Last week, I was at FinCon an annual get-together of personal finance bloggers, experts, and companies. (I think all my articles this week are going to start that way.) I go every year that I don't have a child being born. Fortunately that conflict only happened once, so I've all but one of them.
A few years back at the same conference, I found myself talking with Steve Chou of My Wife Quit Her Job. We had just met at a dinner sponsored by some personal finance company (after a few years they blur together). I quickly found out that he's the smartest person in the room... it doesn't matter which room it is. (The two glasses of wine probably didn't help me.)
Steve is known mostly for how he created an online store and made six figures by selling ladies handkerchiefs. He's been so successful that he created a class to teach other people how they can create their own stores. He occasionally posts his income and recently had a month where he made $77,000. I think my wife would go nuts if I made that in a full year!
Since I was fortunate enough to have Steve there in the small group, I thought I'd try to pick his brain for free.
I wanted to learn how to do it so I should open up my own store. I had finally found the pomade I mentioned here and it was very cheap. I figured I could buy a bunch and sell them individually.
I can't remember exactly what Steve said, but I think it was somewhere along the line that it could go either way. It clearly wasn't the best pitch he's heard, but it wasn't the worst either.
After I got back form FinCon, I went to 1and1 to create an online store, but halfway through the process I stopped.
Fear gripped me.
I didn't know how to market it. Also, what would happen if it didn't sell? I didn't want to handle a bunch of inventory. What happened if it did sell and I couldn't get more inventory cheaply. That would be a good problem to have, but still not ideal. I wasn't sure if it made sense to build a business of making myself a middleman of a one-trick pony product.
This past FinCon, I saw him again. Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk to him. I did talk to a number of bloggers who were looking to go to his talk and perhaps follow up by taking his course. It seems to be a pretty legit thing. I'm thinking about it as well, but I don't want to get body slammed for not writing a book, so maybe I'll mark it for next January.
In the meantime, we'll continue to resell bargains we find on Ebay picking up $10 here and there. My wife does all this and I think it made over a thousand dollars last year.