During my times that I have guided tours in India, I have met so many tourists who told me while we were travelling ‘wow I could sell this I could sell that!’
Generally, it’s true. Almost everything in India tends to be attractive, colorful, unique and different from everything else we are familiar with. This is why so many tourists feel that they want to buy practically everything that pops up their way. The tricky thing is that it is not only the items we see that we think we can sell but it is the whole atmosphere we are surrounded by that makes us feel everything can get sold.
Now, you are probably waiting for the big but. However, there are no buts here at least if you aren’t going to sell items professionally. Moreover, I would say that many of the things you come across in India which will overwhelm you can be sold quite easily. It doesn’t matter what it is, it could be textiles, fashion accessories, handicrafts, clothes, ceramics, furniture, spices or whatever- the list is endless.
You probably won’t become a millionaire out of selling items while you travel in India, but it can help you with some income and at least cover a part of your travel expenses. I always found it interesting to search for authentic items, which led me to some incredible places and I always considered it as part of my traveling experience. It made me dig deeper into Indian culture because I knew that the value of the items rises when the item has a good story behind it.
How To Make Money While Traveling in India- Tips:
Sell your items while you are travelling
1) Enjoy the social network world
Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and so many others are perfect platforms for you to sell your items. I assume that you would be using those social media anyhow while on your journey so why not use them for selling? You will be surprised about how much impact your items can have on your friends and friends of friends. In a sense, by selling your items you will be “selling” your travel experiences.
2) Take cool images and videos –personalize the items
Document your shopping experience. Take pictures of the items, of you, purchasing them, the seller, the shop and the place where it’s located. You can also make some great movies about the items.
3) Tell a story
All those actions mentioned above are part of the story that you want to build up. Those are exactly the things that people can relate to. It provides them a sense of participation in your travelling experience and justifies the prices you ask for. You will also build up trust. The story is an indispensable component of your interaction with the buyer and the price you can sell it at.
4) Avoid bureaucracy
Stick to selling to your friends and friends of friends who you can trust that they will deliver the money if you send them something. You can always list items on E-bay but for me, E-bay is unnecessary bureaucracy. Make it simple! If you choose unique items they will get exposed via social media.
Do not go for heavy items it makes the whole process much more complicated. Stick to what gets easily packed and has cheap shipping costs.
6) Make your friends, family, and relatives your offline agents
Send your friends and family some items you think is sellable. They can do offline work for you. Maybe some friends will come over to their place asking about you. This will be a great opportunity for them to show everything and offer them politely to buy.
7) Good bargaining skills
Doing business with Indians is never something that you can underestimate. Indians are natural-born bargainers. Start practicing your negotiation technique before you hit the shops. Bargaining is an art in itself and the Indian merchants are masters. We will post soon some tricks on how to get more effective with bargaining with Indian merchants.
8) Stay on the rural side
Try to buy your products from local shops/artists in rural areas. It’s probably cheaper there but regardless of the price, you will be helping local markets. Even if it is only small scale deals it still has some effect! One more great reason to shop in rural areas is that you would find some very unique items in terms of style, designs and materials and so on. The items more likely belong to the local tradition so it would be easier to “tell their story”. Lastly, remember that is part of the entire traveling experience and rural India is extremely interesting.
9) Have fun!
OK, so this is the most important issue here. Searching for items to sell while you travel in India can add extra value to your trip. It can get you to places that you would never dream you’ll be traveling to. It almost feels like treasure hunting. Research and learn about the items you want to sell can tell you a lot about the culture. Eventually, Country products are the identifying mark of the culture.
So it is a win-win situation