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If you have an idea for a product you know would be cheaper to manufacture in another country and sell for a profit back here in the States, you have to read Jason’s story of the two-dollar pirate, below.

WHAT PIRATES AND PRINCESSES TAUGHT ME ABOUT BUSINESS
By Jason Holland in Delray Beach, Florida

My wife is a “stay-at-home mom.” But she also has a part-time business: selling children’s books.

We pack up our minivan on weekends and head out to holiday bazaars, fall festivals, etc., in our area to sell them.

The books are great and very culturally diverse. Many are based on old folktales and have award-winning illustrations. And since most of them feature pirates, knights, faeries, or princesses, we thought it would be cool for kids to have costumes to go along with the stories.

Plus, we figured a tent full of faeries’ wings, pirates’ capes, knights’ helmets, and princess gowns was sure to attract attention. So when we went to our first event last year, almost as an afterthought, we brought a bunch of those items to supplement our book sales.

And that’s how we discovered something (aside from the fact that grandmothers spend the most) that will greatly influence how we do this in the future.

Despite having all those beautiful books on display — and my wife and I selling their virtues face to face with each visitor — the costumes were more popular. By far. And the profit margin on them was huge.

The key to our unexpected success is a special online portal, where we bypass all of the middle men and buy the costumes directly from China, where they’re made.

We paid about $2 for the pieces we needed to put together each complete costume. (A pirate’s costume, for example, comes with a hat, bandana, eye patch, cape, and sword.)

The pieces are fairly high quality. And since we put some effort into coordinating the pieces, we don’t feel bad about marking up a set to $12 or $15. (Actually, my wife does the coordinating. She doesn’t trust me.)

And, we’ve met a lot of other people who follow the same buy-low/sell-high model with play sets, puzzles, games… just about any children’s toy you can think of.

It’s never been so easy to get into this market. My wife and I kind of stumbled onto the opportunity. But now you can try it out for yourself and make a profit from home — you don’t even have to go to events, like we do.

You can bring in almost any products, from sleeping bags to mp3 players, and sell them at a huge mark-up, from home.

If you’ve ever considered looking for another income stream that only takes a few hours a month, this is an easy way to get started.

[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.]

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