If you are looking for the best ways to make extra money, I'm sure that you have seen the online lists with titles like…
“101 ways to make money online”
The trouble is that when you look at these lists, they are a joke.
One list that I was looking at suggested doing Amazon Mechanical Turk in your free time. If you are not familiar with that website, you usually get paid less than a dollar for most tasks. That might work in some countries, but that is not a realistic income generator for most people in the world.
So I decided to make my own list and filter out all of the BS. I have focused on the five opportunities I think are the very best ways to make some extra money from home.
…besides trading, of course. I'll be the first to admit that trading is not for everyone, just like becoming a doctor is not for everyone.
I have personal experience in all of these things and I'll give you the steps to getting started.
I'm not just talking theory here.
This is also just my opinion. I have learned that the key to success in any endeavor is to do it a way that matches your personality.
So don't just jump on any old opportunity that comes your way. Take a some time to figure out if you actually enjoy it or not.
But if one of these things helps you create a new income stream, I have done my job.
This extra money can be used for your next vacation, to fund your trading account, pay for your kid's school or…whatever you choose!
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My Criteria For Choosing These Opportunities
Here's how I chose these opportunities. They all have the following criteria:
- It can be done by most people in the world
- It can be done from your home
- It requires a minimal amount of specialized knowledge
- It has the potential to replace your current income
- It is a legitimate business opportunity (yeah duh, but I had to put that in)
There are a lot of fantastic businesses that require a specific skill, like trading or building a startup. However, it can take years to hone that skill.
The opportunities I have chosen below simply require a lot of hard work. They can be done by anyone who has the drive to hustle and the desire make extra money in their free time.
…and you can get started with any of these opportunities right now.
I personally believe that reselling is the best opportunity for the average person to make some extra money, no matter where you live. You can make as little or as much as you want, with minimal knowledge and start up capital. That is why I will spend the most time on this topic.
Selling Your Own Stuff
The best way to get into reselling is to start selling your own stuff. It keeps the risk low and you won't spend extra time sourcing items to sell.
I'm sure there are things you have lying around your home that you don't need anymore. So why not sell them to make extra money?
Not into minimalism? That's OK. I think everyone would benefit from less clutter in their homes.
You may be surprised at what people will pay for stuff you thought was just junk.
How to Get Started
The first thing that you have to figure out is if there is a market for the thing you want to sell. A lot of people attach sentimental value to their stuff and are surprised when it doesn't sell for their ridiculous asking price.
Remember that the key to success in reselling is:
“Something is only worth what people will pay for it.”
I check eBay for comparable sales first because that is usually the best measure of market value. When you do a search, you can see how many of your item have sold and for what price.
So do a search for the item by name or model number. The more exact you can be, the more accurate your valuation will be. If you don't have any of that information, start with generic terms like “nike tracksuit.”
Then find the item that most closely matches what you have. The name of the game is comparable sales, just like in real estate. You are looking for comparable items to establish the value of your stuff.
Next, select pre-owned and sold listings to see the used items that have actually sold. If there are a lot of similar items that have sold, then there is a great chance that your item will sell too.
The process is pretty simple but there are a lot of little steps that you will not learn on the eBay website itself. I would suggest buying a course to teach you all of the finer points. It will cost some money, but if you put in the work, you can make up that money very easily.
Click here to see the course that I learned from.
Buying to Resell
Once you have sold a few things from around your home, you are ready to start finding things to resell.
But what to buy?
I would suggest starting in one category and becoming an expert at it.
One of the most underrated categories is used clothing. Check out how this mom built her store to $10,000 per month by just selling used clothes!
…and this is just one category. If used clothes don't interest you, there's a good chance that you can find a category that you will be interested in.
Great story, right? Now let's take a look at how to do this…
Places to find stuff:
- Swap meets
- Garage sales
- Estate sales
- Thrift stores
- Facebook groups
- Buying and selling apps
I would recommend also setting up email alerts on Craigslist and getting on the email list of companies that do estate sales in your area. You can use also apps like Yard Sale Treasure Map to find the garage sales in your area. OfferUp can also be a great way to find stuff to resell.
