Santa Gives, I Get – Guide to Hustling the Upcoming Holiday Season Like a Boss

For the past several years, I post up how brothas and sistas should be thinking about their holiday hustle. The reason why is September is when you want to jot down and plot the hustle and the path how you going to get your dough on. Depending on how hard you hustle, you can make anywhere from $3,000 extra selling drop shipping mail orders to nearly $100,000 extra throwing holiday parties during this time of the year. So let’s talk about what you need to be thinking about right now. Physical or Virtual Goods? When I mean physical, that means are you going to sell physical products like gift baskets out of your trunk in the parking lot at work? Are you going to open up a pop-up store at the apartment club house in Atlanta or Houston? Or are you going to sell stuff animals off the highway ramp in the hood? This means you need to gather inventory and store that inventory, price and determine how you going to market to sell everything you bought upfront. When you do physical inventory, keep in mind that you are incurring risks and costs upfront. It will cost money to physically rent a location or hire employees if you try to go “commercial” route and rent a space at the mall or a storage locker you better pray no one break that ish open while you away. If you are doing physical inventory like selling makeup kits or the cat using to have the “$50 Android tablet hookup” this holidays, then you need to plan. That means you need to figure out how much you want to order, how much it cost to push the product and market it and mark up your price way ahead of ordering anything. As a general rule and I want you to be smart about this – you probably looking at around $1,000 to $4,000 in profits and that’s after you sell everything, if you can sell everything! The physical stuff that will sell will be the cases, covers for mobile phone devices – I don’t understand why Black people don’t get into this ish as this is a multi-billion dollar industry, bigger than rap. Virtual retailing is when you are using drop-shipping or mail ordering process and do not have a store front. You recruit college butt models to promote shoes or clothing on Facebook with affiliate links to order. You use QR code shopping posters where people can order and you ship the item to their home. You create an invisible pop-up store in the hood to sell stuff in commercial districts using geolocation techniques. You sell e-books or your homemade rap album or your gospel CD and show people how to download off the internet. With virtual techniques, you are using the internet as your marketing ground to get people to engage in the mail ordering process with your business. However, you have to keep in mind that you have to be both very aggressive but not abusive in your marketing technique to get real numbers of people doing online business with you. In such a short time period with people on the Internet, religion and sexy sells the fastest. See, you can sell a 2013 calendar of Black Jesus featuring sexy bare-chested male models looking like a Black Jesus with bible quotes for each month – I bet you sell 10,000 copies of that ish online real fast because it is combines both sexy and religious. The advantage of virtual selling is you have little upfront cost but you have to make up for the lack of physical space with aggressive marketing technique. That is why I’m telling you this stuff now so you can figure out how you going to get your name out. Put up flyers around college campus cork boards and craigslist bluntly saying “Hey Girl, Got a Round Butt? Make Money Off Facebook!” with your obscure Gmail address to pimp these just turned 18 chicks to sell your t-shirts, heels, purses or customized kicks on Facebook. The key thing is you gotta do what it takes to get as many cats attracted to your hustle for the X-mas season and that SEO crap, that web site shopping cart and cute domain name you registered is just BS chatter – it takes getting directly at people to follow a workflow towards conducting a transactions to make sales online and get your money up, plain and simple. Side Hustling Holiday Models to Consider We spoke on a lot of retailing models for the hood as these are job creators. Keep in mind that your holiday hustle is really only 30 days from November 24 to December 24 and if you are online or virtual, your hustle is a shorter window going to December 11th meaning your virtual hustle better be up and running November 1st. Let’s look at the various hustles you can do and consider for the upcoming holiday season. Throw Parties. This is where you going to make the most money over the holidays and in urban areas can easily make over $100,000. You rent the hall or lounge and charge at the door, charging $10 and the place make money off the drink sales. But that $10 per-head ish is hard work and ain’t real money – the real money and profits is in the drinks. You need to find a way to control the drink money. One of the biggest spots cats are sleep on is the National Guard Amory to throw parties – you hire your own bartender. Look at hotels, lounges and places to charge cats per head. Throw Non-Drink Parties. These can be events like renting the high school gym to host an old-person holiday basketball game. Or have a cougar volleyball game tournament so we brothas can look at these 37 and older sistas wearing spandex with their jiggly hips try to spike the ball and ish. Charge $5 at the door and bring in hundreds to watch. Or you can do a kids event like a kids holiday party where they create presents using crafting or make their own personal holiday cards for their parents. Throw Socials. If you are in Atlanta or Miami, you know these places are quickly converting their so-called new condos into apartments. Many of these places have lavish club houses that can host parties the same way those rich snobs do it in upper Manhattan. You act like a real socialite that invite all of the known people to your spot and yall mingle. It don’t have to be snobs, it can be all of the co-workers that work downtown or in the north suburbs showing up. You can charge $25 per head and have about 30 people and that’s about $750 per weekend. You get the wine, plastic cups from Costco and put it on the table for self-serve and leave a tip jar. Penny Auction. This is a web site that allow you to run a penny auction. Many of you cats were dealing with some MLM penny auction bullsh*t called Zeek Rewards or something like that but what you didn’t know what I wrote software for an penny auction web site that can be hosted on a $5/month GoDaddy web site. The problem with penny auctions is you need a lot of people bidding up front or you will be losing money upfront. Keep in mind this is still considered mail order and must be done like right now to setup. This business model is not hard to program and this is again why I tell cats to learn database stuff. Geolocation Treasure Hunt. This is an Saturday morning activity where you charge cats $10 to participate in a treasure hunt going around town looking for clues until the first one reach the final destination. At the final destination can be anything from a $200 gift card to a $299 iPod touch. In order to pay for the $500 worth of prizes, you need 50 participants to break even – not hard in a big city and also keep in mind that you can recruit businesses to pay for the prizes but I only see a profit of $200-$300 per Saturday morning to run this hustle although it could be fun to operate and meet new people. Holiday Hookup Events. These are your holiday speed dating events and parties you can host for lonely ass people during the holiday season. Do not sleep – this ish make real money because it’s a lot of lonely cats out there. Again, charge to do a speed dating and cats can mingle and buy drinks and you can do this at a bar or a lounge big enough to host about 100 people. QR code Posters. You post up a QR code poster that sells services and small gifts and I believe I talked about this subject more than enough times on this blog. Keep in mind that you probably can make money setting up and distributing QR code posters for businesses during the holiday season. Sell Online Gift Certificates for Local Business. You setup a gift certificate hustle where cats can buy gift certificates for local businesses in your community. So the local hair salon has a $75 gift certificate that they selling to you for $50 and you make $25 profit off each sale. This is all digital services and you making money with no real work. This gift certificate setup allow them to recruit new customers and it is gifted and because this is a virtual account, you made money. I will talk about this hustle in the upcoming holiday hustle articles but I’m using the same mobile money database script for this service that allow retailers to check a gift certificate and manage balances and redemption. More to Come As you see, Dream and Hustle and the 30 Rotten Dissidents got it all down and ready for you cats to get your holiday hustle up and running. However, what is important for you to do right now is think about what you want to do because you don’t have a lot of time. Remember that October you need to be plotting hard to get started in November. You should notice we are strongly discouraging physical sales such as pop-up stores, buying ish from Alibaba and hustling on the street because you risk incurring an loss, paying upfront for stuff as well as have a limited run with limited profit of just a few thousands. What we do recommend is you focus on running social events that you and a couple of friends can run in parallel that will bring in the real money. Cats want to be social over the holidays and not be at home lonely and that’s where the real money is at, especially in this economy. Now, if you like selling iPad covers at the corporate office, that is really fun activity and I will be doing that here in Atlanta with some young entrepreneurs, just for fun and showing them how to hustle. But the real hustle for your grown ass readers of this blog is the social events and digital services. If there is anything I’m missing or think I should add to this list, please add it in the comment section.

