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Monday, April 18, 2016

Multiple Streams Of Income

Been hip deep in a mess o' mess, but it's done.  I'll write an article sometime in the future about the pluses and minuses of business partners.  I had two of them.  Thank God I had a good one I love working with, and we're going to move our precious metals business forward.  Again.

Speaking of money, I've written often about the concept of multiple streams of income.  You must always assume one or more of your income streams will go dry (like getting fired or laid off from your job).  The monthly bills don't give a damn about that.  They still want to get paid.

My household currently has 4 income streams.  One of them could independently pay for all of our monthly bills.  The second one would come close by itself.  It would be tight, but we'd make it.  The other two are in their infancy, but each has the ability in the future to cover our bills.

And that's the idea:  Every income stream pays ALL of your bills.  The beauty of this is, if some of them are churning money that you don't need to spend, you roll it back into other investments to provide yet another stream of income.

A couple of ideas for ya....

Ebay.  People bitch and moan about the fees between them and Paypal, but if you look closely, where else could you get a national audience to sell your stuff for such a low cost?

Here's a tip:  To save yourself some tax dollars, DO NOT set up your site as a business site.  If you do, you WILL get lower seller fees (usually) but you'll also get an IRS 1099 form at the end of the year.  Pay up, bitches!

If you set it up as a personal site, AND you don't sell more than 200 items totaling $20,000 a year (verify this for yourself first on the ebay and Paypal sites), you don't get the 1099 (for now).

Tax free cashflow, boys and girls.

Ebay/Paypal will nick you for about 13% of your sales in their various fees, and obviously, since you're not a business, you can't have any business expenses, including the Cost of Goods sold.  You're selling your personal stuff.  So, you need to make sure you're selling items with sufficient profit margin to make the math work for you.

Lastly, with regards to the 1099 rules, the $20,000 is a hard and fast number.  Cross over it, and you're 1099'd.  You have a bit more flexibility on the item count.  The 200 is for the number of sales/auctions that are completed.

For instance, if you're selling knives, sell them in a bundle of 6 knives (1 sale), not one at a time (6 sales).  You'll also save a butt-load on shipping as well by bundling your sale items.

If you're new to selling on ebay, start slowly.  The payments from your first few sales are held in a "pending" status for a couple of weeks while ebay monitors your performance.

And make sure there is a market for what you're thinking of selling!  Again, let's say you want to sell hunting knives.  Enter "hunting knives" into the search box at the top of the page.  You'll get a listing of everything on ebay that meets that criteria.  Don't get happy just yet on the riches you'll be making.

Click the "Advanced" link at the top of the page.  You'll be taken to a page with a bunch of check boxes.  Check the one that says, "Sold Listings" and hit the search button.

You'll now get a listing of hunting knives that actually sold, and what they sold for.  That's all that matters.  People can ask a million dollars for a knife, but if buyers will only pay 10 bucks, that's your market price.  Check out the ones that are similar to the style you're going to sell.  If the math works, get at it.

Do the successful sellers charge for shipping or not?  What are the key words and page styles used by the sellers with lots of positive feedback scores?  Copy the successful stores - businesses and private alike.  Don't reinvent the wheel.

If the math doesn't work, find something else to sell.

One last thing about ebay:  If a dispute occurs over an item, their default position is to side with the buyer.  As a seller, you need to make sure your description and pictures accurately depict the items being sold.  If not, the buyer can weasel out of the deal, and in certain circumstances, you can be forced to refund their cost to ship it back to you!

Seriously, don't sugar coat the condition of the items you're selling.  It'll bite you in the butt.

Tomorrow, I've got a post lined up on a new income stream I'm working on:  Royalties.  Yeah, they're not just for movie and TV stars any more!

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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

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