49 Best Home Business Ideas for 2021

You fantasize about ditching the daily commute and starting a business from the comfort of home.

The only problem with your entrepreneurial daydream? You don’t have any idea what kind of business to start, much less how to make it profitable.

No worries, we’re here to help.

You’re not alone in wanting to go it alone. Of the 31.7 million small businesses operating in the U.S., about 81% were run by individuals with no employees, according to the most recent government numbers.

Whether you’re looking for a little side-hustle income or you dream of quitting your current job and the daily commute for good, here’s your guide to home-based business ideas.

The 49 Best Home Business Ideas

Choosing your business can start with something as simple as picking an activity you enjoy and figuring out how to monetize it.

However, if you don’t already have a passion you want to profit from — or you’d rather keep your hobbies and work separate — you can still start a successful home-based business on your own as a sole proprietor, or one-person business.

Pro Tip

A sole proprietorship doesn’t need to register with the state (unlike corporations, partnerships and LLCs). However, you still must comply with registration, license, tax and permit laws.

Local social media groups like Nextdoor can be a source of ideas. There you’ll find everyday services that are in demand, although it may not be the most glamorous work.

Mundane chores make for good business because they’re tasks that many people are willing to pay someone else to do, whether it’s mowing lawns as a groundskeeper or setting up bounce houses as a kids’ party planner.

We’ve come up with a list of the best business ideas that have relatively low barriers to entry and startup costs but offer real income potential.

Ready to start your journey toward self-employment in the comfort of your own home? Let’s get to work.

Businesses That Don’t Require You to Leave Your Home

Running an online business lets you make money with little need to leave the house. You may need a personal website where potential customers can find you, although you can also find work for your specific skills through sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

1. Freelance Writing

Use your wordsmithing skills to start a freelance writing business. We have advice for how to pitch a story if you’re looking for your first byline.

To make freelance writing your full-time business, you’ll benefit from expanding your repertoire to incorporate multiple types of writing (editing skills also increase your value). Here are a few options:

  • Creative writing. Share your literary talents by submitting to these seven literary magazines that pay for short stories and poetry.
  • Technical writing. Who doesn’t love a well-written instruction manual? Although technical writing might not offer as many creative options, the median pay as of 2020 was $35.89 an hour.
  • Resume writing. Use your writing prowess to help other people get jobs. Charmaine Pocek told The Penny Hoarder she earned $30 to $800 per assignment on Fiverr as a freelance writer creating resumes and cover letters as well as optimizing clients’ LinkedIn profiles. Pocek set a record for being the first U.S. — and the first female — Fiverr seller to break $1 million in earnings.
  • SEO writing: Help websites show up at the top of Google searches with content that focuses on search engine optimization.

2. Virtual Assistant

Administrative assistants typically answer to a boss, but start your own business, and you’ll be calling the shots.

A virtual assistant performs similar tasks to in-person assistants, but you can offer your services to one or multiple companies. You might be doing data entry one day and proofing articles on WordPress another, so be prepared for a variety of tasks.

3. Travel Planner

Arrange for others to travel the world without having to leave your couch.

A remote travel planner is a great home-based business idea for someone who is well organized, detail oriented and has stellar customer service skills. It helps if you have travel experience and understand trends in the travel and tourism industry.

Although the job market for a travel agent is currently on the decline, you might be able to niche down by marketing to a targeted audience, like single parents with young children or retirees with limited income. The median pay for a travel agent is $20.36 an hour.

A man writes down something in his notebook. He is supposed to be a bookkeeper.

4. Bookkeeper

Life makes more sense in spreadsheets. If this statement sounds like something you’d say, a bookkeeping business could be in your future.

Rather than targeting a big business account, start by focusing on smaller businesses that need help managing their finances. You don’t need to be a CPA to start, but strong computer and customer service skills help.

5. Tax Preparer

Another home business option for someone skilled in accounting is to become a tax preparer.

While you don’t need formal training to become a tax professional, it can help. You’ll need a Preparer Tax Identification Number and an Electronic Filing Identification Number from the IRS to start, and you may have to register with your state.

While tax preparers generally work on a seasonal basis, you may be able to earn enough during tax season to stretch through the remainder of the year.

6. Tutor

Enjoy all the fun of teaching without leaving home.

An online tutoring business lets you offer your expertise, whether it’s teaching math and English to elementary kids or prepping high school students for the SAT.

These 10 online tutoring companies are a good place to start. Promote your expertise in a subject or grade level in your bio — teaching certifications will also add to your credibility (and bottom line).

Pro Tip

Most tutoring platforms require instructors to either have or be working toward a bachelor’s degree, and previous teaching experience is preferred. Check the requirements before you apply.

If you’re thinking of starting a tutoring business, you can learn a thing or two from this former Scripps National Spelling Bee participant who earned $100 an hour tutoring kids who want to compete.

7. Teach Online Classes

Turn a topic you know a lot about or a talent you have into an online course as a way to make money from home.

This is one of the best home-business ideas because it allows you to capitalize on what you already know with very little investment. Online classes are also a great way to earn passive income. You can record your online classes once and get paid for months or years to come as people sign up for your courses.

A man looks at an oversized book with a ladder leading up to it.

8. Write an Ebook

Writing an ebook (or several) is another option to earn passive income from home. Your ebook could be fiction or nonfiction, and you can decide to write about whatever topic you like — as long as there’s an audience for it.

Self-publishing your book removes the barriers to entry built into the traditional publishing business model. You don’t have to have a literary agent and hope it gets seen by the big publishing houses. However, after publishing your ebook, it’s up to you to funnel potential readers to your masterpiece.

9. Affiliate Marketer

If you have your own website or your own blog that already gets traffic, affiliate marketing should be part of your business plan.

The basic concept: You can make money by including affiliate links to products you recommend on your site. When your readers click on the link and buy the product, you receive a commission.

Check out affiliate marketplaces to connect with brands that will pay you to promote their products and services. Among the many marketplaces is ClickBank, which says on its website that you can earn commissions as high as 90%.

10. Social Media Consultant

Got a knack for words and a knowledge of the latest trends in social media? Consider becoming a social media consultant.

Most small businesses don’t have the budget for full-time social media management, but they want a presence on social media to attract and engage customers. That translates to plenty of opportunities for you to pitch your services. Sell your social savvy — and expertise with publishing software — to local businesses by writing blog posts.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lumps social media consultants into the general category of public relations, listing a median pay rate of $30.20 an hour.

Focusing your business on one area, at least early on, can help build your expertise. Research the local online business landscape to discover where the need is, whether it’s helping establish social media accounts for local businesses, contracting for a specific number of posts per week or setting your sights on a specific industry (restaurants, for instance).

11. Start a YouTube Channel

Share your life, interests or skill set with the internet via YouTube, and bank some cash. YouTube is a home business idea that can help you earn residual income. The videos you create now can bring in income months or even years down the road.

One YouTuber told The Penny Hoarder that she started earning revenue on her YouTube channel within six months, despite having no technical experience or equipment beyond a laptop and a smartphone. Check out her advice on how to make money on YouTube.

Some of the platform’s top earners bring in tens of millions of dollars, however you can aim to make this home-based business idea into a modest side hustle with low startup costs.

Two people dance while someone records them on a phone.

12. Become a TikTok Influencer

TikTok is much more than just trendy dances. It’s also a legitimate way to earn money from home if you have a nice-sized following.

You likely won’t make a bunch of money overnight, but if you create quality content consistently, focus on a niche and follow the trends, you might find success. Depending on how many eyeballs check out your videos, you could earn from $200 to $20,000 for a branded video. You can also make money selling products online or offering consulting services.

13. Start a Podcast

Launching a podcast is another way to capitalize on your knowledge base or interests.

For example, one journalist told The Penny Hoarder that she quit her TV station job in 2017 to become a full-time podcaster and focus on the news she wanted to share.

You can make money with a podcast through advertising, sponsorships, subscriptions, paid content and donations.

14. Be a Voiceover Artist

Put your talents from high school drama class to good use earning money as a voiceover artist. Voiceover artists record audio for video games, audiobooks, TV commercials, radio spots, cartoon programs and more.

It’s a fairly flexible job that you can do during nontraditional work hours, making it a perfect home business for someone with a 9-to-5 job or a stay-at-home parent, like this woman.

15. Web Developer

If you can balance aesthetically pleasing and user friendly, your next business could be as a web developer.

Technically, there are differences between web designers and developers, with designers tending toward the visual aspect while developers focusing on the coding. The BLS, which doesn’t differentiate between the two, states the median pay is $37.12 an hour.

Even if businesses in your area don’t have a big budget for complicated websites, they may need a simple landing page. If you have the web design and coding skills, you can start small and expand your business based on referrals and your portfolio.

A woman draws on her computer.

16. Graphic Design

Unleash your creativity — and use your art degree — to create a graphic design business.

Whether it’s designing logos or layouts, you’ll need to invest in the proper equipment and programs to give your designs a professional look. But you’ll at least be able to find colleagues to consult — in 2019, about 1 in 5 graphic designers were self-employed, according to the BLS.

Prospective clients will want to see past design work to determine if you’re a good fit, so a portfolio is essential. You can find free places to post your work at sites like Coroflot and Carbonmade.

If you’re just getting started as a graphic designer, add to your portfolio by volunteering to create brochures and programs for nonprofits like your church or kids’ school.

Once you’re established, you’ll be able to set hourly or per-project rates. You could earn between $65 and $150 per hour. These tips will get you started.

Pro Tip

Make your business stand out by including your personal story. Share how you got started and why you love what you do to connect with customers looking for a reason to choose you over the competition.

17. Become a Life Coach or Career Coach

If you’ve got excellent motivational skills and you’re passionate about seeing others succeed, you might want to start a business as a life coach or career coach.

You can make money in this line of work through one-on-one sessions with clients, creating webinars or workshops or creating a blog or podcast. The amount of money you can generate with this home business idea will vary based upon your method of monetization and the size of your own audience.

18. Be an Online Dating Consultant

Helping someone craft an online dating profile sounds like something you’d do for a friend over drinks, not a home business idea that generates income.

However, you can legitimately start a business as an online dating consultant, helping people craft their online profiles and connect with potential dates.

Other ways to earn money from providing online dating services include shooting photos for a dating profile and investigating dating fraudsters.

Work at Home… and Beyond

Sure, you enjoy working from home, but sometimes you miss human interaction. No worries — there are plenty of home-based business ideas that let you run your business from your couch but also allow you to escape the confines of home.

A man gives a tour guide on bikes.

19. Local Tour Guide

Do you love showing off your city? Make it your business by becoming a local tour guide.

And you don’t have to limit yourself to museums and monuments — although that’s an option, too.

One man told The Penny Hoarder he makes $10,000 a year with his side gig leading craft coffee tours around St. Petersburg, Florida, while another earns income leading bike tours to check out the many murals around the city.

If you already have a passion for arts, food or other amenities that make your town special, you can start by offering free tours to friends, then expand your reach by promoting your tours on social media and through your local tourism office.

20. Cleaning

Cleaning other people’s places may not be everyone’s dream job, but that’s what increases its potential as a profitable business.

Housekeeping is one option, but if you’re willing to get your hands a little (or a lot) dirty, your services can be invaluable to clients who want you to clean out decades of accumulated trash in their basements, attics and barns.

21. Professional Organizer

Channel Marie Kondo or Clea and Joanna of The Home Edit and start a home-based business as a professional organizer.

This profession differs from a typical house cleaner. It involves organizing people’s belongings into beautiful systems that discourage clutter. This job requires an eye for detail, good judgment, discretion when dealing with clients’ personal things and, of course, stellar organization skills.

Being that you’re doing work that many people avoid, you can pocket some sweet income with this home business idea.

22. Personal Chef

Your dinner parties are always a hit, and people form a line for your bake sale contributions.

Bank on your culinary prowess with a personal chef or catering business.

You don’t need a culinary degree to start plating, but a few referrals could help fire up your business.

Offer to cook for the school fundraiser or church picnic, and be sure to display your business cards at the serving stations.

Posting professional-looking photos of your mouth-watering dishes on your website is another way to attract customers. A personal chef who charges up to $65 per plate hosting dinner parties shared more tips.

23. Photography

Use your photography skills to take a shot at starting a business.

Besides taking photos of babies, parties and weddings, people make money with photography businesses by selling their work to stock photo sites like Shutterstock or iStock.

24. Real Estate Agent

As a real estate agent, you’ll spend a good amount of time away from your home meeting with clients, touring properties and hosting open houses. But you’ll also spend time in your home office compiling comparable properties, pouring over listings, researching the market and drawing up contracts.

To become a real estate agent, you’ll need to complete coursework and pass an exam to earn your real estate license. You’ll also need to find a brokerage to work with.

As a real estate agent, you earn a percentage of the sales you see through. The median pay for real estate agents in 2020 was just over $51,000.

Kristy Anderson, of Dwell Home Staging, organizes a home in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

25. Home Staging

Live out your HGTV dream.

Homeowners hoping to get the highest price need to make their humble abode look its best. And that’s where you, the home stager, come in to rearrange the furniture, hide the million toys in a storage unit and replace all those framed cat photos with tasteful art.

Think you have what it takes?

One woman who started her home staging business with a $3,000 investment built her client base by doing the following:

  • Using Google Adwords for online advertising.
  • Asking for word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Creating a social media presence.
  • Networking with local homebuilders and Realtors.

26. Babysitter

Love kids? Love having kids running around your home?