9 thoughts on “Santa Gives, I Get – Guide to Hustling the Upcoming Holiday Season Like a Boss

  1. I was thinking, find a hot item that all the kids want and buy it in advance. Then when it is sold out at the stores on Christmas Eve you can overprice it. When I was at TR’US people were willing to pay top dollar for sold out items. Another would be to gift wrap items and local stores and change a cheap price to do this with a holiday card. Bottled Egg nogg liquor would make a good gift.

    1. Gift wrapping is a great idea! I remember having to pay $60 to gift wrap stuff and to be honest, if someone can really “bling” out a gift box with led lights, glitter, diamonds and all that stuff – I believe people will pay premium for it.

      Definitely need to put out an article on this topic…

  2. @sean, you don’t have to do the fake logo stuff anymore in this day in age. The iPad cases and iPhone cases sell 100x faster at the table setup and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Nearly everybody at a company has a smart phone and things like phone charms, cases, covers and bling sells like hot cakes – but I don’t see Black people doing this when we use phones more than anybody..

  3. @sean I see you actually are living proof of that Idea..I was really just putting that out there Wow! I was also thinking of creating a mini auction in the Walmart parking lot….may not be safe in certain cities but if done right could be extra bank. One thing that I missed out on last year that I found on this blog was charging people to remove the christmas lights from their house for a fee.

  4. I’ve a question. I think the one paraphernalia area no one’s tapped is tech. No Nupe Iphone cases, no Delta Ipad cases, nothing. The first person to do this could easily clean up, particularly with DST’s 100 year anniversary coming up in 2013.

    I looked into AliBaba (based on what I read here). But I can’t see a way to profits without somehow spending a lot of loot on product. It doesn’t seem to me that the table setup model where the mockups are the ONLY product you have, would work here.

    What am I missing, if anything?

  5. @Lester,

    These items you mention can be created using good old fashion craftwork and metal works as well as plastic injection molds.

    The techniques you are probably interested in is called sublimation printing and water transfer printing (look these up on YouTube) that can create the kind of high quality custom metal cover jobs with high quality graphics.

    For cloth-based, it can be done one-off using a sewing machine and leather or cloth from Michael’s or any craft store. Again, the missing element is craft work and manufacturing which is a skill our people in the Midwest Rust Belt did all these years working for others but have not created the high quality stuff you are speaking of in our own market.

    You probably can order the raw shiny metal stamps or plastic white covers and paint them when they arrive and sell them that way at a premium.

  6. Excellent article, I was just thinking about what type of hustle i was going to do for the holidays and came here cause i knew yall on the ball! Excellent ideas! I do agree with the avoiding physical goods thing but sometimes people just want it in their hands and don’t want to wait for their goods in the mail. I have an idea… Gift parties! perhaps conducted like sex toy parties but offer unique gifts for the whole family? Get several people to host them (using their network of friends and family) and have certain goods there and a catalog? so they would put their order in like people do for candy? just an idea? How does that sit with yall?

  7. In your opinion, should the Penny Auction be created using ESB? I have created my own database and have built a skeleton model of the website. However, I was reading an article you did a few years back on bringing the PA platform via mobile. Thats what I want to have for my Holiday hustle this year. A PA that will be mobile as well as on the web.

    I was also going with a concept of auctioning off offers from local vendors in the L.A. areas that are near my communities. For example sistas can get a $60-$130 lot of Brazillian hair from local hair stores that will be auctioned off and the winner will get the code to go to the vendor and pick up the hair. Also auction off a holiday hair-do from a local salon. Just going off some similarities of the GeoAirport concept. In fact some of my database uses some of the tables created for it.

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