Many people come to this blog looking for ways to make money from home. Maybe they want advice on building a business or want to be hired by a company that will let them have a home office. Maybe they are looking for ways to earn money here and there without much effort.
And maybe they are somewhere in between.
Some of you have told me that you like one-off projects. You like to see a project through from conception to completion and then move on to something else. We’re going to look at a few ways to make money doing one-off jobs or one-off projects here and there. It’s like being your own boss without the whole “business” element, picking up a bit of extra change but possible with more significant profits, and since we now live in a “gig economy”, you’ve got plenty of options.
One of the great things about reselling is that you do most of the work once 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’re really in control of the cash “tap” that flows your way.
Reselling works great as a one-time thing, or as a “whenever you feel like it” thing. A potential downside to reselling is that, depending on your platform, you may not be in full control of what to sell, how much, and when.
Still, it’s a great option, especially if you want a one-time push to get something out the door (or some money in your pocket).
Here are a few places you can resell something:
- the amazon — Using Fulfillment by Amazon (or FBA) services makes reselling pretty much a snap. You find what you want to sell, you upload the information into the system, you mail it all over to Amazon, and Amazon takes it from there. Once you get the hang of how it works, it’s a great way to make some money whenever you see a great deal of stuff in the clearance section.
- Ebay — Most people are pretty familiar with how eBay works. You upload the list of different items you want to sell and then you wait for them to be bought. They’re great for one-off items you find that have some value, or for bulk inventory of things like books or clothes (or racks of clearance items you just found). One of the great advantages of eBay is that it’s easy to figure out what sells and at what price, but the disadvantage is that you’re holding onto all of your inventory until it’s sold, and then you’re running it yourself.
- threadup — If you’ve got some women’s or kids’ clothes in good condition, ThredUp is a great way to get some cash for them fairly easily. The website lays everything out in detail, but basically all you do is box up your dress, ship it to ThreadUp, and pay. 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 items 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. These are basically classified ads or a smartphone app version of Craigslist. Post photos and information about what you want to sell, add a price, and wait for a buyer. One drawback of these types of apps is that you have no control over when your item will be 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 many websites that will buy your unwanted stuff from you. Whether it’s Amazon’s book trade-in program, BookScouter, Decluttr (Use the code Thiwahwife to get a $5 bonus when you sign up), or Gazelle, these sites are great for offloading lots of stuff at once and paying later. You probably won’t make a lot of money this way, but if you have some high-priced electronics, you can make a nice sum.
- Yard sales — This is the ultimate resale project. A yard sale is a really nice way to declutter your home and possibly make a bunch of money in an afternoon. Yard sales have a nice, clear ending, and one of the things you can do when it’s over is find a thrift store to pick up the leftovers.
Transfers and gigs
Sometimes when you want to change something extra, it doesn’t necessarily have to be at home As long as when and where you work is entirely up to you. There are a number of ways you can tap into this “shift work” setup to make money in your schedule at your discretion. Here are some I like to recommend:
- The shift gig — Great for picking up all kinds of shift work (typically things like restaurant or entertainment staffing jobs), ShiftGig lets you decide which gigs you want to accept and when. Payment is straightforward, requirements are well spelled out 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 work. There is no set schedule – it’s just a matter of being available in an area where people need a ride. You run the duty as you wish and it is easy to fit this type of work around your schedule and preferences. That said, there will be some areas and times of day that 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” payment methods. Most of the shops you do are one-time things, and they give you a chance to get out of the house, try something new, and get paid to do it. You can pick and choose what you want, and many companies don’t have strict requirements for how often you “shop”.
- taskrabbit — This is a great smartphone app for picking up one-off gigs and projects. With TaskRabbit, people in your area can request someone to come and take care of an odd job or two. If you see something you don’t mind doing, you can take the job, go do it, and get paid for it. Common tasks include cleaning, delivering and assembling furniture.
If you have some serious skills you want to put to use, but you don’t want to mess with long-term clients or work on a ton of different projects at once, there are still a few ways you can use freelancing to get you started. Concept:
- Web design: Many web designers have several different projects going on simultaneously. But there are also web designers who will block off two or three weeks and focus on just one client at a time. If you like the idea of building websites but you hate the idea of building multiple websites at once, you can always take this approach. If you really enjoy a challenge, there are contest sites like 99Designs that let you design logos and other branded materials based on the client’s specs. If your chosen, you will receive grace. If not, however, it is uncompensated time.
- Copywriting: If you have writing skills or know how to be fairly persuasive, then copywriting could be a great place for you in the world. Copywriters tend to work on larger projects like sales letters or reports in addition to some “on-going” work like social media or newsletters. But if you want to go one project at a time, look to specialize in some big stuff. Case studies are another good project-based option that you will understand.
- Fiver: Fiverr originally started as a place for graphic designers to sell quick design projects cheaply. It has become 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 as you want from Fiverr. It’s great for doing small projects here and there instead of working with a large number of clients that demand your attention at once.
- Amazon Mechanical Turk: This crowd-sourcing site isn’t going to pay the bills, but many enjoy the ability to complete a few small tasks while watching television or waiting in carpool lines. Tasks only take minutes to complete so it’s incredibly flexible
- fancy hands – Speaking of being able to choose tasks that only take a few minutes to complete, Fancy Hands offers this for more virtual assistant-type tasks like researching, making appointments, etc.
- App development – This is a prime example of seeing a project through from concept to completion. Sites like Gigster cater to those who need apps and help clients find talented developers to build them.
- Photography – Maybe you have the skills, but don’t want to dedicate yourself to running a photography business or working the schedule for another photographer. There are some great sites like Creative loft This will help you find jobs – some short term – in your local area.
- Acuent – This site helps businesses connect with talented freelancers for projects, many of which are temporary. Most of these jobs are in the creative, digital and marketing industries. Most jobs require some onsite time so they are only working at a few dozen locations across the US at this time. However, check out the site for work at home opportunities.
Consulting, teaching and course development
One of the things I love about being a blogger is the ability to be very project-oriented. This is how I enjoy working the most. This really comes in handy when creating online courses or mentoring others.
Consider your interests and strengths and think about specific projects that you have worked on in the past. How can that translate to remote work? The sky is the absolute limit around here. Even if you haven’t seen it before, you may be a trailblazer in the industry.