To make real money online you need a back up plan, one to put into action when disaster strikes. But this needn’t be total devastation of your business, it can just be a minor problem that prevents you making money for the day.

Such as today, for example, where my ‘might as well be non-existent broadband’ suddenly went into melt down.

I live in the back of beyond, in a place that BT doesn’t acknowledge, and that’s why my broadband – at best – has a speed of almost 1.0 mbps. It’s slow, very slow, and sometimes it gets slower still.

Like today, for example, when it’s taking more than five minutes to open an email and another five minutes to reply.

It’s taking ten minutes to upload a postcard to eBay, compared to normally just a minute or so, and I’m totally unable to upload websites until normal service resumes.

So what do I do?

Well I could take the dogs for a walk and give up on the Internet today, or I could visit an auction and buy stock to list on eBay if and when my Internet speed improves. Or I could, as I will, choose from a long list of ideas I have for product sourcing and making money during an otherwise very unproductive period.

Product sourcing and how to maximise your money making potential

The idea I’ll tell you about now is based on a free report I promised you two or three issues ago. You may recall it was about using sample chapters to grow a mailing list for your business, and if my postbag is anything to go by a good many eBay Confidential readers want to know more about sample chapters and how to convert them to quick and easy cash.

So you’ll be pleased to know part one of that report is finished and you can download it now here:

Free Report Download

Part two will be ready for you in a couple of weeks.

The beauty of this idea is that the sample chapter used to get people to sign up to your mailing list can be very short, just a few pages, and it can tempt thousands of people to join your list and purchase goods from your follow up emails.

I recall just a few months back, creating a short report, it took about half an hour to write and offer through a blog posting, and it resulted in 750 people singing up to my mailing list. From there those people went on to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of my own products and others I’m recommending as an affiliate.

You’ll find sample chapters – or short reports – take minutes to create from a handful of articles with private label rights – sometimes called ‘plr’ – and allowing you to copy and use those articles as you wish and even add your own name as author. This idea involves taking ten or more articles on one subject, in my case today it’s forex trading, then you copy each article into a Word or other editing programme before turning each article into a separate chapter in the book you’re creating. You paste the most interesting article first into your Word document, then you read through your document, checking for and correcting spelling and grammatical errors, ambiguities and unnecessary duplications. When you’re finished you make a copy of your Word file.

In your copy file you remove all chapters from two onwards, then you add a link at the end of chapter one, taking people to the sales page for the eBook you’re creating. This becomes your sample chapter, and because it’s also the most interesting chapter it’s likely to generate early orders for your new eBook.

Now you convert the sample chapter to pdf format and offer it free to anyone joining your mailing list.

Then you take your original document and convert it to pdf where it becomes your paid-for eBook. Now you go somewhere like the Warrior Forum, where you offer your sample chapter free to anyone signing up to your mailing list.

If you’re a subscriber to our monthly newsletter you’ll see that our May issue included part one of a long feature about making money at the Warrior Forum, which will be followed in our June issue with some really comprehensive ideas for maximising your money making potential, one being to promote free reports and sample chapters at the forum.

But the Warrior Forum is not the only place to upload your offer of free reports and sample chapters. There are in fact hundreds of different places to offer your free reports – and sample chapters – as you’ll read about in part two of my free report available just a few eLetters from now.

Product life cycles and seasons – and why the shortest are sometimes best!

Have you ever noticed how sometimes a product that sells like hot cakes one day, and makes you tons of money, attracts zilch interest just a few weeks down the line, and finds you wondering what to do with a garage packed with stuff nobody wants to buy?

It happens to us all and it’s based on the fact that almost all products have their own life cycles, just like people, going from birth (the product introduction phase) to death (interest dies in the product or another takes its place).

As an eBay seller, a successful one that is, you have to learn to predict likely life cycles, and therefore avoid stocking up with goods that turn out to be short term fads or which quickly go out of fashion.

Life cycles are based on demand and supply, and you don’t need a degree in economics to stay one step ahead of what’s hot and what’s stone cold on eBay.

Some products have shorter and faster life cycles than others, and unless you’re in on the birth they’ll find you taking big risks. Fads, for example, and gimmicks, also seasonal and anniversary products, tend towards short life cycles and can be most risky of all. The type of things we’re looking at here are copies of headgear worn at the recent royal wedding which days after the event fetched double number sales on eBay but today they’re almost old hat. More examples, single roses that fly off the shelves in mid-February, black hats and broomsticks in late October.

Generally speaking, the shorter the season or anniversary, the bigger the risk involved. Usually, that is! So one day events such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween give a much shorter window of opportunity – usually – than Christmas (a good three months for sellers to capitalise on eBay), summer (two or three months to soak up money from suntan lotion, parasols, beach clothing), spring (April, May, June – popular for tying the knot and for selling wedding gear on eBay).

These longer seasons give more time for testing products and bonuses, more chance to study other sellers and their best selling products prior to stealing and cashing in on their ideas before the season ends.

As to ‘usually’, there is one time when short seasons and anniversaries can find you capturing an entire market, all to yourself. That’s usually where your product proves a major best seller and leaves no time for others to source and sell similar goods before the season ends.

How and where do you get that unique product? Try these two easy ways:

– Live, eat and breathe a specific event. Not literally, of course, and not to the exclusion of products you could profitably promote all year round on eBay. But you could consider specialising in one main event, one season, one anniversary, and spend a good deal of your time researching and sourcing new products for your specialty. This way you should always have something no one else is selling and which can amount to short term but incredibly high profit margins for you.

– Research products and ideas selling in high quantities elsewhere but not in your main marketplace. And because we’re talking short term events here, you need to research products being sold this year for you to introduce to your target market next year. But wait, just because a product sells like hot cakes on, for example, that doesn’t mean it will make you a millionaire on eBay UK next year.

So you need to introduce new products gradually to your marketplace, leaving enough time for you to expand your marketing, and giving insufficient time for others to steal your ideas. And that basically means deciding what you’re going to sell and where to get it from in advance of a main event, then buying just a few samples of your product to test your market. Make sure there’s time for you to order more of your product to cope with imminent supply, and no time for other sellers to match your product before the season ends!

One way to do this is by looking for goods selling well for people outside of your main eBay marketplace, then offer to represent those people and their products to your target audience next year. If they’re selling broomsticks or gigantic Mother’s Day cards, those things may be too bulky and too costly to post worldwide to their own customers, not to mention the risk of postal delays leading to orders arriving too late for the special event. But sellers might do wholesale deals with sellers outside their own market.

So there you have a quick and easy way to spend time researching this year for quick and easy profits next year.