Buying/selling baby 'stuff' - advice please on costs/viability?(12 Posts)
I'm a part-time teacher, on mat. leave for the fourth time, and mind is running over-time trying to work out what I can do to work for myself and make enough money to cover what I would have been earning before. I've considered all kinds of craft-based options, but with four young children I just don't have the time to make things and don't think I could realise enough profit.
Am now wondering whether it would be possible to buy and sell second hand baby kit (prams, cots etc). I could search Ebay, local second hand sellers etc, and offer a service locally bringing the things round either to the person's workplace or home in the evening when they are in... When you are thinking of a business plan, how do you work out how much you would charge (i.e. to cover your costs and make a profit)? I don't know whether this is viable or not. I'm sure I'd make more as a teacher, but for the hours I work + prep. + travel, + the amount I have to do to look after my own family, the balance is all wrong, and I need to think radically about making changes!!
Well in all honesty...what's stopping your potential customers from searching Ebay and selling groups on Facebook and buying their own things there?
You turning up with stuff is no different to when I buy something from my local selling group on FB and the seller pops round with it...or I pop there for it.
You'd be a middle woman in a not very secret market! Also I and I suspect others, wouldn['t want a stranger with a bag of stuff coming round....it would be pressured. On Ebay and FB I can browse and then decide.
Can I suggest you look on People Per Hour instead?
Could you do it the other way round - sell people's baby stuff on eBay, etc for them and take a cut?
I doubt that would work Summer...a bundle of baby clothes fetches 20 to 50 pounds on average if they are excellent condition and good brands. That does not leave much of a cut considering the work which Ebay involves.
If people are Ebaying DC clothing then they need the cash and would prefer to take a pic and list etc themselves and keep all the money.
A little shop opened in my town centre about six months ago that sells second hand baby things, and every time I walk past there are people in (it's a tiny shop and quite out of the way so that is saying something) and the owners are making a living from it. Obviously you're not going to be renting out a shop while you're on maternity leave but it's definitely a viable business!
Something they do that I think is good is, if you have something specific in mind like a type or brand of pushchair for example, they look around for one and then call you if they find something. So it takes the hassle out of looking for things. I went in and just said I was looking for a good quality, big-ish playmat/baby gym thing, and a couple of days later I got a phone call saying they had a Mamas and Papas one in, and they sold it to me for £25 (the same one new is usually about £70-80). I'm not sure where they got it from so that's probably not much help, but I was impressed! From what one of the owners told me the first time I went in I think they get a lot of stuff from car boot sales and baby fairs.
Yeah you would have to take a big cut maybe 50% on clothes, less on bigger things like pushchairs. I think there are plenty of people out there who wouldn't mind a bit of cash for their baby stuff but never get round to ebaying/selling.
Hmm mixed views... Mrs Mushroom I take your point. I just often see things available on local FB sellers groups etc, and if I bought more things and was able to search things out for people who know what they want as catlady1 describes... I don't know... I suppose if people want to buy themselves they will, but there might be a gap in the market for someone like me... I was just thinking what a hassle postage is on Ebay, and if I was able to drive off to get larger items from distances away, and bring stuff to people either in the evenings when they are home from work, or to their workplace... people who are expecting their first probably, so still living a normal life . I know that clothes etc don't really fetch that much, which is why I was thinking larger items. But you're probably right, it probably doesn't add up. I have looked at People Per Hour and all kinds of working from home things... just never been able to find anything to actually work for me. I'll keep thinking... Thank you all for your ideas though. The shop sounds great - I just couldn't afford to rent premises, and am just not sure enough of the second hand market to know whether it would work.
what about ironing for people? I know a girl who does very well...with a car, you can deliver too.
adding onto MrsMushrooms idea about ironing - someone runs an irong business from a portacabin type thing near us and every time we walk past DH says 'their opening hours are wrong, why aren't they open weekend and a late evening for all the people who work?' and the more you think about it the more he's right.
An ironing business is a great idea, my DM used to do did this and had a reasonable amount of work. If the price was right, I would also use an ironer now.
I agree with Catlady (we might even be talking about the same shop!). You take your things into the shop (clothes, equipment, toys) - the owner sets the price, puts them out on the rails / display and you get the sale price less 30% (thats her cut). The upside is that all the effort on my part is taken away - I just drop them off and get a cheque a few weeks later, the downside is that she sets the price and you have to wait until they sell rather than 7 day turnaround like you'd have with Ebay (but am sure you could have a conversation about a minimum price if you wanted). Its very popular where I am because its a way of getting rid of unwanted things without the hassle / time taken up by Ebay.
If you are interested in secondhand baby and children's stuff could a mum2mum market franchise be the answer?
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