Can you make money drop shipping

Drop shipping, profitable but risky retail model

 

A few months ago, when starting establishing my home based business, I came across the concept of drop shipping as an alternative way to sell merchandise in the more original formats, such as from a retailing shop or a retailing website.  It took me a little while to get the gist of it, as it meant virtual business pushed to the limit as far as old fashion me was concerned.  But once I got the hang of it, my next question was: can you really make money drop shipping?

 


Drop shipping, how it works

The difference between running a retailing business and a drop shipping one is in the fact that the retailer does not hold stock, but order the merchandise directly from the wholesaler or manufacturers to be delivered directly to the customer or purchaser.  There are tons of advantages to this form of retailing.  The first that may spring to mind is reduced costs.  But I shall cross that bridge a little later.

When worded like this, drop shipping will sound ideal for those of us that want to specialise their home based business in buying and selling goods online.  And particularly if you trade through auction based platforms such as eBay.  Nevertheless, it is deemed that drop shipping is also used by smaller businesses or retailer who only have room in their retail units for one or two samples to display – the customer can view the item and appreciate its quality, but when the retailer has enough orders, he will place a buying order directly from the wholesaler or from the manufacturer at a discount rate, for the goods to be delivered directly to the customer (credit of Wikipedia).

When you think of it, the applications of the drop shipping business model can be truly endless!

 


Advantages of drop shipping

As mentioned at the beginning, the most resounding advantage to drop shipping is in the fact that the retailer saves money by not having to purchase stock that may not sell, nor to have to find (and sometimes rent) room to store the stock of merchandise.

Going back to the online auction platforms, the seller here often advertise the item with a reserve price which will include or surplus the buying price from the wholesaler as well as the selling fees, in order to ensure that, when the item is shipped from the wholesaler to the highest bidder, a profit is guaranteed .  In principle a lot of auctioning platforms do not recommend drop shipping.  In the case of eBay, their policy is based on the principle that the merchandise should have been owned by the seller before being sold over.  However, it appears that drop shipping is tolerated by eBay, so long as the seller keeps receiving positive feedback.

One of the dangers of drop shipping online is that your customer may realise they have been overcharged when receiving delivery of the merchandise directly from the wholesaler.  In that case, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the goods are shipped from the wholesaler with a ‘private label’ which may show only the retailer’s details as seller and as potential return address.

Some time ago, I wrote a short article on drop shipping.  Click on the below picture to find out here my personal take:Drop shipping pros and cons

 


Disadvantages of drop shipping

Drop shipping may sound very appealing when it comes to the possibility to reduce costs and increase profits.  Nevertheless the biggest disadvantage of drop shipping is in the fact that, as a retailer, you remain responsible for the faulty or malfunctioning merchandise.

If you benefit from added profits, as a drop shipper you are the one who ultimately will have to deal with the complaint part of the business transaction as well.  If you went and bought a radio from a shop or from the local supermarket and you went home to find out the radio is not working, you would take the radio back to the shop where you purchased it in first instance, and you would ask for a replacement or for a refund.  And if not satisfied with the service, as a customer you would be more than entitled to post a negative review on one of the many feedback sites online!

As a seller, you represent to the customer the same as what a red scarf represents to a wound up bull: you are liable for all the troubles they have endured since purchasing the item from you!

The difference is that, if as a shop retailer you may have been able to see the merchandise before selling it, or you may witness to the fact that it is malfunctioning once the customer returns it to you, as a drop shipper you never get to see the merchandise.

As the merchandise gets shipped directly from the wholesaler, you cannot ensure it is in working order.  Likewise, and unless arranged for the returns to come to you with a private label, you may not be able to verify whether the goods are truly malfunctioning.  In other words, you may be prey of SCAMS from both the wholesaler and from the customer alike.  You are the middle person, and this makes you double vulnerable.

Scam Alert!!

As a buyer from wholesaler, you may become victim of some wholesalers who advertise a product from their catalogue or online catalogue as brand new, when in fact the product is a knock off or imitation of an original brand.  And likewise, you may be lead to believe you are buying from a wholesaler when in fact you are buying from another middle person, who charges you over-priced figures, hence leaving you with very little or no room whatsoever for profit.

Finally, you may want to watch out for those primarily online based companies who yes give you access to a marketplace of wholesalers who deal in drop shipping, but demand that you pay a monthly membership fee.  Most of these companies will be genuine and legit: you pay for the privilege of being introduced to a vast plethora of legit drop shipping wholesalers.  Nevertheless, before you commit to paying monthly fees, you want to ensure that you your profits will cover the expense.

 


 

My verdict

Hands up: have I tried drop shipping yet?  No, not yet.  And that is for two reasons.

The first reason is that, as mentioned, I only sell the odd second-hand items online whenever I do not need something anymore or if I come across an old unwanted Christmas present, or if I find old and quirky goods at the local booth sale.  But the second reason – and call me a coward if you wish – is in the fact that I do not like unnecessary risks.  And, as far as I am concerned, drop shipping is too risky for someone as naive and still relatively inexperienced as me.

The truth of the matter is that I find affiliate marketing much more profitable and definitely less risky.  And that is the direction I have take for my home based online business.

As an affiliate marketer, I can review merchandise, goods or services positively or negatively, but the purchase is still made directly from the selling company.  If things do not go to plan therefore, the customer will contact the seller directly for complaints and for liability.  I will get my commission when goods are shipped to the customer, or my commission will be cancelled if the customer decides to return the malfunctioning merchandise.  But nothing more will come of it as far as I am concerned.

Not only that, but with affiliate marketing, you do not need necessarily to have a retail website or to advertise specific items.  A website blogger or the owner of any other form of website content can benefit from joining affiliate programs, as often programs will pay you a commission for the sale of goods or for generating leads to their site.

 


==>  I learned all about affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate.  Do you want to know how?  Find out from Wealthy Affiliate University.


 

Have you sold merchandise on a drop shipping arrangement with your wholesaler?  And have you ever experienced a negative outcome?  Share your thoughts with us, leave your comment below.  Your advice and recommendations are valuable to us!

Keep your eggs in many baskets

No, I am not referring to ways to store your weekly supply of eggs in your kitchen. What I am referring to is to make a success of working from home.  Excuse my wacky attitude, but allow me today to suggest a flexible approach to help becoming an entrepreneur right and proper.

 

Keep your eggs in many baskets


A couple of years ago in my line of work (my ‘day’ job, that is) I came across a young lady who told me she was an actress.  I asked what she was working on at the moment, and she answered me she was freelancing.  This meant her keeping her eggs in many baskets, so to speak.  She was registered with different acting agencies, she was doing some teaching, she was doing some online work, and of course she worked with her agent for potential auditions and gigs.

My concern was: how could she make a living based on such uncertain terms?  The way she put it to me though was equally eye opening.

She explained, if my employer went burst, or less dramatically decided to reduced its workforce and I was given redundancy, I would be left with no income at all, given that my sole source of income was my day job.  Equally, if I were to fall sick of some form of ailment that prevented me to carry on working (such as particular cancers, which could potentially affect my current day job), my employer would pay me reduced sickness salary for up to six months, but after that and if still not fit for work, I would be asked to leave.  And some employers do not even have such more generous sickness packages, but pay the bare statutory basic sickness.  In other words, working for an employer is only marginally more secure than working on a self-employed freelance basis – that is what the freelance actress was trying to point out to me.

When you juggle many balls at the same time, she explained there is always something going which will generate an income.  She was primarily referring to various and different ways for her to advertise her acting skills and to reach out to potential gigs and opportunities.

But her take on ‘keeping your eggs in many baskets’ got me thinking.

 

Diversity is key to run a successful home business


And there is nothing more true than this approach when working from home.  Especially at the beginning, when you are barely monetising from your ventures, and you are far from matching a full time average salary if not more, it is advisable not to focus on one business only.  If one venture earns you a quarter of your monetary target, four entrepreneurial activities will make up the full salary that you are aiming to and that you need to sustain household and living bills – exactly as if you were working for an employer.

 

Diversifying versus specialisation


But how does diversifying translate in practice?  At the end of the day we cannot all be good at every type of home based business, surely!

If for instance my speciality were teaching maths, and I were to plan to do freelance teaching, how can I branch out into other areas of expertise?

Well, that is where you need to appeal to your most entrepreneurial vein.  When working from home, you need to become most creative.  And specialisms can walk hand in hand with diversification.

