I solemnly swear that I will never tell you to go back to your day job.

If it’s extra income you’re after, I’d much rather see you make money doing something fun, interesting, and fulfilling.

Right now, it happens that the most profitable way to make money on the side is with small-scale import/export.

You can start it at home with your day job in full swing.  Then gradually, you work up to a point where your income from import/export replaces your income from your full-time job. At last, you can quit your day job and instead focus on shopping for new products to buy and sell online full-time.

Earlier this week I told you how Jack Ma’s website, Alibaba.com, does hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions a year — bigger than Amazon, eBay, or any other online marketplace in the world.

This is an astronomically huge income pie, and it’s free for you to scoot up to the table and take a piece for yourself.

So let’s look at how, practically speaking, you could start an importing business at home in your spare time and get a piece of that huge income pie…

The idea is relatively simple:

1. You need a product that’s in demand (no one is getting rich selling left-handed monkey wrenches).

2. You need a supplier who will sell your in-demand product to you at an incredibly low cost.

I’ve talked about finding the right product before.  See that article, here.

Once you have a product in mind, there are a number of ways to find a low-cost supplier using Alibaba.com. Since I like to keep things easy, I usually just search for them in the search bar at the top of Alibaba.com (just like you might search for a product to buy on Amazon or eBay).

But you can also use the “Let Suppliers Find You” option.

When you do this, you’ll fill in a short form that asks for detailed specifications on what you want to buy and an estimate of your order quantity. Then you’ll enter your e-mail address, hit “Get Quotations Now,” and keep an eye on your inbox.

To use the site, you’ll need to sign up for free account on Alibaba as either “Supplier,” “Buyer,” or “Both.”

Finding a super-cheap Alibaba product is Step One. Here’s an article about Step Two: finding the best deals and reselling for a profit.

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]

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