Classic Ford, Classic Jaguar so he’s catching the whole market by making sure his keywords reach the widest audience. I have no doubt that spray painting your MG is no different to spray painting your Mercedes or your Ford – so it’s likely to be exactly the same information on each DVD – but he’s selling in to multiple markets this way. Genius!

Is looking gorgeous and groomed important to you?

A close friend of mine is obsessed with her nails! She has every colour nail varnish available, along with gel nails, acrylic nails, UV lamps, manicure sets – you name it, she’s got it! But whilst I might laugh at her obsession, she is most definitely not alone in her enjoyment. This is a perfect example of an interest that is likely to apply to others. Getting false nails applied at the salon isn’t cheap and there’s a lot of up-keep involved too. Combine this with money being tight, and people start looking for ways to avoid having to pay a fortune but still have great looking talons. So what do they do…they look for at home DIY kits. Nail Art is big business right now!

Mum knows best…

If you’ve got small children or you’ve just had a baby, take a look around you – what do you see? What could you not do without? Then check the market on eBay. Here’s another real eBay example: I searched for Bandana Bibs and almost immediately found a seller who has sold a whopping 365 packs of these funky bibs from just one listing.

And that’s just a small selection that I found by spending only about 20 minutes searching eBay. Remember that all these subjects I’ve mentioned here also have other related products that will do well on eBay. You need to have a really good think because even though you might feel as though you haven’t got a hobby, then you will undoubtedly have an interest as I have shown above – owning a pet that you love is an interest, going for long walks is an interest, DIY is an interest. It doesn’t have to be a full blown hobby, just something that you enjoy and know something about.

But how do I know if my hobby is of interest to others?

Using eBay’s advanced search facility, simply look at completed listings for categories and sub-categories within your niche of interest and check out what’s sold well over a recent period of time and the prices achieved from the listings. This will give you a clear idea of which products you should be looking at selling.

So, I hope you can see how easy it is to find inspiration and turn your interests in to a really successful eBay business. It just requires a little thought to get you started and once you have found your niche you can simply keep researching the saleability of products and add to your inventory as you go.

Build up your stock slowly, adding relevant new products when you see fit and in no time you could have 10 or 20 products on the go all within the same profitable niche. Think of the cross-selling and up-selling opportunities that’s going to give you!