What I Learned from my Latest Business Ventures — Part 1

I started 3 experiments in the last 3 months. 3 businesses that I thought would generate me revenue and sustain my lifestyle through passive income. I will share with you in the order of least revenue to the most revenue and the lessons that I’ve learned along the way in a 3-part essay.

Gift Card Reselling Business — part One

I was enticed about the market of gift cards — a billion dollar industry. I never knew that people actually made money from reselling gift cards. What excited me was finding out about this world of gift cards.

I did my research and took a course on Udemy.com on how to run a successful gift card reselling business. In other words, I tried to mitigate my risks by learning the mistakes of others. After about a week of research and learning, I put my theories to test.

The whole goal of this business is to buy low and sell high. You buy from people that are selling gift cards on Craigslist.com and then sell it to one of the companies that are buying it like ABCgiftcards.com

So, I followed the best practices of printing out a seller form, essentially a form to protect you from fraud. Then, I created an ad on Craigslist to advertise to other potential sellers. I waited and my phone started to ring. People called me during all hours of the day. I’d get a call at 8pm at night and asking me if I was interested to buy their gift cards. I figured out very quickly that I didn’t like that because the whole point of starting this business was that I could eventually maximize my freedom, and not be chained to the unpredictable needs of others.

I protested silently, but my logical brain overridden my emotions. The next day, I went out to meet my sellers. I had 3 appointments set, so I knew it was going to be a busy day.

The first appointment tried to scam me by selling me a merchant credit from BedBath and Beyond. It was a high value card that I could have made over 60 dollars for half an hour of work. The tricky thing with merchant credit is that the seller can claim the card to be lost or stolen, thus rendering the previous card useless. How did I find out? Thanks to Udemy.

The second appointment was very rushed. This family was coming from Santa Cruz and was on their way back to Oakland. They wanted to meet in a convenient place near 680. They sounded convincing on the phone, but because it was so rushed and I did not have time to verify the validity of their claims, I decided not to pursue it.

The third appointment was a mistake on my part. I didn’t clarify with the seller weather the gift card was a physical card or an e-card. I couldn’t resell any e-cards, so that turned out to be a waste of time on both parties. I hate wasting time.

In summary, I learned to fail in two weeks. And didn’t make a dollar from this new business venture. I am happy that it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. That’s life.