We are proud to announce our NEW community destination. Engage with resident experts and fellow entrepreneurs, and learn everything you need to start your business. Check out the new home of StartupNation Community at startupnation.mn.co

Personal Shopper, Focused on Electronics, Online

aholl333aholl333 subscriber Posts: 3
edited March 2008 in Selecting a Business
Hello everyone, I`m 16 years old and I love business. I was wondering what everyone here thinks about my personal shopper idea;
The concept of the business is that  I would shop places like eBay and Craigslist for my customers. I would find listings that are 20% or more off retail. At first I would focus on electronics, as that is more my expertise. I am pretty good at finding great deals and thats why I think I could be successful.
Anyone interested in my services would contact me via email and describe what they are looking for. I would then confirm and begin looking. The customer would then pay me for any listings I found that matched their criteria. I am thinking that $5 sounds like a fair price. What does everyone think? Could it work? Thanks for your help!


  • Options
    aholl333aholl333 subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for your help,
    Do you think a service charge that is a percentage of the final price is more appealing? That way, they would still save money, even if they didn`t spend as much. I like your idea about consulting. It was something I was going to provide for free, but I think it makes sense to make that the main feature.
    What do you think are the best ways to go about advertising a business like this?
    Again, I really appreciate the help. I`m trying to learn as much as I can.
  • Options
    aholl333aholl333 subscriber Posts: 3
    Thank you for all the help, I really appreciate it.
    I`m thinking I wont do something so big, in terms of price and amount of research. I was looking to target my local community. I think that if I make my main service finding really good deals on places like eBay and Craigslist I avoid the problem of not being paid. This is because we would`ve already agreed that I would be paid if I found listings matching their criteria. And then most of the items I would find would be over $100 and at 20% thats $80 + $5 and thats still a savings of $15. With more expensive items the value would be greater.
    As a student I have some time constraints and so the less the workload the better.  I will definitely take everything you said and apply it to my idea. Thanks so much for your help, and any more thoughts/opinions/suggestions would be great.
  • Options
    aholl333aholl333 subscriber Posts: 3
    I think that the main draw of my service would be that I could look closely and spot deals that an automated program like Google Shopping cannot. I believe I can save my customers more money than Google Shopping can, and if I can show that I think my business could do well. Also, I would be able to provide 3-5 specific listings to the costumer, instead of overwhelming lists of information.
    My target audience would be parents shopping for their kids, as well as seniors. In my experience many parents don`t have the time to look beyond retail stores, and that is where I could save them money as well as getting them the best product. Many seniors aren`t technically savvy, however some of them are interested in having mp3 players or a new computer.
    So far, I have thought about putting flyer`s up in my neighborhood to gain some sort of idea in terms of how popular it could be, and who is interested. Maybe some sort of "first 100 free" offer in order to start some word of mouth advertisement. I am in the process of creating my business plan, as well as a form for my customers. The idea is that all they would do is fill out a quick and easy form, and then a few days later they would be presented with options that are below retail.
    I think that when I have website, for I don`t think I`ll have one in the beginning, it will be simple but will also offer incentives in the forms of prizes and free of charge services to returning customers.
  • Options
    aholl333aholl333 subscriber Posts: 3
    I think your right, in that the money part/guarantee would be the hardest to pull off. However, I think I could solve that problem by offering a full refund if the gift ended up being returned, and maybe my service free of charge? I still have to think about it, and I`m in the process of writing a business plan. Do you think that I could possibly be paid before I started working? That would guarantee that I got my money, however, I could refund if the gift ended up being returned. And yet, it could look like scam. What do you think about advertising? I`m fairly new to starting and running businesses, so any help on that front would be great. Thanks.
  • Options
    xericxxericx subscriber Posts: 6
    Find rich people in your community, and act as a buying agent for technology.  Make recommendations and charge a fee for research and setting it up. You won`t believe how many people don`t even know how to program a cell phone number. 
Sign In or Register to comment.