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Old 13-04-2012, 11:01   #391
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

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There might be a better way to look at it but I doubt it's been said here before so well. Should you find yourself in a place finding a lot of work and creating a market then the radar may be your undoing. People by their nature tend to settle in. Getting rooted some place exposes you for what you really are - and illegal worker!

Feeding off other cruisers stays off the radar the best and can be all done with cash. You avoid the local economy even if you do clash with local suppliers of the same trade. It's internationally agreed that illegal workers are pretty much low life and deserve what they get. Getting on the radar has it's risks beyond just the law. Staying too long to work a job just begs for trouble!
I belive it was Ernest K. Gann that said:"In little vessels such as must always be my lot there was no honest home to be found afloat"...the son of a son of a sailor seems to be the most profitable way to go,if you dont get caught...I myself would rather be paranoid than busted, so I must stick to obeying the law "reasonably" well...DVC
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:03   #392
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

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Amazon fulfillment can be a hit or miss thing. From what I gather, popular things that sell regularly are actually stockpiled with Amazon. But an awful lot of stuff is NOT stocked, it is held by the merchant and then batch-shipped to Amazon once or twice a week, etc. for reshipping or shipped directly from the mechant.

Human presence and intervention still needed.

There are lots of late-night infomercials, have been for decades, on how you can be a catalogue reseller (predates the internet) by showing people your catalogue, and then when they order the actual company drop ships to them. You could certainly sail with your catalogues and "bring the store" with you. Heck, salesmen have done that for two hundred years too.
I was thinking that it would actually work better to stay away from popular things as those would be well covered if not by Amazon itself then some company making profits through volume. Looking towards more unique items, low volume (maybe in the 10s per kind), and bigger margins, coupled with an owner webstore(probably hosted by Amazon too for the convenience) that owner promotes with nice background info, descriptions and pictures, preferably colored by cruiser's own perspective of locales where items where acquired.

The hands-off part comes in when said items are shipped directly to Amazon to be automatically sold, packaged, sent out, replaced, etc., from that point all by Amazon. This is where it differs from the catalog or drop shipping model since they are really your inventory you acquire during travel and using Amazon's brick and mortar infrastructure and manpower to distribute instead of your own. In the drop ship model, you would have to be constantly available to your customers to address their issues if you want to maintain good reviews which is not very compatible with the cruiser lifestyle.

More risky than drop shipping but also less competion with the right items and minimal overhead compared to having own facilities specially for low volumes.
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:17   #393
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

Airhead, I don't think Amazon is simply going to handle all your storage without charging something for that. What they DO warehouse, is stuff they expect to sell in a reasonably prompt and regular manner. There are plenty of logistics and storage companies, Amazon's magic goes way beyond that. Among other things, by having huge automated warehouses, so the "picking" and shipping happens quickly and reliably. And even then, sometimes they get their own inventory wrong, with their own Kindles delayed two weeks until more come in.

Anyone can do what Amazon does, and other companies were doing it for decades before them. They just invested a boatload of money, spent years without making a profit, and finally got into dominating the world in several markets.

UPS and Fedex will do logistics for you as well, but of course they don't have online "merchant" stores. Amazon has reached the point where when folks don't know where to buy something, they just try Amazon first, which is a bonus for the folks who sell oddities.
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:58   #394
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

The BIG complication will be shipping stuff to foreign countries, i.e. everything has to go through customs. Are your customers going to run down to the airport or dock to get their stuff? No. If you do it, it will eat up all your time, and the duties will eat your profit. There are freight handling companies in the islands that do this stuff; my experience is that they do it on island time and charge a hefty fee. (I recently tried to ship 50 lbs of solar panels from FL to BVI - UPS wanted $1500!!!)
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Old 13-04-2012, 16:35   #395
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

As far as the Amazon thing - just what would a cruiser want that Amazon sells? We go cruising to get away from "consumerism" and our boats are already full of everything we need - except - that spare or replacement part for some critical boat system.

And you can purchase those items in the islands through already established stores like Island Water World and Budget Marine. There are dozens of other smaller operations including local craftsmen who will take care of ordering the boat parts from a manufacturer or wholesaler in the USA or Europe and take care of the reams of paperwork and customs fees, etc. One other outfit - Marine Warehouse, Miami takes care of "drop shipments" direct to you of boat parts, etc. and they have the experience with how to ship the stuff to the various island countries so that you actually get the part/whatever.

Customs duty of stuff you bring into the country can vary from a few dollars to more than 100% of the cost of the item depending upon the country.

