The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

HOT TOPIC Great bootstrapping thread - how to create money.

Accelerate wealth. Build a business that pays freedom. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs and register for the Fastlane Entrepreneur forum. Remove ads? Join the INSIDERS.

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
32,144
121,760
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Folks, there is a really great bootstrapping thread going on over at the Lambo forum.

I guess the story is this: A lambo guy has been helping a friend get over a job loss (or something) and started running a "pawn shop" type operation just by trolling Craigslist.

The short of it, buy stuff from distressed sellers and resell for quick 20 percent, 50 percent, 100 percent profit. I think the guy said he was able to to $17K/mo. Of course, you need some working capital to buy.

Here is the link.
Board Message
(YOU NEED TO LOGIN TO VIEW)



I’ve got nothing to gain here, there is so much opportunity out there to do this type of stuff in a variety of geographic and demographic. You can do it with $500 or $500,000.

So don’t worry about crossing swords.

A few of the questions:

Q: In your post you indicated that you wrote $500 on each day of the calendar...was that the profit goal for each day?
A: The goal was to essentially buy product that would yield $500 in profit each day, not necessarily buy a certain value amount. For example, you could buy 5 iPad for $100 profit a piece or buy one jet ski that had $500 profit in it. Not so much about volume of transaction, about margin.

Q: you also said that each day you bankrolled him $5000...was his goal to buy $5000 worth of "product" every day? or simply the cash made available to him?
A: No. Not necessarily, but sometimes on big ticket items he needed $5K to jump start the day or a transaction. Only rarely did we consume all $5K, I think maybe once or twice to buy a car.

Q: what was the daily purchasing goal?
A: None.

Q: what was spent gross earning the $17k?
A: $42,000 was the total spend

Q: Is the bread and butter in smaller things like cell phones and computers?
or larger things like used cars?
A: Bread and butter are the following, with stars on the heavy volume items

--$5000 and under passenger cars
--Motorcycles of every price
--Recreation vehicles (Jet skiis, boats, RVs, travel trailers)
--Bicycles of every type, especially high-end offroad and onroad cycles
--Oakley and other brand high-end sunglasses
--Women's purses (ultra-highend only)
--Time Shares, low-end only
--Land (acreage only, no houses)
--Rims and Tires
--Laptops (current models only)
--iPhones, iPads, and all other Apple branded products
--Flat televisions
--Guns
--Safes
--Broken Gold
--Consoles (Xbox, Playstations, etc) and video games
--High-end furniture in excellent condition
--Trailer, car haulers

Q: What kind of mark up are you shooting to attain? 25%? 50%? 100%+?
A:Not necessarily a percentage, just as much as possible. I used this as a guide: $100 or less: double the money. $500 or more, 50% on a 7-day turn rate.

Q: Same city CL relist or nearby city?
A: Same city, unless it was an eBay sale or unless it was much more appropriate out of town (buy a snow blower in Houston, sell it in Minneapolis for example)

Q: Wait a period of time before relisting?
A: Immediately relist it.

Q: What are the best most readily available and easy to sell items?
A: Apple Products, cheap cars and motorcycles

Q: DO you ever get stuck with merchandise that you cant move?
A: Haven’t yet. Sure I will

Q:How can you decide what to pay for items?
A: This is the tough part. Use your mojo, or if you don’t have any mojo then use eBay, it’ generally a good starting point. Don’t buy anything you don’t know what to pay for.

Are you looking to pay half of the going retail or some fixed number?
A: You have to find the right mix for your area. Don’t spend a ton of time trying to figure it out. Just go buy a bunch of stuff and try it out. If you are uncomfortable with that, stick to Apple products only - as they are extremely easy to sell and even easier easy to buy.

Q: Do you test purchases on the premises?
A: Yes

Q:All offers are face to face?
A: This is sort of the magic beans. You don’t want to waste your time running all around town, but at the same time you need to set the expectations for the seller. I don’t have the answer for this, but I will tell you that when I offer $500 for an item worth $1000 over the phone, I almost always get the item for $300 when I show up with cash. Make sense?

Q: $5k total for a month or daily?
A: Again, it’s a function of cash. The more you have, the more you can buy.

