Starting a Side Business to Supplement Your Income

There are many ways of earning extra money. In some cases, people lose their jobs and it becomes survival money. All of the ideas that follow offer potentially good opportunities to earn some extra cash. Many are perfect for young people just starting out or looking to do something during their summer vacations.

Volunteering
Work at a place that might have job opportunities for you e.g. a seniors center, hospital, golf course, etc. Meet a lot of people and network. They know people who know people and so on. The volunteering can also be personally enriching. Make suggestions for jobs you see need doing e.g. teaching the elderly how to use a computer.

Garage sales
Recycling and reusing are not dirty words! There is a ton of stuff out on garbage night that could be picked up that is still useful. If cleaned up or slightly repaired it is potentially worth lots of money e.g. picture frames, small furniture, sports equipment, cutlery and dinnerware, glass & pottery, jewelry, books, computer parts, etc. Once you get good at it and know prices, start going to garage sales and buy stuff that can be resold at a higher price at your own regular garage sales or at used goods shops.

Resell to Dealers
Flea market sellers, antique dealers, and consignment stores are only a few of the people who survive on the sale of used goods.

– TV’s that people throw out can be worth about $10-$20 each to repair people who are always on the lookout.
– bikes can be sold to bike repair people and/or used sports equipment dealers. The going rate is anywhere from $10 and up. If they can be fixed at home, they can sell privately. Older “antique” bikes are often highly desirable. Ads in the paper and Buy & Sell type magazines should clear them out quickly for you.
– dehumidifiers and humidifiers can be sold to businesses that repair and sell them. If somebody is handy, it is usually easy to repair many dehumidifiers as the only thing wrong with many of them is a seized motor. A little oil and a few spins and it often works again, no problem. In the summer they sell for about $50-$60 if in good working condition.

Think of all the university student rooms and apartments that need a humidifier in the winter.

Sports Equipment
There is a lot of money in sports equipment. Ice skates, roller blades, snowboards, skateboards, etc. Get familiar with what used goods stores want and buy up newer models at yard/garage sales, estate sales, church rummage sales, etc. Sell them to “Play It Again Sports” stores. It is possible to find them all year for about $2-$10 and you can get $15-$25 or more for them at the stores. It is very easy to build up credits and then buy your own new sports equipment at minimum cost. In many cases, it is also possible to get cash for the equipment. Make sure there are no breaks or missing parts. It has to be flawless for safety reasons.

Door-to-door Selling
Find a product that could easily be sold door to door e.g. economy size boxes of saran wrap, garbage bags, deodorizers, etc. Something small and useful that everybody uses all the time. A novelty toy sold to kids in tourist districts is good too. Be alert and cautious when doing this!

Used Paperbacks and Novels
Check with used book dealers first to see how much they pay for them – usually from 25 cents and up. Also find out which books they find most desirable. Go to garage sales and buy them for about 10-15 cents each or cheaper. Some dealers also sell old magazines. Again, first find out which ones are most desirable. Check out garage sales and especially rummage sales at churches or schools for books. Although small, profit can be at least 50% or better.

Yard Work
If you have fairly good tools, cut lawns, rake areas, etc. Gotta do a good job though!!

Useful Services
Look for needs in parking lots, parks, busy streets, in grocery stores, etc. Walking dogs, watering plants regularly in somebody’s yard, doing the edge trimming work around lawns ((I’m sure there are people who dislike that job as much as I do and would pay a kid to do it) One young girl was paid $15/hr to watch a company machine seal envelopes. They couldn’t afford to not have anybody there if it jammed.

Garage Door Art
Imagine all the plain, unattractive “canvasses” attached to almost every house just waiting to be covered. Offer to put on large house numbers, pleasant abstract patterns or landscapes. Match or extend the painting to a nearby garden or walkway. With a few cans of paint, brushes and imagination, you can be making $100 or more per garage door.

Porch Rail Painting
Ever notice all the rusty porch railings in your neighborhood? With minimum investment of a few basic colors of rust-proof paint, a wire brush, metal sandpaper and some good small hairy roller brushes, you could make a lot of money sprucing them up.

As you read through the article, there will be triggers for other ideas. if you can’t use them, pass them on to others.