We typically talk about funding your travels with your articles and photos… but this week, I’d like to focus on making money a different way. This is something that could easily run alongside your writing or photography ventures…or be a whole career in itself (though for very little actual work.)
I’m talking about running an import/export business — shopping online for products made overseas and selling them for a handsome profit back home.
Yesterday, to get you thinking about what products you might like to do this with, I asked you to participate in an online survey.
One reader, Lynn M., said her best foreign buy was a handwoven hammock that she picked up at a craft market in Nicaragua, for $20. Lynn says it was worth sacrificing the space in her bag to lug back home — the closest match she can find online is priced at $90.
But, to make serious money from this, you don’t have to worry about bag space…or lugging heavy products through the airport.
With the type of business we’re talking about all this week, you don’t even need to travel. It’s simply a way to fund your travels.
All your shopping takes place online. And, your selling can, too. So, need to worry about clearing out your garage…or living room…for storage space.
If you only have a few hours a week (or you’re looking for something you can do to fund a traveling retirement), you can do this one project at a time and earn a few thousand dollars here and a few thousand there.
And, if you have more time, or you’re looking for an income replacement, I’ll show you how people are turning this opportunity into a real goldmine.
Starting today with Gauri Nanda, whose story all began with a simple morning predicament… You know how easy it is to hit the snooze button the first time your alarm clock sounds? And the second time… You don’t even have to wake up properly to do it.
Gauri figured, to give herself a real jump-start in the morning, she needed more of a challenge than an alarm clock sitting, within arm’s reach, on her bedside locker.
What, she wondered, if an alarm clock could run and hide, so you had to get out of bed to track it down…and stop the awful noise? Now, that would be a proper wake-up call!
Gauri couldn’t find anything like this on the shelf in the U.S. So, since she was a graduate student at MIT at the time, it seemed natural to draw up her own design.
She then sourced a manufacturer in China. And so, “Clocky” was born…and imported to the U.S. to sell online.
Gauri had solved her own problem at home. And, she couldn’t believe the response “Clocky” received in the marketplace…
Before long, more than 9,000 units of her run-and-hide alarm clock were snapped up. She was besieged by reporters, publishers, and TV producers — even Good Morning America called.
Since “Clocky,” she has expanded her business to create other cute and clever products that “humanize” technology. Her products have been picked up by retailers all around the world.
Gauri admits she was hesitant about starting her own company, at all. Both her parents are entrepreneurs, and she had seen the crazy hours they worked.
But, with her designs, she found a way to simplify her business, work less, and sell the product online. Because her manufacturer in China can make a product for just a few dollars, she gets to make a great profit, too.
Of course, you don’t have to design your own product like Gauri. Maybe you’ve spotted something on your travels that doesn’t exist yet in the U.S? That may be your starting point.
Sometimes, though, it’s the most basic products that bring in the big returns. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about one such product that earned $25 million in revenue last year.
Stay tuned. And remember – you don’t have to commit a lot of time or money to get started in this.
[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.]