But I don’t have enough money to get started in Affiliate Marketing:
Hi, I have been asked to guest post here on Uber Affiliate while Sup3rnova is off getting drunk at Ad:tech. You can find a lot of my posts linked from Paul’s Uber Affiliate Marketing Guide and you can read more about me at Diorex.wordpress.com.
Today I am not going to talk about PPC, which is my bread and butter. I am going to talk about the answer to an email I get at least once a week. “I am just getting started in affiliate marketing, I am broke but I need to make $1 million dollars to sustain my habit of laziness, can you offer me any suggestions as to how to get started without taking any risk?” I actually get asked for a loan by a total stranger via email at least once a month…
Anyway, the tactics I have outlined here are not anything I do or don’t do, so don’t sue anyone if they don’t work. They are just things I might do if I suddenly found myself needing to make a few hundred bucks a day.
The place I would start is Ebay. Ebay is probably the best marketplace for idiots and suckers in the world. There are idiots both buying and selling stuff. It is possible to arbitrage Ebay to Ebay with minimal risk.
That’s right you can buy off of EBay and then sell it right back. Plenty of people are too lazy to set-up a listing properly (this happens in PPC all the time…) and put things in the wrong category or with misspelled keywords so that the majority of buyers for that product never see it so you can bid on things and get them far cheaper than they are worth when listed correctly.
Second, people list things on EBay with ridiculous Buy It Now prices. I recently stumbled across a cool little tool that appears to still be in Beta or otherwise has not yet been found by the EBay masses. It is called BINAlert.com (unlike a lot of bloggers, I have no interest in what I am hyping so whoever owns this, you are welcome), BinAlert uses a custom set-up that allows you to get alerted if a Buy It Now (BIN) is posted for a product you are watching.
One of the things, I showed my wife how to do is buy gift certificates off of EBay for about 60-70% of face value. She mostly buys ones that she is going to use– our local Wal-Mart has a great grocery store (except for fruit) and she gets $300 worth of groceries for $200 just about every single week! She recently bought a high dollar home depot gift card and resold it for $100 more than she paid. It was her first online profit, I was very proud.
With BinAlert, It takes no time at all to set these alerts up following whatever you might have an interest in selling. If you guys start stealing her grocery money I am gonna be pissed… I am sure you can find great deals on knitting supplies or something. Bottom line, this tool can help you buy things off of EBay very cheaply and then you resell them on EBay for a lot more. I can only assume that the guy is using an affiliate ID within the email links, I sure hope he is.
Third, some stuff sells on Ebay for ridiculous prices. I recently saw a brand new watch I was thinking of buying sell on EBay for $400 more than you could have bought it off of Amazon. I then started to look at prices between Amazon and Ebay and found quite a few products that have Free Amazon shipping selling on EBay for a lot more than they cost on Amazon.
How I would exploit this is to list the item on EBay with relatively cheap shipping (just enough to cover ebay listing and sales, plus PayPal costs) plus a Buy It Now with Make an Offer – I would know the cost of what I am willing to sell, so I just turn down unprofitable deals. When a listing sells, immediately go to Amazon and buy it and ship it as a gift to the person. I would of course buy it with my Amazon affiliate code to get the 3% affiliate fee. So you make the difference in prices, the shipping fee pays all your expenses, plus you get an additional 3% or so affiliate fee, and on top you get the Rewards points on your credit card so you can take a nice trip every few months for free off this stuff.
If I found any volume this way, I would cut Amazon out entirely and talk directly to the merchant working through Amazon. Know that Amazon takes about 12% of sales prices, plus the merchant has credit card fees. You can cut a much better deal by going direct.
The last Ebay related idea I have is to go to storage center auctions. The way these work is people don’t pay the storage unit bill and the owners auction the items in the units. They just open the unit up and you can look inside but not touch or actually enter the unit. I once found a unit with 10 comic book storage cartons and bought the whole lot for $45 because I knew what was in those boxes when others did not. Sold the whole thing for $1200 that day to a comic store without really seeing what was in there. I have also purchased wine and found decent amounts of money inside boxes etc. Have not been to one in years, but if I was broke and needed some money fast I would hit one up with a truck and buy a few units to sell on EBay.
I know this is not traditional affiliate type stuff, but it seems that a lot of people out there are still just trying to figure out how to get some positive cash flow. Like I said earlier, all of this stuff might not work, I have never actually tried any of it (except the Wal-Mart gift cards).
The takeaway from this for the uberaffiliate should not be to go exploit Ebay (although a few of you probably will), but rather to start learning to think outside the box and develop your marketing skills. The primary product I market is the most expensive item in my industry yet I sell a ton of them because I market it properly. The Generic box at the grocery store is the same as in the colorful one at half the price yet you probably buy the colorful one. The difference is effective marketing. Without that you will not win. The difference between you and the seller of any of the ideas above is you know what your product is worth and the sellers you buy from and the buyers you sell to don’t.