So, if teaching, you may want to advertise your freelance lessons actively, both on local papers, on shop windows of local newsagents, in the local community notice board.  But you may want to also approach local school, to see if they may be happy to refer students to you that may need additional tuition.  Or you may want to enrol with specialised recruitment agencies.

And you may also start learning how to leverage social media to advertise your enterprise.  Or you could learn how to build a website and attract further teaching business leveraging on your website outreach.


When sitting down and start brain storming, possibilities are endless.

 

Retain your identity


As mentioned above, diversification doesn’t have to stretch as far as doing a variety of different things to earn a bit of extra cash.  You can retain your identity as specialised entrepreneur in a specific business enterprise.

If for argument sake you were setting up an online selling point on eBay, and your speciality were to buy and sell antique items, nothing stops you from keeping a small ongoing stock of electronic gadgets, as you see fit pending the demand on the market for the latest trend.

Likewise, as I am specialising in blog writing, I could consider stretching my efforts into writing an e-book, and market it on Amazon Kindle with the aim to make a bit of cash and to create an ideal form of passive recurring income.

In other words, and like with the example of the maths teacher, you can still retain your identity as a teacher, trader or writer, but employ your skills and expertise in a more proactive and interactive way.

The main thing, I believe, is that, whichever business activity you embrace, you never loose focus in believing in what you are doing, and in wanting to share your findings with others and for the benefit of others.  If the sole motivation for what you are doing is making money, believe you me, it will not work.  Potential customers and clients will smell your thirst for money, and that will work as a deterrent instead as an incentive for people to trust you and your business.

 

Think outside the box with online business


Online business possibly lends itself better than other ventures to diversification, possibly due to its nature where you can find wide ranging and endless opportunities.

Let me introduce you to a short tutorial put in place by one of my dear friends at Wealthy Affiliate, Robert aka boomergp08, on diversification as a writer.  The tutorial, How to Earn Money Writing Online, goes through the various revenue possibilities as an online writer.  Click the blue link to find out Robert’s take – I can assure you, it is inspirational!

With an online business, and with a website, you can easily monetise on your blog, but it will take time for you to become visible to online browsers in order to attract clicks that will convert in purchases.  As mentioned in my page on creating good website content, the revenue generating process does take its time.  But whilst we produce content for our website, we all become better and better at it.  So, why not put our newly found expertise to use to others and produce writing for others?

And again, whilst putting together a website for ourselves, why not getting paid by acquaintances and friends for designing their website, based on their requirements and needs?

As Robert mentions in his tutorial, think outside the box, and use your skills to the benefit of others.

 

 Diversify your skills with telecommuting


Naturally, diversification is not solely limited to home based business enterprises.  You may well be working for an employer, part time or full time, and have additional ways of making extra money on the side.  The general approach, as far as employers are concerned, is that so long as the employee’s additional income attempts do not interfere or clash with the employer’s line of business – in other words, so long as there are no conflicts of interest – employers welcome the proactive attitude of employees, so long as your additional revenue activity is not run whilst you are working for your employer.

In the home based business opportunities examined so far, I can easily work on my 9-5 job, whilst trying to sell some items on eBay, and whilst doing some online marketing job, and whilst chancing my luck at binary option trading.  Or you could make a monetary investment for additional source of revenue in the shape of passive income.

But diversification is not solely about making money, or making additional money.  It is very much about expanding your areas of expertise.  So, whilst working for an employer, you might want to approach your HR or line manager with a view to be put forward for courses or workshops to gain additional skills.

Because it is through the initiative, a proactive and creative attitude and a variety of acquired skills that we can broaden our horizon and become a 360 degree entrepreneur.  We are all born naturally gifted with the mind set of an entrepreneur – I most certainly am not!  But we can all reach success if we work hard at it.

 


Please share your story about how you established your entrepreneurial business venture successfully.  Or tell how you diversify your business.  Leave your comment below. 

Home worker or remote worker?

There are immense benefits to working from home on a self-employed basis. But is working from home possible for everyone?  Some people may find the safety net offered by corporate working more suitable to their personality or to their financial circumstances.  So, let’s find out which one suits you best.

 


The mechanics of working from home

Personally, I think there are endless advantages being your own boss.  But it is also true that to have a successful home-based business – of whichever legit nature – you must fulfil pre-requirements without which you will fail in making a feasible and sustainable earning.  Here are a few ones, which I found out from my direct experience.

#1.  Keep your eggs in many baskets

You must be prepared to be a champion of multi-tasking, and to explore different avenues.  When working from home on a self-employed basis, you do not have a regular salary, like in the corporate world, where your monthly salary is guaranteed, regardless of whether this week you have an important project to deliver by a tight deadline or whether the workload has suddenly gone quiet.

When working from home, you earn for what you deliver.  And in order to deliver regularly, you must ensure that the demands is kept alive constantly.  So, if your field of expertise is in selling merchandise, you may want to branch out to various selling markets, so as to satisfy the demands of different client platforms.  And whilst your speciality may be in selling antique items, you may be prepared to try out other products like electronic gadgets, or you may want approach different buyers, from a booth sale fair to antique shops to online buyers.

#2.  Promote yourself

It’s all very easy to choose to work from home, if to the core you are a very introvert person, who achieves more when not having to interact constantly with work colleagues or customers.  The reality of it is that, in the same way as you must try to experiment in different direction, you must also try to promote your business as much and as persuasively as you possibly can – naturally within the boundaries of your professional ethics, and not by making up lies and false statements!!!

In a practical example, in my online affiliate marketing business, I would want to have a number of websites, all tackling different niches, so all aiming to a different market.  But once I have built many websites, where I review the products I believe in, I must also ensure that I make people out there aware that I have just posted a review – and in doing so, I would want to use social media for promotional purposes.  In other words, I must market my business proactively, and never wait for customers to come to me.  Because if potential customers do not know about my business, they are never going to be given the opportunity to become my customers!

#3.  Keep learning

When working within a corporate environment, you will be proposed courses and training which will keep you up to date with the latest developments in the business industry you are working in.  Sometimes, as it’s often the case in the public sector, your boss will just tell you you have to attend that training – and whether you believe it is relevant to your role or not, well, tough.

As a home worker, you must source that learning independently.  You must ensure you are kept up to date with the latest selling techniques, or with the latest software packages if you work online, or with the most up to date teaching material, if your job is freelance mentoring – just to mention but a few examples.

And of course you might have to invest in courses and in training tools.  In doing so, you need to ensure your investment is one that will pay off eventually, by making you more competitive in whichever your field of expertise is going to be.

#4.  Self discipline

The majority of us that love to work from home, do so because we love the flexibility, independence and freedom we gain from not having any boss but ourselves to be accountable to.  The ideal picture for potential home workers is the one of us working whilst slouched on the sofa and wearing our favourite slippers.  Without discipline, however, you may slip down the dangerous road of lack of productivity.

You will still have deadlines you need to maintain as requested by customer or to retain a healthy and successful business.

Not only that.  But sticking to a flexible routine helps you with a positive attitude toward your working day, which in turn will turn you more creative and proactive toward your job.

 


Benefits of being a remote worker

Remote workers are those people who are employed as part of a corporate business, but are given the opportunity to work from home.  And again, there are benefits and downturns to this type of working environment, and it will be your job to find out whether this is for you.

  • Benefits

Working for a corporate company or in the public sector, no matter whether you have a busy workload or a period of quiet, you will always have the guarantee of a salary.

Not only that, but depending on your contract of employment, you may have sick periods paid for, as well as a paid for period of annual leave.  And a lot of companies offer pension schemes!

  • Disadvantages

I have worked in both corporate and public sector for many decades, and I can quite honestly say that the benefits of working for an employer do not come ‘cheap’.

As an employee you will always have to negotiate your personal needs against the needs of the company you work for.  I cannot remember the number of school events I have had to miss, when my son was taking part in a show or in a sports day.  And I have lost count of the times I had to beg for time off when my son came down with flu and I had nobody else that could look after him, when he was a kid.

To this day, if I need to see a doctor or the dentist, I have to ensure my appointment is either at the beginning or at the end of the day.  If I can only get an appointment in the middle of the day, I am frowned upon, and sometimes I’m told I cannot take time off.  And do not start me on the subject of booking holiday, which I can only do provided the service is covered and my needs do not clash with the ones of other colleagues!

I could not make it plainer in words.  You work for others, you are bound to their terms and conditions of employment.  Which in many case are a lot!

  • Requirements for remote working

The main requirement is for you to find an employer that will allow you to work remotely from home.  This is not easy task, as many employers are still reluctant to let go of having staff sitting at a desk, to ensure they are productive at all times.  Other employers shield behind the idea that the nature of their business requires that you are available on site rather than managing the job virtually.

