Andover High students are increasingly drawn to trendy apps that provide a platform for at-home business and an introduction to entrepreneurship in the new year.
The growing popularity in resale of used goods and original works is a modern, non-committal way for young adults to earn money on the side. These online platforms (eBay, Etsy, Poshmark, etc.) provide an easy way to create an online shop, develop a following, and then utilize it for resale or transactions with homemade products.
Most of these websites are easy to use for avid technology users and teens as a whole, as they model the format of popular social media apps like Instagram. The general process for uploading a listing is simple: snap a photo of your product, provide a product “name” and description of what you’re selling, price it, then post it onto your page for customers to view.
At-home entrepreneurship is not limited to a specific “type” of person. Dake Zhang, a sophomore at AHS, described how he began his art business for painted portraits as an afterthought: “At an oil painting place in the summer, the people who own [the building wanted to buy the kids’ paintings,” Zhang said. “I declined because I didn’t want to sell at the time, but now I regret it.”
Now with an online shop on Etsy, Zhang explained what he’s learned about transactions through his online shop thus far: “When you’re selling art, you can’t undervalue yourself, but also can’t overvalue yourself. I take the amount of hours I work and multiply it by 10,” which, he continued, is based off of minimum wage; if he spends 15 hours of work on a single portrait, he multiplies the 15 hours by $10 to charge $150.
Sophomore Caroline Curtin uses Poshmark, a platform acting as an online thrift store where a seller participates in resale of pre-loved clothing, jewelry, and accessories. When asked if she planned on continuing her resale business as it grows in the future, she said, “Poshmark is one of those businesses where you cannot decide how busy it will be. I have my items listed and they get bought at random times. I use it for quick money and will be using it probably more this year!”
Ms. Prather, a marketing teacher at AHS, related these selling platforms to the classes she teaches: “Depending on what you are selling, you are targeting different markets, and research is important before you start selling your products.”
Prather added that students will be able to apply the skills learned from buyer/seller communication and the overarching selling process to future careers in business. Only time will tell if early exposure to business will draw more students’ attention to the field. She said that the benefits of teenagers growing up with access to at-home entrepreneurship are “independence and a feeling of self-accomplishment.”
By Nina McKone