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Old 04-25-2017, 01:27 PM
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Default What do you do to earn extra money?

This topic has come up in some other threads so I thought it would be good to get this conversation going in one place.

If you do anything "on the side" to earn additional income outside of your regular job, tell us about it. A lot of people feel that earning extra income isn't possible because of their work schedule or childcare obligations or some other reason, but thanks to the internet, there are countless ways to earn money without even leaving your home in some cases. So let's hear them.

Personally, I've been selling collectibles since 1986 and I've done it online since 1994. If I really focus on it and devote time to it, I can definitely bring in a couple thousand dollars per month. I don't currently do anywhere near that much because I don't need or want to and it's far more lucrative for me to pick up extra shifts at work instead. But if the extra shifts ever went away and we needed to replace the income, I'd go back to online sales in a snap. I buy things to sell at yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops, outlet stores, even regular retail stores on clearance. I've also sold many things rescued from the trash around the neighborhood. Those are the best sales of all since my cost basis is zero.

As long as you have a way to take pictures and internet access to post the listings, you're all set. A smartphone is also a great resource because you can use it to check the resale value of items on the spot and only buy things that look to have a good resale market.

My wife brings in extra money with sewing work. She started quilting about 3 years ago kind of on a whim, found that she really enjoyed it and was good at it, and has since turned it into a small side business. She has sold a couple dozen tote bags as well as wine bottle holders, t-shirt quilts, invitation pillows, curtains, and other items. She's also done some basic alteration work like hemming pants.

What do you do to earn extra money outside of your regular job?
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:53 PM
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I actually run a youtube channel dedicated to personal finance and it pays me a little every month. It's nothing crazy, but you're helping people, exercising creativity and earning side money. Good times!
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:57 PM
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Been doing DoorDash for my wife's spending money, maybe $2-$300 a week for around 20 hours. just started another app based job a few weeks ago called Jyve, it's a merchandising job, go to a store and stock a brand, she can make $100 in 4 hours
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:06 PM
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Volunteering to be a paid subject for medical studies is one way to earn extra money. This is great if you live someplace like Maryland, Virginia or DC where there are large research hospitals that have a budget for this sort of thing.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.hendrickson View Post
Volunteering to be a paid subject for medical studies is one way to earn extra money. This is great if you live someplace like Maryland, Virginia or DC where there are large research hospitals that have a budget for this sort of thing.
I tried to do that once when I was in school but they turned me down for some really obscure finding in my eval. I never tried again. It can be great money, though.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:00 PM
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I buy/sell things online while sitting at my computer watching Netflix or surfing the internet in my free time. Was thinking of quitting the day job and doing it full time, but decided not to. It's fine for side income, but not to deal with regular recurring expenses like a mortgage. It tends to be countercyclical, so in good economic times (like now), it's slower. Been doing it for a while. Built it to a point where if I wound down and liquidated the entire business I probably could pay off my mortgage.

Last edited by ~bs; 04-25-2017 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
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I buy/sell things online

It tends to be countercyclical, so in good economic times (like now), it's slower.
That's an interesting observation. I suppose it depends on the types of things you are selling. For collectibles sales, just the opposite is true. Sales are better when the economy is doing well and folks have more disposable income.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~bs View Post
I buy/sell things online while sitting at my computer watching Netflix or surfing the internet in my free time. Was thinking of quitting the day job and doing it full time, but decided not to. It's fine for side income, but not to deal with regular recurring expenses like a mortgage. It tends to be countercyclical, so in good economic times (like now), it's slower. Been doing it for a while. Built it to a point where if I wound down and liquidated the entire business I probably could pay off my mortgage.
I'm always surprised how much people make buying/selling Supreme clothing/gear. He resold a motorcycle helmet and made $1200 in profit....who spends that much on a helmet with a sticker on it?!
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
That's an interesting observation. I suppose it depends on the types of things you are selling. For collectibles sales, just the opposite is true. Sales are better when the economy is doing well and folks have more disposable income.
It's kind of a weird push-pull thing for me. In a weakened economy a lot more people look to sell what they can to get cash. Others are looking to buy, but at lower prices (than in a strong economy). So in the weaker economy, my volume skyrockets, but margins are lower, which I find more favorable than higher margins, but way way lower activity. During my busiest times during the peak of the last recession, I simply couldn't keep up, both in terms of liquid cash and time required to close sales. I let a lot of opportunities go during that period of time. The volume was so abnormal that the banks were calling and requesting written statements regarding my business accounts because I triggered whatever they had in place to detect possible illegal activities.

Last edited by ~bs; 04-25-2017 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:18 PM
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I'm always surprised how much people make buying/selling Supreme clothing/gear. He resold a motorcycle helmet and made $1200 in profit....who spends that much on a helmet with a sticker on it?!
That is a very nice profit. But yeah, you definitely need to find your niche and understand it.

The internet can make making money online easier, but it also can make it more difficult. There's tons of products where there simply isn't a profit margin worth selling the product because there are suppliers from china selling directly in the US retail channels like stores, amazon, ebay, etsy,etc. I wasn't around doing this 10-15 years ago, but from my understanding, it was A LOT easier doing the "import from china" thing. A lot of people make killings on amazon, ebay, and their own stores. And drop shipping made actual management of the business a lot easier. But like I mentioned earlier, it's tougher now because the same suppliers are also selling into the US retail channels, and at lower cost than you (since you're a middleman).

