Many people enjoy collecting things, especially rare music or books. The life of a collector has become far easier since the Internet age began. If you have a passion for collecting something then you can set up a website devoted to it. You will earn money from offering an auction-style trade system that will charge a listing fee and commission.
Skills needed: All you will need is an in-depth knowledge about the memorabilia you are focusing on. This includes how much they are worth and where to find them.
Business environment and set-up cost: You are likely to get a lot of overseas custom because often items are highly desirable for foreign collectors due to the added difficulty of obtaining them in their country. The start-up cost will vary for this business depending on how much of the computer equipment you already have. You may wish to pay to have someone develop and host your website for you. In addition, you may decide to purchase an inventory of items to sell yourself. A digital camera would be useful to take pictures of these items. The overall start-up cost will range from £1,500 to £5,000 (2,000- 6,000 EUR, 3,000-10,000 AUD/USD).
Become involved in newsgroups and forums related to collecting the memorabilia you will be selling, using a clickable banner as a signature that links to your website
Place reciprocal links on sites related to collectables
List your website in cybermalls and web rings
Pay for print advertisements in trade or collectors magazines
Put a ‘Tell a Friend’ link on your website and use permission marketing to allow your customers to be informed if a product becomes available
Launch a mailing list for your website with interesting content, and keep customer informed about new products
Use OnlineOffice to set up web-site, blog and online shop to promote your business online
Complimentary business ideas: Think of additional services related to the memorabilia you will be selling e.g. toy collectors may want some items restored, so either provide this service or partner with someone who can.
Notes: Ensure that your auction service is both efficient and secure or else customers will go elsewhere in future.
Online examples & resources:
For previous SME start-up ideas, look through the archive here