A lot of folks come to this blog looking for ways to make money from home. Maybe they want advice on building a business or getting hired by a company that will let them have a home office. Maybe they’re just looking for ways to make a buck here and there on the side without having to put in a whole lot of effort.
And maybe they’re somewhere in between.
Some of you have told me you prefer one-off projects. You like seeing a project through from conception to completion and then moving on to something else. We’re going to look at a few ways you can make money doing one-time work or single projects here and there. It’s a little bit like being your own boss without the whole “business” element, a little bit like picking up spare change but with more significant profits possible, and because we now live in a “gig economy,” you’ve got tons of options.
One of the great things about reselling is that you do the bulk of the work one time, and then you can sit back and let the profits roll in. As a reseller, the amount of money you make is determined by how much work you put into finding items to sell, so you really are in control of the “tap” of cash flowing your way.
Reselling works great as a one-time thing, or as a “whenever you feel like it” thing. The potential drawback to reselling is that, depending on your platform, you might not be fully in control of what sells, for how much, and when.
Nevertheless, it’s a great option especially if you’re looking to make a one-time push to get something out the door (or to get some money in your pocket).
Here are a few places you can do some reselling:
- Amazon — Using the Fulfilled By Amazon (or FBA) service makes reselling pretty much anything a snap. You find what you want to sell, you upload the information into the system, you mail it all into Amazon, and Amazon takes it from there. Once you get familiar with how it works, this is a great way to make some money whenever you spot a great deal on a pile of stuff in the clearance section.
- eBay — Most people are pretty familiar with how eBay works. You upload listings of the different items you want to sell, and then you wait for somebody to buy them. These are great for one-off items you find that have some value, or for bulk listings of things like books or clothes (or those racks of clearance items you just found). One great perk of eBay is that it’s easy to figure out what sells and at what price, but the drawback is that you’re keeping all your inventory until it sells and then you’re shipping it yourself.
- ThredUp — If you’ve got some women’s or kids’ clothes in good condition, ThredUp is a nice way to get some cash for them fairly easily. The website lays everything out in detail, but essentially what you do is box up your clothing, ship it to ThredUp, and get paid. Be sure to read all the ins and outs of what happens to your clothes after you receive them — you’ll need to include a special form with your items if you want ThredUp to return their unwanted ones to you.
- Local Reselling Apps — Sometimes you want to offload a piece here and there and you don’t want to mess with eBay. That’s when reselling apps like Letgo and OfferUp really come in handy. They’re essentially a smartphone app version of classified ads or Craigslist. You post photos and information about what you want to sell, add on a price, and wait for a buyer. One of the drawbacks of apps like these is that you have no control over when your item is bought, but if you’re willing to price it competitively, you’ll have a better chance of selling it quickly.
- Online Reselling Apps — There are several websites that will buy your unwanted stuff from you. Whether it’s Amazon’s book trade-in program, BookScouter, Decluttr (use code THEWAHWIFE to receive a $5 bonus when you sign up), or Gazelle, these sites are great for offloading a bunch of stuff at one time and then getting paid. You probably won’t make a whole lot of money that way, but if you’ve got some high-value electronics, you might make a nice sum.
- Yard Sales — These are the ultimate reselling project. A yard sale is a really nice way to reduce the clutter in your home and possibly make a bunch of money in one afternoon. Yard sales have a nice, clear ending, and one of the best things you can do when it’s over is arrange for a thrift store to pick up the leftovers.
Shifts and Gigs
Sometimes when you want to make some spare change, it doesn’t necessarily have to be at home as long as when and where you work can be completely up to you. There are quite a few ways to tap into this “shift work” setup to make money on your schedule, at your discretion. Here are some I love recommending:
- ShiftGig — Great for picking up shift work of all sorts (usually things like restaurant or entertainment staffing work), ShiftGig lets you decide what gigs you want to accept and when. Payment is straightforward, the requirements are spelled out well, and generally speaking, people love working with this app because the process is so smooth.
- Uber and Lyft — These driver-for-hire apps let you decide when and where you’ll work. There’s no set schedule — it’s just a matter of being available in an area where people need rides. You go on and off duty as you please, and it’s easy to fit this type of work around your schedule and preferences. That said, there will be some areas and times of day that will have more calls for drivers than others, so your earnings may be limited by where you live and when you’re willing to drive.
- Mystery Shopping — This is one of my favorite “project-based” ways to get paid. The vast majority of shops you do are one-time things, and they give you the chance to get out of the house, try something new, and get paid to do it. You can pick and choose whatever you’d like, and many companies don’t have stringent requirements on how often you do a “shop.”
- TaskRabbit — This is a great smartphone app for picking up one-off gigs and projects. With TaskRabbit, people in your area can put in a request for someone to come and take care of an odd job or two. If you see something you don’t mind doing, you can pick up the task, go do it, and get paid for it. Common tasks include things like cleaning, delivering, and assembling furniture.
If you’ve got some serious skills you want to put to use but you don’t want to mess with long-term clients or juggling a ton of different projects at once, there are still a few ways you can tap into the power of freelancing. These are just some ideas to get you started:
- Web Design: Many web designers will have a few different projects going on at once. But there are also web designers who will block out two or three weeks and only focus on one client at a time. If you like the idea of building websites but you hate the idea of building multiple websites at a time, you can always take this approach. If you really enjoy a challenge there are contest sites like 99Designs that allow you to design logos and other branded materials based on client specs. If yours is chosen, you get the bounty. If not, however, it’s uncompensated time.
- Copywriting: If you’ve got writing skills or you know how to be fairly persuasive, there may be a nice spot for you in the copywriting world. Copywriters tend to work on big projects, like a sales letter or a report, in addition to doing some of the “ongoing” work like social media or newsletters. But if you just want to go one project at a time, look at specializing in some of the bigger stuff. Case studies are another good project-based option for you to burrow down into.
- Fiverr: Fiverr originally began as a place for graphic designers to sell quick design projects inexpensively. It’s since grown into a much more robust marketplace for gig-based freelancing, but it still has a heavy emphasis on graphic design. You can set up a profile and accept as many gigs from Fiverr as you want. It’s great for doing small projects here and there instead of dealing with a massive number of clients all clamoring for your attention at once.
- Amazon Mechanical Turk: This crowd-sourcing site isn’t going to pay the bills, but many people enjoy the ability to be able to complete a few short tasks while watching television or waiting in the carpool line. Tasks only take a few minutes to complete so it’s incredibly flexible.
- Fancy Hands – Speaking of being able to pick up tasks that only take a few minutes to complete, Fancy Hands offers that for more virtual assistant-type tasks like research, making appointments, etc.
- App Development – This is a prime example of seeing a project through from conception to completion. Sites like Gigster cater to those in need of apps and help clients find talented developers to create them.
- Photography – Maybe you have the skills, but don’t want to dedicate yourself to running a photography business or working on a schedule for another photographer. There are some great sites like The Creative Loft that will help you find jobs – some short-term – in your local area.
- Aquent – This site helps businesses connect with talent freelancers for projects, many of which are temporary. Most of these jobs are in the creative, digital and marketing industries. Most of the jobs do require some onsite time so they are only operating in a couple dozen locations across the US at this time. Do check the site for work-at-home opportunities, however.
Consulting, Teaching & Course Creation
One of the things I love about being a blogger is the ability to be very project-based. That’s how I most enjoy working as well. This really comes into play when creating online courses or mentoring others.
Consider your interests and strengths and think about the specific projects that you have worked on in the past. How can that translate to working remotely? The sky is the absolute limit around here. Even if you haven’t seen it done before, perhaps you could be a trailblazer in the industry.