International sales and shipping is both involved and can be rather expensive as sv/Breakaway mentioned.
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Old 13-04-2012, 20:52   #396
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

hellosailor, yes Amazon charges not only for storage but also takes a cut on every item sold. Those are all some percentage of the item's selling price so sellers should add those to operating costs and should make sure they are ok with what's left from the profit margins. The fact that Amazon created a business model for such sellers and spent boat loads of money means they have the scale to out muscle anyone else and like you said, many people nowadays just go directly to Amazon for convenience, trust, etc, which is good for the sellers.

s/v Breakaway, the whole idea is to have Amazon handle the storage, order processing, packaging, shipping to customers, and handling returns. Sellers take care of sending their products to Amazon centers including paying custom duties and taxes.

osirissail, fellow cruisers are not the primary target customers. Cruisers are the potential sellers who would want to sell to those back at home. Ideally a seller would find interesting stuff in their travels that they feel would have a good market back home, find out if there is a big enough gap between what it can sell for(online search for comparable items sold at home can be a good indicator) and what it would cost to purchase, ship, pay taxes, on said items, make the necessary transactions and arrangements to send them to Amazon, then move on with their cruising without having to carry commercial items on their boats (unless it is within the same country to bring items to a less remote location with shipping facilities).

Not saying it's easy or won't take up time and effort but that it is a potential venture that can be compatible with a cruising lifestyle where the main advantage is the cruiser being able to focus on selecting products and promoting/selling them through his/her web sites/blogs (which can be done anywhere) and have the demanding, customer-facing side delegated to a giant company that most people are now used to and trust with their online purchases.
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Old 20-07-2012, 15:10   #397
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

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I haven't seen one yet where people are obviously making money whilst actively cruising.
I have seen some canvas makers/repairers but generally they stop to do it somewhere cheap. because they need a flat space.

The other problem with canvas & covers etc is that (damn) women don't just want any colour, they want a specific colour! Have you seen how many blues Sunbrella has? We currently have pacific Blue but Nicolle wants Ocean Blue... NOT Mediterranean Blue or Navy Blue. PLUS thereís more than one Sunbrella Ocean Blue! "4 fabrics found for "ocean blue".

So the difficulty to make it pay is that you would need to be able to order it, by the roll, wherever you are.

Trading: Iíve traded on the stock market before cruising, and between Tax, commissions and accountancy fees I reckon I made about $2 per hour.... in between loosing $hitloads of money in bulk in about 5 seconds flat when all the brokers know whats going on but you dont!

Cooking: I like that idea is new, unique and theses some great locations where people just can't have a dinner out. But the cook would need to be great! Cruisers are frugal to other cruisers. Whose boat is dinner on? Then your boat needs to be good/atmospheric/huge/unique. On their boat how do you cook in an unusual surrounding? What about beach BBQ? Few beaches, but love the idea.

Web/internet business: Ahh the bliss of having a one hour per day, but can have weeks in between whilst cruising, that makes enough to supplement the budget. Ahhh t'would be bliss indeed. I would think there would be very few jobs and the person would be pretty smart. But with the internet anything is possible. Just show me the way

Cutting Hair. Seriously, if you were not heading off for a year yet, how about doing a hairdressing course?
My whole head needs fixing, but the hair is reeeeeaaaaalllllly bad! Nic normally cuts it but last time she chopped my fringe too short, so I then refused to let her near it and cut it myself. Put it this way, I think people laugh at me because I'm funny
I would sure pay a cruiser $5 for a cut. but if it was $10 I would enlist Nic again... or go to the local barber...
Tools of the trade: Scissors, comb, spray bottle.


Mark
I like some of Mark's ideas. I, too, have found day trading to be unprofitable, so I invest for the long term. Some of my comments:

Internet: blogging, tech support, product evangelist. Some companies will actually pay people to promote their products on major blogs, forums and in social media. Think high tech companies that constantly churn out new products and need people to "educate the market" on the features and benefits while bashing the competition.
Musician: someone already mentioned this. I'm a naive landlubber. It seems like there's always opportunity for a skilled musician, (or a skilled hair cutter or skilled chef, though those are skills you couldn't acquire on a boat)
Tour Guide: might require coordinating with travel agencies in your home country.
Video Editing: not too hard to learn and could be done remotely, but very time consuming. Question is how to find jobs.
Market Research/Data Mining: capturing and consolidating data from the internet into a spreadsheet that has marketable value to companies in a particular industry. Again this is time intensive.
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Old 20-07-2012, 15:43   #398
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

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New to the forums so apologies if this has been covered already but it seems like the Fulfilled-By-Amazon business model(i.e. selling through Amazon where inventories are stocked and fulfilled from Amazon's fulfillment centers) in combination with cruisers frequenting remote locations and able to pick interesting products that can be sent to those Amazon centers, can be a very good, low-maintenance revenue stream that is perfectly legal and compatible with the lifestyle. Most communications are handled via emails and customer support including handling returns are automatically handled by Amazon. May need some revolving capital to make purchases and shipping expenses but can be as low or as high as a person's comfort level.
I was an Amazon vendor thru the FBA program for 3+ years. Trick is finding items that are in high demand but still high margin, yet still light to ship. I certainly think it could be done from sea. But you do have to clear your RMA inventory out of Amazon periodically. I used to ship the RMA stock back to my house once a quarter and sell it used on eBay. But the customer service, pricing and inventory management, etc, can all be done remotely, as can shipping in inventory. Again, challenge is finding profitable products. Maybe handmade craft items that are unique and have good margin?
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Old 21-07-2012, 18:47   #399
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

Hi All

1st post so forgive me if I get it wrong
Over a # of yrs I have worked my self into an industry that is virtually untouched. It has taken re-education at tertiary level and some years develping my skills. I now write management systems in Work Health & Safety. Aside from writing these systems @ at around 2k-4k each there is an ongoing legal requirement for them to be audited on a yearly basis. I almost have my database of exixting clients at a level where just the yearly audits provides a steady yearly income of in excess of 1k p/w without needing to add more clients. I do all this remotely via cloud based computing. At present to produce that income I work approx 1-1/5 days per week. I have a guy paid on commision only to seek out new clients for me and I then handle them from my end. Am living aboard now and have clients all over the eastern seaboard of Aus but rarely need to see them personally. Once i cast off long term i will fly to their location if and when required, as a consultant I can charge for this also. When i eventually decide to world cruise my hope is to have my guy trained to be able visit clients in my place.
This works dockside and I cant imagine it changing when i am not.
I envisage doing my work while sailing and then batch transmitting when next the internet is available.
Just my idea of getting the best of both worlds

Al
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Old 22-07-2012, 14:31   #400
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

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Why not make a travel agency that charges people cost of food and expense plus a little bit extra to go on a vacation aboard any registered liveaboards with your company. Registered liveaboard teaches the client to sail (and charges the client), they cook for the client, they take them fishing, and drop them off at various islands to have fun. Gives them the experience of living aboard without having to buy a boat. You then have another component of the business that sells live aboard boats to the people 'sold' to the idea of living in one as well as giving them a discount if they participate as a free tour giver to attract new clients.

Can be marketed as a wild adventure that money cannot buy and targeted to middle aged people and college students who either are seeking adventure or lived a life without and are hitting a midlife crisis. You'll have a wide array of places to visit and could in theory provide a lot of business to people who live aboard.

It is personalized and has more freedom than a cruise boat because the client will eventually be able to sail it themselves and decide where they want to go. It can be pulled into a system that runs itself, and so many people who liveaboard who are starving will have a good source of income.

Hows that Agility?

Brilliant, I'll be your first client
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:57   #401
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

This is a true story. Years ago.. mid '80's I was working as the buyer for Rybovich when a 50' motorsailor came in on an insurance claim with a galley fire. I got to know the owner who came into my office regularly to order this and that. He revealed a charmed life of sailing the carribean in the winter and then off to Cape Cod for the summer months. I asked how he financed this and he said come aboard and I'll show you.

We go into his main salon and he opens two doors on a custom cabinet that revealed two VCR's used for copying tapes. Another cabinet revealed a mother load of copies. He mentioned that when he is state side he goes to Blockbuster and rents all the latest movies and copies them. When he gets to an achorage he goes boat to boat with a flyer of all the movies available for rent. This was his main source of income. Each tape rents for 10 bucks a pop. He said people in anchorages are starving for entertainment.

A year later the yard is buzzing about the motorsailer that was previously in for repairs. Apparently when he was entering the Palm Beach Inlet he was stopped by the Coast Guard for a routine drug inspection and you guessed it, when they opened the cabinet and saw the illegal tapes he was arrested and the boat confiscated. What's the fine? I think it's 5 years and $250K for EACH violation.

Word was he lost everything....

RT
PS Who knew that back in the 80's cruisers had TV's and vcr's aboard???
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:50   #402
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

RT, yes, the penalties for commercial copyright violation are damned steep. these days...oh well, there's another industry put out of business by digital technology. Even with the RIAA's shouting about illegal dowloads, I've seen estimate now that 2/3 of all the illegal file-swapping is simply face to face, and they've got no way to deal with it.

Bootlegging, smuggling, all respected old trades in coastal places, aren't they?
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Old 03-08-2012, 17:47   #403
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

we just had a cruiser in melboune docklands for 3 months (the most they let you) he went to local markets selling custom gold plated jewelry was making a packet he said 2k setup would bring in about 20k profit. OMG what a boat he has to live on, why do I still work for the man?
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Old 03-08-2012, 18:21   #404
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

"he went to local markets selling custom gold plated jewelry"

A lot of folks sell what we call "costume jewelry" in the US, a lot of folks sell off the books in flea markets that don't pay attention to taxes and papers. But that can be a very competitive business, on or off the books, and at least in the US, more flea markets are requiring business papers unless you move on very quickly, the tax men are wise to that game as well.

With the typical margins, you won't make a 10x markup unless you've got fools for customers, or a very special product. Here, it is more like fight to make a living.
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Old 03-08-2012, 20:47   #405
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Re: Make Money While Cruising - List

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
RT, yes, the penalties for commercial copyright violation are damned steep. these days...oh well, there's another industry put out of business by digital technology. Even with the RIAA's shouting about illegal dowloads, I've seen estimate now that 2/3 of all the illegal file-swapping is simply face to face, and they've got no way to deal with it.

Bootlegging, smuggling, all respected old trades in coastal places, aren't they?
It amazes me how stiff the fines are for individuals here in the US, yet China blatantly infringes on our copyrights and then we import it and sell it!
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