Naturally sometimes this is true.  But, even when your role demands that you are front desk, such as in my current job as a customer adviser, compromises can be reached, where you can be working from home when you are to serve customers online or over the phone, whilst going to work on those days that you are scheduled to meet customers face to face.

However another requirement, provided you are allowed to work remotely, is that your home equipment be adequate enough to sustain the data exchange between your home internet connection and the more powerful servers a business may be provided with.

Finally, there is always the risk that you are missed out by colleagues in being kept up to date with the latest information (or why not, gossip!) as you are based remotely.  It will be your job therefore to ensure that people at work do not forget about you – create a communication system that will ensure so.

 


Ideally, a balance of the two

After working full time at a corporate and public sector level, I am now trying to build that fine balance between retaining my customer services role with my employer on a part time base, and using the remaining of my working week to make my online business successful from home.

Why not go ‘solo’ straight away?  Because it takes time to make a self-employed business successful and to monetise from it in such a way that it may replace my current salary and gives me sustainable financial security.

I am still working mostly for my employer.  The plan is to see my home-based business grow a little bit more to propose to my employer to reduce my hours further.

At the moment, although I have proposed remote working, my employer feels the scheme cannot be applied to my role.  Who knows, maybe one day things will change.  But until then, and until I can afford more financial freedom, I shall keep enjoying the perks of a secure salary, whilst nurturing my online business – just like a mother would want to see her baby grow into a healthy boy and man.

 


Do you think you would ever be suited to take the risks of home-based working?  Or are you more of a corporate person, with all its benefits and restrictions?  Share your opinion, leave a comment below to let me know how you feel about both options. 

Make money selling with Amazon

 

So far we have discussed ways to earn extra income from home with the Amazon associate program.  In other words, provided you have a website, you can join one of the many Amazon geo-sites, register as their affiliate (or associate, as Amazon likes to call you) and then promote any of Amazon merchandise on your website, provided it fits and goes alongside your website niche, or subject so to speak.  Amazon will give you a small percentage of their profit on the product sold (and it is very small, generally no more than 6-7%) whilst the customer will not get charged any more.  It’s the good old principle of affiliate marketing.

But is there a way to make money selling with Amazon, just as you would do on eBay?  And how to sell stuff online with Amazon?

 

Selling on Amazon as a professional

Amazon offers you two main schemes, depending on whether you are a professional in the art of selling merchandise, or if you sell items only every so often as an individual

If you sell as a professional, Amazon offer the Fulfilment By Amazon scheme (or FBA) which makes your job much easier.  What they propose is that, for a fee, you send them your merchandise, and they will take care of the rest.  Amazon will store the item, pack it and deliver it for you, hence reducing you the hassle of all the logistics part of the business.  It couldn’t be easier!

  • Advantages:  The advantage of this scheme is that not only Amazon handles the logistics of it all, but ensures that the items is sold at a profit for you by pricing the item.  And, should a dispute rise with the customer, Amazon will handle that as well.  Under this scheme you can sell absolutely any merchandise that Amazon usually advertises on its website, but the stock you propose and then send to Amazon can include items of different nature.
  • Disadvantages:  As you can see, unlike eBay, with Amazon the element of risk given by the auction format is removed, as Amazon will ensure that the item is sold at a profit for you.  However, and on the negative side, Amazon does not do all this for free.  Currently on Amazon.co.uk you are charged some £30 per month with the plan to sell at least 35 items per month, plus referral fees which varies depending on which category your merchandise fulfils.  For this fee, however, you can promote your merchandise on as many as the five European countries Amazon has websites on.

How does it work

No matter which geo-site you work from, Amazon is very good at guiding you through the motions step by step.

All you have to do is click on the Sell tab on Amazon header to be guided to the next steps, which include:

  1. Registering your details as a seller – this will create a separate selling account
  2. Specifying whether you are a business or acting as an individual
  3. Uploading your listings, and select Fulfilment By Amazon to let Amazon pick, pack and ship your products to the customer.

The next thing you will know is that the customer will see your merchandise listed on Amazon pages, will proceed to the purchase and Amazon will pay you the net figure after deducting Seller fees.  It couldn’t be easier.

 

Selling on Amazon as an individual

This is arguably a much easier option for those of us that do not sell regularly, nor do they keep a wealthy stock of merchandise.  The process is much similar to the one of listing item under the Pro Selling Plan, but the difference is that Amazon does not charge a monthly fee.

The main features of this program are the followings:

  1. Registration is free of charge – you do not have to pay the monthly fee
  2. You can avail of FBA or decide to handle the logistics – this means that Amazon will take care of the storage, packing and delivery, or you can do it all by yourself, but you will also handle customer services, should a query be raised by the purchaser
  3. Amazon charges only once the item is sold.

As individual sellers, what we must be careful of is the actual fees.  Amazon will only charge some £0.75p per item, but it also deducts the referral fee like with the Pro Plan, depending on which category the item you have just sold falls into.  In addition, Amazon also charges a variable closing fee, which again fluctuates depending on category and country of destination.

Amazon gives an example of fees you may be charged when selling using the Individual Plan, which I am showing below:

 

Who can take part

Like with eBay, absolutely anybody wanting to sell some items, or a stock of merchandise, can take part.  You do not need to be a regular customer of Amazon purchasing its items regularly.  Nor do you need to be an Amazon associate and promote items on your own website.

So long as the items you are selling can be listed under one of the many available categories Amazon makes available, you can sell new or second-hand merchandise across as many as 5 European countries, i.e. UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

 

What’s the difference with eBay

The most shouting feature here is that, unlike with eBay, the risk by selling on Amazon is reduced as you are not at the mercy of a winning bid through the online auction system.  It appears that the whole selling process is more controlled, as the item will be sold for a profit.

However, prices and fees are higher than on eBay.  So yes, Amazon will assist you with the logistics, the storage and the customer services side of things, but at a price.  And if you do not pay the monthly fee, then the perks are not applicable.

Also, it is to be noticed that with the Individual Selling Plan you may not have to pay the monthly fee, but you still seem to be charged the additional referral and variable fees.

On a positive, unlike with most affiliate marketing programs, and with Amazon associate program, where you have to reach a threshold before receiving payment, both Amazon and eBay will ‘pay as you go’, or rather transfer your payment into your bank account as soon as the item has been sold.

Finally, there is the reputation of the two websites to consider.  With Amazon, your items will be listed in up to 5 European countries, as per your listing instructions.  However with eBay you are bound to reach a wider marketing platform, as my understanding is that your listings reach a worldwide potential customer base.  This may mean that you will possibly sell your items more quickly, albeit at a lower price.

 

My verdict

I must admit, I have not yet venture in using Amazon for selling items yet – for purchase, oh yes, aplenty, but not yet for selling.  But that, I suppose, is possibly due to the fact that I do not sell large amounts of stock altogether, and for this type of infrequent selling, I think eBay may be more user-friendly, once you’ve got used to it.

When wanting to embrace this avenue as a source of income whilst working from home, you need to weigh up pros and cons on both websites.

For both selling methods, you do not need to have your own website, but you certainly need to have access to a computer and to wi-fi connection.  Also, and like with all selling enterprises, you need to have storage available and regular intake of stock.

This said, I still believe in the validity of Amazon selling marketplace as a good way to make money working from home.  I do believe however that Amazon is more suited if you have a larger stock of merchandise to sell.  For professional sellers, it will be worth paying the monthly fee, to the benefit of having Amazon taking care of the handling of the sale.

Ultimately the choice is yours and it very much depends on what experience you are looking for from selling online.  Nothing or nobody in fact will prevent you from being able to use both platforms to sell different items.  The more platforms you use,  the bigger exposure you gain in proposing your merchandise to buyers worldwide.

The one thing I would recommend, should you decide to use both Amazon and eBay at the same time, is that you refrain from advertising the same item on both sites at the same time – that is, unless you have multiple stock!!

 


Are you already using Amazon to sell your items, or have you ever done so?  I would like to hear from you, to find out whether you have had a successful experience, and whether you consider Amazon a viable solution to earn a realistic income.  Share your experience with us, feel free to leave your comment below!

 

Earn with the lottery

 

Name:  Free Postcode Lottery

Website:  freepostcodelottery.com

Price:  Absolutely FREE OF CHARGE

Owner:  Chris Holbrook

Rank:   95 out of 100

 

Call me a coward, but I do not condone gambling or taking any risk when it comes to business opportunities. But I have recently discovered a free of charge way to earn with the lottery, which I would like to make you aware of.

