CollectPeanuts.com is primarily a hobby and a labor of love. I make enough to pay the expenses and to buy the occasional treat. I save a lot of the money earned for rainy days. Whether it’s possible future infrastructure investments, or a big collection to buy for restocking, I have to be prepared.
Sometimes it’s difficult to separate “working” hours from just personal interest. Is going to a flea market and looking for Peanuts and stuff for my house personal or work? It’s both, really. There are a lot of endeavors I wouldn’t be accomplishing without CollectPeanuts.com as an impetus. Finding the Saturday “Featured Products” and the Thursday “Snoopy Sanity Checks” are my two best examples. They’re both on-going features that evolved from a need to build interest in the site, create an avenue of income, and have a revolving feature that has a simple premise with many variations. All in all, I probably spend 15-20 hours a week on everything involved with running the site. I don’t take a salary for my time and just work for Peanuts!
Just in my free time? I wish! While Peanuts may be a hobby, there is still a business side. Getting back to customers and fixing code issues can really cut into my daily plans sometimes. On weekends and vacations, I take a break from most of the business aspects, but there are times when I can’t put things on hold. Luckily, my family and friends are very understanding.
My Peanuts collection is self-sustaining. The money used to buy Peanuts items I’ve earned through selling doubles and earning commissions. However, a website doesn’t get made without a cash infusion and that comes first. The more popular the site becomes, the more money the site needs to keep running. Yearly site hosting alone is $200. Domain name registration, site security, backups, and other services cost extra. I save where I can and use free services when possible. However, there are some tools I’ve purchased to make the site experience better. The e-mail newsletter and galleries are two examples where the expense has created a superior experience. Other expenses include shipping supplies, a camera and internet service. At a minimum, it costs $130 a month for just CollectPeanuts.com. Any money earned is saved for future expenses and additional pieces for the collection.
- Hosting – $300 a year
- Security – $75 a year
- Domain Name Registration – $30 a year
- E-mail Newsletter – $99 a year
- Gallery Software – $20 a year
- Internet Services – $90 a month
Running a Website
From creating content, to making the site look good, there’s a lot of creation happening. Creating articles encompasses a variety of tasks from finding ideas, creating images, writing, proofing and sharing the final article. Researching and analyzing statistics to figure out what Peanuts fans want to know about takes time. Free samples articles take time building a relationship, plus writing, photography and approvals. Creating videos and photos to accompany articles takes proper equipment, software and time to process the media. Finally, all this media needs a place to be saved. I have multiple hard drives and online storage to makes sure everything is available and safely backed up.
Our Snoopy Sanity Checks require lots of research. Finding the right products to discuss can take time to find amoung the thousands of Peanuts listings on eBay. It needs to be extremely over-priced, have a decent photograph, be an item I haven’t discussed and be relevant to today’s Peanuts fans. Once I actually find something, I have to research the item’s selling price in the market, write the article and check my facts. Most times, it takes around two hours to do a Snoopy Sanity Check.
Every Saturday brings a new featured product from one of CollectPeanuts.com’s affiliated retailers. Basically, CollectPeanuts.com makes money when people buy something at a retailer’s website through special links. Saturday’s feature showcases Peanuts products from one or more of these retailers. Depending on the type of article, I can spend from one to four hours creating one of these Featured Products articles. The more retailers I feature, the more work involved, especially when I use a photo gallery. Even though these links should earn me some money, I don’t always make something on every article. The links rely on browser cookies to attribute the sale to my account. Often times browser add-ons, visiting other websites and expiring cookies can lead to lost revenue for CollectPeanuts.com.
Amazon is my top affiliated retailer. However, the Amazon marketplace has lots of unlicensed Peanuts products. I used to be able to link to a simple search, but now I create curated lists. In this way, I can provide the cream of the Peanuts crop and filter out scam artists creating inferior products. Curated lists obviously take a lot more work and will need maintenance down the road to remove old products and add in fresh items.
Collecting 101 and other fun articles
Peanuts collecting is more than just buying Snoopy things. There’s history behind the items and the companies who made them. Learning to be a saavy collector is part of the adventure of collecting. Appreciating the finer points of Peanuts involves creating images, writing copy and researching!
Ideas for future articles? I have tons! For instance, cataloging logos and fonts used on Peanuts items. Snoopy’s nose through the years comparing the comic strip to collectibles. Both articles would help collectors and dealers determine the age of an item without the use of guidebooks. Just need the time to research and pull all the data together.
Repeat features are a great way to bring people back week to week and have an easy formula for new content. Our Peanuts Philosophy Friday on Facebook reminds fans of one of the hallmarks of the Peanuts characters. Video Sundays on Facebook bring back favorite Peanuts moments, commercials, craft DIYs and more. The Cute Or Crazy finds every Wednesday on Facebook features a rendering of Snoopy and friends in a variety of strange and wonderful crafts. While these features don’t take as much time as an article, they still require research, setup and a long memory so I don’t repeat myself!
The Peanuts Pelham Puppet Display Video. Without CollectPeanuts.com, you’d never experience the fun. Click to Watch!
For the full Peanuts experience, you need video! There are lots of great collectibles that need motion and sound to really appreciate. Time and effort go into giving Peanuts fans insight into how the vintage collectibles would feel in real life.
The one area I can’t slack is site maintenance. Making sure everything is running and up-to-date keeps customers safe and site visitors happy. With over 2,000 pages and posts, that’s a lot of content to keep up! I use WordPress to manage all the content. There is a vast array of plugins to make the site work. Each plugin adds functionality, but takes effort to maintain and double check it’s working correctly. You may not notice this is happening, but you’d certainly notice if it wasn’t! I automate as many tasks as I can, but still need to keep track of what’s happening and make sure everything is running smoothly.