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Old 04-25-2017, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~bs View Post
The internet can make making money online easier, but it also can make it more difficult. There's tons of products where there simply isn't a profit margin worth selling the product because there are suppliers from china selling directly in the US retail channels like stores, amazon, ebay, etsy,etc.
That's where the smartphone is your best friend. You can check actual sale prices on the spot. If I'm at a yard sale or thrift shop I can easily look up recent ebay sale prices for an item and decide if it's worth buying to resell.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:41 PM
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That's where the smartphone is your best friend. You can check actual sale prices on the spot. If I'm at a yard sale or thrift shop I can easily look up recent ebay sale prices for an item and decide if it's worth buying to resell.
yup, that does make sense for reselling preowned items. I guess my comment with the Chinese competitors kinda drifted more towards the import business
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:49 PM
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yup, that does make sense for reselling preowned items. I guess my comment with the Chinese competitors kinda drifted more towards the import business
Understood. I have looked into buying stuff in bulk to resell but anytime I looked up sales results, I always found a hundred other people selling the same items so I knew there was way too much competition.

I did buy some closeout lots a couple of times. With those, the supply was limited so there wasn't much competition. And the price was usually low enough that I didn't have to sell all of them to make back my money and a decent profit. The problem was that most of the time the minimum lot size was too big. I wasn't in a position to be buying palette loads or truckloads of things. I wanted to buy a dozen, maybe two dozen, but not 50 dozen.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:57 PM
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I did look into closeout lots before, but I really don't have the space nor transportation for something like that. Also I don't want to wait months and months to sell all of it, as that ties up capital.

One area where I'm sure I'd have made a killing in if I got into reselling (and I don't mind sharing because I don't plan to ever get into it) was women's luxury purses. During the recession, the MSRP prices were depressed, the "actual value" was depressed, and the amount people would be willing to dump them off on an interested buyer was also low. Nowadays, it's all the exact opposite, with the MSRPs skyrocketing. If you held onto some of the better stuff during the recession, you could make double or triple what you paid. Of course like anything else, you do need to know what you're doing (better be able to spot fakes quickly and accurately), and there are other pros and cons of course.

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Old 04-25-2017, 04:52 PM
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Well what I do is small potatoes compared to all you guys but I'm tickled with it just the same. I live by a food company and they have paid sample tastings. I get an email asking if I'm available at a certain day and time to come in and taste test a new product they're thinking of making. There's usually 4-5 samples to taste, it takes a half hour and I get 20 bucks. They even do them for kids, their taste tests only last 15 min and they get 10 bucks(I forgot to mention that on the other thread when I was talking about my kids jobs). Anywho we don't get called too often (once or twice a month?) it depends what the company is concocting. But it's my out to lunch with my girlfriends money.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:20 PM
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I live by a food company and they have paid sample tastings.
Getting paid to eat. Tough to beat that.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:26 PM
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I thought of something else I just did recently. I did it more as a favor but I did get paid for it.

We have a friend who wrote a book a year or so ago. She used a professional editor in NYC to edit that book which cost her a fortune and she really wasn't all that pleased with the end result.

She has now written a 2nd book and was talking to my wife about needing a new editor. She asked who edited my daughter's novel and my wife said that I did it and that I'm really good at that stuff. So she asked me if I would be willing to edit her book.

It took me a couple of months but she wasn't in any hurry. I worked on it in the evening or on the weekend when I had some down time.

To compensate me, she and her husband took us out to a nice dinner twice and she also paid me $500. Doing the work cost me nothing but my time and I actually enjoy doing stuff like that. She was thrilled because it saved her a ton of money and the end result was much better than what the pro had provided. Also, since the book is medical in nature, having a doctor do the editing was a huge benefit as I caught a bunch of things that a regular editor would have missed.

I wouldn't mind finding more editing jobs but at this point, I'm not going to actively seek them out. If any find me by word of mouth, I'll certainly consider them, though.
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* There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrif-t View Post
Well what I do is small potatoes compared to all you guys but I'm tickled with it just the same. I live by a food company and they have paid sample tastings. I get an email asking if I'm available at a certain day and time to come in and taste test a new product they're thinking of making. There's usually 4-5 samples to taste, it takes a half hour and I get 20 bucks. They even do them for kids, their taste tests only last 15 min and they get 10 bucks(I forgot to mention that on the other thread when I was talking about my kids jobs). Anywho we don't get called too often (once or twice a month?) it depends what the company is concocting. But it's my out to lunch with my girlfriends money.
small potatoes, big potatoes doesn't really matter. No sense snubbing a good thing.

I'll get groupons $10 for $5 for a store I normally go to, of course I'll sign up.

I just got the below email from Amazon. Took me maybe 15 seconds to download and sign into the app on my phone. $5 free, why not?

Get a $5 Amazon Gift Card for your first sign-in to the Amazon app

On that note, if you never used the amazon app before, you might want to check your spam email to see if you got the promotion.
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:58 PM
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Disneysteve made me remember this from 15+ years ago. I edited three doctoral dissertations in engineering. I'm not an engineer, but I can find grammatical errors even when I have no idea what the words and numbers are saying. I did the first one for a guy whose native language is not English, so he was concerned that he might be screwing up the sense of it all through bad grammar. I could also check for stuff like notes placed where they should be, and consistent format of citations.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:10 AM
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Our only source of income not related to our jobs comes from taxable dividends/interest from our index stock/bond holdings.

When I'm not working, I'm in leisure and none of my hobbies pay.
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