 

How to make money with the lottery

Yes, I am not kidding you when I say that you can earn with the lottery.  Admittedly I’m not talking millions, but rather a few hundred pounds at a time (or dollars, or whichever monetary currency goes in your country).  And no, it is not a guaranteed regular winning.  At the end of the day, it is called lottery for a reason, as it can only guarantee for as long as you win randomly.  But it certainly is free of charge, and for this reason if not any other good one, it is worth playing it.  Because you don’t have to loose anything!!!  Yes, you’ve guessed right: I’m talking about the FREE POSTCODE LOTTERY!!!

 

How does it work

The name is self-explanatory.  Every day the Free Postcode Lottery draws a a postcode randomly from the country, for a stake of some £300 or thereabouts.  If you have registered that you live in that postcode, you win.

Along with the main draw, the Free Postcode Lottery has other minor daily draws that you can take part in, albeit for a lower winning – these are survey draws (but you can take part even without taking 1 or 2 question surveys) or the video draw, where you listen to a video of an emerging singer in order to have the winning postcode revealed, or other draws.

 

Less money, more chances

As mentioned, the potential winnings are far from the wealthy ones of weekly national lotteries.  And, if by any chance your neighbours have also registered and claim the winning when your joint postcode is drawn, unbeknown to each other, you share the draw.

But the beauty of this type of lottery lays in a few simple advantageous facts:

  1. it’s drawn daily, hence increasing chances;
  2. it’s down to the reality of you living at that postcode;
  3. even if other participants are registered at the same postcode as you, often enough you end up winning the whole jackpot, as most people forget to check if they are winners from the reminder email you get sent every day.

If nobody claims the winning within 24 hours, the money at stake goes to add to the next day draw, making the jackpot higher.

Last but not least, you do not have to pay to take part!!!

 

Where does the money come from

The most immediate thing that will strike you about this lottery is that its website is packed with ads.  And that’s where the money comes from.  The Free Postcode Lottery relies solely on advertisements.  As mentioned before, you don’t have to pay a dime!!! Although the winning criteria for the main draw is in the fact that you must live at the winning postcode drawn on the day, with all the other draws you in fact access survey companies or video promoting companies – those very same companies that pay the Free Postcode Lottery for the privilege of advertising on its site.

One thing is for sure: we participants do not fund it!!

 

Who can take part

There are only a few qualifying criteria to take part in the Free Postcode Lottery: you must be over the age of 18, and you must live in UK.

Please do not mistake the Free Postcode Lottery with the People Postcode Lottery, which requires for you to purchase tickets.  The Free Postcode Lottery is FREE OF CHARGE!!

Otherwise, absolutely everyone can take part – no matter which postcode you live in, whether it is Wales, or Scotland, everyone can give it a try.

Admittedly the only restriction I can think of is that you have to have an internet connection.  Like all things in this time and age, in order to take part you must register online on to its website.  Likewise, as mentioned, every day the Free Postcode Lottery sends you a reminder email inviting you to enter their website to find out whether your postcode has been drawn.

I expect long gone are those days where you could check the winning numbers of a lottery on the daily paper!!  Mind you, I believe some papers still do so.  But then again, those lotteries that publish their winning combination on paper have a different way of financing the business, which is funded through the purchase of tickets.  The Free Postcode Lottery relies solely on you visiting the website – this increases traffic to the website, makes it more appealing to potential businesses that will want to advertise on its pages, and will then pay the advertising space.  In a way, with a the Free Postcode Lottery, you are the customer of a behind-the-scene affiliate business – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it!!!

 

Pros and Cons

Let me get the negative points out of the way before concentrating on the winning side of this type of lottery (pardon the pun!!).

I believe I have a pretty fast internet connection, unlimited data use and more.  Nevertheless, at times going through the Free Postcode Lottery pages is very slow.  And I expect the reason may be due to the enormous amount of graphic loaded on its pages by the advertisers.

Even so, going through the motions of checking the daily draws is never too painfully and exasperatingly slow.  Yes, the pages may take a few seconds longer than usual to load, but it does not detract from the fun.

And again, the winning will never be in the region of hundreds of thousands, but it is still a few hundreds, which are still a good pocket money figure.  Which you will have earned by just checking a daily email.  Not bad at all!!

One final point to mention is that this particular lottery is currently available and applicable to UK postcodes only.  I have searched for similar schemes outside of UK.  The only free of charge lottery I have come across for US residents, or for people living in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa is BoxLotto.  With this lottery, you choose 6 random numbers on each ticket, you can play up to 30 tickets per week and once a week you receive an email to tell you if you have won.

Again BoxLotto is indeed free of charge, but the lucky strike is purely randomly based on whether you choose the winning numbers, and to me it detracts from the fun of seeing your own postcode appear on the winning draw – again, I believe the concept of making a postcode a winner is far more fun.

 

Talking of affiliate

Did you also know that you can earn extra money by referring viewers to the Free Postcode Lottery?  Yes, the added perk is that you can earn up to £200 in bonus, which is payable to you when you introduce somebody to the website, and the somebody registers and keeps checking their account regularly every day.

In other words, if you follow this link: Free Postcode Lottery, and if you end up joining the actual lottery, I shall be earning a tiny penny every time that you visit the website to check of you are one of the winners of the day.  This costs nothing to you, but in the long run it will accrue me a little bit of extra pocket money.

You may ask what the big fuss it is to go through all this effort for a penny per visit.  Am I having you on?!?!?  I am not even going to start counting how many days of one of you checking their lottery account it would take me to put together £200.  But if it is not one of you, but many of you joining through this post, then the process of putting together a bit of extra money does no longer sound as long and painful.

And you don’t need to have a website to promote the Free Postcode Lottery.  You are given a unique link to your account, which you then can insert in any of your social media messages to invite your followers to join in.

So, what are you waiting for?  Join Free Postcode Lottery to be a winner and to earn by referring others!!!

 

Too good to be true

Some people may question whether all this is too good to be true.  Let me break this news to you: Free Postcode Lottery is NOT a scam!!!

Testimonials vouch to the fact that this lottery is a genuine affairs.  And accolades are documented both on their Facebook page and in other social media forums.

In UK this lottery is not the only free of charge one.  Others make their money through advertising too, but this lottery has the added element of fun, by building your expectations to the realistic possibility that it will be your postcode to be drawn today!  So much so that Money Saving Expert also endorses Free Postcode Lottery.

I am not sure that, if this lottery had not been tested as true and realistic, Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert would have chanced risking his reputation!!

 

My verdict

I have kept banging on for the whole of this review about how I find this type of lottery purely fun.  Its simple and straightforward formula, and that fact that it relates to the postcode of where you actually live, the fact that it is free of charge, it all combines in my opinion to create a bit of innocent, not mind blowing, fun.

You don’t have to worry as to whether you have chosen the winning combination of random numbers.  The responsibility of you becoming a winner is not on your shoulders, but down to sheer luck.  And it doesn’t matter if all you win is a couple hundreds pounds – the fun outruns the thirst of big winning by far.  Notwithstanding the fact that, as Free Postcode Lottery is only restricted to UK, where there are only so many postcodes, chances become higher.

The winning combination with Free Postcode Lottery is in the sharing.  Not only by referring people to this lottery, you can earn up to £200, but the more people register as living at the same postcode as yours, the more the chances of your postcode to be drawn.

For however little inspiring the winnings may be, I highly recommend having a bit of fun with Free Postcode Lottery.  Join in the fun with me!!!

 

 

 

Name:  Free Postcode Lottery

Website:  freepostcodelottery.com

Price:  Absolutely FREE OF CHARGE

Owner:  Chris Holbrook

Rank:   95 out of 100

 

Are you enrolled on Free Postcode Lottery, have you ever won?  Or are you still not persuaded that Free Postcode Lottery does work, do you have any concerns?  Join in the conversation and post your comment below.  I shall be happy to answer any question at my very best.  

 

 

 

How to sell on eBay and make money

Name:  eBay

Website:  eBay.co.uk

Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100

 

There have already been tons of training and reviews posted on how to use eBay, and to whether eBay is a valid selling tool. With this article today I’d like to offer you tips on how to sell on eBay and make money. I mean real money!

 

Overview

We have talked about old ways to make money.  Selling is the oldest of all trading arts, and possibly the most straightforward – there is no messing around there with digitally based invisible things there, but a concrete stock of products which you aim to sell for a profit.

eBay does just that for you.  On eBay you sell and buy a variety of different products at auction.  Since it was founded in 1965, eBay has also introduced different buying options other than auction, hence increasing the chances for you to sell your product more quickly and for a higher profit.

