RIP Don Lapre

I remember years ago seeing Don Lapre on late night infomercials living it up with models, yachts and Ferraris.  he passed away recently and I’m sure will be reincarnated as a rapper any day now.  As a young man with caviar dreams, I could not resist ordering his program after several years of it being blasted in my face every night.  full disclosure, I was so broke then, that a friend and I each paid half.  anyway, we haven’t got the Ferrari or the yacht (or the models actually) YET,  but some 10 years later I remembered something from his spiel that had stuck in my brain and would prove itself useful. money well spent.

“small tiny classified ads”  (I can still hear him say it)

it seemed so simple, yet brilliant.  he would place small ads in free, or VERY cheap newspapers around the country selling some information he had put together.  he would setup a PO Box and require you send $5 and a SASE (self-addressed-stamped-envelope, for those youngsters who have never heard of such a thing) and BAM, a few hours later, Ferrari.  Maybe it wasn’t quite that simple, but that’s how I remember it. Now, was Don Lapre a scam artist, allegedly. A douche-bag, certainly. charged with 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and promotional money laundering and later killed himself in prison, yes. But that’s for someone else’s blog. I think he was on to something with his concept, perhaps he was just ahead of his time.

even though no one reads even the big newspapers anymore,  this can easily be applied to the web.  His plan was basically to find a way to generate a small amount of money over and over again with little or no cost.  At the time, it was out-of-the-box thinking, but now it is basically the go-to model for selling information products on the web.  Just substitute social media (facebook, twitter) google adwords, or a blog,  for the newspapers.  If you have information to sell that’s great.  But what about the rest of us?  Well this brings me to ebay.

Everyone knows that if you get a piece of toast tomorrow and it has the virgin Mary burned into it, or you manage to catch a ghost in a jar, you’re set.  but what about the slow play.  what if you could find items that you could sell on ebay that would make say $5 per month.  it might be an item that makes $5 that you can sell one of, it may be one that only makes $.50 but you could sell 10 times every 30 days.  now imagine you could find 100 of them.  that’s $500 per month.  what if you found 1000 of them?  now you’re talking.  that’s the model.  I can tell you from experience that its not as hard as it sounds.

I have items I listed 5 years ago that still make me money every month.  the real work on ebay is the researching and then the listing (pictures, descriptions and the like.)  I hear from other ebay sellers all the time who think I’m crazy and tell me how they “wouldn’t waste their time on an item if it wasn’t making at least $20”.  sounds good until you realize they spent 1 hour making $20 one time, but you could spend that same hour making $5 per month for the next several years at least.   clearly they have forgotten about Don Lapre.   more on this later.

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