If your home is prepared for the rough-and-tumble world of children, babysitting in your home is a good way to get around the whole “nanny tax” thing (that’s where the parents have to pay you as a domestic employee because you’re working in their home).

Each state has its own regulations about what age and how many kids you can watch at one time before becoming a daycare, so check out your state’s rules before you start. Learning a few basics — like CPR and first aid — can also help you demand a higher rate.

How much you can make varies based on how many kids and your location, among other factors. The Care.com calculator suggests the rate for babysitting one child in New York City is $17.25 per hour.

A rapper records in his studio.

27. Musician

Let’s start with the assumption that you aren’t a rock star musician prepared to tour the world.

That doesn’t mean you can’t be in the music business. In fact, we have 13 ways to make money off your music here.

28. Personal Trainer

Turn your love of fitness into cash by becoming a personal trainer working from your own home studio or travelling to clients’ houses. Increase your credibility (and pay) by getting certified by a nationally accredited organization like the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Expect the business of personal training to be more of a marathon than a sprint. Accreditation training can take weeks and cost hundreds of dollars, along with liability insurance, and you’ll have to maintain your certification with continuing education.

The BLS says the median pay for fitness trainers and instructors is $19.48 per hour, but pay can vary widely depending on your location and specialization — IDEA Health and Fitness Association notes the average rate for personal trainers in New York City is $32 an hour.

29. Yoga Instructor

A yoga instructor is another fitness-related, home-based business idea. Getting trained as a Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT) can help you establish yourself as a professional qualified to lead others in their yoga practice.

Working as a yoga instructor allows you to have flexibility (pun intended) about where you work. You can take your home-based business online by recording videos or doing virtual classes. You could also lead yoga instruction at a community center, a park or your client’s home.

30. Massage Therapist

Work with your hands… and arms… and elbows… as you massage clients’ muscles.

Starting a massage therapy business requires more than one of those cool tables and a towel — although you should definitely expect to do a lot of laundry (all the sheets, you know).

Before flexing those fingers, you’ll need schooling and licensure — check here for your state’s massage therapy licensing requirements.

According to the latest numbers from the BLS, employment in massage therapy is projected to grow 21% from 2019 to 2029, with a median pay rate of $20.97 per hour.

31. Notary Public

There are many occasions that call for a person needing a document notarized — from buying a house or signing a will to filling out school forms or entering into a business contract.

A notary public is the individual who witnesses the signing of legal documents and ensures that the people signing the documents are who they say they are.

Depending on the state you live in, you may have to take a course and pass an exam in order to become a notary public. In many cases, you’re required to purchase a surety bond. You’ll also need to purchase a notary seal or stamp.

Your pay may be regulated by the state, but you can make decent earnings as a notary public.

A man fixes a leaky pipe underneath a person's sink.

32. Handy Person

If you have a knack for fixing things around the house, a good home business idea for you might be to become a handy person.

There’s a lot of variety in this line of work. You might spend one day fixing a leaky pipe and another day patching a hole in someone’s drywall.

Being that you can set your own hours, you might be able to charge a premium for working nights and weekends when other companies are closed.

Home Business Ideas for Selling Stuff

No, these aren’t the dreaded cold-calling telephone sales jobs — instead you’re selling your own stuff or other people’s stuff through your own local or online business or a third-party site.

33. Amazon Seller

Considering it seems like you can buy nearly anything on Amazon, it makes sense that you should be able to sell almost anything on Amazon, right? Here are three great options to create and run your own online store on Amazon:

  • Private-label products: Generic products you sell online with your own packaging and logo.
  • Retail arbitrage: Items you purchased elsewhere — like clearance items or Craigslist freebies — that you sell on Amazon for a higher price.
  • Fulfillment by Amazon: Items you purchase for resale are shipped directly to Amazon, which stores the inventory in its warehouse.

34. eBay Seller

Use your eye for fashion to resell thrift store finds at a profit as an eBay seller.

To get started, check out eBay’s listings for similar items to determine the demand for your product and a pricing strategy. How you price your item affects how it shows up in a search — the lower the price, the more eyes, but setting a higher minimum guarantees a greater return on investment if the item sells.

Pro Tip

Good reviews are essential for any online seller. Invest in thank-you cards to include with each order to remind your customers to add their feedback to your site.

Attract more buyers (and higher prices) by using good lighting and a professional presentation in photos of your product.

A person makes jewerly.

35. Etsy Marketer

Crafting a business from your love of, well, crafting, doesn’t mean you need to drag your wares to a table at the farmer’s market every Saturday. Setting up shop with the online marketplace Etsy allows you to sell handmade products like custom jewelry, refinished furniture and custom gift baskets without leaving your home.

As experienced sellers will tell you, a big part of being able to sell online via Etsy is re-creating the experience for a buyer who is used to handling handmade products in person when deciding to make a purchase.

Instead of discovering your handmade jewelry or macrame plant holders through a tactile experience, buyers are looking at your photos and descriptions of your handmade products on your Etsy store to decide whether to buy. High-quality photos and in-depth descriptions are essential for attracting customers, as is sharing your personal story.

36. Print-On-Demand Business

If you have a pulse on what’s trendy, you could develop your own line of graphic T-shirts with a print-on-demand business.

To gain success with this home business idea, it helps to have graphic design skills. However, you could always contract out the design work.

With a print-on-demand business, you don’t have to worry about managing inventory, shipping, returns or customer service. You run your own online store and the rest is handled by the third-party company you work with. Some popular options are Merch by Amazon, Printify and Spreadshirt.

It’s also important to note that your print-on-demand business doesn’t have to revolve around selling T-shirts. You could choose to sell products like tote bags, coffee mugs or wall art — customized with your own design or text.

37. Start a Dropshipping Business

A dropshipping business is a type of e-commerce business where you sell products featured on your online store, but you rely on a third-party business to fulfill the order and ship it to the customer. You pocket a percentage of the sale by getting the products at wholesale prices from your supplier.

You can choose from a variety of products for your dropshipping business. Your dropshipping business could be an online store selling clothing. Or perhaps you want to focus on selling home decor.

Your dropshipping business could play a part in a larger home business operation, like this woman who started a dropshipping business in conjunction with her existing ecommerce business.

38. Vending Machine Owner

Being a vending machine owner gives you the ability to sell products without renting commercial real estate or needing to meet with customers in person. You just have to find the right location for your vending machine and get permission from the local business owners there.

You can sell anything from soda and candy to toys and tech accessories. Startup costs can be around $2,000 but this home business idea is one that can generate passive income with little work required.

39. Subscription Box Business

Another home based business idea where you’d sell products is a subscription box business. According to the ecommerce platform Bluehost, projections show that subscription box businesses will bring in more than $15 billion in sales in 2021.

Subscription box businesses can span many different industries. You could sell clothes, makeup, food, books, pet toys and more.

Depending on what type of products you choose to sell with your online business, you may need a significant amount of capital (and storage space) to start this home business. However, you have the potential to gain customers and sales on a repeat basis with a subscription box business.

A woman sews in her home.

40. Sewing

Sew you want to start a business (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

Turning your threads into a profitable business can start with adjusting hems and making alterations for family and friends, but there are plenty of other ways to use your needle and thread to follow your passion.

41. Home Baker

If your friends and family members can’t stop raving about your chocolate chip cookies or apple pie, perhaps baking is a great business idea for you.

You could create desserts for birthday parties, weddings, business events and more as a sweet source of income. If your treats are easy to ship, you can set up an online store and sell online in addition to fulfilling local orders.

42. Furniture Flipper

Successful online furniture flippers say to follow tips such as:

  • Painting furniture in neutral colors
  • Keeping rehab efforts to a minimum
  • Instead, make small changes like adding drawer liners in dressers or putting on interesting hardware.

43. Airbnb Host

If you ever dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast, but never quite got your hands on that country estate, you can still channel your inner hostess by transforming a guest room (or your home) into Airbnb accommodations.

Instead of selling physical merchandise, you’ll be selling your space, but you’ll still need those same marketing skills to make your Airbnb attractive to potential guests. Think: inviting photos and a well-organized space that will garner great reviews from previous guests.

Figure your potential earnings with this Airbnb calculator.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

Home-Based Businesses That Let You Work Outdoors

There’s no need to limit your home business to the confines of your house. Here are some home business ideas that’ll let you spend time outdoors enjoying some fresh air.

44. Pet Sitting

Prefer your clients to be the four-legged variety? You could start a pet sitting business and cuddle with cats and dogs while their owners are gone all day.

There are more business ideas that can branch off of a pet sitting business, like starting a dog walking business. Connect with fur babies and their parents through apps like Rover or Wag to build up a client base. There, you can add your profile and let owners see your experience.

A farmer feeds his chickens.

45. Small-Scale Farming

Got a backyard with some room to breed?

If a full-size farm is a bit beyond your reach, you could go the (much) smaller animal route and install a beehive. Turn it into a successful business by selling honey at the local farmer’s market.

Yes, there are setup costs and licensing required after you buy the bees to factor in. But considering the high price local honey can demand, one beekeeper nearly broke even his first season raising bees by selling the sweet stuff.

If you have more space, take notes from this couple who started raising four chickens in the backyard of their home and went on to raise 900 chickens and 400 Grimaud Pekin ducks on their six-acre farm.

Pro Tip

Regulations vary for raising livestock, which is considered any domesticated animal that’s raised to produce labor and/or commodities. Visit your state’s Department of Agriculture website for details.

46. Seasonal Operator

Maybe you’re more of a fair-weather businessperson.

Seasonal businesses offer you the chance to operate when you prefer to be outdoors — think shoveling snow during the winter or hauling beach gear during the summer.

And if the holiday season offers more free time for a business venture, think Christmas lights.

Light installers make the majority of their money hanging those twinkling lights during the holiday season.

47. Garden Consultant

You’ve probably heard of business consultants, who bring their decades of knowledge to advise a company on whatever their issue is. You might not be a CEO, but if you’ve had years of growing gardens, you could turn your planting know-how into a garden consulting business.

Although people may dream of growing their food, most backyard gardens end up a little on the sad side, if alive at all. Your knowledge of soil acidity, fertilizer composition and sunlight needs — plus a willingness to dig around in the dirt — could pay off as a garden consultant.

Two people work on a person's yard by mowing it and trimming bush hedges.

48. Landscaping

If you enjoy being out in your yard and are already skilled at maintaining your own lawn, a landscaping business might be a good home business idea to pursue.

Depending on where you live, your business may be at the mercy of the changing seasons, but this business is one where you can easily snag repeat customers year after year.

Local social media groups — like NextDoor or a neighborhood group on Facebook — could be a good way to drum up business. Providing great results is also an excellent way to attract new customers and prompt existing customers to refer you to their friends.

49. Car Detailing

Cleaning a car inside and out is a chore many people would pay someone else to do. It’s also among the home business ideas you can start with little experience, no education requirements and low startup costs.

You can choose to have clients come to your home to get their cars detailed or charge a premium as a mobile car detailer who’ll meet busy clients where they are.

In addition to this being a good home business idea for those who enjoy the outdoors, this line of work is fitted for people who are detail oriented and enjoy physical labor. You can get a nice workout by cleaning cars all day!

Next Steps After Choosing a Great Home-Based Business Idea

Consider these home business ideas a jumping off point or the spark for a related idea that isn’t on this list.

Just know that starting a business requires more than just a good idea, so you’ll first want to check out our step-by-step guide to starting a business.

You’ll need to research the marketplace, create a business plan, gather funding, consider how to legally structure your business, come up with a memorable name and potentially register with the state.

The business world might be tough, but isn’t it easier weathering the ups and downs in the comfort of your own home?

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Home Business Ideas

If you’re still figuring out which of these best home business ideas would be right for you, the answers to these frequently asked questions may help provide clarity.

What Are the Most Successful Home Businesses?

You can find success with any of the home-based business ideas featured on this list, provided you target an audience who could benefit from your product or service and you put in the work to consistently deliver.

That being said, there are some home-based businesses that seem to be more profitable than others. Web developers, graphic designers, tax preparers, bookkeepers and real estate agents can develop a lucrative business from home and end up earning more than the median wage for U.S. workers.

What Is a Good Home Business Idea?

What you’ll consider to be good home-based business ideas will depend on what you’re looking for in a new business opportunity. Many profitable home businesses start as a hobby or interest you already have.

If you’re looking for home business ideas where you can be flexible with your hours, consider business ideas like working as a graphic designer, a voiceover artist, a home baker, a furniture flipper or an Amazon seller.

If you crave some social interaction while you work, business ideas like a personal chef, a babysitter, a personal trainer, a real estate agent or a local tour guide might be the best business ideas for you.

Great home business ideas you can start if you’re good at making sales include running an online store on Amazon, operating an online store on eBay, having a vending machine business or starting a subscription box company.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, some home-based business ideas you should consider are working as a garden consultant, starting a landscaping business or detailing cars.

What Is the Easiest Business to Start?

The easiest home-based business ideas to develop are those with low barriers to entry and minor startup costs.

Think about your existing skill set, qualifications and expertise. If you used to teach fourth grade, for example, it would likely be easy for you to start a business tutoring elementary school students. Or if you’re a skilled crafter who always makes custom stuffed animals for your friends’ kids, you could easily create an online store on Etsy and sell your handmade products from your online store.

If you have to take courses and earn a certification before you can launch your own business, that may not be the easiest path to pursue.

Having low startup costs is a big factor in deciding whether your home business ideas will be easy to follow through with. However, what you consider to be low costs for your home-based business is subjective. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to get your business up and running without depending on a loan or blowing through all your savings.

