One of the best places to sell unwanted personal possessions is Decluttr, a website that buys used items directly from consumers. Unlike trade-in marketplaces such as Gazelle and auction websites such as eBay, Decluttr doesn’t act as a middleman between buyers and sellers. Rather, it’s best understood as a bulk buyer: an enterprise with deep pockets and an unsatiable appetite for used consumer products.
Before you really roll up your sleeves and monetize your personal or professional skills, why not right-size your life? Selling your unwanted stuff is a great way to downsize and declutter your life while earning some income on the side. If you’re transitioning to full-time work-at-home status, that income could provide a critical boost to your plans for a proper home office, or allow you to maintain your lifestyle during lean times without resorting to voluntary simplicity.
If you’ve received gifts you really don’t want – and they’re still in the packages – try returning them. Some retailers will take them back up to a year later. If you are not sure where the item was purchased, try going online and searching. If a retailer like Walmart or Target pops up then you can return it there without a receipt and get a gift card.
But cutting costs only goes so far. Unless you already make a lot of money and spend like a bon vivant, most people can’t eke out that much more from their budget by decreasing expenses. Plus, the more you retrench, the more your quality of life suffers. (It’s all relative, though — certainly some overspenders could actually improve their lives by tempering their expenditures. Here are 101 ideas for saving money.)
First, you need to be willing to work more if you want to earn more. Everyone wants to magically earn more money by working less, but it doesn't work that way. Second, you need to be willing to try new things. You don't necessarily need to be creative. You just need to be willing to try to earn money in a different way than you currently are doing.
Socialize. Especially when you’re getting started, you need to establish contacts who are already immersed in the business. They can act as mentors, keep you up to date on industry changes, and even help you land your first or subsequent job. Look for the local chapter of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) in your area and join.
I personally have enjoyed working a direct sales/home based business on the side. I found a good, legitimate company with very low upfront costs/overhead. It has been a great experience. Just be sure that the company offers training and some sort of simple, step-by-step system and it helps if they are in the DSA Top 100– instantly proves their legitimacy!
Noticeably absent from my list is “blogging”. I enjoy blogging and sharing with readers ways to save money, inspiring success stories and of course geek culture. However, blogging is not the path to quick money online. Despite what many bloggers and peddlers of courses may suggest, blogging is very hard work and it takes a sizable audience to make even a modest return.
Become a social media virtual assistant. Do you love Pinterest or Instagram? Many brands and bloggers do not know how to correctly use these social media platforms. Offer your expertise to coach or act as a social media manager. It’s a win-win: the brand gets the right type of social media exposure and you can make money doing something you enjoy.
Like Airbnb, becoming a ridesharing driver for companies like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar is a way to join the shared economy. And though it is not technically earning money from home, it allows the same kind of flexibility and it is a way to use an asset you already own (i.e. your car) to make money. There are things to keep in mind, though, about driving other people such as whether your car insurance will cover you and how you pay taxes on your earnings.
Sign up with focus groups in your area. Studies that you are eligible to participate in pop up sporadically but pay quite well – often more than $50 for an hour of your time. You can also look for focus groups online but will have to sort through a lot of bogus “opportunities” and sites that ask you to pay up-front for the privilege of participating before you find anything worthwhile.
Sell hair, plasma, or other body parts/fluids. Long, healthy, untreated hair can be sold for a variety of purposes (including high-end wig- and extension-making) and earn you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on color, health, and length. Plasma can be “donated” (for compensation) provided that you are old, healthy, and heavy enough to qualify. Sperm can be donated, but you usually have to know (and be able to document) a fair amount of information about your parents as well as your medical history to be eligible. But be wary; for example, donating eggs is often touted as a fast, high-profit medical procedure, but the process is actually requires that the participant undergo hormonal and medical treatment, receive regular checkups and ultrasounds, and abstain from sex and intoxicants, all of which take weeks or even months before the eggs are even eligible for removal. The removal process itself is invasive and lasts about 30 minutes. Consider your options very carefully before taking on anything like this.
Again, video is much more expensive to produce than written content, so while it’s always good to be versatile, it’s especially important as a video editor or producer. Try to become an expert in every aspect of video production, from lighting to sound to editing footage. Know the difference between what works on a Facebook Live and what works on YouTube.
Invest in the stock market. One way to make money without working is to play the stock market to your advantage. Stock trading is by no means risk-free, but if you're smart, careful, and a little lucky, you can stand to make lots of money on the stock market. Whatever investments you choose to make, never invest any money in the stock market that you can't stand to lose.
Become a babysitter. Babysitting is a common way to make some extra money on the side. There are now professional services you can sign up for that will connect you with people who need a babysitter. For these services, it will help to pass a CPR class or other certification, or to have a talent or expertise for entertaining children. However, you might be able to make money more quickly just by babysitting for people you know, or by having friends refer you to others who need a babysitter.
If gaming is your thing, try sorting through all your old video games. Many video game stores will take your used games if they are brought without any scratches or blemishes in the original case. Although you may only get a fraction of the price you originally bought the games for, making a few dollars on something you no longer use is better than nothing.
What, specifically, can you sell on Fiverr? Anything from graphics and design services, to digital marketing, writing and translation services, video and animation services, music and audio, programming and application development, business services and lifestyle services that includes anything from celebrity impressions, to gaming and even astrology readings.
Become a mystery shopper. This means doing business with various establishments and rating their products and services without their knowledge. It may sound like cake, but remember that it requires discreteness, a good memory for detail (ex. the name of every individual who helped or served you), and enough cash for you to be able to pay for your shopping experience up-front and then wait to be reimbursed pending the approval of your review.
Not quite ready to start your own blog, but still like the idea of getting paid to write? You may want to consider trying your hand at freelance writing. Many bloggers and website owners are willing to shell out some serious cash for high quality writers. In fact, Holly Johnson from ClubThrifty.com makes over $200,000 per year from freelance work! And she has a course that teaches others how to do the same.