The big holiday season is quickly approaching (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) and I was looking for a way to make some money off of it a couple weeks back. As I started looking around the web to see what I could do to make money and utilize affiliate programs I came across some offers from companies for Halloween costumes and accessories. The payouts were pretty good – around 15% of the sale price.
Once I had a couple affiliate relationships set up with the companies, I started to do some promoting on my sites and through over avenues…yet nothing seemed to be working. So, I went to what I know best – eBay. I took the description from the costume supplier website, created a list on eBay in my store, and built the price up a little bit to cover the eBay fees.
Within almost an hour of listing the costumes in the store format on eBay, I received sales and payments. Now I needed process the orders and this is where the money making comes in.
I had an referral link for the company that I was going to be ordering from and placed a button on a couple of my sites (including Dorm Room Biz). I booted up my laptop, launched a browser, and clicked the link. I made the purchase through my affiliate link, using my billing information and credit card and then had the costume shipped directly to the person who bought it from me on eBay. Essentially I created my own drop-shipping service. Now the important thing to remember when doing this is that the websites track the orders through cookies, so in order for all the orders to count towards your earnings that you place, you are going to need to delete your cookies, history files, and temporary files. This clears everything out and gives you a fresh launching point. The you just repeat the process – visit your referral link, place the order, clear your cookies etc, and so on.
Through eBay I made about 25 sales of a few different costumes which came to about $136 dollars. The best part of this? It all happened within about 72 hours of putting up the listing. I started the auctions on Tuesday and was going away for the weekend so closed everything on Friday. I didn’t actually get any orders on Friday, so everything pretty much happened within 3 days.
Finding which costumes to sell was the hardest part of this whole process. Basically I searched for about 15 different costumes on eBay and found which ones had few listings but always sold and for a good price (at least what it would ‘cost’ me from the supplying website or more). Once I came across a couple, I set up the auctions and let them roll. The orders just continued to come in sometimes within an hour of listing an item in my store with a quantity of 5 available, they all would sell and I would have to relist it.
Now, I do not know to what extent this is bending the rules of an affiliate program as I do not do much work in the area, but I thought it was a clever way to make some eBay sales and earn some cash through an affiliate program. It is a win-win for both parties – they are selling their products and still making their profits, and then I am making money from promoting their items. However, this is not something that I would continually do over and over again unless I spoke with someone in depth about this either on the site of the actual company or an affiliate manager.
Anyone else “gamed” the system this way to take advantage of the holiday season? If I could find a product that would do this well related to Christmas I would probably start promoting it on eBay right away! Later, I will discuss a couple of the downsides to this plan and money making experiment that I encountered.
This is a great way to make money online or make money from your dorm room for not doing much work. Try it out next year!