This is the second article in a series of posts about how I’m trying to turn my hobby of buying and selling into a fully fledged business. Click here for the previous post.
In the industry I’m trying to build a business in, buying second hand products can be risky. The vast majority of sellers on eBay are honest individuals trying to shift their unwanted goods for a bit of extra money, but there are some who knowingly pass off damaged goods as working. It was for this reason, and others, that I decided to invest in a disc repair machine.
I first started buying and selling last summer with no real aims to take it further but to just see where it went. Business was slow and margins were minimal. However, by the end of the summer I had completed a number of sales and managed to accumulate around £200 credit on PayPal (as well as adding a number of titles to my collection). It was at this point that I played with the idea of taking this hobby further and I impulsively purchased a JFJ Easy Pro Disc Repair Machine for £154.99.
It might seem strange to spend ~75% of my total earnings in one go, especially since that item’s “value” was purely theoretical and I wouldn’t even use it for nearly a year after purchase, but it made sense to me from a business perspective. I theorised that a small percentage of the items that I bought wouldn’t work and instead of wasting time and effort trying to sort out a refund, a disc repair machine would save time.
Moreover, having a disc repair machine opens up a new source of potential income. Although uncommon, there are occasional listings of bundles of faulty discs which can be bought cheap, repaired then resold for profit. This convinced me that, like solar panels, the machine would eventually pay for itself and while it’s true that the repairs won’t always be successful, a success rate of 50% or more would make it all worth while.
When deciding to try to turn Broad Noise into a Business, I had a head full of ideas of what I could do, and should do, to expand what I was already doing and appear professional. These ideas will be discussed in upcoming posts on Broad Noise, but one of these ideas recently came to fruition.
The main thing I concerned myself with was how to better the quality of my service and establish myself as a professional seller. I was already taking the right steps in terms of the general postage & packaging of my items (free first class postage and professional padded envelopes with clear address labels), but I thought about what more could be done.
I first thought about thank you cards that thanked the customer for their business and promoted Broad Noise through the use of the logo and the website. So I created a simple design and placed an order.
I now have simple thank you cards to include in the packaging of my products to promote Broad Noise and establish myself as a business (these can be seen below). My first order of 250 cards will be used as a test to see whether or not they actually work i.e. if there is a noticeable increase in feedback or site traffic.
I already have plans to improve the design in the future. Since I’ve recently created social pages for Broad Noise on Facebook and Twitter, and have plans for an Instagram in the future, it would make sense to include these on the cards themselves. It would also make sense to include the contact email address for Broad Noise should the customer have any comments regarding their purchase. This is just one of the many ways I plan to turn this hobby into a successful business.
Broad Noise is a merge between two separate hobbies I started in my spare time while at university; blogging and buying and selling. Broad Noise is an attempt to put off joining the “real world” as long as possible and to start a “business” doing something I enjoy. To better explain how this idea came about, I need to first explain the two aspects of Broad Noise:
Buying and Selling
I’ve always been a keen gamer and over the years I’ve grown a rather impressive collection (which can be seen here). After a few years of buying games from the likes of Amazon, Game and CeX, I realised it was more cost effective to buy bundles of games from eBay, keep the games I didn’t have and resale the others.
Last summer I took this theory further and started buying games from eBay with the purpose of reselling for profit. By doing this I managed to increase my collection and still be in profit, all through organic growth. This lead me to believe that, given time, it could be possible to make a “living” through buying and selling.
The blog itself first started as a music blog where I would share tracks that I liked, review gigs that I went to and occasionally review an album or two. There were no rules to this form of Broad Noise. I would write when I wanted to and if I couldn’t be bothered, I wouldn’t do anything at all.
When I realised it might be possible to take the buying and selling further from being just a hobby, I decided that the blog should be all encompassing of digital entertainment and act as a form of support for the eBay shop.
The aim for Broad Noise is to share my passion for music, film/tv and gaming in my own way that is interesting, helpful and enjoyable to read. The blog will also support the eBay shop by creating a feel of professionalism and by simply generating click-throughs to the shop itself.