Pro Tip

Before you start a business, make sure you have a solid emergency fund aside from the savings you plan to use for business expenses.

Some home business ideas you can start for less than $100 include freelance writing, working as a virtual assistant, tutoring, starting a YouTube channel, being a professional organizer, starting a dropshipping business, starting a print-on-demand business, working as a pet sitter or detailing cars.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Credit Union Vs. Bank: Key Differences To Consider

Managing your finances involves a lot of big decisions: How should you invest your funds? How should you structure your budget? Where the heck should you even store your money?

Credit unions and banks are similar in that they offer the standard checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs (certificates of deposit) and money market accounts, and they typically offer mortgage, auto and small-business loans.

But while the financial products are similar, there are key differences in the way banks and credit unions are structured and the benefits they offer to members.

Credit Union vs. Bank: What’s the Difference?

Banks are for-profit institutions, which means they invest the money you entrust them with and the interest they charge on loans. They use that money to grow the company and pass along dividends to the owners.

Credit unions offer a different ownership structure: They are nonprofit and member-owned, meaning dividends, though small, are passed along to every single member. Credit union members have voting power and can elect members to the board of directors to ensure they are represented in the credit union’s decisions. Credit unions also benefit from the Credit Union National Association, which lobbies at the state and federal level for credit unions.

Both credit unions and banks are typically insured through the U.S. government for up to $250,000 per deposit account — banks through the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.) and credit unions through the NCUSIF (National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund), which is a part of the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration).

Each type of financial institution has its benefits and drawbacks. Here’s how credit unions and banks stack up across eight essential categories.

Summary: Credit Union vs. Bank

Criteria Credit Union Banks Winner
Interest Rates Higher interest rates Lower interest rates Credit unions
Fee Lower fees Higher fees Credit unions
Loans Better loan rates More expensive loan rates Credit unions
Rewards Typically do not offer rewards Frequently offer rewards Banks
Physical Locations Typically regional (fewer locations and ATMs, though more may be available through shared networks) Big banks offer locations all across the country with larger ATM networks Banks
Customer Satisfaction Superior customer service with a desire to help though some complaints about old tech Can feel colder at big banks, but small banks create a welcoming environment Draw, for now
Technology Behind, but catching up Advanced Draw, for now
Ease of Joining Involved; must meet specific criteria Simple Banks

1. Interest Rates

The biggest draw of credit unions as a financial institution is the higher interest rates they pay. Because credit unions are member-focused, they prioritize higher interest rates on your all your credit union accounts, including a checking account, savings account, CDs and money market account.

Banks, on the other hand — especially national banks — have high overhead and are profit-driven, so they pay lower interest rates on their bank accounts.

Winner: Credit unions

2. Fees

For the same reasons they can pay higher interest rates, credit unions can offer lower fees on their accounts than banks. In fact, many credit unions offer free checking accounts and free savings accounts, while many banks charge monthly maintenance fees to account holders.

Both banks and credit unions may also require minimum account balances, but banks are more likely to have higher overdraft fees. The higher fees at banks in combination with the lower interest rates can be a real prohibitor to financial growth.

Winner: Credit unions

Erica Chambers, right, and her daughter, Paisley Kinglade, 3, talk with banker Valentina Kurilchenko at Mount McKinley Bank in Fairbanks, Alaska.

3. Loans

Credit union members can also typically get lower loan rates on car loans, mortgage loans, personal loans and small-business loans than members of national banks.

Even better for those with low credit scores? Credit union officers are willing to sit down with you and work out a loan option that fits your unique credit picture. Banks, on the other hand, calculate risk based on credit scores alone and are more likely to reject applicants with low scores.

However, banks are more likely to offer credit cards, though these typically come with higher interest rates.

Winner: Credit unions

4. Rewards

So far, it may sound like credit unions are a no-brainer. But they do have their shortcomings, a major one of which is rewards. While credit unions can offer better interest rates on accounts, lower or no fees, and better loans, banks offer better rewards programs — an easy way to make money just by opening an account or buying groceries.

Bank credit cards, for example, are more likely to offer rewards points and cash back, while bank accounts often come with sign-up bonuses. In general, credit unions lack such options.

Winner: Banks

5. Physical Locations

Large banks have brick-and-mortar locations all across the U.S., while credit unions tend to be regional. If your family moves regularly, investing with a national bank can prevent you from having to open and close accounts at every move.

Because big banks have more locations, it is also more convenient to access your funds in person and via fee-free ATMs.

Winner: Banks

6. Customer Satisfaction

As community-based, not-for-profit institutions, credit unions are generally more focused on providing a personalized, friendly customer experience.

Credit union members reported higher satisfaction than bank members in the 2018 FIS Performance Against Customer Expectations (PACE) study. The most important aspect leading to satisfaction across all age groups was trust, a good indicator that the more personalized approach of credit unions may lead to superior customer trust and, as a result, satisfaction.

Pro Tip

Ask whether your credit union participates in a shared networks of ATMs. These allow members to deposit and withdraw money at other credit unions’ ATMs.

But that was then and this is now. The American Customer Satisfaction Index found that credit unions slightly lagged behind banks for 2019 and 2020. The survey results suggested a leveling off is coming and that it’s the customers’ preferences that is making them pick one over the over.

Small banks, it’s worth noting, generally receive the same customer satisfaction ratings as credit unions because of their more personal vibe and one-on-one interactions.

Draw, for now

7. Technology

Generally speaking, larger banks have had the resources to lead the industry in digital transformation over the last decade. That meant better websites and mobile apps, as well as advances in card technology (e.g., chips), mobile check deposit and mobile wallets. However, as time has progressed, credit unions have caught up, creating a more level playing field with site redesigns and app updates.

Pro Tip

If you’re concerned about the security of mobile banking, find a bank or credit union that can offer two-factor authentication on all online financial services and products.

In fact, just this year, US News included credit unions in the number 2 and 3 spots on its top mobile banking apps overall.

Winner: Draw, for now

8. Ease of Joining

Banks are eager to have you open an account with them because you represent a source of revenue. Credit unions can be a little more challenging to join, because credit union membership is limited to those within the “field of membership.”

Typically, your ways into a credit union’s field of membership are through your employer, your place of worship, your physical location or your membership in a specific organization. Many credit unions will also let you join if a family member meets the criteria or if you make a small charitable donation.

Winner: Banks

Credit Union or Bank: How to Choose?

Grow Financial Federal Credit Union is pictured in Tampa , Fla.

If you’re keeping score, credit unions and banks are tied 4-4 across the eight factors we considered above.

So how do you know if you should go with a bank or a credit union?

  • Determine what’s most important to you. Do you want to earn a little more from annual dividends and higher interest rates, or do you prefer advanced technology and convenience from your financial institutions?
  • Look for the very best of both options. The pros and cons in this article are very general. Individual banks and credit unions may diverge from the norm. You might find a bank with no fees and great loan options, or a credit union that makes it incredibly easy to join and offers a rewards-based credit card. Thoroughly research several banks and credit unions before making a decision.
  • Don’t forget online banking. Managing your finances has gone completely digital. Online banks often offer much higher interest rates than banks or credit unions. Include these in your search. (And don’t worry: Online credit unions and banks should also be backed by the National Credit Union Administration and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, respectively.)
  • Open multiple accounts. Nothing is stopping you from opening checking and savings accounts with a credit union and applying for a credit card from a big bank. Diversifying your finances can make things more challenging, but it can also get you the very best rates, rewards and features.
Pro Tip

Visit our bank bonus offers for a chance to earn some extra cash when signing up for a new checking or savings account.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When making the critical credit unions vs. banks decision, you might find yourself with lots of questions. You are not alone. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people have when determining if a bank or credit union is a better fit for them:

Which is Better: Credit Union or Bank?

As we’ve seen in our comparison, both banks and credit unions have their pros and cons. IIt really comes down to what’s more important to you.

Choose a bank if you want easier access to a physical location, better mobile app technology, an easier joining experience and better rewards for signing on.

But choose a credit union if higher interest rates, lower loan costs, better customer experience and lower fees are more important to you.

Note: Both are backed by some form of federal deposit insurance.

What are the Major Advantages of Credit Unions?

Credit unions have four distinct advantages over banks:

  1. Most credit unions typically offer better APYs on checking and savings accounts.
  2. Most credit unions usually have lower or no monthly fees and minimum balance requirements.
  3. They often have lower rates on loans.
  4. Customer satisfaction is a higher priority at credit unions.

If these are the most important criteria to you when deciding between a credit union and a bank for your checking and savings accounts, go with a credit union.

What are the Disadvantages of a Credit Union?

But not everything is perfect at credit unions. They typically fall short of the experience at banks in four common areas

  1. Credit unions often have fewer physical locations, especially when traveling outside your own city.
  2. Most have some form of mobile banking services, but the apps can’t compete with those offered by banks.
  3. There are more barriers to join a credit union than there are a bank.
  4. Banks often have sign-up bonuses; credit unions offer such bonuses much less frequently.

If these are the most important criteria to you when deciding between a credit union and a bank for your checking and savings accounts, go with a bank.

But remember: Online banks can often deliver the best of both worlds, and you can typically find both online credit unions and online banks. These tend to have higher interest rates (like physical credit unions) and superior mobile apps (like brick-and-mortar banks).

Timothy Moore is a managing editor for WDW Magazine, and a freelance writer and editor covering topics on personal finance, travel, careers, education, pet care and automotive. He has worked in the field since 2012 with publications like The Penny Hoarder, Debt.com, Ladders, Glassdoor, Aol and The News Wheel. 

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

How to Make Money Fast So You Have Cash When You Need it

Whether you’re trying to cover an unexpected expense, save for an approaching trip or just pay those bills, there are always times when you need money — and fast. We’ve come up with a big list of ways to make money on the double. Some are faster and easier than others, so you be the judge of which are the best money making ideas for you.

Most everybody at one time or another has wanted (or needed) to know how to make money fast. You can get started on most of these tasks in an hour or two in your spare time. For some, you’ll earn money right away; for others, you’ll see that extra cash within the week or month. Either way, many of these are easy money, and we’ve got options for tons of interests and skill levels.

We’ve broken them down into these main ways to make quick cash:

Make Money Online

1. Sell Your Old Movies, CDs and Video Games

Potential earnings: About 60 cents per item

How fast: Payment is pretty fast — you’ll be making money within a day or two after Decluttr receives your goods — and shipping is free.

Start shuffling through your old movies or CDs, because Decluttr is an online site that will pay you for them.

Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods — it’s easily one of the simplest and best ways to make money online.

One user, Gil Flores, can attest that this is a good way to make money fast. He told us he sold about 100 DVDs and 75 CDs and made $275 — an average of $1.57 each. Declutter reports its average purchase is around 50 cents and it buys 97% of items offered.

Just download the app, and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use — no listing or seller fees.

2. Sell Your Clothes

Potential earnings: $5 to $25 an item on average

How fast: Most sites credit your account when your item sells or when the buyer receives it. Consignment stores typically pay upon sale, but some pay up front.

Take a look in your closet. If anything still has tags on it, return it if you can. After all, you haven’t worn it yet.

Then take another spin through your hangers: When’s the last time you wore that blouse? Or dressed up in those heels?

Gather up a stack of clothes and start taking photos of each one on a hanger or recruit your friends as models then sell your wares online to shoppers looking to save money on gently-used clothes.

Pro Tip

Brand names will likely get you the most cash.

Here are five sites where you can sell clothes online fast. Prefer the in-person experience? Local consignment shops are always looking for good-condition, in-season clothes to re-sell. Here’s what you need to know, plus six brick-and-mortar stores to sell your used clothes.

If you clean out your closet regularly, or even find great deals in good shape at thrift shops, selling clothes could be like having your own online business and provide a decent side income.

3. Sell Your Unused Gift Cards

Potential earnings: 85% of the card’s value

How fast: Usually within a few days

No need to hang onto that gift card you’ll never use — exchange it for fast cash.

Check out these five sites that’ll buy back your gift cards.

You can also find a physical location that’ll take your gift card through Cardpool.

Search Cardpool’s cashier-assisted and kiosk locations. Be sure to read the details and restrictions of each location. You might be able to exchange that Starbucks gift card only for a Target gift card, for example.

4. Sell Your Old College Textbooks

Potential earnings: $10 to $100

How Fast: Varies. Immediate if you get a ready buyer in person. Two to four days online.

We know you’ve still got some textbooks lingering in your closet or on your bookshelf. Dust them off — then see whether they’re worth anything.

Use BookScouter to see how much your books are worth. It’ll suggest the best online marketplace to sell them, but if you want to get extra money by the end of the day, list them on eBay, Letgo, OfferUp or Craigslist.

Heads up: They might not sell immediately, but you can at least get the selling process rolling.

5. Flip a Craigslist Freebie

Potential earnings: Varies

How fast: Payment on sale

Craigslist is chock full of freebies. Just hop over to its “Free” section, and see what you can find — whether it’s clothing, furniture or appliances.

Once you secure a freebie, you can resell it for extra money. Take notes from Penny Hoarder contributor Kerrie Urban. She sold her freebie finds on eBay and earned $545. If you need the money sooner than later, low-ball the price and set your listing as “buy it now.”

After all, you got it for free, so this is a risk-free way to make fast cash.

6. Sell Household Items You Don’t Use

Potential earnings: Varies

How fast: Payment on sale

If you’ve been meaning to declutter your house, now’s the time. Make some fast moneywhile also gaining space in your home. Look through your kitchen cabinets, your desk drawers and your utility closet. Whatever you don’t need, purge.

