I’m sure like everyone you do not have a single day go by without hearing about a new “side hustle” or online get rich quick scheme. Nearly everyone of these schemes promises readers, would be job seekers and other thirsty opportunists a range of possibilities from reasonable earnings (like the claims made by Uber drivers for instance) to the illustrious $5k while working part time from home (i.e. every spam bot on Facebook)
Though some are legitimate and constitute actual work in exchange for the money earned, many are scams, ranging from said $5k a week “in pajamas” to companies trying to sell you a recruiting service or mislead you about the possibilities of their network marketing gig.
Today, I thought I would mull over a few side income opportunities that I have tried and/or researched and spread the wealth (er. . .pocket money?) to you. While I may not be the world’s foremost expert of side-hustleology, I have done a variety of side hustles myself in life to make money during down or hard times. Personally, I have found great results with the following.
Note: I’m not paid by any company mentioned to mention them nor affiliated with any of them.
Probably the biggest “duh!” on the list, yet there is an art to it. What you sell and how much you sell it for are two very important aspects of yard selling. This is primarily because people usually go to yard sales for 3 primary reasons:
- To get interesting things at a dirt cheap deal (i.e. something nostalgic, pastime equipment, clothing). These people go to yard sales for things they WANT, not necessarily for the things that they NEED.
- They are hitting the yard sale circuit for something that they need and what they usually need involves housewares or tools. They hit yard sales thinking about how they can buy a power saw or blender in good shape for a a lot less than sticker price.
- They are hoarders or collectors of obscure items (i.e. vintage Americana) or junk items who like the adrenaline rush of a good deal.
While these three types of yard sale veterans usually have different needs, what they do have in common is that they do NOT want to pay full price. Think about what you are going to sell accordingly, because except for rare cases (namely brand new, in box items) these shoppers will not pay anywhere near sticker price or even 50%. Heck, 30% is pushing it in a lot of cases. So in the case of yard sales, remember to go with the 20% rule (20% of what it’s worth) and only sell things you don’t need anymore and make sure that they are not dirty or in poor condition.
One side note, a lot of the latter depends on your area. Adjust the prices according to the affluence of the people who will be buying the items. In an area that’s a bit more affluent, 25%-30% or a tad more isn’t always unreasonable if the item is in good condition.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Ever find yourself with tons of time on your hands and nothing to do? Fill out some surveys and make a few bucks!
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk lets you make money by filling out services and doing remedial (and at times tedious) tasks for people willing to pay you to do them. Most of the tasks have to do with universities studies (psych departments), data processing companies and software developers wanting to test app or site features.
The earning potential is no where near a living wage, but it’s definitely good way to make some iTunes money or beer money when you are bored. I have had some pretty good success with using Amazon’s Mechnical Turk in the past, although it was nowhere close to being my main income stream. Even so, it’s worth a try if you have some down time and don’t want to be unproductive.
*Cue the *dey ‘took our jerbs’ guy from South Park*
Contrary to popular belief, lawn car is not a job that requires one to be either Hispanic or a teenager to do.
What it does require though is a lawn mower, a weed eater, a few elderly or working neighbors, work ethic and a lot of sweat. Depending on your area or neighborhood, you can rake in anywhere $20-100 per yard with lawn card given that you are reliable, do a nice job and are willing to work with people and the elements. This side job as I said is not for those who don’t want to work though and especially not for those who will cower when the scorching summer months roll around.
Lawn care is what I did before I ever had a formal job and even stints in between. I find it to be rewarding both in terms of satisfaction and money. Just make sure you manage your equipment properly, stay hydrated and wear sunscreen in the summer months.
Tip: Offer services besides just a standard mow to make even more money. Edging, raking leaves, pulling weeds from gardens, flower care, etc. can all earn you a bit more than expected.
Do you know a second language? Quadratic equations? English? The Bible?
Guess what? Teachers for all of those are in demand! There are SEVERAL online tutoring websites that will help you connect with people who are willing to pay you to help them with all or one of the above. The most in-demand tutoring jobs happen to be those regarding languages and mathematics, however, I have even seen people trying to find Bible tutors for their children.
While there are a multitude of sites out there with listings, it seems to me that Wyzant, Care.com, Indeed and UpWork seem to have the most listings and fairly good reputations (although to be fair sites like UpWork are not without criticism). If working online isn’t your thing, you can always go the old fashioned route and post fliers at your college (if they allow it) or ask around for students who may need your services face-to-face.
The earning potential for tutoring part time varies, but you could reasonably expect anywhere from $12-20 an hour (or more) depending on your experience and skill level.
Selling Things On eBay
Similar to a yard selling, except with a lot more flexibility in terms of pricing and selection. The average eBayer is usually a bargain hunter or collector and like so, you can appeal to both and not have to short change yourself as much as you would by yard selling.
Another advantage of eBay is that people on eBay can more easily sort through what you are selling than they could at a yard sale and you open up yourself to a lot larger of a market than just the five mile radius surrounding your neighbor.
Although eBay shoppers are usually bargain hunters, asking 50%-75 percent on items in great condition is not unusual nor frowned upon, especially if the item is collectible. Like so, you can also sell rare items that yard sale clients would never buy and if they are really rare and valuable, sell them at prices OVER what you paid for them.
EBay does not necessarily have to be a side hustle though as there are some who do it full time. While I personally don’t have too much experience with eBay outsides of selling items I’ve purchased before, I have seen and heard of people who do it full time. If you find that idea appealing to you, there are several people online who’ve written articles about it, but I’m not the best person to ask on that as I’ve never gone down that route.
This is the only one on the list I personally have not tried, though I have been thinking about it the more and more I garden. Apparently there are people out there making a good bit of pocket change saving the seeds of tomatoes, cucumbers and various other types of plants in order to resell them online or at farmers markets for $2 a sleeve. Though this is time intensive and labor intensive work, it still sounds like something that is at least worth a try as people have been saving and trading seeds for hundreds of years now with success. One of my favorite YouTubers, a quirky yet entertaining man by the name of BackToConstitution even claims that it can make you a millionaire (although admittedly I’m not too sure about that claim).
Well, that about does it. I thought I would pass this information on to you guys and give my two cents as I know many out there are looking for ways to bring in some extra dough. Whether it be for beer money or to save up a little nest egg, having a little bit for emergencies is never a bad thing. If you found this article helpful then by all means, feel free to share it.
Do you have any recommendations? Any side hustles that worked for you? Please comment below if you do.
Thanks and God bless,