Paint Shop Photo Album turns eBay Hobby into a Full-time Career
Damien Esmond of Daytona, FL calls Paint Shop Photo Album "an important cog in my eBay empire." Esmond, who has been selling things on eBay for over two years, has turned what was a hobby into a full-time career.
Seven months ago Esmond was suddenly laid off from his job as a Technical Manager for a German motorcycle company. He initially turned to eBay as a source of supplemental income between jobs. He didn't anticipate that selling on eBay would become his next job.
"I'd actually lose money if I got a job right now," Esmond said of his bustling home business. He credits Photo Album with helping him turn his pastime into a profitable career. Esmond supplements his own eBay auctions by participating in eBay's Trading Assistants Program. As a Trading Assistant he helps other auctioneers photograph their items and upload them to eBay. Photo Album has come in handy with this aspect of his career.
"It's that Adjust Wizard," Esmond said. "It's just awesome. I use it every time. It's cool too because it lets the sellers become part of the process; it empowers them. They get to make some of the decisions. Photo Album totally compensates for the dismal lighting, and they all think it's me, that I'm some kind of genius."
Esmond began looking for photo software because uploading his pictures to eBay was an unbearably long process. He was fed up with the software he had when he found After Shot [the previous version of Photo Album] Starter Edition at Best Buy.
"It was the best money I ever spent," he said. "The software that came with my camera was awful. It was so hard just to transfer the pictures from my camera to my computer. When I got your software, I was so hooked right away. I used to spend an hour on one auction and that was just getting the picture to upload."
Now, setting up an auction only takes Esmond a few minutes.
"Getting the pictures to look good used to be the most time-consuming part of putting an auction up," he said. "Now it's the typing."
Esmond is a big fan of Photo Album's batch Quick Fix and rename features.
"I Quick Fix all the pictures at once," he said. "It's just so easy. And I can rename everything too, because I can never seem to remember what picture 0019 is."
Anyone can start their own eBay empire, Esmond said, and offers the same five tips to anyone looking to make some money in their spare time.
- Register for eBay
- Register for Paypal
- Register for Prosperpoint
- Get a digital camera
- Get Paint Shop Photo Album
"If you do those five things, you've just created a very profitable business for yourself," Esmond said.
Esmond started his profitable business by selling off his old guitar collection. Because that worked out so well, he started going through his house looking for other things to sell. Once he had cleared out his house, he moved on to garage sales and pawnshops.
"I get up on Saturday mornings and pencil out my garage sale route, go to the 7-11 for some coffee and cash. I always bring $100 with me and I can usually turn it into $200 to $300 by selling the stuff I find on eBay," he said.
He buys whatever looks interesting then goes home and does his research. And he's discovered some interesting finds in his treasure hunts.
"There was this old photo album filled with autographs of old movie stars from like the 20s and 30s that ended up in some guy's attic," Esmond said. The album was filled with autographs including Dorothy Kilgallen, who was a regular guest on the game show "What's My Line?" and a Hollywood reporter who interviewed Jack Ruby after he shot Lee Harvey Oswald; Dorothy Lamour, a legendary actress who starred in the "On the Road" movies with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope; and Buster Crabbe, who starred in the Flash Gordon movies in the 40s.
"You really need to know what you are selling," Esmond said. "Do your research."
Doing research helped Esmond get over $400 for a book he bought about New York City. Elizabeth Custer signed the book, but she wasn't the author. It was only after doing some research that he learned Elizabeth Custer was married to General George Custer. She was renowned for her collection of books about New York, each one of which she had signed.
Even if you do happen to find a rare gem in someone's attic, it won't sell if you don't have a good picture, Esmond said.
"You have to take a lot of pictures – detailed, close-up pictures, so people can really see what they are getting," he said. "Then get Photo Album to fix them all up. It's really that simple."