To make money, you have to sell something! There is no other way to do it.
Now, that something can be either a product, a service, or your time.
If you are in need of cash and are looking for things to sell to make some extra money, here are some ideas that may help you find just the right thing to earn money by selling it:
Things You Can Sell
Let’s start with physical and digital stuff that can be sold for a profit.
1. Your opinion
Your opinions matter and businesses are happy to pay you an average of $3 if you volunteer to take part in their surveys.
In addition, you could also get paid $0.50 for agreeing to read paid emails. The effort required ranges from 20 minutes to an hour and you can do it anywhere so long there is a connected PC to the Internet.
If you have been an avid book reader, then BookScouter.com can help you to sell all those extra books in your possession. This could be an excellent idea if you continue to indulge in your habit of buying books, as the old ones make way for the new ones.
If selling is not your thing, a book exchange site like Swap allows you to swap books with other book owners.
3. Sporting equipment
Remember the golf set you spent a fortune on but never really got the time to practice your swing? Well, it could be better placed on the marketplace rather than your garage.
Used sports equipment is easy to list on online marketplaces such as Amazon.com or you could bring it down to your local Play It Again Sports, a sporting goods consignment chain.
4. Designer goods
Designer stuff can command huge bucks if that particular brand or model you have hits the fashion scene again.
Never throw away your old designer handbags, instead, advertise them on eBay and Craigslist.
Amazingly, I still see used Kate Spade and Coach purses sell for over $100, and Louis Vuittons for about $500.
One suggestion is not to go into online marketplaces blind. Do your homework and find out how much the others are selling bags like yours.
5. Cameras, iPods, and other gadgets
It may be the time of the year to want to get a newer version of your current model, or just simply you are financially tight right now, getting rid of your well-maintained tech stuff helps to clear up some space in the household while earning extra cash.
Gazelle.com is popularly known to buy and sell used tech gadgets online. This site is truly remarkable in that if no one makes any offer on your stuff, they will, so you can exchange your item with cash no matter what!
CDs are so last generation in this digital age. They always represent an easy target
whenever the idea of selling stuff strikes me. But you should first backup the content into your computer hard disk before you get rid of your old CDs.
I like this site, iPod Meister.
They take back your CDs (even vinyl records) in exchange for credit to buy the next piece of tech wonder!
If you are willing to part with 220 CDs, your reward could be an iPhone.
7. Baby supplies
If you have no further use of the baby stuff that is still occupying space, check out parenting lists in order to get rid of them.
Yahoo! Groups and/or Google Groups could show you some relevant lists. You can make use of keywords such as parents or playgroup, and always indicate your location.
You will find the likes ParkSlopeParents, Berkeley Parents Network, Neighborhood Parents Network of Chicago, and DC Urban Moms and Dads in your neighborhood.
Since most consider baby and toddler stuff to be perishable items, it makes sense to price your items is at a 50% discount from their original purchased price (you can make an exception if those are new or unused).
8. VHS tapes
Surprisingly, there is still a healthy demand for VHS tapes, just check out Amazon.com, eBay.com, and Craigslist.
If you happen to hold movie titles that are still not available on DVD or those that are simply collectors’ items, you can make some pretty money of your old VHS tapes!
So find time to dust off your VHS tapes, they may just make you a small fortune.
9. Video games and video game consoles
It is said that games and consoles have a pretty short life span. If you are still holding on to an old game system or old games, you should let go of them sooner rather than later if you hope to extract some money out of them!
There are many sites that facilitate resale of old games or old game consoles, with JJGames.com among the better-known ones.
EB Games is another place you want to check out. The company sells pre-owned games through both its brick and mortar and online outlets.
10. Old china sets
It will take some effort to determine the value of your china, but you will find online pattern identification service, such as Replacements, useful for this purpose. You get a photo across to them and they would be happy to assess it at no cost.
As you get a fair idea of the perceived worth, get on Amazon or eBay.
My observation is that you can almost be assured of full assessed-value (or near to it) on one of these popular marketplaces.
11. Musical instruments
Unless you are a collector, old unused musical instruments around the house are simply going to collect dust. If you (and your wife and your kids) have stopped using them, it’s time to sell!
Used Instrument Buyer helps you to get rid of them with competitive offers.
Don’t take my word for it. Get your old violin onto eBay and see how the bidding war ends up. After all, it never hurts if the bidding drives it up a few dollars more!
12. Gold jewelry
When you confine your jewelry inside the jewelry box permanently rather than showing them off, it is perhaps time to sell your necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings for whatever it is worth in the gold content.
There are plenty of gold merchants who are willing to purchase your gold. Make sure you look around to get the best value offer for your precious jewelry.
If you have been fortunate enough to inherit antique tables or chairs, or maybe you yourself were an ardent collector with ancient cabinets, you should think about the potential dollar value they could fetch you if you choose to sell them.
After all, they won’t do you any good if they continue to collect dust in the basement while you struggle for your next meal.
I have mentioned earlier that Etsy could be a great source of income for craftsmen. Don’t take the statement lightly.
There are also tons of Etsy alternatives you can use to sell handmade crafts.
The variety of products here is amazing and some of them epitomize the best of the best in term of innovative ideas and designs.
My point is that if you are really good with your hands, and have a creative mind, you could come up with blockbuster money-spinners. It is time to turn your passion into a moneymaking vocation.
