My wife and I stumbled into this almost by accident. Her family had some old Buddhist charms (amulets) they wanted to sell but when I saw them I told them I could sell them for them. I gave it a try on Ebay and sold some for $200-$490 each.
That was a small success – we didn’t have any more of the old amulets so it was a limited opportunity. It piqued my interest in the niche.
I found some charms locally and started selling them on EBay. That was no fun -the market is saturated with junk Buddhist charms and everyone was selling replicas of each other’s amulets.
I found some local charms at a temple and they were unique and sold some on EBay. I don’t have the patience for ebay and dealing with bidders that don’t pay and what not, but I use eBay as a testing ground to see what might work if I built a dedicated site.
I built a blog at blogger in 10 minutes and posted some articles about Thai amulets there. I got some traffic after a few months (50+ unique visitors per day) and some were emailing me asking if they could buy the amulets I pictured on the blog.
I then created a little Thai Buddhist pendant site for my wife – ThaiAmuletSales.com and we put up some basic amulets we found. Some good luck amulets, personal protection amulets, gold cased amulets and Buddha and Buddhist monk charms.
We sold a couple per month for a while and made about $150 per month net. I thought there might be some potential to this so, I thought I’d put some SEO time into the site and try to crank it up a bit. After that effort we were doing pretty well. I’d not expected this little project to turn into anything at all – and now it was netting her $500+ per month. We had hardly tried to be successful with it but already she was making twice what her fellow college graduate friends were making in Bangkok.
So, the time has come to crank it up again. I redesigned the header a bit – kind of a sad state of things that site because I just kept building on a poor design. I should turn it into a WordPress blog but I can’t justify the effort yet. As a result I’ll just add another 50 pages or so with some new Buddhist charms she bought the other day and we’ll see if we can hit $1,000 per month net. That would justify another effort of changing it over to WordPress and making it nice. As it is it sells ok – but, sure it could really be overhauled!
Such is the way successful projects go sometimes. I never knew this niche was going to do anything for us at all. Much like some other things I have going right now – little projects that I give a try and see what happens. Over time they either pan out or not. This panned out. So did my crazy YouTube videos where I now have 1.3 million views per month for doing stupid stuff in Thailand. I’ve kept adding videos and now I’m at 140 videos about Thailand’s wildlife and eating crazy things like a scorpion.
So, what does it all mean?
Start lots of little projects and feed them enough to see – do they start taking off, or no? If not – move on to new projects.
Start projects with a micro-effort. Start a blog. Post there a couple times a week. See if you gain readers. Anyone want to buy anything?
Don’t start out big – big projects fail really big. I’ve found over the years that it’s much better to start little projects and keep cranking them up as they do better. Soon you have something bringing $500/month. Then $1,000. Then $2,000. That’s nice extra income… maybe you can crank it up enough that you don’t work for anyone else anymore. That’d be nice…
That’s my goal for everyone reading this – crank SOMETHING up and turn it into your life’s work… Get away from the 9-5.