 

How it works

Simply put, you create a log in account on eBay.  This account will allow you both to purchase and to sell.  You click on the ‘Sell’ tag up the top of the home page, go through the user friendly steps to list your product, click the button and your item is listed down, ready to buyers to put their bid on by the deadline by you selected – or to purchase there and then, if you again have chosen this option.

One of the good aspects of eBay is that it proposes to you so many different preferences of how you would like to advertise your stock, that it makes it extremely versatile and feasible for you to set up a successful selling business by simply listing your items consistently.

Naturally, in order to do so you must ensure to have a regular stock of items available to sell.  Which begs the following question.

 

What can you sell on eBay

Primarily on eBay you will want to sell new stock of products.  eBay is ideal as it enables you to sell items that you feel passionate about.  However, there are categories of products that sell particularly well on eBay.  Where Amazon excels and in a way over time has specialised on electronics, I would say eBay’s customer base goes well beyond that and uses this website for absolutely everything.  You can expect to find listed here from fashion items to home-ware, from furniture to even cars!!

I believe however, the strength of eBay remains in the possibility it offers to sell second hand items – which in a way is the ethos the company was originally founded on, along with the idea of creating an online auction market.  For this reason, eBay remains successful with sellers of collectables.  I particularly find it unbearable in prices and deals when it comes to antiques.

 

So how to sell on eBay for a profit

The secret is in where you get your stock from.  Buying from a retailer, albeit an online one, with the aim to make a profit, is never the ideal solution.

Let’s not forget that the strength of eBay is in selling items at a bargain.  Your buying price therefore must be competitive enough for you to promote your merchandise at an equally competitive price, but in such a way that you can still make a margin from the sale.

Ideally you should find a reliable wholesaler that offers you the most competitive rates on the range of items you want to sell.  Initially you may want to test the online market by trying selling different items.  Eventually you may want to specialise in a particular category of items, so that over time and with the build up of hopefully positive feedback, you can build a reputable image of reliable seller, which will attract more buyers.

Especially when it comes to collectables, however, many sellers on eBay find their stock at boot sales and local seasonal fairs, where with patience and a keen eye for a deal, you can find a bargain yourself.  At the end of the day, selling is all about that: you have to be a buyer yourself in first instance!

 

Who can succeed on eBay

Surely you’ve got to acknowledge that these days setting up a stall in your town market is not the only way of selling. Selling online has become much diffused, as it reaches a wider range of potential customers, and because it helps you sell more quickly.  So, who is eBay for?

eBay is most suitable for those of us that enjoy selling merchandise as opposed to virtual services.  It is suitable for those of us that also enjoy the thrill of the auction.  For this reason, you must be prepared, especially at first, to bear some losses as much as well as to see your earnings grow slowly.

!! Click here to start selling on eBay !!

I do believe you can make an actual living from selling on eBay, but like with all businesses, it will take you a little while to establish yourself as a reputable seller.  But, the beauty of eBay is that it does not have to be your sole full time business.  I have been using eBay whenever I find some item in the house that I no longer want to use and I do believe can find a buyer.  I also like antiques, and when I have the time to go to some local fairs, if I find an object that catches my attention and which I can get at a reasonable price, I will then chance my luck by listing it on eBay and see how profitable the online auction will turn for me.

And that is the beauty of eBay: the fact that is most suitable for everybody that has something to sell, whether you are student, unemployed, full time worker or retired.

 

Tools and training

Again, the key in learning how to list your items is to follow eBay selling page step by step, which you find when you click on the ‘Sell’ tab on the top left hand side.  There you are taken through the process of listing your items, with easy to understand options, from inserting pictures, to adding the description of your item, to pricing it and whether you only want to put it up to auction or whether you also want to add the ‘Buy It Now’ option, and of course how much the whole thing is going to cost you – more of what eBay charges you later on.

Most importantly, eBay also guide you wisely through the method of payments you can propose to your potential buyers and how you can post the items.

In other words, eBay ‘holds your hand’ safely.  It is up to you which direction you want to take.  And if at the beginning you may think that the whole process is far too long and not worth the effort, it is like with all things, the more items you list, the more conversant you become – till in the end you find the formula that best suits your selling modes, and the listing process becomes second nature!

 

The price

The price structure of eBay is again very easy, and particularly advantageous if you are only a newbie at this.  eBay will not charge you for the first 20 ads you place in a month.  After the first 20 ads, it will charge a small fee of 35p per listing.

eBay will then also charge 10% of the selling fee, with a maximum cap of no more than £250 per item sold.

Once you are aware of this, and you are also aware that if you opt for payment via PayPal, PayPal will charge you an additional minimum 2.9%, you will know what mark up to apply to your item when pricing it.  You want to ensure that your costs are fully covered, and that the buyers also pays for postage and delivery.

Finally, remember that eBay will charge you additionally if you opt to sell now the item at a fixed price with the ‘Buy Now’ option.  This is an option preferred by many, as it avoid the risk of the item remaining unsold or to be sold at a far too low price to cover all the costs.  In such cases, like with ‘real’ auction in auction houses, you can list your merchandise applying a reserve, which again will ensure if the bidding price is below the margin you want to apply, you do not have to honour the winning bid.

All the above pricing options, in other words, are to illustrate to you how flexible eBay makes it for sellers to go for the pricing and listing method that best and most conveniently suits their needs and wants.

 

The downsides of eBay

If I may start with the cons,I have to say that I struggle to find any.  I stirred right clear of eBay for a number of years, for fear to be conned myself.  There have been rumours – but sometimes more factual than tale-telling – about buyers paying for items which they never received.  And at the same time it was reported that sellers never got paid at times after an auction reached its deadline.

I believe those days are truly been and gone.  eBay has ironed out such problems by putting in place extra safety tools, such as advising sellers to choose the PayPal method of payment.  Yes, this may mean that you end up paying a fee to PayPal at the end of the month.  But, provided you take this extra cost into account when pricing your merchandise, this additional security is worth the additional fee.

Finally, there is the risk element of the auction, and the fact that your item may not find a purchaser.  Or that your purchaser may bid for far too low a price, which would make it unprofitable for you.  There are many items sold for pittance, admittedly.  It the item you have listed is an unwanted present, however small a figure the auction is won at will still make it a profit for you.  But if you have actually bought the item with a view to reselling it at auction, you want to ensure that you make a margin on it.

On the pro side, well where to start!  As mentioned, eBay makes it so easy for everyone to try and sell absolutely anything.  All it asks is that you have access to the internet and the necessary equipment to work online, it asks that you take a few pictures of your item, it asks for storage space if you decide to grow your selling business to such a level to require a regular stock, and it wants you to have an account (preferably PayPal) for you to receive payment.  The game is on!

 

In conclusion

eBay is equally ideal if you want to get rid of single items every so often, and for those of us that aim at a little higher in terms of profitable avenue.  If you approach eBay with a view to make a regular income out of it, especially at the beginning however, you need to be prepared to allow time for your business to steadily grow.  In this, eBay is none the different from any other online businesses: you can aim high, just with time.

Name:  eBay

Website:  eBay.co.uk

Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100

My verdict

It is my opinion that, with time, eBay will enable you to make a steady income from selling online at auction.  And you can do it all from the comfort of your home.  I recommend eBay, therefore as an extremely feasible way of making money working from home legally and stress free!!

If you are still not sure about the advantages to selling online through eBay and would like to find out more, or if you have already had a go with eBay, or indeed if you are one of eBay Power Sellers, and would like to share your experience with us, by all means leave a comment below!!

5 tips to make a success of working from home

Ok, admittedly working from home is not always plain sail.  In the course of last year I have on many occasions come across obstacles to working from home which have prevented me from being as productive as I would have liked.  This has led me to reflect on what are the best conditions and requirements to make a success of working from home and I would like to share them you.

 

The struggles of working from home

This last few months have seen a slow down in my posting activity on both this site and my other website Living With A Border Terrier.  The slow down was one of the many periods in the course of the last year, where I struggled to remain productive with my online business.  This last period, where I stalled for more or less a month, has given me the opportunity to work out what best practices I should apply to overcome obstacles in trying to make a success of working from home.
But what were the causes?

 

I learnt from my own mistakes

What caused my slow down was a combination of external circumstances which caused me to ‘freeze’ and to struggle with my daily functions, including following and contributing to my online business – some call this a form of depression.

