It’s crunch time! The holidays are here. Maybe your pocketbook is feeling a little light already. You may not have time to sign up for seasonal customer service job or get approved as an UberEATS driver, but you do have options to make money for the holidays. And fast!
My Facebook feed has been aflutter with holiday-centered service offerings. There are some great ideas here that you may be able to use.
To offer to your family and friends
I’m a stickler for safety when it comes to buying and selling in local online marketplaces. Because of that, these are a few things I would only offer to people you know – friends, family, neighbors, people from church. You can post these on your personal Facebook profile, but I would avoid “buy sell trade” groups unless you are familiar with that means of selling and know how to protect yourself from scammers.
Offer gift wrapping – I’ve seen people offering gift wrapping services for $2 to $5 per gift depending on the size. These people are providing the gift wrap and most offer a discount if the client provides their own. You may be able to branch out a little from your inner circle, but you may be met with hesitation unless personally referred by someone you know. I wouldn’t hand over all of my gifts to a total stranger and hope they bring them back. Would you?
Gift Assembly – Along these same lines is gift assembly. If you are a parent, you know how hard it can be to get those large items put together and still out of sight without staying up until 3 am Christmas morning. Who wants to start their holiday like that? If you have a friend or two grumbling about how they are going to get Cindy’s 5-foot dollhouse put together, offer to assemble and store the item at your house until the big day.
Shopping – I know this question will pop up, so let’s address it first. There’s no way I would give someone my credit card to go shopping. I would recommend having enough cash in the bank or on your credit card to do the shopping for your client. They would then need to have the cash on hand before I give them the gifts. No cash, the gifts go back to the store. Period. (You do watch Judge Judy. Don’t you?) I’ve seen people locally offering this service for around $25 per hour with gift wrapping included.
Housecleaning – Many people will be hosting holiday gatherings. Making sure every corner is dusted is the last thing they want to worry about. If you can provide last minute, week before Christmas cleanings, you may be gold to your friends. That’s when everyone is going to want a final wipe down before people come over and most housecleaning businesses are already booked up.
Decorating – If you are decorating outside, you may feel comfortable posting in a Facebook Group. If you are putting out the knick-knacks, I understand not wanting to enter a stranger’s home. You know what you are comfortable with. Offer your services accordingly.
Baking – Believe it or not, I’m a horrible baker. I love to cook, but I don’t do well with things that require strict measurements and down-to-the-second cooking times. I have been known on more than one occasion to feed my family pies and cakes that are slightly burned, contain an eggshell or two, aren’t quite done… If you are known for your fabulous fudge, cheesecakes or jellies, you may be able to pick up some extra cash for the holidays selling them to your friends so they can impress their families.
Leave it open. Post on your Facebook profile or group that you are looking to earn some extra cash for the holidays and open to performing odd jobs.
Go local in Facebook Groups.
Are you a Pinterest Rockstar? If you make holiday items like wreaths or stockings, create handmade items like soaps, or upcycle items that would make unique gifts, list them in a Facebook Group. As Victoria told us in her interview, stay safe by meeting in a public place and during the daytime – don’t invite people to your home. And only take cash! No PayPal. No checks. No other crazy ideas that can be reversed or rejected.
Victoria also told us to be cognizant of your time investment. If you handmade an item, wrapped it and then had to drive it across time, what’s that really worth? Perhaps you can bundle or create higher-value gift baskets to increase your profit margin.
Those are a few of my ideas for making money for the holidays. I'd love to hear your story in the comments!