Q: Do you lowball people?
A: That's the whole point. 85% of the people will hang up on you. 15% will sell you something. You do the math. If you don't like rejection you'll fail, because it's 85% "go screw yourself" responses.
 

garyfritz

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Jul 16, 2011
680
761
318
Colorado
Love it! I'm sending the links to my 16-yr-old. He loves Craigslist and pawn shops. He's bought & sold a few things on CL before but he never had the ambition to get serious about it. Maybe I can get him to think about something besides video games. :D
 

Komelika

New Contributor
Sep 25, 2011
38
3
9
Albuquerque, NM
Cool Idea! I might try this just to pass the time. One thing though. Carefull with cars and motorcycles. Your state likely has a limit to the number you can legally sell assuming that you register them under your name. It isn't legal but many people who "flip" cars try to get the seller to leave the date blank when he signs the title so the title can be floated to the next buyer in order to avoid a) the expense of titling and registering and b) the limit to the number of cars you can sell in a 12 month rolling period. NM says you can't sell more than 3 cars per 12 month rolling period, but you sell three under yours, another 3 under your spouse's name, and so on and so forth as long as you have people willing to register the vehicle for you.
 

darkjediii

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 8, 2010
168
45
38
Washington, DC area
been doing this with bikes, but more of a hobby so I can ride em then sell. Just picked up a Ducati 848 for a steal not too long ago.. I think it's time to sell :)
 

Brootal

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 30, 2009
211
44
33
Virginia
Speed +++ for this one.

Funny how there are a million threads asking "how do I get started" and then when MJ posts a surefire way to do so with little money, the thread gets 4 posts.
 

gabrielpark

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 21, 2011
47
6
13
Reisterstown, MD
Craigslist is not the only venue where this would work and you should definitely build a contact list using craigslist. There are also software and services that allow for mass cross posting on multiple craigslist sites.

My ex- used to do something similar on ebay with babies clothes and kids clothes. She had a really good handle of what items were selling for on ebay and which particular members would pay a premium for specific things. She would go drive to one Goodwill after another another, all across the state, buying up kids clothing. Then she would clean them (often removing "impossible to remove" stains) or repair them and resell them, inviting specific members to her auctions. She made hundreds of dollars in profit every week, sometimes over $1000 profit, but she worked insane hours because she felt like she had to answer ebay messages constantly or she would lose the sales. She burnt out after about 6 months. If I knew then what I know now she could still be in business, all she needed was a mailing list built from ebay correspondence, and a facebook page.
 

theBiz

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 9, 2009
1,162
557
178
NY
i have been saying this for so long..... its stressful and takes alot of driving around but you can make real money doing this.

I generally drive hours away to get things at a real low value.


Buy a car that selling for 5k in your area go get it for $2800 somewhere and sell it for $4,200.

As long as you market it correctly, make it look like new whatever that takes, big pictures etc it sells.

The more you spend the harder it is to move but more money you make.

In this economy people are still buying used cars lets say for under 10k and after 10k its harder to get people to come up with the cash.


Buy and sell cars and truck under $8,000 think b2b trucks for businesses and such it really just takes research, phone calls, and real work (driving around, inspecting, negotiating, but its tough to make this type of money in this economy.

I personally have built a portfoilio of things ive bought and sold and people were so impressed they wanted to invest with me but i did not need the money so i declined. Maybe buying and selling planes or big ticket items is where the money is im too scared to try it though.





try to get the seller to leave the date blank when he signs the title so the title can be floated to the next buyer in order to avoid a) the expense of titling and registering and b) the limit to the number of cars you can sell in a 12 month rolling period. NM says you can't sell more than 3 cars per 12 month rolling period, but you sell three under yours, another 3 under your spouse's name, and so on and so forth as long as you have people willing to register the vehicle for you.

Plus actually moving the vehicle without registering it in your own name is a problem, and that means there is no insurance so if it gets stolen or wrecked in the middle of your sale your out.

this is the only problem with this business, but if it was easy... you know the rest.
 

Rawr

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 12, 2007
1,821
1,724
454
south florida
bump..

there are deals everywhere, just do your homework.

Guy selling Mazda 6 for 6.7k

after ONE email he told me his bottom price is 5.5k = $1200 difference in ONE email.

When in person I bet you could get it for 5k.

looking at CL cars range right around 6k average. $1000 right there.
 