Once the Beanie Babies become less alluring and lose their appeal, sell them! The same can apply to coins, stamps, or beer cans. Once the love is over, it is time to ring in the cash register.
Obviously, some items are going to fetch more than the rest, but they all represent a good source of income. So, put together your collection and head out to Etsy, Ruby Lane or Artfire.
16. Used goods
It can work to your advantage if you happen to be a habitual shopper. Just make sure that you turn to the right places (yard sales, thrift stores) and buy the stuff cheap (used/old items).
Online marketplaces like eBay are always an excellent choice to trade or resell your cheaply acquired stuff with a profit.
Or, you could turn to the neighborhood flea markets, which probably work better if your product’s quality can only be assured through physical or visual inspection.
Overhead is low (online marketplace is virtually free and a table at the flea-market costs $25 – $60).
No one in the real world has become a millionaire doing just that, but it can be decent money and you are doing what you like while you enjoy the extra income.
17. Rooms in your home
Don’t let the spare room stay vacant for long! If there is a room to spare, renting it out could get you some much-needed cash, or help you pay your mortgage.
Don’t just sit on the idea! Act now and reap the reward over a spare room that you have no use for, anyway.
18. Blood, plasma and biological materials
If donating blood or plasma does not sound too daunting for you, you could get cash from blood banks doing exactly that. In the same way, good cash for sperm donated to sperm banks, and eggs to fertility clinics.
If you have been blessed with long healthy hair, you can sell it to wig makers provided it has not been color treated.
There are many ways to make money selling photos.
If you have always been good at taking photos, then sell them on sites like Shutterstock.com.
Every image downloaded by any user will earn you 25 cents.
However, do take note that the website has no obligation to take in all your photos submitted, and the moneymaking capacity is obviously dependent on the popularity of individual images.
20. Cans, bottles and newspapers
If you are cool with the idea of making some money with discarded items, then you can go around your neighborhood to pick up newspapers, aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles, and sell them to recycle centers.
Nowadays, recycling systems are an integral part of waste disposal programs, especially in city areas, so the chance is better here than suburban or rural areas.
As I mentioned in my recent post on recycling aluminum cans for cash, one pound of aluminum will probably fetch you close to a dollar. But take note that some recycling centers refuse to take in plastic and glass.
21. Things you don’t need
Organize a yard sale for those unwanted items that are occupying space in your household.
They could be out of fashion clothing, Christmas lights and decorations, and anything in between.
It is understood that you will have to sell these items at a fraction of their face value. But doing so, you could make room for items that you truly need and perhaps fund these new purchases with the money you make from the yard sale.
Read my story of making $1000 in a weekend with a yard sale.
Services You Can Sell
Ok, so you have run out of options when it comes to selling tangible goods, but what about selling your skills and expertise?…
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to do that as well.
Here are a few:
22. Musical skills
Part-time musical teachers are reported to make hundreds of dollars every week comfortably by simply teaching musical instruments during their spare time.
If you have a talent with certain musical instrument, you can boost your income by imparting your skills on to those keen beginners.
Always check out the going rate at your neighborhood so that you don’t inadvertently price yourself out of the market.
And in true blue entrepreneur’s form, make an effort to publicize your service, especially during the early stages.
23. Freelance work
If you have developed concrete skills over your work life, then trade these skills as a freelancer.
It does not matter what your core skill is, it could be anything from writing to editing, photography to computer programming, web design, transcription, data entry, or accounting.
If you are really good, there will always be employers who are seeking out qualified freelancers for short stint work at Freelancer.com and Elance.com.
Do take note that these sites have some form of screening (usually in the form of tests) in place in order to conclude that you are good enough to bid for jobs posted in various categories.
Of course, the bid you put in has to be competitive enough to win the project or job.
24. Handy man work
Maybe you are competent to fix electronics or computers, or you are great in gardening, home maintenance or snow shoveling. Regardless of your area of expertise, people will pay good money if they can use your skill to help them to avoid tending to the task themselves.
Setting up a part-time home business is no longer as costly and cumbersome as in the pre-internet days. You could advertise on Craigslist and in local newspapers, distribute flyers and business cards, and in general create a buzz about your new business.
25. Babysitting, elder Care, home and pet services
Or you may claim you have no specific skills, but that should not be a prohibiting factor to set up a part time business.
There will always be demand on babysitters and childcare service on part time basis.
Some privileged folks may not mind to spend a few dollars for people to pick up their mail and newspapers, feed or walk their pets, or simply turn lights in their homes on, as they go on holidays.
If you are well versed with school/college subjects, then turn tutoring. There are many sites you can use to make money online tutoring.
Alternatively, you may be good in languages, so you can teach those who desire to sharpen their language skills, or you can get involved in translation work.
The point is that so long as you are willing to transfer your knowledge or skill, there will always be ready takers, at a fee of course.
27. Online video game skills
Few think of it this way, but online gaming is potentially a full time job with real income (people are reported to make $50,000 per year).
Gaming giants like Blizzard (WOW) employs a full time staff to facilitate communication with subscribers and moderate their forums.
Or if your expertise is actually playing the game, then you can look forward to sponsors coming forward with offers to pay you to play in various tournaments.
It is not uncommon for winning players to get payouts in the range of thousands of dollars in tournaments; especially these concern popular games like WOW and Call of Duty.
Once you gain fame, gaming companies may pay you more to just test their new games.
You can almost always find something that you can use to make money with. Sometimes you just have to be creative, other times you just have to look around your house!