For the past few years I've been tearing up old books and magazines, and selling them on eBay. Other people's "rubbish" is earning me $20 a time - sometimes a great deal more - every single day!
It's an easy business and items other people throw away can attract fierce bidding and incredible profits for me and other lucky sellers.
We're selling prints and advertisements, crochet and woodworking patterns, recipe books and other niche market publications, alongside hundreds more totally different items, all taken from books, magazines and newspapers that are available in profusion and cost very little.
Let's start with old prints, they're incredibly good sellers, especially popular themes like: animals, sports (especially golf and horse racing), royalty, music hall artists, topographical (named locations) and children.
Very early magazines contained lots of prints, the best being Illustrated London News, The Graphic, Sketch, Sphere, and all you do is remove prints carefully, trim the rough edges, package to protect and make them more attractive, then list them on eBay.
These tips will help you get started in this hugely profitable business:
* Frame your prints for extra add-on value. Look for old (antique and modern) picture frames at boot and garage sales, flea markets and collectors' fairs, and make a point of visiting auctions where boxes of frames can be bought at a pittance.
* Have black and white prints and engravings hand colored and mounted or framed to increase the value of even the most common and cheapest print.
* Give a Certificate of Authenticity. This is simply a sheet of paper, with or without decorative border, which testifies that the print is original and taken from a specific source published on a particular date. The certificate is always taped lightly to the back of the print in the mount so that it cannot be removed and added to another print obtained elsewhere.
* Make your listing for the print descriptive and include details that are likely to attract bidders and be sure to include words they might use to find products like yours.
* Make sure your listings include age, theme, date and source of your prints.
* If your original book is special, say a first edition, or a limited edition, say so in your listing. To people viewing your listings it might make the difference between a sale and giving your product the miss.
* Take great care removing prints from publications. We tend to open the book midway and fold it back on itself, making it very easy to break or weaken the spine and therefore loosen the pages.
* A great place to get quality mounts very inexpensively is on eBay itself. Go to the search facility, request a search for items locally (so many available it isn't worth looking long distance), and use keywords like: "mounts", "photo mounts", and wait for a nice selection of suppliers to appear, some selling items by auction, others offering "Buy It Now".
* When you find a good supplier stick to that person and even buy their items outside of eBay without breaking eBay's rules of course.
There's more to it than just prints, you have the pick of dozens of different products to sell, all from old books and magazines, and just a few minutes easy work. Did I say "work", this isn't work, and this is exciting stuff!