For everyone under 18 right now who lives at home, here’s one suggestion of what to do instead of an after school job: Please consider learning how to sell on eBay or Amazon or any of the clothing resell apps or Facebook marketplace. FLIP! FLIP! FLIP!
I believe that the biggest opportunity for someone who has $500 to their name is to buy and sell things between Poshmark, thriftstores, Craigslist, and garage sale. Not just to make money…making money comes secondary to the process of learning here.
This isn’t just about the money. It’s about the life lessons that come with this experience.
When I say I don’t listen to a thing my parents said, I meant it. Back in the day, the concept of winning was based on scores…and my mother thought I wouldn’t be able to pass school if Ebay was a thing when I was a teen…But, the advantage kids have today is that the definition of success is evolving and people are getting more creative about their professions and side hustles/gigs.
Which is why I truly hope all kids make use of all the technology, exposure, and ideas that are in their world right now. Create, Flip, Sell, Broadcast…just put yourself out there.
Regardless of making profit (and you likely will if you put in the hours), you’ll be stunned how selling things online helps you down the line in your career.
- You’ll learn the grind of buying items, packing them, and shipping them out
By learning the process of buying and selling on eBay or other platforms, you will gain hands-on experience with all the different parts of the process – like sourcing products, packaging and shipping, dealing with other people, and more. It matters more than you think.
This will give you a real understanding of what it takes to run a business online, and the skills you learn can be applied in many different contexts throughout your life.
@garyvee Tiktok.. #garagesaleseason is coming!! Who’s gonna be about that #fliplife ♬ original sound – Gary Vaynerchuk
- You’ll learn how to do marketing with titles, pictures, and write copy
When you’re re-selling on online platforms, a big part of capturing attention is crafting compelling product descriptions, taking attractive photos, and using keywords to make your listings stand out. The skills you gain here will help in just about anything else you do related to marketing or sales.
I’ll tell you why: when you’re hellbent on shipping out all the stuff you got, it’ll urge you to be a better marketer, it’ll make you push your internal boundaries, be a better negotiator, and summon all the skills that are important to survive in the times and challenges ahead.
- You’ll expand your creativity in how you merchandise those listings
Creativity is a key aspect of successful online selling, and learning how to merchandise your listings will give you an opportunity to unleash your imagination. Whether it’s taking advantage of underpriced attention on social platforms to drive awareness to your products, or driving awareness locally in your town, it’s incredibly valuable to go through the process of making your products stand out from the competition and appeal to a wider range of customers.
- You’ll learn to negotiate and deal with people even better
So you think you can sell a product for $20…but in the process you learn whether to go up or down on that price…sell 2 for the price of 1, reward a regular customer, or really just taking a deep dive into analyzing the target customer and getting a hang of appropriate pricing.
Dealing with people is a critical part of any business. You’ll have to communicate with customers, negotiate prices, and handle returns and disputes. Through this experience, you’ll gain valuable people skills and the ability to handle different types of situations and personalities. Those personal and people skills are not taught in schools…that’s the kind of thing that one only learns via practical, on field experiences.
These skills will be valuable whether you start your own company later down the line or whether you work for someone else. You’ll be surprised how it helps your personal life as well.
Got any interesting flipping, garage sale, ebay stories? Share them with me on Twitter @GaryVee