Advertise your items to locals on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, 5miles or Letgo or your neighborhood buy/sell group.

7. Rent Out Your Parking Space

Potential earnings: $50 to $400

How fast: CurbFlip pays immediately per transaction; SpotHero pays a lump sum 10 days after the end of the month.

Got a driveway or a parking space in a lot or garage you don’t need? If you’re in a busy city or tourist spot, all the better. You can make extra cash renting it out. Just make sure your city and your landlord (if you rent) allow it.

Just as Airbnb matches renters with properties where they can spend a night, there are a growing number of apps that match drivers with parking place owners. You could make passive income much easier than working a part time job.You can list your residential or commercial parking space for short-term daily parking or by the month.

You will make more money the closer you are to a sports arena, college campus, the beach or other major attraction.

SpotHero operates in 120 cities across the country and charges $70 a month in Jackson, Miss., to $530 a month in New York City. The parking space owner gets around 80 percent of the fee.

More than 600 parking spaces across the United States are listed on CurbFlip. They range from a spot near the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Fla., for $15 a day to a commercial garage space in Jersey City, N.J. for $250 a month. According to CurbFlip, more than 10,000 drivers around the world search the site for parking each day.

8. Complete Micro Gigs

Potential earnings: $6 to $12

How fast: Requesters pay you through your MTurk or Clickworker account, and you can cash out weekly or monthly.

Find quick-paying online gigs through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) or Clickworker.

These marketplaces connect you with people and companies who need help with small tasks, like writing or proofreading, surveys or data entry. Some companies pay freelancers rather than hiring an employee to save money.

Pay is usually low, but the tasks are quick, you can complete many of them in a few hours and they don’t require expertise.

woman outside recording vlog on phone

9. Create YoutTube Content

Potential earnings: As low as $3 a subscriber, up to $120,000 a year for 100,000 subscribers

How fast: It’s going to be a few months unless you go viral. You need 20,000 views on one video to make $100. You must reach a balance of $100 to get paid by YouTube.

Are you an avid fan of creators on YouTube? Well, you too can use the platform to give your bank account a boost.

Monetizing a YouTube channel is a way for creators, entrepreneurs, freelancers and educators to build an audience and a brand, and create new income streams.

If you put in the effort to gain traction with a YouTube channel for a brief period, it can generate (a little or a lot of) income for years to follow, even if you don’t post new videos as actively.

You can create content and build an audience on just about any subject — from travel to web design to toy reviews — and monetize it creatively. It could be a way to fund your trips, attract new clients, get free products and yes, make real cash.

Depending on your number of subscribers, you can make money by sharing ad revenue with YouTube, charging subscribers and receiving free products. Here’s what you need to know to start a channel and build a subscriber base.

10. Create TikTok Content

Potential earnings: A few pennies per 1,000 views can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars

How fast: Unless you go viral, it will take at least a few months to get $50 or so.

You no longer need a Hollywood agent or even a headshot to make money entertaining people. TikTok is the wild, wild west of being discovered directly by an audience for your unique talents. From kids opening toys to vegan chefs making yummy meals, to singers and skateboarders, people on TikTok are collectively making millions of dollars a year.

Companies can pay from $200 to $20,000 for a branded video and that depends a lot on how many followers the producer has. When you get more than 100,000 views per video, you can join TikTok’s Creator Fund and start earning pennies per 1,000 views. It can add up, but you need the numbers. Here’s how to give TikTok a try.

11. Online Focus Groups

Potential earnings: From $20 to as much as $600 per hour

How fast: Usually on the spot

Focus groups can be a lucrative side hustle when you break down per-hour pay. You get to be a part of a company’s market research efforts, magnifying your opinion above those of other potential consumers.

These days, you don’t have to participate in paid focus groups in person. During the pandemic and beyond, you can use online focus group platforms to make good money just for giving your honest feedback.

Here’s more info on how to participate.

No Experience Required

Here are some options for how to make money fast with no degree, certification or online course required.

12. Have A Yard Sale

Potential earnings: $50 to $250 on average

How fast: Immediate

Team up with family or neighbors, clean out your closets and sheds, and host a yard or garage sale to declutter and make some good money on a weekend.

Follow these tips for a successful garage sale:

  • Give it a theme or several themes — like sports, garden tools or outdoor gear — to stand out from the crowd.
  • Schedule it creatively to avoid competition and coincide with high traffic in your neighborhood, like around commutes or neighborhood events.
  • Advertise through fliers, Craigslist, Facebook and local message boards.
  • Put up several large, colorful signs around the area to draw in people..
  • Get more small bills for change than you think you’ll need.
  • Yard sales that clearly show prices of items make more money.
  • Prepare for buyers’ needs, like a mirror for trying on jewelry and an outlet to test power tools.
  • Organize it like a store, with tables, racks and thematic sections. Put big-ticket items near the road.
  • Sell items at 10% to 25% of their original value, and offer half off near the end of the sale.
  • Play music and offer snacks to keep shoppers hanging around.

13. Sell Your Old Phone

Potential earnings: $30 to $100

How fast: If a company sells it for you, you’ll be paid once it receives the phone. If you are using a site where you sell it yourself, you will get paid when the transaction is completed.

Got an old iPhone or Android collecting dust? Probably. Clear your data first — then it becomes an easy source for extra cash.

Three of the biggest sites to sell phones include Swappa, Gazelle, and Decluttr. There are dozens more.

The first step is to find out how much your phone is worth. You can go to each site directly or use sellcell which claims to find the best price by comparing many other sites for you.

You can also recycle your device (iPhone, Android, tablet, mp3 player) at an EcoATM kiosk and get money in return. Enter your phone’s information into its estimator tool, then find a location near you — likely at a local mall or Walmart.

Depending on the condition of your device, you could earn fast cash. For example, an iPhone X with 64GB of storage in decent condition could get you $65. A newer tablet, on the other hand, could help you bag more than $100.

14. Sell Your Gold and Silver

Potential earnings: Depends on daily value of gold and silver

How fast: Immediately

If you need money by the end of the day, dig deep in your closet. Remember those gold and silver collectors’ coins your grandpa gave you? Or maybe you have an old piece of jewelry from a long-ago ex. Exchange these items for some fast cash.

Use a few of these tips to sell your gold for cash. Research shows buyers vary greatly in what they pay, with some offering 70 percent less than the top bidder. So shop around and get at least three estimates.

Pro Tip

Find a local shop to sell to. You’ll get paid a lot faster than with a national buyer you see advertised on TV.

15. Ask for Help

Don’t hesitate to turn to government and nonprofit organizations when you need a quick cash injection and can’t wait until you find work and get paid.

Peer to Peer Donations

Potential donations: Individual donations average $5 to $10 but can add up to hundreds

How fast: Within an hour or a few days

Leveler helps people with job security share money with people who need it. Sign up when you’re in need of quick cash, and you could receive fee-free donations via PayPal or Venmo.

Grants

Potential donations: $750 to $1,250

How fast: Depends on an organization’s review of your application, so make sure your documents are accurate and current.

Apply for an emergency grant from these organizations:

  • Modest Needs makes small one-time grants to help you cover your bills.
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides Emergency Solutions Grants to people experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis.
  • 211 helps you find resources to cover essential needs. Call 2-1-1 or visit 211.org.

16. Apply for Unemployment

Potential earnings: $180 to $800 a week, depending on your state

How fast: Two to three weeks or more

Unemployment compensation got infused with billions of dollars in federal money during the pandemic as millions of people lost work. In addition to each state’s regular weekly payments, the federal government created new programs and expanded the amount of benefits available to jobless Americans — including independent contractors who don’t normally qualify for traditional unemployment benefits.

Some programs have expired, and benefits vary depending on how each state implemented the federal boosts. But you can claim money retroactively in some cases. Applying for unemployment can be a long and cumbersome process — but the assistance can give you a measure of financial freedom while you search for more stable work.

Here’s a map showing how much each state has been paying in unemployment. And here’s a handy guide to all the different acronyms for all the different unemployment programs.

17. Become an Extra on a TV Show or Movie

Potential earnings: $100 a day

How fast: Four to six weeks

TV shows and movies put out casting calls for extras every week in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago. Even in smaller cities, like Cleveland and Seattle, you can make money hanging around the background of a TV scene.

You don’t have to have acting experience to be an extra, just a free day. Research talent agencies in your area and see which ones have experience casting in commercials, TV shows or movies. Sign up with one so you will be notified if there is casting you might fit. There shouldn’t be a fee, but they may charge to take a headshot. If you get work, the agency will take a cut.

The Penny Hoarder reader Jared Zajac was an extra in two major blockbusters filmed in his town, Cleveland, Ohio. He earned minimum wage, including overtime, plus catered meals, and he worked several days for each film. Also, this is a part time job that makes for good conversation.

18. Participate in Research

Potential earnings: $10 per 30-minute activity

How fast: Can be immediate but it varies

We know paid medical studies are a simple — if sometimes invasive or risky — way to earn significant money. You can also make some quick cash participating in less invasive and less time-consuming academic research.

Look for opportunities to become a research participant if you live near a university or other research institution.

For example, a university psychology or political science department often needs participants to answer questions or interview with a researcher.

Local Gigs For Extra Money

Trying your hand at selling your skills with an online business is one option. But don’t forget there are plenty of ways to make money locally by word of mouth or old fashioned paper flyers.

19. Find Someone Who Needs Your Skills

Potential earnings: $10 and up

How fast: On the spot if it’s local, within a month for online platforms

People always need help, whether it’s with yard maintenance, moving or a simple repair.

Sell your services via Craigslist under its “Gigs” section. Pay and tasks will vary, but you have nothing to lose posting an advertisement. Cast a broader net by setting up a profile on gig platforms like TaskRabbit, Fiverr and other apps for specific services.

And don’t forget about family, friends, coworkers and neighbors!

20. Babysit

Potential earnings: $17 an hour is the average hourly rate according to Sittercity.com

How fast: The day of if with a direct client; within a day via Care.com

Babysitting is a classic way to make extra cash. It often pays in cash as soon as you’ve completed the gig.

Letting friends, neighbors and coworkers know you’re available to watch their little ones could be a simple way to get paid as soon as this week. Advertise your services on Care.com to reach more people in your community.

A man feeds a dog.

21. Pet Sit

Potential earnings: $25 an hour for a walk to $60 for an overnight

How fast: One to four days

Pet sitters provide owners peace of mind by watching over their animals while the clients are away. Services include midday walks and visits, in-home overnight watches and boarding at the sitter’s home. Tons of apps help you secure a pet-sitting side gig, but you likely won’t pocket the money immediately. Check out Care.com, Rover and Meowtel.

If you don’t want to wait to get your pay through these peer-to-peer apps, offer up your services to family, friends or neighbors. You can post in a local Facebook community page, or advertise on Craigslist.

Here’s the lowdown on what you need to become a pet-sitter.

22. Sell Your Plasma

Potential earnings: From $20 for two hours to $75 an hour

How fast: Usually on the spot

Nope, you’re not going to want to sell your plasma every day, but if you’re desperate for money today, it can be a good deed that’ll reap a monetary reward.

Look into plasma donation centers near you. Be sure to do your research.

We found an International Quality Plasma Program-approved center near us, and it says first-time donors can make up to $400. However, you should probably expect something more like Penny Hoarder contributor MaryBeth Matzek’s experience. She sold plasma in 2014 and earned about $20 for two hours of her time. Though you can usually give up to three times a week.

23. Donate Blood

Potential earnings: $20 to $30 in gift cards per donation

How fast: Immediately

Stop at one of those big red busses you see outside a restaurant or Walmart or connect with the Red Cross to find a blood drive near you. The “thank you gifts” vary, but often are at least a $20 gift card and sometimes that plus another $10 gift card. They aren’t actual cash, but you can use them for groceries or eating out, then have more cash in hand because you didn’t have to spend it.

Once you sign up as a donor, you can get texts alerting you to the next drive. You can usually give blood about every three months. Here are more details about gift cards worth your blood.

24. Clean Houses and Assemble Furniture

Potential earnings: $20 to $50 an hour

How fast: Immediately

Put your Type-A personality to good use, and make money tidying and scrubbing homes and offices and mastering those IKEA assembly directions.

Amazon Home Services lets you sell services like house cleaning and furniture assembly, and even skill services like plumbing and electric work, as long as you have proper certification and insurance. You can also market yourself on Care.com and Thumbtack.com. Here are some price guides from Thumbtack:

  • 1-bedroom home: $110
  • 2-bedroom home: $126
  • 3-bedroom home: $143

You can also self-promote through your own website. Set up a simple website through a service like Wix or Squarespace to describe your offerings and rates. Use keywords that’ll help people in your area find you through a Google search, like “house cleaning in [your town]” or “[your town] furniture assembly.”

25. Have a Car Wash

Potential earnings: Folks will pay $10 to $20 a car. (Ask for donations, don’t set a price.)

How fast: Immediately

This is one of those money making ideas that’s usually associated with fundraising, but you can use it as a means of making money quickly. Get a few friends together, and set up a car-washing station in your neighborhood to put extra cash in your pockets.

To draw customers in:

  • Promote the event on Facebook, especially in local groups.
  • Post several large signs in the area leading up to the car wash, so drivers don’t miss it.
  • Play music and offer refreshments to keep drivers occupied while you clean.
  • Have a cordless vacuum to clean out the inside of the car, too.