This was not the first time, as in the course of the year just gone more concerns had pressed me relating primarily to poor health of my closest family members, like my mum and my husband.  Consuming worries to tear your hair out, right?

Yet I am full aware that so many of us have had to cope with similar worries, if not bigger issues.  The problem is: if every time that something bad or unexpected prevents me from working from home, I shall never be able to work, as things happen to all of us all the times!!!

The question is then: how to learn to cope and to manage the stress and the anxiety of unexpected events in your life, in such a way that they do hinder on your success when working from home?

 

Be in control

When working in my working place for my employer, the struggle is less noticeable.  You get out of the house, and your brain is naturally challenged and engaged by external elements – it could be colleagues telling what happened to them over the weekend, or in my line of work for my employer, it is customers asking for advice over financial or housing matters.

The main drawback I see in working on your own from home is isolation, as you expose yourself to over rampaging over personal matters, which could eventually take over your mental and physical capabilities to function on any of the most basic daily tasks.  It is down to you, however, to learn to manage your isolation.

In first instance, you want to use the time you spend on your own to concentrate actively on your work.  At the end of the day, if you were at work in a non-home based environment, you would not spend all of your time chatting about what you did at the weekend, but you would be required to concentrate on the task in hand to make your hours at work productive.

 

Be quiet, I’m working

And how about if you have the kids playing in the same room where you are trying to work?  Or if ‘hubbie’ has just come back from work and wants to pour out with you all his frustration of the traffic he got caught during his commuting?

The most likely option – and the most advisable – is that you would still have a full time or part time main job, especially at the beginning of your home endeavours.  This is recommended particularly as any new business will not secure immediate earnings, and you don’t want to risk reducing you and your family to leave out of nothing whilst there are still bills to pay.

However, this means that you will work additional hours at home to the ones already worked at your main job.  That is me all over, by the way!!!

So, how to ensure that, when at home after a long day at work, you still remain productive in an effective way without letting your home life take over the few hours of the day you have left to dedicate to the job you are trying to set up so passionately?

 

5 tips to make a success of working from home

I have come up with 5 tips to make a success of working from home.  Follow my tips and you will see the difference between life being in control of your success and you becoming master of your work-from-home life!

 

#1.  Create your own working space

Whether it’s the comfort of your sofa or bedroom, ensure that at least when you work, if not the whole time, you have a space of your own for you to work undisturbed.

You may be a champion of multi-tasking.  Nevertheless without a dedicated corner for you to keep your notes and your equipment, you will not be able to run your home business successfully.

Naturally, you will need to ensure you have storage space if the business you intend to run involves keeping stock of goods.  If you are working freelance as a tutor, you may need a small study space to teach your pupils, for instance.

If, like me, you run an online business, all you need is really not much in terms of space: just about a notebook to jot down a few ideas, and room for a laptop.  And that will be all!

 

#2.  No interruptions, it’s your time

Naturally if you are working whilst the household is asleep, or whilst the kids are at school and your partner is at work, you will have the privilege of being able to work uninterrupted.

If however you have no option but to work whilst the rest of the family are also indoors, set a specific time where you kindly ask that for no reason whatsoever (over than life and death!) you are to be disturbed.  You may want to arrange for babysitting by your partner if the kids are too small.  Likewise you may want to ensure that the set time is not too long, in order not to make your ‘absence’ too onerous on the rest of the family.  Nevertheless ensure that however long or short, that time span is respected.

At the end of the day, you are using that time to work and make a living, which ultimately will benefit yourself and, indirectly, your family members too.

 

#3.  Self discipline and commitment

It may sound regimental, when in fact it is not as bad as it sounds.

At the end of the day, you are trying to establish your business, your livelihood.  This may be your sole source of income or an added earning opportunity.  Either way, you want to establish your home run business as you want to make a success of it.

Your home run business will require total commitment.  I for one should know better, having given away easily to ‘alternative commitments’ which at times have taken priority over my work unjustifiedly.  And this has happened primarily when things have got tougher.

As mentioned above, sometimes you need to be tougher with the ‘alternative commitments’.  There have been two occasions this year, for instance, where my mum has come to stay with us for a few weeks. Well, those weeks  barely managed to switch on my laptop, let alone working on my websites.  I am not trying to justify myself of my absence from the online scene.  This is no justification, as ultimately my business is the one that suffered from me not working on it.

What I should have done is ensuring that at certain times of the day and of the week, guests and family alike understood I was not available.  Or I should have altered my working times to try and fit in everybody else’s requirements.

Not an easy task, I’ll admit that.  But especially when your business is fully establish, you will find that you no longer need to work as long as initially, as the business will generate passive income once your brand is fully established on the market.  This in turn will grant you more free time and more flexibility.

 

The most famous shed in the world: Roald Dahl's!!
The most famous shed in the world: Roald Dahl’s!!

#4.  Ensure your family supports you

None of the above can be achieved without the support of your family of course.

Ahead of embarking in a home based business, you may want to speak to your family and share with them your vision.  Yes, admittedly initially your project may be welcomed with a pinch of skeptisism.  But  you need to explain why you want to do what you are embarking in.  You need to put across to them that ultimately you would like to try out whether you could be successful as your own boss.

I’m sure all your family wants is for you to be happy.  You will need to help them understand what your motivations are going to be, which will make you happy, such as the fact that you will have more flexibility of working hours, so that you can also meet more easily the demands of the household.  The ultimate goal could possibly even be for you to make a wealth out of it, which in turn would benefit the whole family.

 

#5.  Don’t overdo it

It’s easy when working from home, to let the business take over your entire life.

Yes, there may be days when you are going to work 20 hours out of the 24.  This may happen particularly if you are trying to seal a deal, or if you have to meet a specific deadline.

However, this should not be the rule!!

Especially if, like me, you like to work early in the morning before everybody else is awake, or in the evening, you must not allow yourself to also work for the rest of of the day.  This is most important especially if you are also working for an employer full or part time.

Likewise, you may set up some days of the week when you work flat out, but other days in the week which you will dedicate to a trip out with the family or to practice a hobby or to watch soaps for the whole dat (that will be me, cuddled with my dog under a big duvet!!)  – anything other than work.

Sometimes overdosing it is as damaging to your business as doing too little.

 

In conclusion

I hope you will find the above tips useful.  Naturally they are not fully exhaustive, but they want to be be general self-help ideas to aid in making your life easier whilst working at home.

If you have more ideas to propose, by all means leave your comment below.  Likewise, if you believe the above is not going to work, do share your concerns with me, so we can start a healthy discussion.

Whatever your approach, it must be one that you are going to be comfortable with.

I won’t pretend home based business is easy matter.  But the rewards are worth the long hours, the commitment and the determination!

 

So, what keeps you self-disciplined?
So, what keeps you self-disciplined?

 

 

Is Amazon Associates program worth it?

 Name:       Amazon

Website:   affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk (or adding the extension of your country Amazon website, i.e. affiliate-program.amazon.com, affiliate-program.amazon.de etc)

Price:        FREE

Owner:  Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com which was the first enterprise from which other countries websites took off

Rank:       90 out of 100

 

INTRODUCTION


I have for many years been regular customer of Amazon.co.uk as I have always found it extremely competitive in prices and quality since my son was younger and Father Christmas had to treat him to his first electronic games, to the present days when I use the site for my regular food supplies, toys and accessories for my border terrier Indy.

When I then decided to start my online business in an effort to find ways to earn extra income from home, I realised that Amazon was offering an affiliate program (or associate program, as Amazon likes to call it), which everyone with a selling platform could access.  

I expect it made sense. Amazon could give back a little bit of what I have been giving Amazon in the last few years. And it was no harm joining, as the scheme is free of charge.  But what gave me confidence is pursuing this avenue was the realisation that to this day Amazon is possibly the most successful e-commerce worldwide, with a reputable brand that keeps attractings customers regularly in the same way as it still attracts me.

But, how to make money with amazon associate program?amazon-earnings

 

WHAT IS AMAZON ASSOCIATES


Making money with amazon associate program is pretty straightforward.  Amazon Associates works on the affiliate business model, where you promote products or services and you end up earning commissions every time that a sale is generated directly as a result of your promotion.  In other words, based on the old commerce principle of selling and buying, you are the middle man (or woman indeed), you are the ‘shopkeeper’ that agrees to sell a specific brand in your shop.

The difference is that the buyer of the product or services will not have their prices inflated by your commissions.  In the case of Amazon, for instance, whether you order an item using my website Living With A Border Terrier (which I actively use to promote Amazon products specifically catered for dogs) or directly from the Amazon website, you are not going to be charged any different.  However, Amazon will reduce their profit by offering me a small commission for promoting their merchandise.