LightHouse

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2007
4,162
6,381
1,516
Northern VA
Great thread, I am going to send this to a friend of mine, albeit a condensed version. This kind of grind could help anyone out. I know he does it with bikes already because hes been riding his whole life and knows the market well. But i think he could break out into other things and make some more cash, especially with a 1year old, he could use it.
 

TK1

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 31, 2011
626
723
315
Additional info: I registred at the lambo forum to check out the whole thread, you should sign-up and read it there, there are some golden nuggets more to learn inside, for example the "*" marked hot items and advices like "It's not about the product, it's about the seller". Plus the thread starter mentions keywords to look for that help you find something about a seller like 'need to sell asap bc i need money for my rent" etc.

Really good thread!
 

wiredniko

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Dec 31, 2011
21
8
8
41
Only problem with this is:

1. Impossible to scale
2. Impossible to automate
3. You can never sell it as a business

Is $17,000/mo good money? Hellz yeah. But you got to think bigger than that.

...and yes #1 is debatable.
 

bernieshawn

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 14, 2011
311
122
59
33
Only problem with this is:

1. Impossible to scale
2. Impossible to automate
3. You can never sell it as a business

Is $17,000/mo good money? Hellz yeah. But you got to think bigger than that.

...and yes #1 is debatable.

That's not the point - I'm sure MJ meant this as a way to create money for better ventures.
 

DeletedUser394

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 24, 2008
0
450
0
Everyone has to start somewhere. It's really as simple as that.

I'm not thinking about scale, or magnitude, or CENTS, or any of that other stuff.

I need the money, and I need the skills. So what am I doing? I'm finding ways that I can build capital, and learn business skills at the same time and doing something of this nature works for a lot of people.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Reno

New Contributor
Nov 21, 2011
69
2
13
Seattle, WA
I like it and need something like this right now to make ends meet while I work on getting my business fastlane. Only issue is I probably will not be able to do autos or motorcycles as I am in WA State right now and you have to pay a use tax on vehicles when registering them.
 

TK1

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 31, 2011
626
723
315
Only problem with this is:

1. Impossible to scale
2. Impossible to automate
3. You can never sell it as a business

Is $17,000/mo good money? Hellz yeah. But you got to think bigger than that.

...and yes #1 is debatable.

Sorry mate, but all those are wrong.

Not attacking you, but:

#1 Scaleable = You start with stuff for a few bucks, learn skills and build up capital. With more capital = you start selling premium priced products and look for deals like cars, bikes and anything that costs a few thousand. And what comes after that? Real estate for example.

#2 Automate = When you can hire people, you can automate. Sure, you can't automate like an affiliate business, but it's possible. If you get the knowledge by the time, you can teach other people, too.

#3 Sell it as a business = If you have customers and do a great job of customer service you can build a brand, a complete own business / ecommerce site etc. out of it. Add some employees from #2 to the equation and cut yourself out by the time and you have nothing more, nothing less than any other business that sells computers, socks, real estate etc. (what your specified brand stands for).

My point is the most important thing is the learning in the process. And when you sell and learn making deals you develop one of the most important business skills.

For the other 3 things you've listed: When you can sell and you care about customers you made it half way, because customer service will always be a USP.

Again, not trying to attack you, but just adding my .02 for all people trying that out. The most important thing is to get STARTED, learn SELLING and KEEP LEARNING (and learn how to make customers happy).

TK
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
32,144
121,760
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Is $17,000/mo good money? Hellz yeah. But you got to think bigger than that.

The problem is this is "event driven" thinking and it is why they never succeed, let alone earn $17k/mo.

They want to jump IMMEDIATELY to $170,000/mo but won't learn the steps, or the process to earn $17,000/mo.

Who would I bet my $$ on to earn 100K+/mo?

1) The guy going for it immediately.
or
2) The guy that already knows how, and is, making $10K/mo.

My money is on #2 because he shows the ability to engage in a step-by-step process. Guy #1 is probably more event driven and will give up because his eye is on the mountain top, and not at the rock right in front of him.
 

InMotion

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 18, 2011
858
565
217
Who’s going to reach the peak first? Is it the person who stands at the base, looks at the peak, and thinks all day long how this is going to be possible and how they are going to get there; or... is it the person who says look there’s the base, we got what we need, lets get started?



