Even in the most difficult of economies, parents will need to purchase items for their growing children. From school clothes to back-to-school supplies, the essentials for babies, toddlers, and school-aged children continue to sell. If you’re looking to start an online business that targets parent consumers or even if you’re looking to earn some extra cash, you may want to consider some of these suggestions for making a little money on the side without leaving your home.
Sell items in your home that are no longer needed by your childrenEvery parent looks around the playroom and wonders how all the toys housed there got there in the first place. If you’re looking to declutter your home and make some fast cash, take a look around and see what items are no longer needed. Big sellers include baby clothes and baby items like diapers, clothing, bedding, and furniture. These are all things that parents need to buy anyway, and you may be able to capitalize on your ability to provide gently used items at a reasonable price, especially compared to the prices of new items at your local department store.
Don’t forget that adolescents and adults are also frequently shopping for second-hand items. Educational games, books, music, graphic tees, technological devices, and art projects are also a hit. Some products may sell better than others, based on the market at the time, but you may find that there are timeless items that sell regardless. You may want to list your items on high-volume sale sites like your local Craigslist, or maybe consider the Facebook Marketplace that will allow you to access some closer-to-home consumers in your area neighborhoods, lowering your risk of sales.
Take the dropshipping routeIf you haven’t already considered it, maybe dropshipping is for you. Dropshipping means that a customer orders from you an item that you, in turn, purchase from a wholesaler. The customer pays you a retail price while you pay your supplier wholesale price. The and markup becomes your profit. By importing products onto your online store website from a digital marketplace, you limit your risk and minimize your starting capital required. Since you order only once a customer has purchased a product from your site, you also reduce the need to find space in your home for sale items since the order can be shipped directly to your customer.
When choosing items to include on your online store website, remember that novelty items may sell for a while, but consumer fads can be unpredictable and will not sustain your business long-term. If you intend for your business to grow, you will need to focus on some basic business principles. Have a product line that is built on what parents want and need for their children. These include quality clothing, games that extend learning, books, and “enrichment” tools that occupy children in worthwhile activities. You may find a niche and keep up with the trends, but it is more important to build a consistent and dependable line of high-caliber products parents will seek out time and again. Be sure to build a user-friendly website, and work toward excellent customer service.
Market your creative ideaIf you have a crafty side and can make things, you may want to consider starting your own business. Items like crocheted or knitted baby items, decorative room decor, party cakes for birthdays or special occasions, and even personalized clothing are all potential sellers for parents. Making items in advance may help your potential customers get to know and understand your product and potential, but make sure that you have options for them so that they can personalize the items. You can find ways to market these to your Facebook friends, Instagram followers, and consumer community.
It is important, however, to remember that when parents find themselves cash-poor, they are more likely to invest in things they feel contribute something to the child’s well-being. Educational toys, books, games, and interactive toys are a few that come to mind. Families are spending less money traveling and going to the movies, so you may want to market a game or service that helps families spend more time together at home. Or perhaps you have ideas for personalized books or ways to learn about other places and cultures. Whatever your innovative idea, be sure to follow some sound advice on marketing your niche or specialized items online .
What are some ideas you have for marketing to parent consumers? Share your strategies for success in the comments below.