My son already knew shipping details from selling old games of his own. He had established a stellar reputation on eBay for both buying and selling individual games. My goodness, this is easy.
All the pieces were in place for a successful small business: subject expertise (my son knows which games sell), access to low-cost supplies (the bulk games), access to consumers (eBay), access to shipping and materials (the envelopes and the U.S. Postal Service’s reasonable rates), seed capital (my credit card), and low overhead (my home office, my computer, my Internet connection). This sure beats the paper routes and busboy jobs of my teen years.
We checked the auction. One hour left and a new bidder had appeared. My son placed a new $250 bid. Now we’re at $12.50 a game. The average selling price is about $18 or $20. Postage is $1.20 and the envelope is $.25. The profit per game – not counting the free overhead – is about $5.00. And he’s thinking about keeping some of the games.
The other necessary elements for a successful small business will be bookkeeping and discipline. He’ll have to make arrangements to pay back his seed capital and he’ll have to retain enough of the cash flow to ensure he can keep buying bulk games. Ideally, he’ll build up that cash reserve so he can take advantage of potentially lower supply opportunities – what’s the cost per game if you buy 40 games? 50 games?
Down to the last few minutes of the auction. The bidding was getting more active. It closed before my son could get in a last bid. Final price: $300. Ouch. “Don’t worry, Dad. There are hundreds of these bulk games for sale. We’ll bid on another one.”
This is going to be a fun summer.