 

WHO IS AMAZON ASSOCIATES PROGRAM FOR


Naturally, in order to promote Amazon you need to have an online platform, or website so to speak.  Many have specific selling website, or create A-Stores which are designed to sell Amazom items.  Your website however does not have to be created purposely and solely as a selling exercise.  You can have a blog, such as my Living With A Border Terrier one, and promote Amazon items at the same time, which will of course be relevant to the subject tackled in my blog – in my case, dogs and more specifically, any items sold by Amazon that are related to the breed of border terrier.

BEWARE!!  Social media platforms are good advertisers of products and services, and you could be tempted to copy an Amazon Associates link directly on them in the hope to find the exposure that will grant you a few orders.  Most social media however do not approve of ‘naked links’, and will close your account or penalise you, unless you promote your Amazon item as part of your website page or post. 

 

HOW DOES IT WORK


Once you have your own website and you have set up your first few pages promoting your niche (or interest, or passion), you can apply to one of the Amazon associate programs available.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Let me first of all clarify on this point.  Amazon was originally founded by Jeff Bezos as Amazon.com, based in the States.  As Amazon became more and more successful, other ‘branches’ were created locally to other countries.  The principle behind this strategy was to be able to retain competitive prices by allowing local suppliers to sell own products to the local consumer through Amazon marketplace, hence saving on delivery and on virtually inexistent export costs.

Amazon currently trades in most European countries, as well as in India, Japan, China, Brazil and Canada.  It is also about to lauch their website in Australia.  For each of these countries, Amazon has a separate website with the country extension, i.e. Amazon.it for Italy. Amazon.ca for Canada, Amazon.de for Germany, and so on.  Each website, and each country, will have their own associate program.  When you apply to join an Amazon affiliate program, initially you may want to join the program of your own country, but this does not preclude you from joining the programs of other countries too.  Remember, your website will be visible worldwide, and no matter where you live, you are bound to come across viewers from other countries who will be interested in purchasing through your website, if you promote the product providing your own personalised and trustworthy review and if you capture your audience at their point of buying.

Once you have applied to one of the Amazon affiliate programs, Amazon will review your website to ensure it is a feasible advertising platform for their products, and they will approve your application.  From this moment, whenever you access your associate account, you will be able to copy and paste links of Amazon product directly on your website.  The link will have an ID code that is unique to you, and which enable Amazon to trace back to your website whenever a buyer purchases a product clicking on the Amazon link from your website.

And the game is on!!

 

WHAT AMAZON HAS TO OFFER 


Like most affiliate programs, Amazon is second to none of supporting you in your ‘job’ of advertising their products with tools.  On your affiliate program you will find links to any individual product sold on Amazon website.  Hence you are not restricted in promoting specific categories over others.

Not only that.  Amazon has banners and widgets that you can add anywhere on your website.  It also has an extensive training program where you are guided hand in hand through the process of building your own A-store, or in personalise any of the promoting tools offered to you, to cater and meet the needs of the niche that your website is centred on.

Personally, being a novice at all of this, I found most useful the user-friendly approach of any of their technical aspects.  I also have to mention that, especially at the beginning, I contacted their customer services by email, and got a detailed and easy to understand response within a few hours.  That, to me, is a selling point in an affiliate program, which makes it worth applying for.

 

THE PRICE


Joining any of the Amazon Associates programs will cost you nothing – yes, Amazon Associate programs are FREE OF CHARGE!!!  

The only restriction to this perk is that, if you do not make a sale within 180 days, your account is closed.  But this does not preclude you being able to apply again, using the same website or any new ones.

PROS AND CONS


Millions of items are dispatched from Amazon warehouses every day
Millions of items are dispatched from Amazon warehouses every day

On the positive side, although Amazon imposes a time limit of 180 days within which to make a sale, it is almost guaranteed that you will make a sale – and no matter how big or small the sale is, this will stop the countdown to account closing time.  And the guarantee comes from the excellent reputation Amazon holds for many decades now, and worldwide.

As a lazy shopper myself, but as an Amazon shopaholic, I can guarantee that slashed down prices like Amazon offers, no other online retailer does.  And the benefit of having your shopping delivered to your front door in addition, is another factor that contribute to Amazon having one of the biggest customer base worldwide.

It is Amazon reputation, combined with smashing and unique reviews on your website, that will guarantee you multiple sales within the 3 month time limit, to enable Amazon to keep your account open.

Not only that, but the viewer clicking on your unique Amazon link on your website will guarantee you a commission even if they end up purchasing any other product on Amazon website than the one you recommended – so long as the sale is completed within 24 hours from accessing the Amazon website through your link.  And this gives your possibility of a sale additional flexibility and better chances.

The negative of Amazon associate program is that the commission rate is not one of the highest.  Where other affiliate programs offer in the region of 15-20%, with some stretching to a generous 25% (such as Wealthy Affiliate), Amazon varies between a ridiculous 1% on home entertainment to 3% for most other products including home and improvement, to finally reaching a meager 10% for jewellery.

With Amazon, it is just the case of quantity of sales over quality, if you want to convert your advertising efforts into potential real earner.

 

MY FINAL VERDICT


In spite of the low commission rate, and in spite of the time limit of 3 months to make a sale in order not to have your account shut down, I do believe Amazon Associate programs are worth the effort.  And that, again, is in virtue of the fact that thanks to Amazon established and reputable position as one of the best online retailers worldwide, you will make successful sales.

Now, because of the positive experience I have as an Amazon associate on my other website Living With A Border Terrier, I feel confident in recommending this program whether you are a novice to affiliate marketing or whether you are affirmed blogger of your niche.  So, what are you waiting for?  Sign up with Amazon Associates and start making money!!!

 

Name:       Amazon

Website:   affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk (or adding the extension of your country Amazon website, i.e. affiliate-program.amazon.com, affiliate-program.amazon.de etc)

Price:        FREE

Rank:       90 out of 100

 


Do share with me your experience with Amazon, or any suggestion to become a better and more successful affiliate.  Leave your comment below.  And thanks for reading!!!

 

 

 

Earn with Wealthy Affiliate

Name:       Wealthy Affiliate

Website:   www.WealthyAffiliate.com

Price:        Starter Membership FREE, Premium Membership $49/month or $359/year

Owners:  Kyle & Carson

Rank:       98 out of 100

 


INTRODUCTION

I came across Wealthy Affiliate in March this year, after I had been searching for real ways to make money online from home.  I knew there were opportunities out there, but I didn’t know where to start from.  I had tried building my own website for free some 4 years ago, but that led to nothing concrete at all.  I had also come across a couple of scams, which luckily I came out unscathed from them.

Then, there it was, one of the many reviews on Wealthy Affiliate available on the web.  And I tried, and tried, and tried again, for days, to find one that would scream to the world that Wealthy Affiliate was a big scam.  And the more I looked for negative reviews of Wealthy Affiliate, the more good comments I kept finding.

Was this ever possible? Was it too good to be true? Well, to be honest, they said it was free of charge to join, so I had nothing to loose. And I clicked on this banner:

 


WHAT IS WEALTHY AFFILIATE

Wealthy Affiliate is a community platform founded by Canadian co-owners Kyle and Carson back in 2005 – two young chaps who met at college whilst studying Computer Science, and started their partnership into realising their dream from nothing.  This online platform has a wealth of knowledge through online lessons, tutorial regularly published by members and the 24/7 support available by the great Wealthy Affiliate virtual community, which, believe you me, is second to none.

So, really, whether you have had previous experience of monetising from the internet in the past, or like me when I joined, if you have no clue where to even start from, this is the right place to be.  Giving it a chance costs you nothing. And I mean NOTHING!!!

 


HOW DOES WEALTHY AFFILIATE WORK

The secret is in the name.  Wealthy Affiliate will teach you to create your own website and to promote issues, ideas, products, and all that you are passionate about, whilst monetising from it.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate FOR FREE, you are welcome with personal messages from Kyle and Carson, as well as from a myriad of other members of the community, who all invite you to find your feet by taking a tour of the website.  By signing up, you will create your My Wealthy Affiliate account.

From there, you are invited to start the Online Entrepreneur Certificate course, which consists of 5 Levels of 10 lessons each,  This will be your golden opportunity to learn all about:

  • how to create your website on a niche that you are really passionate about
  • how to market your products or blog
  • how to monetise from it by promoting it and by attracting traffic to it.

The secret is in following the lessons carefully.  Kyle will hold your hand through finding the niche, or subject, that you want to share your knowledge with others about, and in turning it into content writing for your website.