Success… What it Really Looks Like…
 

jtmoniii

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 23, 2011
70
21
36
40
Chattanooga, TN
Just wanted to say thanks for the car idea. I've been flipping cars for about 2 years and haven't made any real money - BUT I haven't had ANY maintenance expenses in 2 years and have made money in the process without carrying a car note!
 

JonZoolander

New Contributor
Dec 15, 2011
11
5
43
This thread is awesome.

I stumbled upon this thread while looking for ideas just like this. I am currently working on a couple fastlane projects but I keep running into funding issues. Money that I'm getting from the JOB, so I get really paranoid and afraid to take risks because if I lose, it takes me a while to build up the capital to try again. I decided that if I had a bankroll and an actual marketing budget, things would go so much faster!


With these methods I can start my bankroll and get my budget. So much thanks to those who have posted.
 

futhey

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 18, 2012
60
7
12
Nothing I really committed to before but I've been taking advantage of craigslist/local - ebay/national arbitrage for years now to make some money on the side, although not with cars or bikes or any big ticket items. It definitely works, and it's not hokum. It's a tested and proven business model, even though most people will not immediately recognise it as such.

Also there are other forms of arbitrage/added-value that gets missed, like buying used iPhones on craigslist and selling them unlocked on ebay. I've even worked out cowboom - ebay arbitrage (although it's much harder).

And barrier to entry / competition are not really that big of a problem. This isn't a simple business model (Just ask anyone who has worked in a pawn shop how easy buy low sell high is). The more complex the buy the more profitable it becomes. How many people can confidently value and verify the condition and market price of a car? Sounds easy but to me it sounds easy to get burned as well.

Sorry to keep rambling, but this is where I learned to buy and where I learned to sell, and to think about costs and overhead, even market forces. Maybe it's not fastlane, but I'd wager it's a fastlane to getting a real-world MBA. (just my two cents)
 

TK1

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 31, 2011
626
723
315
Nothing I really committed to before but I've been taking advantage of craigslist/local - ebay/national arbitrage for years now to make some money on the side, although not with cars or bikes or any big ticket items. It definitely works, and it's not hokum. It's a tested and proven business model, even though most people will not immediately recognise it as such.

Also there are other forms of arbitrage/added-value that gets missed, like buying used iPhones on craigslist and selling them unlocked on ebay. I've even worked out cowboom - ebay arbitrage (although it's much harder).

And barrier to entry / competition are not really that big of a problem. This isn't a simple business model (Just ask anyone who has worked in a pawn shop how easy buy low sell high is). The more complex the buy the more profitable it becomes. How many people can confidently value and verify the condition and market price of a car? Sounds easy but to me it sounds easy to get burned as well.

Sorry to keep rambling, but this is where I learned to buy and where I learned to sell, and to think about costs and overhead, even market forces. Maybe it's not fastlane, but I'd wager it's a fastlane to getting a real-world MBA. (just my two cents)

Excellent post, where did you get the capital for this? or did you did it all by saving and re-investing profits?
 

futhey

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 18, 2012
60
7
12
Exactly, re-investing profits to scale larger (Bootstrapping my bootstrapping I guess...)

I never really went crazy doing this, but it does have potential for the right person...
 

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE NEW: The Best School for Going Fastlane (Now open for summer enrollment)
Great post here from @themarkboogie He only started learning code in Jan of this year also...
MARKETPLACE Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2021
Any update? Hey bud! When I can squeeze out the time to work, it's been going pretty well...
MARKETPLACE Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
Hi Fox. Starting the book and got through the introduction. Had a conversation with Andy Black...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Chris is super sharp and is aware of many facets of entrepreneurship and can help get your...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
This month's promo code is MINDCONTROL Those who are subscribed to my new Youtube channel will...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Entrepreneur's Toolbox: Company Formation, Virtual Mailbox, Registered Agent, Remote Online Notary
Appreciating the transparency and lack of hidden fees. The website is very up-front and user...
Introducing MJ's Personal Unscripted Network, Join Now for FREE!
Any chance to make it available outside of US? It has been available outside of the US on...

Forum Sponsor

Learn Fastlane Business Skills & Get Profitable Within 30 Days...

Get Started Now

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom