This chapter about Joint Ventures is probably my favorite in the entire book. Obviously, we will be looking more into the book teaching us how to earn $1,000 a week on eBay.
I don’t have a lot to say before we get started except as always, our book’s text will be in italics and my comments will by plain (oftentimes in bold).
Setting up Joint Ventures
Why would anyone want to do Joint Ventures with ME?? (You always should be better than someone else)
Joint Ventures are just a business undertaking – a deal where you split the takings. It usually (almost always) comes about when two people have skills or products that compliment each other.
You probably have more skills than you know but I’m not going to start telling you to reach down deep inside your soul to find your inner value when what you really want is a quick grand or so in the bank.
So for now, we’ll concentrate on two things. Any one of these two items is enough for you to make hundreds if not thousands from Joint Ventures.
- A product you already own or have rights to. (Like a book)
- A list of people who may want to buy a product. (You may have come to this site from said list)
Now I realize that not many people reading this will not have their own ebook, or software. BUT you may well have or be able to get hold of a product to which you have resale rights. If you can do that then Joint Ventures may well work for you as a product holder.
If you also have a list of people who have bought from you or even better, have a mailing list then you’re in the best possible position.
I’ll show you how to go about Joint Ventures from both angles.
I think the best approach to go is to tell you how my latest Joint Venture worked. (Not mine, but the authors)
My latest Joint Venture
Now I’ve done Joint Ventures from both angles – as a person with a product and as a person with a list.
I’m lucky enough to have a product and a list but once I’ve sold my product to my own list it’s time to start looking around for other buyers – and this is where I need other sellers (usually eBay sellers). So I can sell to their lists too.
What do the other sellers get out of the deal? Fifty percent. Always. (Just a suggestion but I have seen sellers use 90% to increase their own list size)
I’ve heard of different splits but I think if you take on a partner you take on a partner and egos or tantrums don’t come into it. If I tried to demand 75% as a PowerSeller or Internet Marketer with a reputation I’d soon end up with no Joint Venture partners at all.
My advice would be to always treat your Joint Venture partner as an equal, even if you’ve far more experience. Even if you think your product is the greatest most in demand widget ever and you partner only has a list of 50 people. You still go 50-50 on the deal.
Happy Joint Venture partners come back to deal with you time and time again. If you’ve made them feel small or unimportant they won’t want to repeat the process even if they’ve made money from it. (Like anything in life)
Years ago when I was working in a poorly paid factory job and in a bad way financially I was forced to take on extra work. The new landlord of a local pub had just opened a children’s play area and wanted to promote the facility by getting a bouncy castle and face painters etc. for the afternoon. I agreed to work in a tiny burger van selling food to the families who attended. We worked out a price for an 8-hour day – $20 cash in hand.
I was broke so agreed to work for the twenty bucks. It was a hot August day and the heat in the tiny burger van was almost intolerable but it meant I could pay the gas bill so I stuck at it. Two hours before closing the landlord came to me and said he had to go out for the rest of the day so would pay me now. He thrust a ten dollar bill into my hand. When I told him we’d agreed $20 he just told me he knew I needed the money so take it or leave it.
I felt humiliated and angry. He left and I spent the rest of the day giving away free food to the whole of the pub, especially the lads who turned up to watch the football. The landlord must have lost hundreds in missed takings.
I still bad-mouth the pub whenever I get the chance! He must have lost the ten Dollars he short-changed me with a thousand times over, and if I’ve anything to do with it, he’ll lose twice as much again! (Not sure that was the right thing to do… but a little revenge does go a long way.)
The old saying that you should be nice to people on the way up because you’ll meet them again on the way down has a habit of becoming true.
So, going back to my latest Joint Ventures. I had no product to sell so I had a quick look around EBay.
I start by looking at PowerSellers who sell their own product. It’s no good me offering ‘David Blaine’s Magic Secrets’ because most people already own it, and those that don’t can buy it on eBay for under a Dollar.
So I need someone who either has control of or has written their own ebook or software. By control of, I mean legal rights to resell the product.(Like I have with this book I am blogging) If you’re the one supplying the list don’t be afraid of asking for proof that they actually have the rights they claim, or you could both get into real trouble. Anyone legit won’t be offended. It shows your professionalism and protects both of you.
Back on eBay I settle down with a cup of coffee and start going through the listings in the categories that interest me.
Quick note: I deal in ebooks but you could just as easily do Joint Ventures with someone who has access to DVD’s, Playstation games, jewelry, books or kitchen appliances.
I actually found the seller whose product I thought best suited my list within 10 minutes, but I carried on looking and found two more eBay sellers who had suitable products. I didn’t contact them but jotted their details down for future reference. They’ll make up part of my income for the future.
Just as I always keep an ’ideas’ book, I also keep hold of details of what else is selling oneBbay and who is selling it. Unless you’ve got a great memory, trust me, you’ll forget. It’s surprising when you’re trying to put a new venture or product together how much your ‘ideas’ and eBay products book can spur you on to fabulous a money making idea.
The product I found was similar enough to my own products to be of interest to my list but different enough so it wasn’t it direct competition with my own. I have sold totally different products that have worked incredibly well. You’ll get a ‘feel for what your list will go for after a while.
When you’re looking for a product it’s important that you offer it to your list at a significantly lower price than it sells for on eBay. OR choose a product that can’t be found anywhere else than directly from you. The latter only really applies if it’s your product.
The product I’d found for this particular Joint Venture sold for $25 on eBay. I estimated the seller was earning around S200 a week from his product. It was selling quite well but not enough for him to turn down any extra income.
I sent him an email.
I noticed your product *********** on eBay and wondered if you’d like to make some extra money from it.
I have a mailing list of people I’m sure would be interested in your product if we could offer it to them at the right price. If all goes to plan it should take about two days to get the money into your Paypal account.
Drop me an email if you’re at all interested.
Some more cheese via email. I don’t recommend Hiya, but I do recommend keeping it simple.
The next day I received an email asking for more details. I offered a 50-50 split and we agreed that his product should be offered for $12.99 to one of my lists.
Very rarely you’ll try to deal with Joint Venture partners who won’t offer his product at a lower price. All he can see is lost profit. In reality, he’s actually gaining because he’s getting paid for sales he otherwise wouldn’t be making. (Not a fan of speaking in absolutes. There is a fool born ever minute, and a jerk born every 30 seconds)
If he still refuses to drop the price, forget the Joint Venture. You must offer great deals to your list or they won’t stick with you.
So my new Joint Venture partner had the product, which he’d agreed to sell at half the price, and I had the list of potential buyers.
The list in question was one I’d populated by offering a free ebook. All they had to do to obtain was to agree to receive very occasional offers from me then enter their email address. In short, it was an opt-in list. The names on the list had all opted to be contacted by me for at least one future offer. They could unsubscribe at any time. I’ll show you how to set up a page like this later.
I had used eBay as part of the publicity for my free ebook and got about 600 names in about two or three weeks. It sounds a lot, but when I tell you that some of the big boys in Internet marketing won’t send out an offer to a list with less than 10,000 names it puts it into perspective. Although with a list of this size they’re allowing for a poor sales rate. I’ve successfully emailed a list of just 100 people in the past; so don’t worry about size too much.
I think that if you offer a genuinely great offer at a price that can’t be found anywhere else then you’re looking at a 1 in 3 or even better sales rate. The ‘experts’ will disagree with me but the proof is in the pudding and I’ve had sales rates of 70% and above!
The Joint Venture in this example fits the above criteria so I think we’re onto a winner. I tell this to my new Joint Venture partner to reassure him about selling his product for less than he normally would.
Incidentally, if you’re wondering why he agreed to sell his $25 product for half price then the answer is simply this. Firstly it’s an e-product so it costs him nothing to send out or copy. Secondly, he’s not losing half his profit – he’s getting 50% of $12.99 for each sale that he wouldn’t have had if he hadn’t agreed to the Joint Venture with me. Thirdly, I told him he’d probably make a couple of thousand quid in a matter of days.
(The split was 50% each after any PayPal fees had been taken out). So for each sale, I get roughly $6 and my Joint Venture partner gets roughly $6. The rest goes on PayPal fees.
So what happens is once the Joint Venture is over I total up the takings, deduct any fees that are left and send him half. Most fees are deducted before the money hits my Paypal account but there are always the currency conversions plus any dodgy credit cards to be deducted.
If you’re the one providing the list to the Joint Venture, then YOU must be the one to email it. There are two reasons for this. If you just hand your list over to your Joint Venture partner to email, he is in effect spamming your list – they don’t have any relationship with him whereas they do with you. The other reason is that you would be handing over to him all your hard-earned email addresses, and he could use them himself. Remember ‘the gold is on the list’ and you could move on to a new Joint Venture partner, a new product and another thousand dollars or so the day after! Look after, your list!
The email I send to my list read:
I’m emailing you because you kindly opted-in to one of my mailing lists asking to receive details of any special offers I might have.
I am currently working with ********, producer of ********. This amazing product sells for $25 on eBay but I am able to offer it to you for just $12.99
If this offer is of interest to you, you can find out more details at www.*********.com
If you would like to unsubscribe from this list, just click on the link below.
The website is one I’ve specially set up from where my list can buy the product at $12.99. I put on a PayPal button that I’ll remove when the offer is over, and I’ll also shut down the site.
I could just as easily directed them to my Joint Venture partner’s own website where he could have changed the price from $25 to $12.99, but then he would have lost any $25 sales that would have come from his own marketing so he preferred me to do it.
So now we’ve come to the point where this ebook started.
I pressed ‘send’ and went to get some wine. Over the next two days, we sold about 200 copies of his product bringing us a profit of over $2,500.
Once sales had tailed off I did as above. Shut down the site and sent him half the money. I also sent him a screenshot of my Paypal account showing the number of sales that had come in along with a record of the stats from a counter I’d put on the page. I didn’t have to because the whole thing has to be a trustworthy venture or it wouldn’t work, but I prefer to undertake my Joint Ventures in this way. You’ll understand this if you’re the person being sent the lump sum after the Joint Venture.
So that’s it – $1200 for two days work. I didn’t sell a single product, and I have a happy Joint Venture partner who will be delighted to work with me again.
There are easier ways to do a Joint Venture than setting up websites, though.
This post was ridiculously long… hope you stuck with it until the end. This actually has some good information on it. Most importantly, it has a lot less editorial from me.
Thanks for reading,