Creative Ways to Make Extra Cash

26. Turn Designs Into Swag

Potential earnings: 50 cents and up

How fast: It can take months based on the popularity of your design and the commission you receive.

If you’re into design or illustration, set your own hours and turn your creations into products to sell online. Merch by Amazon lets you upload a design and select T-shirt styles and colors to print it on, then list your T-shirts for sale on Amazon as if you had your own online store. This isn’t a way to make money overnight, but if you get approved by the vendor and consumers like your style, sales can add up over a few months.

You don’t have to make an upfront investment. Amazon prints T-shirts to order and pays you between 13% and 37% of your sale price, depending on how much you charge.

Amazon is a great option because of how many people visit the site every day. But some creators prefer other services for better royalties or more product options. Check out these alternative marketplaces:

  • CafePress: Print your design on shirts, baby onesies, mugs, hats, totes, pillows, stickers, phone cases and more. CafePress keeps the base price (cost of producing a product) plus 5% to 10% if it’s sold through the CafePress marketplace, and you earn any markup on your list price.
  • Design By Humans: Create shirts, prints, mugs, phone cases and stickers, and set up a storefront through the platform. Royalties are a flat rate per product, from $0.50 each for stickers to $8 for a large framed print.
  • Redbubble: Sell T-shirts, posters, phone cases, mugs, prints and more. Redbubble sets a base price per item, and you earn any markup.

If you have some capital to work with, try supercharging your earnings by advertising your designs through social media ads. Don’t forget to promote your work on your personal social media accounts.

27. Sell Stock Photos

Potential earnings: $5 to $100 per photo

How fast: You must accrue $25 to $100 in royalties depending on the site to get a payment.

Whether you’re a beginner with an iPhone or a hobbyist with a DSLR camera, selling photos online is easy using any of a variety of online sites.

Check through your cache of iPhone photos, select the best ones and list them on Foap, an app that works like a photo marketplace. When someone buys your photo, you get 50% of the price; Foap takes the other half. Most photos sell for $10.

If you have the photography chops and a solid camera, microstock websites will be a little more lucrative. These are sites that host and sell stock photography. Popular companies include iStock, Shutterstock and Getty Images.

Here are some tips:

  • Keep your photos as generic as possible.
  • Don’t include any visible brands.
  • Describe your photos with relevant keywords in the microstock listing.

28. Be a Virtual Busker

Potential earnings: You set your price!

How fast: When something sells, or people donate you get money directly.

Taking to the streets with a canvas, guitar or clever costume is a well-known way to quickly earn cash for your talents. Ever thought about doing the same thing online?

Offer your art through social media, and take contributions through a payment app like PayPal, Venmo or Cash. Some ideas:

  • Drawing or design: Offer to draw caricatures of your friends and followers.
  • Performance: Perform an act like dance, comedy, recitation or magic live through Facebook or Instagram, and include a link to receive contributions from viewers.
  • Writing: Publish stories to a blog, and include a PayPal link for supporters. Or publish behind a paywall through a subscription service like Patreon or Substack.
  • Music: Offer to write songs or jingles for friends and followers.
woman baking cupcakes at home

29. Sell Baked Goods or Other Culinary Specialties

Potential earnings: $200 to $400 a month

How fast: Upon delivery

Got a mouth-watering recipe for banana bread or a unique skill for cupcake decoration? Stop getting paid in compliments, and start… getting paid.

In some states, you can sell home-baked goods as a side hustle without a permit or license. Let friends, colleagues and neighbors know you’re open for business, and fill custom orders to ensure you get paid for your time and ingredients.

Advertise your products through Instagram, Facebook, Craigslist, fliers and your self-designed website.

30. Pick Up Freelance Gigs

Potential earnings: $25 to $50 an hour

How fast: Within a week to a month

Pick up quick freelance writing, design and virtual assistant gigs through freelancing marketplaces that connect you with people who need affordable services. Bonus: You can set your own hours.

Set up a profile to list your writing, design, editing and development skills on these freelancing websites:

  • Upwork is the largest freelance platform in the world.
  • Fiverr spans many fields including marketing, writing, graphic design and video.
  • Freelancer is a marketplace where both workers and employers can create special listings and hourly rates.
  • Gigster is an on-demand software development website offering freelance work to designers, developers and product managers.
  • Guru invites freelancers to bid on projects and jobs posted by employers. Employers reach out directly to freelancers as well.
  • nDash is for freelance writers.
  • PeoplePerHour includes work in web design, SEO, writing and much more.
  • TopTal is for developers and project managers.

You could pick up occasional work whenever you need money fast — or turn your freelance work into a full-blown side hustle, make your own website and advertise on social media.

Online Surveys

Earning potential: Gift cards for $5 or $10 or a few dollars cash after completing many surveys.

How fast: It can take weeks or months to qualify for surveys and then accumulate enough points to be paid.

This is time consuming and not a way to bring in big bucks, but you can earn a little extra money in your spare time or a few gift cards by taking online surveys.

You can take surveys online while you sit on the bus or train, watch TV or eat your lunch. Yes, companies pay for your opinion. Here are some of the most popular survey sites:

31. InboxDollars

InboxDollars lets you get paid for everyday online activities that provide customer input to its partner brands.

You’ll pocket a $5 bonus when you sign up, and you’ll earn more money each time you take an online survey, watch a video or shop online with affiliated brands.

Surveys typically pay between $0.50 and $5 and take less than 30 minutes to complete. Some surveys pay more if you match a super-specific target demo. You can cash out once you earn $30.

32. MyPoints

MyPoints aggregates online survey opportunities and pays in gift cards to dozens of major retailers.

You’ll earn a $5 bonus after completing five surveys, plus points for every survey you attempt to qualify for or complete.

Most surveys earn you less than 100 points, but some earn you up to 400 points. For perspective, 480 points gets you a $3 Amazon gift card.

33. CashKarma

CashKarma is a survey app that lets you earn some spare cash by completing surveys, watching videos, completing sign-up offers and other online tasks. It aggregates survey opportunities and directs you to third parties to complete surveys.

You can cash out once you earn 6,000 points, equal to a $5 Amazon gift card, and cash out through PayPal or choose gift cards to major retailers.

34. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie matches you with online survey opportunities based on your profile on the site. You’ll earn points you can cash out via PayPal, Dwolla or gift cards.

You’ll earn a bonus 75 points just for creating an account, and you’ll earn between 20 and 200 points per survey you complete. Each point is worth about a penny, so surveys earn you 2 cents to $2.

35. Ipsos i-Say

Ipsos surveys are popular and well-known for their political polling. The company also runs i-Say surveys to get customer opinions on brands, entertainment, advertising and trending topics.

You’ll earn points for each survey you complete, and you can cash out once you earn 500 points, equal to $5. Cash out directly via PayPal, or opt for gift cards to major retailers.

How Much Money You Can Make in A Day, Week or Month

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about making money fast:

How can I make money right now?

When you need money immediately, put your efforts toward tasks that will put cash directly in your hand. Avoid survey sites and cash-back apps that reward you in points you can only cash out periodically.

Sell stuff to people in your community, rather than listing it on a marketplace. Busk or ask for donations. Offer services to your neighbors — even if they only want to help you out.

How can I make $200 fast?

When you need just that little extra to make rent or keep your account from overdrafting, try pawning or selling stuff. You could pocket a quick $50 for items like old phones, digital cameras or furniture, so you only have to sell a few things to hit your $200 target.

Virtual busking — especially if it’s the first time you’ve done it for your followers — could also nab you a few hundred dollars quickly.

How can I make $1,000 fast?

When you need a bigger payout, like four figures, you might have to get more creative to pocket it quickly. Lots of the gigs above could earn you that kind of money over a few weeks or months, but how can you get it today?

You could make $1,000 selling used stuff, but you’ll have to have some pretty big-ticket items — or clear your house.

One simple way to get the money today is to ask for pay in advance of the work. Get a paycheck advance, or negotiate with a freelance client to pay upfront. But that’s a tough ask.

Another option is to focus on activities that could bring in a lot of people — a bake sale, car wash or garage sale, for example. If you’re connected with a lot of friends or followers online, virtual busking could give you a four-figure payday, too.

If you can’t earn the money quickly enough, you might have to consider taking on debt.

Avoid payday loans and credit card debt if you can, and consider getting a personal loan instead. You could apply online and have the cash the same day with some lenders, and interest rates are usually much lower than payday loans or credit cards.

How can I make $100 a day?

Picking up a few of the side gigs listed above could easily help you set up an ongoing income stream of $100 a day.

If you have free time to dedicate to earning more money each day, try freelancing, community services like babysitting or handyman jobs, micro gigs, or a combination of all of these ways to make money.

To earn passive income, or at least income you don’t have to pour a ton of extra time into, try selling stock photos, selling T-shirts, or renting a parking space.

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Carson Kohler is a former staff writer.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

56 Creative Ways to Make Money

Whether you’re at a typical 9-to-5 or working nights and weekends to thread several paychecks together, it seems everyone could use some extra money.

Before you sign up for another shift delivering groceries, check out this list of creative ways to make money. Many use your creative juices, while others aren’t the expected side gigs. While some of these money making ideas may be an easy way to score an extra $20 a month to stash in your savings account, others can earn you hundreds or thousands of dollars, and some will even get you started on your own side business.

56 Creative Ways to Make Money

Scroll through to spot ways to supplement your full-time job or simply find a creative outlet for making money. Links are included to get you on your way.

Start Your Own Side Gig

If you want to run your own show, you’ve got a lot of options.

1. Design Websites

Earning potential: $24.70 an hour

Web designers can expect to take home an average of $51,424 per year, according to Payscale. It’s tough to get to that point if you’re freelancing, but plenty of sites exist to help you to build up your clientele.

TopTal pays top dollar for those creative skills, but be warned: The company boasts that it only hires the top 3% of freelancers.

If you’re not yet ready for the big leagues, try sharpening your skills by signing up and accepting clients from other freelance websites.

Freelancer is a marketplace where both workers and employers can create special listings and hourly rates. Upwork is the largest freelance platform in the world. Gigster is an on demand software development website offering freelance work to designers, developers and product managers. Guru invites freelancers to bid on projects and jobs posted by employers. Employers reach out directly to freelancers as well.

Get clicking: TopTal, Freelancer, Upwork, Guru

2. Create Podcasts

Earning potential: $22 per episode if you have 1,000 listeners to $27 per episode if you have 1 million listeners.

When you create podcasts, you can sell subscriptions to listen or use them as an advertising platform. A quick search on iTunes will show you if there’s a demand for a topic you could offer. If there is, make yours the best podcast on the subject or give it a cool spin.

You can make money through several methods; advertising is the most common. Once you amass a decent amount of listeners, you can attract advertisers who will pay to be featured in your podcast, usually in the form of native ads — ads within the podcast, usually read directly by the host.

Advertisers pay based on a podcast’s “cost per thousand listeners” or CPM. (The M stands for the Latin word “mille,” which means 1,000.) According to advertisecast.com, the average CPM for a podcast with 500 to 999 listeners is $22. Rates go up with more listeners. The average CPM for podcasts with 100,000 to 999,999 listeners is $27.

Companies such as Midroll help podcasters find advertisers.

You may also charge a monthly subscription fee (usually between $5 and $15) or crowdsource funding directly from your listeners on websites like Patreon, Go Fund Me or Indiegogo. It’s probably best to incorporate an all-of-the-above approach.

Get clicking: Midroll, Patreon, Go Fund Me, Indiegogo

3. Create and Sell Online Courses

Earning potential: $150 to $1,000 a month on average, though there are documented instructors making more than $1 million a year.

Are you a self-taught coder with a knack for simplifying instructions? You could create an online course about it. Maybe you’re an expert at finger-picking techniques on acoustic guitar; you could make an online course about that, too.

If you’re good at explaining whatever it is you specialize in, people out there are eager to learn, and with Udemy, you can create content and host online courses — no master’s degree required.

Many variables affect what you can make including: the fee for the class, how many students take it each month and if you refer them or they come through the site. Usually, teachers make 25% to 50% of what each student pays for a class, but if they refer they can make 97%. Classes on Udemy typically cost $10 to $200.

Get clicking: Udemy

4. Freelance Online

Potential earnings: $10 to $75 an hour depending on the skill and demand.

Whether you’re good at math or marketing, you can sell your services online for extra money. Plenty of sites will pay you for just about anything, but you have to be wary of scams.

Opportunities abound on freelance websites including nDash for writers, Gigster for techies and PeoplePerHour for experts in just about any field.

You can sign up on the sites for free, and they can earn you a quick buck or a longtime client. And don’t worry, we vetted them.

Get clicking: nDash for writers, Gigster for techies and PeoplePerHour for experts in just about any field.

5. Start a Spray Tan Business

You can buy a hand-held spray tan machine and the tanning potions for $300 on Amazon. Then charge $25 per customer, which is more reasonable than tanning salons. The machine is paid for once you’ve tanned 25 customers and everything beyond that is profit, profit, profit.

Get clicking: Allure Spray Tan System

Ways to Make Money Online

We’ve only scratched the surface of ways to earn money online.

6. Be an Online Mock Juror

Earning potential: $5 to $60 for an hour or less

A mock or surrogate juror reviews evidence and renders a decision to help lawyers prepare for real cases. Participation usually requires a full day cooped up in a hotel conference room.

But there are online surrogate juror options, too: eJury and OnlineVerdict. Those opportunities pay $5 to $60 and can take less than an hour.

