Winston-Salem, NC -- If you take a look around the room you're in right now, you'll probably spot something you don't want, don't need or can live without.
You could get rid of it at a yard sale. Or you could turn to the Internet.
That's what Cory Watson did when he lost his job at a pharmaceutical company several years ago. And the High Point man did something incredible with the money he made selling things on eBay.
"Not to brag, but by the grace of God, this year I was able to pay [my daughter's] college tuition out of my pocket," he said.
Watson is a father of three. And like many other people who have been laid off, he went back to school. He didn't get a degree, though, but he did graduate from a three-week eBay University program at Forsyth Tech.
So, just months after paying that tuition bill entirely with money he made selling college memorabilia on the auction site, he wants to learn more and make more money.
"You can sell almost anything on eBay," Nick Hawks said. "There's not one particular product that I would say, 'This is what you need to sell.'"
Hawks taught the class Watson and a couple dozen other people took at Forsyth Tech. He makes a living selling plumbing supplies on eBay and teaching classes on how others can do it, too.
"eBay changed the way people do business in America," Hawks said. "It's now possible for just the average person to start their own small business, without having a lot of capital to do so."
Whether you want to do it fulltime or just get rid of your junk, here are some of Hawks' keys:
- Do your research and make sure there's a market for what you want to sell. Luxury items won't make you much money if no one can afford to buy them.
- Know where to sell your things. Hawks says 100 million people around the world shop on eBay every day, so your audience and your earning potential are huge.
- If you're trying to sell a sofa or something you don't want to ship, Craigslist could be the better choice.
- If you want to turn this into a career, like Watson did, you'll have to work hard.
"My wife and I, we travel around on the weekends finding companies ... that might have an inventory that's not moving well," Watson said. "So I'll go in and make them and offer. They sell it to me and by Monday, it's on eBay."
If you want to take an eBay class, check with your local community college. Most, like the one Hawks taught at Forsyth Tech's Small Business Center, are free.
WFMY News 2