You will be taught how to spread your voice about a specific product, or about a specific subject, to the Whole Wide World of the internet, and to get an income from it by becoming an affiliate marketer.Affiliate Marketing

Wealthy Affiliate is not at all about earning quick and easy money.  Have you ever been employed in any other capacity where you have seen money grow in your pocket overnight?  Wealthy Affiliate, and online affiliate marketing, are not in the least different.

It will take commitment and hard work of a few months before you start seeing your first income through promoting services and products, for which you in turn receive commissions.  But trust me, the sense of achievement as you realise that the fruit of your hard work is finally bringing in some cash which you then see grow to substantial figures as time progresses, and that is actually tickling viewers’ interest, is second to none!!!

 


WHO IS WEALTHY AFFILIATE FOR

So, who is Wealthy Affiliate best suited for? Well, absolutely ANYONE that is interested in working from home, part-time or full-time, and wants to have a go at making an earning through online business.

Whether you have already had experience of online marketing, whether you already are an affirmed internet entrepreneur wanting to expand your knowledge, or whether you have absolutely no clue of internet business and how to make a living out of the internet, Wealthy Affiliate is the place to be.

Wealthy Affiliate caters for all levels of expertise, as through lessons and  the invaluable support of the Wealthy Affiliate community, you are in control of how fast you want to progress in your learning curve or in the development of your website and of your business.

You could be a degree holder, or you may never have been gifted with academic skills as you are more of a ‘hands on’ practical person, Wealthy Affiliate suits all walks of life, and is easily accessible anywhere and everywhere you have access to an internet connection, whether you are comfortably sitting on your sofa typing away on your laptop or an ‘on the go’ person who primarily uses mobile devices such as your phone or tablet.

 


WHAT WEALTHY AFFILIATE HAS TO OFFER – TRAINING AND TOOLS

If you google for reviews on Wealthy Affiliate, you may find the word ‘university’ associated to this platform not for nothing.  Wealthy Affiliate has a wealth – pardon the pun – of training, which is second to none.

Training is organised through an Online Entrepreneur Certificate course, whose first 10 lessons are readily available to absolutely everyone for FREE.  But this is not the end of it.

More training is offered through:

  • weekly training classes
  • question and answer live chats and interactive discussions
  • organised online classrooms
  • tutorials regularly posted by Wealthy Affiliate members

Don’t let the use of words such as classes and training and courses put you off.  You will not be required to sit exams or tests.  You will however be required to complete tasks, which will be solely aimed to you working on your website.  The ‘proof of the pudding’ will be in whether you are attracting enough visitors to your website – and if you are not, you are not going to fail anything, other than maybe ask for more advice on how to make your website more appealing.

In addition, Wealthy Affiliate offers free of charge access to SiteRubix.com hosting domain platform to all members, where as a Starter member you can build up to 2 WordPress websites.

As a Premium member, you can have up to 25 free of charge websites on SiteRubix.com, and you can equally build up to another 25 websites using your own domain for a small yearly fee directly to WordPress.

Mind spinning, isn’t it?!  But if all the above was not enough, Wealthy Affiliate offers:

  • keyword competition search tool
  • Rapid Writer feature
  • access to over 2,400 different website templates
  • 24/7 technical support

In other words, once you are a member of Wealthy Affiliate, you really do not need to go anywhere else to build your own online business, as Wealthy offers you all the tools and services that you need to make your venture a success.

 


THE WEALTHY AFFILIATE COMMUNITY

Let me spend a few words on the Wealthy Affiliate community.  This is another feature of Wealthy Affiliate which I found second to none – truly one in a million!!

The lessons are great within Wealthy Affiliate.  Likewise all the tools and services closely guide you to building your online business.  But at times you can still get stuck and need the help of somebody who has been there at the starting point like you now.

That’s where the Wealthy Affiliate community steps in.  With over 800,000 members, advice through online discussions, question and answer feature, live chat, are all readily available to you 24/7.WA community

You can contribute to the Wealthy Affiliate community by posting regular blogs yourself, where you can outline your experience, where you went wrong and how you solve your problem. Or you can use the same tool to put a question to the community.  You can also approach community members by private messaging them.

And finally you can take advantage of the support of the Wealthy Affiliate community by reading tutorial that members post regularly, which are often of extreme value as they guide you through technical processes step by step.

But the cherry on top of the cake is that Kyle and Carson, yes the CEOs, are contactable within the community.  And like all other members, they will promptly respond to any however trivial comment or query you put to them.  Well, to me, getting 1-to-1 direct access to their expertise in itself is priceless!

 


THE PRICE

And that brings me nicely to the subject of costs.

Wealthy Affiliate offers 2 types of memberships.  With the Starter pack you join Wealthy Affiliate free of charge – yes, I mean it, FREE OF CHARGE!! And with the free Starter membership not only you gain access to a total of 10 lessons through the Online Entrepreneur Certificate course, but you are walked step by step through the creation of your own website and your own brand, you are taught how to market and promote your niche and to monetise from your website, you are introduced to the community and to their support, you have access to the free of charge domain host SiteRubix.com where you can build up to 2 websites, again all for free, and where you get technical support 24/7, you get to use the keyword search tool for free, and so much more – well, you name it.

But Wealthy Affiliate has more to offer with the Premium membership.  At $49 per month, or $359 per year, this type of membership offers you full access to the Online Entrepreneur Certification and to the Affiliate Bootcamp training, which includes 7 levels of 10 lessons each.  This is the real gem of this platform, where you learn all about affiliate marketing and how to earn money from your online business.  Being a Premium member also secures you unlimited use of the keyword search tool, unlimited 1-to-1 coaching, up to 50 websites, and much more.  In other words, the one-off monthly or yearly fee avoids you all the extra expenses of maintaining your website, extra fees for accessing tutorials and for joining other keyword search platforms.  The Premium membership is what you need if you really want to push your business forward, and believe you me, for the $49 a month you get a real wealth of opportunities!!


PROS AND CONS

At the risk of sounding biased, I truly believe this is the best teaching platform to set up your online business.  I feel I can safely make such declaration, as I have been there before and I know that what Wealthy Affiliate gives you, whether Starter or Premium member, you do not get anywhere else.

Yes, I have tried other free of charge options – all you are given access to is basic templates of website, and nothing else.  It is left to you the job of populating and marketing your website.  And if, like me at first, you have no idea how to do either, well you are then stuffed.

Not only that, but no other platform gives you access to the invaluable support by its community as Wealthy Affiliate does.  Or if they do, it is certainly not for a mere $49 a month, but for a much higher fee.

If there is a con to being a member of Wealthy Affiliate is that sometimes you get too much.  Every day you will receive emails to prompt you of new blogs posted on the platform by other members.  You will otherwise be alerted to new training just been launched.  The amount of information that is offered to you can become overwhelming, especially if you are a newbie.

You will then need to become selective, and sieve through the information made available to you, so that you expand your knowledge progressively rather than trying to take too many details in all at once.  That would not work.

 


MY FINAL VERDICT

To summarise, I do believe Wealthy Affiliate is a winning combination for both ignoramus like me or professional entrepreneurs to set up a solid and successful online business whilst working from home.  Wealthy Affiliate is 100% legit and offers you ‘what it says on the tin’.

And I do believe in the teaching powers of Wealthy Affiliate so much, that I am prepared to offer you a BONUS if you join today.

 

!!! Join Wealthy Affiliate today and receive 61% discount if you become Premium member within 7 days!!!

 

All you are left to do is join Wealthy Affiliate and give it a go.  Let me know what you think of the experience and whether you are prepared to take that leap of faith by upgrading your membership to Premium at a discounted rate of $19 for the first month.  If it sounds too good to be true, well it is all for real!!!

 


Name:       Wealthy Affiliate

Website:   www.WealthyAffiliate.com

Price:        Starter Membership FREE, Premium Membership $49/month or $359/year

Owners:  Kyle & Carson

Rank:       98 out of 100

 


As I am a Wealthy Affiliate member and affiliate, you may be thinking that it is in my interest to promote this scheme and my review may be bias.  It is not, as my mere interest is purely to share with you the community where I have finally landed after rummaging aimlessly from experiment to experiment to no avail.  But if you still think that my review is intentionally bias, let me leave you with some recent testimonials directly from the Wealthy Affiliate platform: click here to access them.  I hope you enjoy the reading, and by all means leave your comment below to let us know what you think about Wealthy Affiliate, if you have concerns or if you have similar positive (or not) experiences.