To qualify as an online juror, applicants must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 18 years or older
  • Free of any past felony convictions

Creating an account for either site is free but will require a questionnaire that asks very personal questions about your age, marital status, criminal history, income, political opinions and more.

Get clicking: eJury,OnlineVerdict, signupdirect

7. Answer Questions on JustAnswer.com

Earning potential: $2,000 to $7,000 a month

“Where do babies come from?”

Are you a linguist who can satisfy the curiosity of a 7-year-old? Or a board-certified gynecologist who can detail the complex inner workings of the reproductive system?

Each is an expert in their own way.

A number of websites will pay you to answer people’s questions. It’s as simple as that. Try JustAnswer.com to see if you qualify as an expert.

Creating an account on JustAnswer requires three steps.

  1. Selecting your expertise category (as many as you want).
  2. Uploading your resume, experience and education.
  3. Submitting credentials, if needed. (Not all fields require licenses or degrees.)

After you submit your application, you’ll have to wait five to 10 business days to be vetted and accepted. Experts can answer as many questions as they want.

While rates range depending on your qualifications and how many questions you answer, the site says top earners in each category make thousands of dollars per month.

And even if you don’t qualify as an expert, you could refer one for a $50 gift card to Amazon.

Get clicking: Create an account on JustAnswer.com.

8. Join an Online Focus Group

Earning potential: $20 an hour up to $600

Focus groups can pay extremely well for the amount of time you actually “work,” providing surges of side hustle income.

Most focus groups require between 30 minutes and 90 minutes of work. When you’re doing a focus group remotely, you may be asked to fill out a multiple choice survey. Most of the time, though, you’ll complete a phone or Zoom interview with a live person.

Topics are unlimited: You could find yourself answering questions about your favorite margarita recipe, how you’re coping with pandemic parenting or a survey related to your profession.

Some focus groups may require you to dedicate some time outside the interview itself. For example, you might have to give a specific product a test run or keep a journal of your experiences. This extra time is often accounted for in the compensation.

Get clicking: Respondent, WatchLAB, Focusscope, FindFocusGroups.com, User Interviews

9. Get Paid to Watch Videos

Earning potential: Gift cards for $1 to $5 after watching a handful of videos

Among all the fun ways to make money, this one may be the dream job, but it does take several hours of watching to get a small gift card.

The app Swagbucks pays you to watch videos and TV from your smartphone in your spare time. For each task completed, you’ll earn points, aka Swagbucks, which you can cash out for gift cards between $5 and $25. It takes about 160 points to earn a $1 Amazon gift card.

Netflix occasionally hires “taggers” to watch shows or movies and mark them with categories they fall within such as “sports comedy,” or “strong female lead.” The company doesn’t fill these positions very often and tends to prefer someone with experience analyzing film. But it only takes a minute to regularly search “tagger” on the Netflix career page.

Nielsen is the company famous for tracking TV viewing habits and rating programs. Nielsen families are chosen at random, but if you are one of the lucky ones, you make around $15 a month.

Get clicking: Swagbucks, Netflix careers

10. Take Surveys

Earning potential: Gift cards for $5 or $10 or a few dollars cash after completing many surveys.

Again, this is time consuming and not a way to bring in big bucks, but you can earn a little extra money in your spare time or a few gift cards by taking online surveys.

When you sign up for survey websites like Swagbucks, you’ll earn an extra $5 toward a gift card if you complete a certain amount of surveys or tasks within 60 days.

InboxDollars is another paid survey site that could net you up to $5 per survey (though it’s usually closer to 50 cents).

CashKarma allows users to conduct surveys and earn gift cards completely on an app. You can also watch videos, complete sign-up offers and earn bonus achievement. Most surveys earn 50 points. With 6,000 points you get a $5 Amazon gift card.

Get Clicking: CashKarma, Swagbucks, InboxDollars

11. Work on Mechanical Turk

Earning potential: $6 to $12 an hour

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform lets you complete small tasks online for a fee.

Tasks are dubbed Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) on the platform, and they include completing surveys, creating Excel spreadsheet tasks and audio transcription.

Get clicking: Sign up here.

12. Test Websites

Earning potential: $10 for 20 minutes to an hour

Websites should be very user-friendly — so easy to use that an intoxicated person should be able to navigate them.

User experience consultant Richard Littauer took that idea very seriously. He started “The User Is Drunk,” a business where he tested people’s websites after drinking too much beer. And his idea took off.

“I raised my price for reviews from $50 to $500 very quickly,” Littauer told The Penny Hoarder, “hoping that people would stop buying so that I didn’t have to be drunk permanently.”

To get a steady stream of jobs, you may have to be creative like Littauer and build up your client base. For a shot at getting more assignments (and more money), sign up with websites like UserTesting and TryMyUI.

Get clicking: UserTesting, TryMyUI

13. Be a Search Engine Evaluator

Earning potential: Up to $15 an hour

It’s scary how good Google’s search algorithm is, but it’s not perfect… yet. Neither are other search engines, such as Yahoo or Bing.

To bypass those flaws and make search results more relevant, companies like Appen and Lionbridge frequently hire search engine evaluators as independent contractors. Positions are typically part time, with hourly rates up to $15.

No previous experience is required — just tech savviness and a laptop or Android smartphone.

Get clicking: For open positions, check Appen and Lionbridge’s career portals.

Using Your Home to Make Money

Your home likely costs you a fair amount of money, so it’s time to enlist it to earn some of that money back.

14. Rent Out a Room with Airbnb

Earning potential: Varies depending on your space, but anywhere from $50 to $150 a night on average for a spare room or garage apartment. Use Airbnb’s calculator to get a more specific estimate.

Have a spare room? You may as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your income.

A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one. We talked to Terence Michael, an Airbnb superhost to get these tips:

  • Break out the labelmaker. “I have the entire house loaded with labels,” Michael says. “They look nice; they’re modern. This helps people feel less helpless.”
  • Stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels. “I order on Amazon and have it delivered when people are there.”
  • Be kind to your neighbors. “I say, ‘I’m not going to put anyone here who I think won’t be good for you,’” Michael says. “And I turn a lot of big groups away, especially in Nashville. I don’t want anyone going to the cops or the city.”

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

Get clicking: Go here to start listing on Airbnb.

15. Rent Your Yard for RV and Boat Storage

Earning potential: $50 to $125 a month.

People need a place to put their boats and recreational vehicles during the off-season, which spells profit for you if you have the space. Your home insurance policy probably won’t cover damage, so you might have to add additional liability insurance (and check those local ordinances again).

Once your insurance is in shape, find a storage-space website and create a listing. While it’s possible to list your storage space on sites like Craigslist or on Facebook Marketplace, other sites are dedicated to RV or boat storage. One example is Neighbor.

You can set the rules and the price. Once you find a client, the agreed-upon amount will automatically be paid to you monthly (minus a 3% fee from the site). Regardless if the client misses a payment, Neighbor will pay out the full listing price.

Get clicking: Making a listing on Neighbor is free.

16. Rent Out a Parking Spot

Earning potential: $50 to $200 a month.

Just as Airbnb matches renters with properties where they can spend a night, there are a growing number of apps that match drivers with parking place owners. You can list your residential or commercial parking space for short-term daily parking or by the month.

The closer you are to a sports arena, college campus, the beach or other major attraction the more money you can make.

SpotHero operates in 120 cities across the country and charges $70 a month in Jackson, Miss., to $530 a month in New York City. The parking space owner gets around 80 percent of the fee.

More than 600 parking spaces across the United States are listed on CurbFlip. They range from a spot near the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Fla., for $15 a day to a commercial garage space in Jersey City, N.J. for $250 a month. According to CurbFlip, more than 10,000 drivers around the world search the site for parking each day.

Get clicking: SpotHero, CurbFlip

Writing Jobs

Are you a wordsmith? Put those writing skills to work to earn extra cash.

17. Get an Ebook Published

Earning potential: For every $10 book sold you make $7

The publishing industry has changed. More than ever, writers are expected to be the primary marketer of their books. That means the work isn’t over once you send the manuscript off. Now you have to promote your work on social media,on book tours and earn solid book reviews.

That’s why many authors opt for ebooks and self-publishing through the Kindle Direct Publishing program, which is free. It’s possible to make money with your ebook even if you give it away.

Thanks to the internet age, self-publishing isn’t just possible, it’s popular. And it doesn’t mean your book isn’t a “real” book; in fact, many now-famous volumes started as self-publishing efforts, including Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey and E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

That said, self-publishing isn’t as simple as uploading your manuscript and waiting for readers to flock to it. Particularly for writers who hope to earn a profit, self-publishing takes more than just passion. It takes a lot of promotion.

Get clicking: Kindle Direct Publishing program

18. Be a Copywriter or Editor

Earning potential: $30 to $200 per article

Content sites hire freelancers to write and edit articles. You have to work fast to make money on these sites, since you may earn less than 3 cents per word. Low pay aside, they are great for beginning freelancers to make some cash and get experience.

Freelance websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and Guru can connect writers with individuals and companies in need of their talents. They tend to pay between $30 to $200 per article.

Get clicking: Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and Guru

19. Write for Blogs

Earning potential: Up to $100 a post

Blogs typically pay more than content sites, but there’s more competition.

Usually, blogs aren’t big businesses, and bloggers can’t afford Indeed listings, so it takes a little digging to find paying gigs.

Several websites specialize in these types of jobs. Try these aggregators:

  • Listverse publishes nothing but lists. Their posts are all long lists (usually beyond 1,500 words) containing at least 10 items, with an explanation of each item.
  • WriteJobs is a no-frills job listing site tailored for writers and editors. The free version is more than enough to snag a few clients, but a paid version is available if you donate $5 a month.
  • ProBlogger is a one-stop-shop for budding bloggers. Beyond listing a steady stream of jobs for writers, photographers and editors, ProBlogger has a ton of free resources for new writers, podcasts, ebooks and courses.
  • AllFreelanceWriting is a curated list of writing jobs that are paid directly from the client listed. Each job includes a pay rating from “LOW RATE” to “PRO RATE.”

As with all odd jobs, use your spidey sense when applying. Don’t do work for free or give sensitive information like your Social Security number up front.

Get clicking: Listverse.com, WriteJobs.info, ProBlogger.com, AllFreelanceWriting.com

20. Become an Affiliate Marketer

Earning potential: $100 up to thousands of dollars

Affiliate marketing is simple in theory: Write emails, blog articles, comments or posts on your own website that contain links to sponsored products, and when people use your coded link to visit and buy something, you make a commission.

Our sponsored posts at The Penny Hoarder are examples of affiliate marketing partnerships.

To get your feet wet, you can start making money as an affiliate partner at Amazon and earn up to 10% on e-commerce purchases that you link to.

Get clicking: Amazon’s affiliate partner program

21. Write Slogans

Earning Potential: $25 to $800 per slogan

Several websites will pay you to write slogans for companies. Some pay cash for each slogan (Freelancer and Fiverr, for example), while other sites host contests where you can earn big bucks for the winning creation.

Slogan Slingers is one such site that’s free for copywriters to sign up and start writing slogans. Winning entries earn up to $999 (minus a 15% service fee) and are paid out via PayPal, which is required to register.

Get clicking: Slogan Slingers, Freelancer,Fiverr

22. Sell Writing, Photos and Art to Greeting Card Companies

Earning potential: 10 cents to $250 per sale

Old photos from the ‘40s to ‘70s are in demand as well as clever art. And writing humorous and thoughtful greeting cards could earn some extra cash for as little as five or ten words. But they have to be funny, clever or insightful, says Nicky Burton, founder of Calypso Cards, a greeting card company in Rhode Island that accepts submissions of art and words

“They have to have something fresh,” Burton told The Penny Hoarder. “We can’t keep going back to ‘gray hair’ and ‘over the hill.’”

Calypso as well as more than 10 other greeting card companies accept submissions. They don’t all specify what they pay, but they do offer specific specifications of what they want.

Viabella pays $50 to $100 per verse and $150 to $250 per accepted photo or drawing.

Card Gnome lets you apply to open your own shop on their site while they handle the printing and order fulfillment. You get 10% of every card sold, with a minimum of 10-cents.

One greeting card writer told The Penny Hoarder he may sell just three ideas out of 70, but, hey that’s $150 for some good brain exercise and flexing that creativity.

Get clicking: Blue Mountain Arts,Viabella, NobleWorks, Card Gnome

23. Enter Writing Contests

Earning potential: $50, $200 and up per contest

Many writing contests pay cash prizes. Some pay more than $1,000 for first place and also award a publishing contract. A few pay prizes of $5,000 to $10,000.

If you’re a poet, submit to Poetry Nook, which holds weekly contests that pay $50 for winning poems. You can also submit to several magazines and publications for free. Catapult, for example, pays a minimum of $200 for pieces it accepts that are 500 to 4,000 words.

Get clicking: Poetry Nook, Catapult

24. Write Resumes (and Cover Letters)

Earning potential: $20 to $800

Some people just hate writing, and they hate resume writing in particular. You can help them put their resumes together using free resume makers online.

Some resume writers charge as little as $20, while others charge upwards of $800 a pop.

In 2014, Charmaine Pocek quit her day job to write resumes and cover letters on Fiverr. A couple years later, she became the first U.S. millionaire on the site.

Pocek told The Penny Hoarder that she charged her clients as little as $5 when she was just starting. Now she charges up to $800 for a resume, cover-letter and LinkedIn profile services.

Since Pocek has the resume market on Fiverr cornered, you may want to give other resume-writing services a shot. Talent Inc. frequently hires resume writers. No professional experience is required, but you will need to be a master of Microsoft Word.