However, I would not recommend selling on these platforms because they are not an efficient way to sell.
Once you find something that you think might be valuable, follow this process:
- Check the comparable sales on the eBay app
- See how many sales there were of that item in a month
- Figure in the fees to see if you would make enough profit
If it looks like it will sell quickly and you will make enough profit, then you should buy it.
I think you would be surprised at how cheap you can buy things to resell. After awhile, you will learn what to look for and you might not need the app anymore. Start slow with a few items and take it from there.
Here are just a couple of things that I have found and sold on eBay.
I found this book about Egyptian grammar at an estate sale and bought it for a dollar. It ended up selling for $50 plus shipping.
Next, I bought this light therapy kit for $2 at an estate sale. I sold it on eBay for $99.
Obviously, not all deals will be this sweet. You will make mistakes and you will lose money on some deals.
But if you keep your risk low, then you can more than make them up on other deals.
To get started with reselling on eBay, I recommend this course.
What if You Can't Use eBay?
This principle can be used in any area of the world and you do not eBay to do it. You simply need to find items that people want and a marketplace where they can be sold. It may take a little more work to figure out the value of something, but it can be done.
Traders have been doing this for hundreds of years. You can figure it out too.
You can also try to sell big bulky stuff on a site like Craigslist for free. It probably won't get you as much money as selling on eBay, but at least you will get something.
If you can't sell it, you can always give it away for free. Craigslist has a free giveaway section or you can try Freecycle. Also consider donating it for the tax write off (consult with your tax professional). If you want to get rid of books, read this blog post on great places to donate or sell them.
2. Start Creating Content Around Topics You Are Interested In
Creating online content around can give you an outlet for your creative energy and help you make some extra money.
…and it doesn't have to be a trading blog, it can be around almost any topic.
Do something fun!
I'm a big fan of blogging (if you didn't notice already). But that's not the only way to make money from topics that you are interested in.
You can also generate money from:
Other sites like Problogger and also show you how to make money blogging. There are many sites out there, so just pick one and get started.
3. Start an Online Store
Do you have some serious craft skills? Then selling on a site like Etsy might be your thing.
Another option is to negotiate with stores to buy their closeout or overstock items at a discount to sell in your store. I know someone who negotiated with managers at stores like Target and Walmart and made a multiple six figure income.
It might be easier than you think.
4. Create a Digital Product
You ARE good at something, even if you don't think it is anything. Even if it is something as small as how to unclog a kitchen sink or how to fix a wobbling fan, there is something you know that some people would knock down your door to learn from you.
With the power of the internet, you can create informational products and sell them online, spending little or no money on marketing and production costs. You can start a course, or even sell music.
Here are some sites for creating and selling digital products:
You are only limited by your imagination.
5. Do Consulting
In my opinion, this is usually the fastest way to make extra money.
It is also the most painful.
I try to stay away from consulting, whenever possible.
As I mentioned in a previous section, I believe that everyone is good at something. Therefore, maybe you can do it for other people and become a consultant. Figure out a way to get paid for it by consulting with individuals or even companies.
If you want to learn how to get started, this blog post will help. You can do this in your free time and depending on your service, you may be able to create a significant side income.
Bonus: Cut Back on Expenses
Finally, maybe the money you need is already available to you. Spending less can be just as good as making more money. Record your expenses for a month and see if there are expenses that you can reduce or eliminate.
Look for the following…
- Can you transfer higher interest rate credit card balances to lower rate cards or credit lines?
- Check your credit card and bank statements, are there recurring charges that you forgot about or do not need?
- Can you cut down on your car expenses?
- Maybe you can stop driving altogether?
- Do you really need to go shopping that often?
Take a few minutes to think about everything and search the internet for ideas. This blog has some great ideas but there tons of other websites out there.
Final Thoughts on Best Ways to Earn Extra Money
So there you have it, five great extra ways to make money in your free time to fund your next trading account or whatever you need the money for. Who knows, one of these things could make more money than your trading!
Remember that there is such a thing as having too many side-hustles, so focus your energy on mastering one thing at a time.
What have you done to make extra money? Share your experience in the comments below…
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