Dear Fellow Survivalist;
If you’re anything like me, you’re always feeling like you’re a little bit short of cash. No matter how much you make, the needs seem to be greater. Worse than that, prices seem to keep rising and the lists of things you need to buy to complete your prepping plans just don’t seem to get much shorter.
We’re supposed to be working on becoming self-sufficient, but it’s hard to be self-sufficient when you’re dependent on an employer giving you a paycheck every week. While that might meet your needs today, there’s nothing to say that it will continue to meet them. As long as the economy remains unstable (and it always is), we are all at a risk of becoming suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed.
The answer to this, is of course, becoming independent, or as we usually say, self-sufficient. But how do you make a living while being self-sufficient?
The key here is in how we are defining self-sufficiency. Most of us are thinking about self-sufficiency from a survival point of view, not from a day-to-day point of view. We’re seeking to be ready to be self-sufficient at some point in the future, rather than becoming self-sufficient today.
As we all know, there’s a lot to be done to become self-sufficient. But I don’t want to talk about the things you already know, I want to talk about the things you aren’t doing. Specifically, I want to talk about becoming financially self-sufficient.
Our country has a long tradition of people becoming self-sufficient. There are two more or less interchangeable terms for it. One is small business ownership and the other is entrepreneurism. In either case, it’s all about starting your own business and making your own way in the world. Those who do generally end up better off than those who simply work for someone else.
It’s even easier today to start your own business than ever before. The internet has opened up a whole new world of business opportunities, ones that never existed before. While the opportunities that exist are too numerous to list here, I want to mention just a few.
When eBay started, it was just a means for people to sell things they didn’t want, a giant, continually ongoing garage sale. But that didn’t last. It didn’t take long for people to start recognizing eBay as a platform for selling many other things. Today, eBay is much different than it was at the beginning, with the vast majority of the merchandise sold there being sold by eBay vendors, some of which are also brick and mortar businesses, but the majority of which are people who sell from their homes.
There are a couple of keys to a successful eBay business. The first is to find a niche which isn’t oversaturated. There are enough people selling on eBay right now, that you’re going to have to do some looking to find a niche which is popular enough to generate some good business, but not so popular that it has become saturated.
The other key is finding your merchandise cheap enough. If you go to these wholesalers who market directly to eBay vendors, I can guarantee you’re not going to get the best price. You need to go to a true wholesaler, the places where those vendors buy from. That means that you’re going to need to buy in quantity; but the way you make money on eBay is by making a small amount on each of many sales.
Etsy is totally different from eBay. Whereas eBay can be equated to the Wal-Mart of the internet, Etsy is an artsy-fartsy marketplace, for those who are looking for handicrafts, homemade items, fine art, antiques and vintage items. You won’t find 20 vendors selling the same thing there; for that matter, you won’t find 20 of the same thing. Rather, you’ll find 20 totally different items (actually more like 100) that are similar, but still unique.
If you like making things, Etsy is the marketplace for you. Unlike local markets, it opens up a huge customer base for you, allowing you to move your handicrafts much quicker. Their low percentage rate means that you’ll keep most of what you sell your items for, allowing you to maximize profits.
Like eBay, you can find pretty much anything on Amazon. The massive online retailer sells pretty much anything you can imagine. But eBay is based on an auction format, while Amazon is retail sales. The thing that most people don’t know is that Amazon will allow you to list items for sale, even in direct competition with them.
This gives you the opportunity of taking advantage of Amazon’s huge marketing potential and undercut their prices. Granted, you’ll have to operate on a thin profit margin to do that, but like eBay, the idea is to make it up in volume.
So, there are three ways that pretty much anyone can start making a few extra bucks, each of which has the potential of becoming a full-time business, making you a good living. Now it’s up to you. I’ll give you a couple more ideas next week.
In the mean time, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.
Chris and Dr. Rich