You can also tout your skills and prices on Facebook Marketplace, college campuses and through other social media and word of mouth.

Get clicking: Talent Inc.

25. Write for Revenue-Sharing Sites

Earning potential: $50 to $500 per article

Among the websites that pay for articles, the revenue-sharing ones are the easiest to break into — sites like Dotdash and HubPages.

These sites don’t require you to be a well-renowned author per se. You can pen as many articles as you want, and if they generate revenue (aka clicks, views, sales or shares), you’ll get a part of it.

Some sites pay you a flat fee, 70% of what they make from your work, while others pay per view or comment. Either way, if nobody reads your article, you make nothing. But, hey, at least you still get a byline. If you’re a beginning freelance writer, those can really bolster your portfolio.

Get clicking: Dotdash, HubPages .

26. Post Reviews and Photos

Earning potential: $10 to $25 in gift cards, free products or services

If you have an impressive Instagram following, or your own blog or website that gets significant clicks, you could connect with companies willing to pay for product reviews. For example, at SocialSpark.com you can get paid to show your followers why you like a certain product. To avoid selling false reviews, only accept assignments for products you actually love.

Get clicking: SocialSpark

Selling Things

We all have a few items we could do without. Instead of letting them gather dust, use an online marketplace or set up your own online store to sell stuff online. Or do it the old fashioned way.

27. Have a Garage Sale

Earning potential: A few dollars and up

Hosting a garage sale may sound like more work than is worth the effort, but if you do it right, you might be surprised how much money you can make.

Here are some tips for success:

    • Timing is everything. When you plan your Saturday morning sale, you put yourself up against all the other garage sales in the area. Try a different day of the week. Thrifty Thursday, anyone?
    • Advertise. Let everyone know well beforehand — on Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter and in person with signs. About 20 will do.
    • Involve thy neighbor. If you get your neighbors involved, everyone wins. Less competition. More customers.
    • Price it right. For larger items, think 10% to 15% of its original value. For anything under $15, don’t tag it at all. Haggle it out.

28. Sell Items on Craigslist

Earning potential: $5 to who knows?

This might be a better bet than a garage sale since you don’t have to spend hours sitting outside haggling over the price of a stapler.

After all, Craigslist is basically an online version of a garage sale combined with a newspaper classified section — only you don’t pay for the ads.

You can buy and sell just about anything, and people give away tons of free things on Craigslist, too. You’ll be sure to make a few bucks, whether you want to flip some freebies or sell your own stuff.

Get clicking: Craigslist

29. Start a Used Books Business

Earning potential: $2 to $50 per book

There are a number of ways to sell used books online, and yes, you can do this at home.

Start by selling the books around the house that you aren’t going to read. Etsy, eBay and Ziffit are just a few of the many sites where you can sell used books.

If you have textbooks, those could really bring in some extra money. You can sell them on Amazon and BookScouter. Use BookFinder and enter your ISBN to compare buyback prices.

If you’re looking for a more consistent way to make money, use the above sites to appraise a book so you know its worth. Then, when you see a book selling low, you can purchase it and flip it on another site for profit.

Get clicking: Amazon video on selling used books, BookScouter, Ziffit, eBay.

30. Sell Your Used Clothes

Earning potential: $3 and up per item depending on the quality and brand

You know that giant pile of clothes in your closet? You can turn that into extra money, too. Stores like Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child will take your used clothes as well as accessories and even baby gear and give you cash on the spot.

If you really don’t want to leave your house, there are plenty places to sell your clothes online such as Poshmark, The RealReal, thredUP, Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. Some, like eBay and thredUP, have simple processes for listing items. Others, such as Etsy and Poshmark, encourage you to set up and curate your own online shop.

Get clicking: thredUP, Poshmark, RealReal

31. Sell Things Through Amazon

Earning potential: Varies

When you sell through Fulfillment by Amazon, you never ship anything directly to customers. Amazon handles that.

A lot of Amazon sellers are private-label businesses that buy generic products from abroad, or score sale items from brick and mortar stores and sell them at a markup. The sellers pack them, then send them off to Amazon, which does the rest.

Get clicking: Sign up to sell in bulk on Amazon fulfilment.

32. Sell Your Art

Earning potential: Varies

Alli Arnold has picked up tons of side work as an artist illustrating gift cards for Target to painting murals and pet portraits. After promoting her custom pet and people portraits on Etsy, HGTV featured her as a favorite pet artist. Now she has a hard time keeping up with requests.

33. Sell Coupons Online

A common way to make extra money is by selling coupons. The thousands of coupons that arrive in the mail, come tucked inside print publications and via other special offers. People who don’t need them sell them on eBay. It’s a save-save proposition.

Selling individual coupons won’t replace a full-time job, by any means. But when you sell them in multiples of 10 or so, you can charge much more money. Besides eBay, there are marketplaces dedicated to coupon selling, such as the aptly-named The Happy Couponer Marketplace.

Becoming a Happy Couponer vendor takes only a couple minutes. It’s free to create an account and start listing your coupons, coupon books, coupon fliers and newspaper inserts. No digital coupons, links or other intangible items are allowed. Once your coupons start selling, the site charges a fee of 42 cents per $7 in sales (and no fees under that amount).

It should go without saying, but don’t list already-redeemed or counterfeit coupons.

Get clicking: The Happy Couponer Marketplace

34. Sell Your Photos

Earning potential: $100 per photo

Whether you’re a beginner with an iPhone or a hobbyist with a DSLR camera, selling stock photography is easy now that several great sites help you list your photos.

Check through your cache of iPhone photos, select the best ones and list them on Foap, an app that works like a photo marketplace. When someone buys your photo from the online store, you get 50% of the price; Foap takes the other half.

If you have the photography chops and a solid camera, stock photo agencies will be a little more lucrative. These are sites that host and sell stock photography. Common companies include iStock, shutterstock and Getty Images.

Some best practices:

  • Keep your photos as generic as possible.
  • Don’t include any visible brands.
  • Describe your photos with relevant keywords in the microstock listing.
  • Travel photos are in demand.

Get clicking: Foap, iStock, shutterstock and Getty Images.

35. Sell Your Used Video Games

Earning potential: Average of $25 for popular but not rare games.

There are plenty of ways to sell used video games for extra money: Decluttr, eBay and Facebook for-sale groups are all online options.

If you want to avoid the fees associated with selling video games online, you can always take the games to a store — and get up to 50% extra cash when you sell games and electronics at GameStop.

Get clicking: GameStop, Decluttr, eBay Facebook

36. Sell Your Junk Mail

Earning potential: $20 every two or three months

How’d you like to be making money off stuff you regularly throw away?

Yes, there really is at least one company that will buy your junk mail. The Small Business Knowledge Center, a market-research firm, is one such company. It uses the information for its insurance and financial services clients to learn what their competitors are sending through the mail. You won’t make much, but hey, what better use do you have for the stuff?

To get started, fill out an application to become a consumer panelist. Once approved, they’ll send you self-addressed envelopes for you to stuff full of your junk mail. You’ll start accruing points over time, which are redeemable for gift cards.

“I earn five to six gift cards per year on average,” Abby Hewes, one junk mail seller told The Penny Hoarder, “so it averages out to be $20 every two to three months.”

Get clicking: Small Business Knowledge Center

37. Sell Your Music

Earning potential: Depends on popularity with listeners

If you create music (perhaps in a home studio?), companies like TuneCore and Bandcamp make it easier than ever to sell.

With Bandcamp, artists can upload their music for free and collect about 45 percent of what it sells for. TuneCore charges musicmakers $10 to upload a single and $30 for an album, then the musician gets 100 percent of sales. It distributes your music through Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and other digital vendors. You get paid depending based on the amount of plays, and you keep 100% of the royalties.

Get clicking: TuneCore, Bandcamp

38. Sell Your Gift Cards

Earning potential: Up to 85% of card’s value

Don’t you hate it when you get a gift card for someplace you never shop? Instead of letting it sit unused in your wallet, cash it in.

Depending on where you sell it, it’s possible to get 85% of the gift card value in cash.

We experimented with a $25 Walmart gift card to find the top sites. Card Cash paid $21.88, Gift Cash paid $21 and Clip Kard paid $17.84.

Here’s exactly what you need to know about selling your gift cards.

Get clicking: CardCash, GiftCash, ClipKard

Teaching

Love sharing your knowledge with others? Here are a few ways to get paid for it.

39. Tutor People

Earning potential: $12 to $50 an hour

You can tutor people on any subject you know well, from academics to writing a business plan. When you open an account with websites like Wyzant and SuperProf, you set your own rates, which can go as high as $50 per hour. Knack is an app that connects college student tutors to students on the same campus. In most cases the college (not the client) pays the tutor a flat fee of $12 an hour.

Other tutoring websites typically take around 20% of your hourly rate in fees, but it’s free to sign up and create a listing. Be sure to include your professional experience and any relevant credentials to boost your rates and distinguish yourself from other tutors.

Get clicking: Wyzant, SuperProf, Knack

40. Teach Video Game Domination

Earning potential: $20 an hour

If you’re not a fan of academic tutoring, you can also get paid to play video games by tutoring players on Gamer Sensei. There’s a video game category on Superprof. Set your own schedule and rates. Popular games include Dota, League of Legends and Fortnite.

Get clicking: Superprof, Gamer Sensei

41. Teach English Online

Earning potential: $10 for 25 minutes to $25 or more an hour

The international business world runs on English, and somebody’s got to teach all those people.

To fill the demand for English lessons, several companies hire native English speakers to run classes online. In most cases, online teachers can set their own hours and earn up to $25 an hour.

To meet baseline qualifications, all you need is English fluency, a high school diploma and a computer with a high-speed internet connection.

Get clicking: Boxfish, Qkids, Cambly

Other Ways to Make Extra Money

Still looking for ideas to earn money? Here are more options.

42. Babysit

Earning potential: Up to $18 an hour

As a babysitter, you may not even have to leave your house. Let the babies come to you.

At Sittercity, you can create a babysitter profile for free and start searching for listings in your area. Care.com is another good choice for child care (and elder care). Even teens (14-17) can apply if they have permission from a parent or guardian.

Be sure to include previous sitting experience and credentials such as CPR or first-aid training to improve your profile and hourly rates.

If all else fails, try word of mouth. It’s likely that someone you know would enjoy a night without their little monster adorable angel.

Get clicking: Sittercity, Care.com

43. Be a Pet Sitter

Earning potential: Up to $100 an hour

Getting paid to love on animals is practically free money. But seriously, you can make good money pet sitting. Rates for an overnight stay go as high as $100, but if you watch pets only at your home, you may have to charge less.

Spread the word about your services and experience through friends, coworkers and your neighborhood. There are also several sites where you can register as a pet sitter including Rover Wagwalking and Trustedhousesitters.

Check local regulations to see how many animals you can watch at once without needing to be licensed as a kennel.

Get clicking: Rover.com Wagwalking.com, Trustedhousesitters.com,

44. Charge for Your Friendship

Earning potential: $10 to $50 an hour

You may have heard of selling your friendship on websites like RentAFriend. Some people claim to make $2,000 per week being a strictly platonic “friend.” That can mean anything from playing tennis with someone to showing a new resident around your hometown.

There’s also an app called Papa that connects seniors with companions — often college kids — to help with errands, technology and offer companionship. Companions who sign up on the site find they’re a making money and getting fulfillment at the same time.

The company has expanded to more than 25 states and plans to expand to all 50.

Get clicking: RentAFriend, Papa

45. Find Lost Money

Earning potential: $10 to $763,000

In 2017, a New Yorker got a call about $763,000 in unclaimed cash. Of course, he thought it was a scam, but it turned out to be true.

While that’s not going to be the case for the vast majority of us, pocketfuls of cash are still waiting to be collected. Uncashed paychecks, balances from closed bank accounts, customer refunds, forgotten life insurance policies often go unclaimed.

So after you check under your couch cushions, there are several places you can look to find missing money online. A good place to start is the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, most states and provinces in North America are members. It takes only seconds to conduct a free search, and you never know what you might find.

Get clicking: National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators

46. Scalp Tickets

Earning potential: $20 to $100 on average

You used to have to stand outside of concert and sports venues to resell tickets, and it was of questionable legality. Now you can legally scalp tickets online, right from home, using platforms like Stubhub or Ticketmaster.

If you’re good at predicting what events will sell out, you can buy tickets early for less then them later for big profits as the event date gets closer.

Get clicking: Stubhub or Ticketmaster.

47. Cut Up Old Magazines

Earning potential: $5 to $20 per vintage ad

Odd money expert Steve Gillman still regrets selling a stack of old National Geographic magazines for a few bucks at a garage sale.

After a bit of research, he found that old ‘40s and ‘50s magazines sell for more than $50 apiece on eBay. If you aren’t already sitting on a stack of vintage magazines, a lucrative strategy is to purchase old magazines online, cut out several ads (especially ones for cars, trains, guns sports or furniture), put it in a nice frame or protective sleeve and resell each ad for $5 or $10.

Get clicking: Here’s what’s selling: eBay, Etsy

48. Rent Out Your Car

Earning potential: $80 to $255 depending on your car

If you try to rent out your car on your own, you’ll probably invalidate your insurance. And you have to find customers.

But companies like GetAround and Turo will find the customers for you and provide the insurance.

Listing your car on GetAround costs $20 a month, plus a one-time $99 installation fee for a remote receiver to unlock your car for customers. Turo doesn’t charge monthly fees but takes a 15% to 35% percentage of earnings based on how much insurance you pay for with GetAround or Turo to cover potential damage to your car.