Keeping this site free of viruses, ransomware and malware is a major concern in today’s internet environment. While CollectPeanuts.com doesn’t have any sensitive customer data, what data we do collect needs to stay secure. Hackers try to get into sites every day using automated software. Staying on top of current security news and thwarting hacks before they happen is an ongoing project that can need attention at a moment’s notice. Luckily, CollectPeanuts.com has not had any problems due to good diligence and top notch security software that blocks over 500 attacks a month.
CollectPeanuts.com has to go to where the fans are! Many Peanuts fans are on social networks and the content comes to them. Social networks help more people find CollectPeanuts.com, but it also takes a lot more time. Getting content out there, managing comments and building a community takes time. Also, social networks help me determine what articles and photos Peanuts fans resonate with, so I can build on those insights. Finally, a lot of people email about appraisal requests, selling items, and finding items. Managing the correspondence takes a lot of time and follow through.
Running an Online Shop
Online shops are a job in themselves! Finding products to sell at low enough prices for resale can be tricky. While I find some things while I’m enjoying a flea market and antique malls, sometimes I buy entire Peanuts collections. Buying and selling vintage goods is a tricky business. You never quite know what you’re going to get when you buy. When you sell, you have to at least break even on what you spent. Include my time in the deal, and I don’t make much on what I do sell. Each item takes around 10 minutes of my time for a photo, research, copy, promote, and ship. Under $5? I’m practically giving it away! Vintage items have their quirks and need individual photos and listings, which increases the production time. If I can find multiple items in VERY similar condition, that really helps my bottom line since I can sell multiple items from the same listing.
So many ideas, so little time! I dream of a future where I can turn CollectPeanuts.com into a full-time job. An extra 40 hours a week to dedicate to my passion would help me accomplish so many of goals and projects for the site.
The Collection pages are currently organized based on type of item. What if you could search and bring up just Joe Cool items? All Simon Simple Products? Everything made in 1974? While it’s possible, I don’t have the time to dedicate to a project of such a large scope.
Technology and Skills
Standards evolve over time. Technology gets better. Through the years, my photography skills have gotten better. It’s one part better equipment, one part getting the hang of this. For instance, adding a light tent has improved my photographs, plus saved me so much time in setting up camera shots. As the years go by, there will always be ways to make CollectPeanuts.com a little better through new skills and technology. Maybe, a 360 degree camera someday?
My talents go beyond websites. I have the capabilities to make lots of custom Peanuts crafts. For instance, the Aviva Trophies have a little plaque on the front. Sometimes, they’re missing or damaged. I could make replacements indistinguishable from the originals (with markings saying it’s a reproduction). Want something custom for someone special? I could make that happen for you.
Remember that old talking Snoopy doll from the 1980’s? It would be possible to turn it into something way more interactive with today’s technology. Would you like to see a World of Wonders Snoopy come back to life?
Other ideas include custom clothes for Snoopy and Belle. Artsy Snoopy plushes. Laser-cut signs, containers and anything I can come up with. Plus, custom embroidery. With all this, I could even look into licensing Peanuts. I love creating custom Peanuts works, but it’s difficult to dedicate myself to it when I also have a big website to run.
Every week, I get offered another collection to buy. I’d love to pursue getting more stock for the shop, but it takes a lot of time. With large collections, it makes more fiscal sense to pick it up, rather than pay exorbitant shipping fees. Currently, it doesn’t make a lot of financial sense to buy many collections. My day job has to come before my passion. More memorabilia for my shop means more opportunity for you to purchase it. Plus, it can help secure the future of CollectPeanuts.com.
I’ve always toyed with an idea to have a physical space for people to enjoy Peanuts. A museum? A bed & breakfast? A shop? It’s just a long-term thought that seems distant at the moment, but maybe someday.
Now that you know how CollectPeanuts.com gets made and what the future could hold, let’s take a look at how you can help share in my passion.
Sharing is caring! It’s not so much the “look at all these likes”, but getting more people involved and interested. Part of this website is just feeling like I can help people, whether it’s entertaining them, or helping them find a new Peanuts collectible. When the audience grows, so can my enjoyment and enthusiasm for CollectPeanuts.com.
I don’t have to be the only one creating for CollectPeanuts.com! Sending in your new and vintage Peanuts finds helps me craft new social posts and hunt down new products to feature. If you’d like to go beyond and write an article, let me know what you have in mind at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CollectPeanuts.com is a big endeavor! If you have feedback, please let me know at email@example.com. Is there an idea I’ve shared that you’d love to see come to fruition? Do you have a great idea to help other collectors? Plus, your constructive comments can help me direct my efforts for a better experience.
We work hard for the money. When you part with some of your hard-earned cash to support this site, I really appreciate it! When you go above and beyond to support CollectPeanuts.com, that’s when I can take things to a new level with better, more involved content. Yes, in someways you are funding my Peanuts collection. However, it’s a collection you get to share in, enjoy and not have to dust!
There are many ways you can contribute. Make a purchase through our affiliate partners, even if it’s not Peanuts, I still make a commission and you help without paying any extra. Shop in our online store and find a new vintage treasure for your Peanuts collection. Become a sustaining member of our Patreon community where you’ll get discounts, special articles, and more perks for your $1 a month donation. Finally, if you have Peanuts items that need new homes, send them to me and I’ll get them adopted!
A huge thank you to our dedicated fans who have contributed over the years! With everyone’s continued support, we can build a better CollectPeanuts.com for the future and continue sharing our passion with the world.