I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m trying to shop smarter and save more money, but the other side of that is figuring out ways to make extra money. What are some ways you do this for your family? Here are the top three that come to my mind:
• Garage Sale: This one has a dual benefit for me – clearing out our clutter and making a little extra change! I’ve had some successful sales in the past. Here are a few tips I’ve discovered over years of sales:
- Have a sale with your friends. It’s more fun, and shoppers love to go to “multi-family” sales. My friend Amanda and I have had many great sales together!
- Clean/spruce up your items before you put them out. Dust, spots, or scratches will turn people off from making a purchase, or will provide immediate reason to offer a lower price.
- Organize your items in categories. I felt a little OCD doing this the first time, although it rang true to my love of organization, which is why I tried it to begin with! But let me tell you – it works! There’s a reason why stores do it this way. If people are looking for CDs, don’t make them hunt through piles of your junk to find them. My friend and I used categories like electronics, games, movies, accessories, kitchen, etc.
- Diversify your advertising – posters, signs on store bulletin boards, an ad in your local paper and in American Classifieds.
- Ok, here’s one that sounds totally stupid but I swear it works! If you’ve got a lull in traffic and you see cars headed your way, take turns hopping up and pretending to be a customer. I mean, think about it – if you drive by an empty sale, your first thought will be that it must not be worth stopping by, right? But if people see others shopping, that makes them curious about what might be up there worth looking at. Amanda and I make great pretend shoppers. :)
• Sell online. One bad thing about garage sales is that you’re not going to find a targeted audience for unique or very specific items. Have a Coke bottle collection? The likelihood of finding a collector in your city that just so happens to swing by your garage sale is slim to none. But by going online to sell, you can easily connect people who are looking for what you have to sell.
- Sell gift cards for cash. Have a card to a store you’ll never shop at? Don’t let it go to waste – go online and sell it. You can often end up with a pretty considerable percentage of the card’s value, which is way better than ending up with something you don’t want at all.
- Sell your items on sites specifically tailored to audiences looking for what you’ve got. For example, you can sell your CDs, DVDs and games on a site like www.musicmagpie.com, where you know there will be people looking to buy those kinds of things!
- Sell local, but online. Yup, you know what I’m talking about – Craigslist. This free service makes it easy to sell goods, especially those that are larger and that you wouldn’t want to try and ship.
- Sell on eBay. Shocker, I know! For collectibles or certain brand items, this is a great location to find a specialized buyer who will appreciate the value of what you have to offer.
• Make money by making something – use your talents! Love to make jewelry? Are you great at knitting? Take your skills and make money doing something you love. Etsy is filled with people who are successful doing just that, and more and more buyers appreciate buying handmade.
What methods do you use to make extra money? I’d love to get more ideas to add to my list!