Get clicking: GetAround, Turo

49. Stick an Ad on Your Car

Earning potential: $175 to $450 per month

Placing an ad on your car through a car wrap company is an easy form of passive income. If you’re a ride-share driver, even better. You can pull in extra money while you’re already making money!

Legitimate companies such as Wrapify, Carvertise and Nickelytics will wrap your car at no cost to you. The money you make depends on how much you drive, whether you have a full or partial wrap and your driving market. But watch out for scams: If a company contacts you out of the blue, that could be a scam. If they ask for money up front, it almost certainly is.

Get clicking: Nickelytics, Carvertise, Wrapify

50. Rent Out Your Stuff

Earning potential: $10 to $100 an hour depending what you rent out

Do you have a Ping-Pong table that’s easy to transport? How about a cotton candy machine you bought on impulse three years ago for Halloween? A high end camera? A swimming pool?

There are a growing number of apps and websites that connect people for peer-to-peer rentals of stuff that goes far beyond cars and guest houses. Some charge for the posting while others take a cut if the item rents.

Loanables.com lists everything from ladders to bounce houses. ShareGrid and KitSplit connect owners of high end photography equipment with moviemakers and photographers. FriendWithA is a rental platform for a wide range of items but specializes in bikes, one-wheels and other pricey sporting goods. Swimply is for renting a pool by the hour or day.

Get clicking: Loanables.com, ShareGrid, KitSplit, FriendWithA, Swimply

51. Become a Calligrapher

Earning potential: $2 to $5 an envelope when addressing multiple invites

Do you have great handwriting? Sell that skill. Start a calligraphy business, and you can make up to $5 per envelope addressing wedding invitations.

Start-up costs may set you back about $155 for supplies, but once you hone your craft, the Art Career Project, a website that supports arts education and careers, estimates you could earn more than $50,000 a year.

Get clicking: Buy a calligraphy starter kit.

52. Treasure Hunt at Home

Earning potential: $5 or a long lost fortune

People have found treasures in their attics, valuables in their floorboards and cash in their walls. It’s amazing how many things people hide in and around their homes. Maybe it’s time to start looking for items your home’s previous owners left behind.

It’s more popular than you might think. There’s a whole section of Reddit about finding treasures — usually old locked safes — in houses called r/WhatsInThisThing.

53. Become a Market Researcher

Earning potential: $50 a year and gift cards from several sources

Market research firms are always looking for ways to track consumer behavior. That’s why you can get paid to install apps such as Nielsen Consumer Panel and MobileXpression for iPhone or Android then share info on your shopping habits

Once you sign up, you can rack up points by using either Nielsen’s barcode scanner or your smartphone to scan the barcodes of products you’ve purchased. Then you can redeem your points for products in Nielsen’s gift catalog.

Participating in the panel automatically enrolls you in cash sweepstakes and a curated list of surveys, which can be completed for extra cash.

MobileXpression works a little differently. For that program, you don’t have to do much but let the app track how you use your cell phone. Once you’ve had the app installed for at least a week, you’ll be eligible for gift cards and other compensation.

Get clicking: MobileXpression, Nielsen Consumer Panel

Work from Home

To apply to fresh gigs you can do from your computer, be sure to check out our work-from-home jobs portal for jobs that are permanently remote.

Millions of jobs transitioned to work-from-home positions during the pandemic. However, there have always been plenty of jobs that don’t require leaving your home as long as you have an internet connection.

54. Be a Virtual Assistant

Earning potential: $10 to $55 an hour.

As a virtual assistant, you might answer calls, send emails, prepare reports or do any number of other tasks for busy executives and business owners. It’s a lot like an online secretarial position.

You can list your services on freelance sites like CloudPeeps, Fiverr, Upwork, Guru or Freelancer, or you can get a job with a virtual assistant company like Zirtual.

Base requirements for jobs at Zirtual include:

  • Some administrative or equivalent college experience
  • Tech savviness, including proficiency with G Suite and other email software
  • Typing skills (50 words per minute or more)

Get clicking: CloudPeeps, Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, Freelancer, Zirtual

55. Work for a Virtual Call Center

Earning potential: $10 to $15 an hour

Customer-service jobs are common with companies that hire at-home workers. You typically spend your days responding to customers over the phone, via email or through instant messages. Tracking trends in customer complaints and questions are a large part of these roles as well.

Since the employers vary dramatically, you may find yourself fielding questions about deliveries and shipments or giving details about products and services.

Get clicking: AAA, American Express and Apple are just a few companies that hire people to work from home for their call centers.

56. Be a Transcriptionist or Proofreader

Earning potential: $25 an hour

To make money as a transcriptionist, you need to listen well and type fast. You’ll listen to audio files of varying quality and type out what you hear perfectly.

Basic requirements include:

  • A computer and headset
  • Native English fluency
  • The ability to type with high accuracy at 80 or more words per minute

Some companies also require (or supply) transcribers with a foot pedal that controls audio speed, rewinding and fast forwarding.

To test your typing speed, several companies rely on TypingTest.com.

Not sure you want to do the typing yourself? Consider being a transcript proofreader, which is someone who reviews transcripts (usually courtroom and legal documents) for grammar and spelling errors.

These proofreading positions range from entry-level to post-graduate, depending on the material.

To dip your feet into the field before committing to a professional project, check out Transcribe Anywhere and Proofread Anywhere for tips, ecourses and hands-on practice.

Get clicking:

Transcribing: Allegis Transcription, NetTranscripts, TransPerfect and Rev.com.

Proofreading: U.S. Legal Support, ProofreadingPal,Transcribe Anywhere,Proofread Anywhere

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. Adam Hardy is a former staff writer. Steve Gillman contributed to this article.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

How to Sell Online: The 14 Best Places and Apps

Selling your stuff online is a great way to make a quick $20 to tide you over till your next paycheck. It’s also a low-cost way to start a small business venture that brings in thousands of dollars in passive income.

And everything in between.

No matter your needs, we’ve got the right e-commerce websites for you. But first, you need to do some preparation to make sure your for-sale listing will be successful.

14 Websites to Sell Stuff Online

You’ll want to choose the appropriate website for whatever you’re selling so you understand how to sell online.

Some giant websites accept listings for most products, and some niche websites accept only certain categories of items. In most cases, the more specific you get, the better chance you’ll have to connect with the right buyers and be a success at selling online.

Where to Sell Almost Everything Online

Listing your stuff on the largest online marketplaces could be a help or a hindrance to your business.

A big website equals more users equals more profit, right? Not quite. They could, instead, equal a serious small fish, big pond scenario. This might hinder the online selling of your products.

Some sites handle shipping for you if you sell regularly. But if you’re a one-time seller, the hassle of registering with a large site and the associated listing and shipping fees might not be worth it.

Still, these well-known sites are often a go-to for online sellers and the place to be if you want to grow a business beyond the occasional closet clean-out.

1. Amazon

Amazon is a far cry from its book-peddling past. According to a 2018 NPR study, 44% of online shoppers start their search directly on Amazon.

To cash in on that action and make money as an Amazon seller, you must register for an Individual Seller Plan or a Professional Seller Plan.

  • Individual seller accounts are free. They have a selling limit of 40 items per month, and Amazon deducts a 99-cent fee per sale. That means no up-front costs to list your item
  • Professional sellers pay a $39.99 monthly subscription fee. Professional accounts have no selling limit and are exempt from the 99-cent fee for sales.

Both types of accounts are subject to additional Amazon selling fees, which range from 3% to 45% of the sale price depending on the category of the item.

Amazon also offers Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which handles packaging, shipping and storing items for you, so you don’t have to run a mini warehouse yourself. FBA also covers customer service and returns.

FBA fees are per-product sold, based on product type, size and shipping weight, and include:

  • Non-apparel, non-dangerous goods (most items): Small items are $2.50 to $2.63 up to one pound; large items are $3.31 to $5.42 up to three pounds. Above three pounds costs $0.38 per additional pound.
  • Apparel (non-dangerous goods): Small items are $2.92 to $3.11 up to one pound; large items are $3.70 to $5.95 up to three pounds. Above three pounds costs $0.38 per additional pound.
  • Apparel (dangerous goods): Small items are $3.85 to $4.12 up to one pound; large items are $4.45 to $6.39 up to three pounds. Above three pounds costs $0.38 per additional pound.
  • Non-apparel dangerous goods: Small items are $3.43 to $3.64 up to one pound; large items are $4.06 to $5.86 up to three pounds. Above three pounds costs $0.38 per additional pound.

Sky Richardson took his online selling to the next level by creating an Amazon private label business, which includes buying generic products for cheap, rebranding and packaging them, then selling them on Amazon for a profit.

With this technique, Richardson is able to bring in between $1,000 and $2,000 of passive income each month. He has mastered the technique of how to sell online. “It’s important to understand this isn’t a get-rich-quick strategy,” Richardson writes in our step-by-step guide to creating a private label business. “It takes diligence, patience and a willingness to see an idea through from start to finish.”

2. Ebay

Since 1995, eBay has earned a reputation as a one-stop shop for curated goods, collectibles, unique flea-market finds and more.

“You can seriously sell anything on eBay if you know the market,” Michelle Henry told The Penny Hoarder.

Henry ran an eBay store flipping items she found at her local thrift shop and made a few hundred dollars a week on the site.

A man poses for a picture in a portable sauna

Rob Stephenson, who calls himself the Flea Market Flipper, told The Penny Hoarder he earned $30,000 in a year selling his flea-market finds online, working the side hustle about 15 to 20 hours a week. He was so successful that in 2017, Stephenson quit his job and reported on his blog that he banked more than $133,000 selling flipped finds.

If you just want to pawn off items from your attic, you can create a free account and list up to 50 items a month. If you want to join the likes of Henry and Stephenson, sign up for an eBay Stores account. These are for more serious sellers who foresee making more than 50 sales a month.

eBay Stores selling fees depend on your subscription tier, which include:

  • Starter: $7.95 per month or $59.40 per year.
  • Basic: $27.95 per month or $263.30 per year.
  • Premium: $74.95per month or $719.40 per year.
  • Anchor: $349.95 per month or $3,599.40 per year.
  • Enterprise: $35,999.40 per year.

Each tier comes with a slew of benefits and discounts, which are listed under eBay’s subscription and fees section.

What’s unique about eBay is the option to create an auction listing, where buyers bid on your item, or a fixed-price listing, where the seller specifies the exact price. Whenever the item sells, eBay charges the seller a final-value fee, which is a percentage of the selling price. This percentage ranges from 0% and 15% plus 30 cents per order depending on the category of the item.

Shipping is usually on you, though. Many sellers bake that into the price of the item.

3. Etsy

Etsy has carved out a niche for handmade and artistic goods. While the site accepts listings from a wide range of product categories, the items should cater to its craft-loving and thrifty user base.

For sellers, it’s not just about the listing, either. It takes a little love to cultivate an Etsy shop that will resonate with buyers.

“People pick up on that kind of thing,” Etsy shop owner Lena Gosik-Wolfe told The Penny Hoarder. “They can tell if you don’t care about your shop.”

She said it’s all about your brand, backstory and making a connection with customers.

“If people are really interested in your story, they’ll be more likely to look at all your items.” Gosik-Wolfe said. “Even if they’re not a buyer right away, they’re going to look through things and say ‘I connect to this,’ and they might just [come back] later when they do need something.”

Creating an online Etsy shop may take five minutes, but you’ll want to spend much more time customizing your page.

Once your shop is set up, your sales are subject to several types of fees:

  • Listing fee: For each listing on Etsy’s website or the mobile app, you’ll be charged 20 cents. For multiple quantities of the same item, a 20-cent fee will be charged per sale.
  • Transaction fee: Etsy charges 5% of the listing price per sale, plus any additional costs for shipping or gift wrapping.
  • Subscription fee: A basic Etsy shop membership is free. Shops in good standing — meaning you meet Etsy’s standards for customer service — can upgrade to Etsy Plus for $10 a month and get access to 15 listing credits, $5 in ad credits and other perks for your shop.

For an additional $15 a month, you can build a custom website with Etsy’s Pattern to sell your Etsy store items as well as items that don’t meet its guidelines of being handmade or vintage.

Where to Sell Your Stuff Online Locally

If you’d rather not ship your item across the nation, you can list it only to sell locally. Several sites let you create a listing to advertise your product and then meet up to make the sale in person once you’ve found a buyer.

It’s important to stay safe when selling in person. Trust your gut, always meet in a well-lit public place and never give strangers your address.

Aside from your neighborhood Starbucks, several police departments have designated trading spaces that are always available and have 24/7 surveillance. Find the closest one to you on SafeTrade.

A woman works on a laptop to sell her clothes.

4. Craigslist

Want to feel old? Of course not. But here it is anyway: Craigslist has been around since 1995 — more than a quarter-century!

The aptly named advertising website was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995, and it started as his email list of interesting events in the San Francisco area. Over the years, it has grown to be synonymous with classified ads (sorry, newspapers) and boasts more than a billion monthly online visitors.

You can list anything from a used toaster to a high-end job to a 10-bedroom mansion.

For job, retail and service listings, there’s a fee. But it’s free to list items you want to sell on the site. So list away.

The site operates in more than 70 countries, but it’s set up to be used locally. In fact, to avoid scams, the site recommends people list locally and meet face to face. To encourage this, it actually reads your IP address and automatically funnels you to the local version of the site when you navigate to craigslist.com.

So let’s say you want to sell an antique armoire.

  1. You don’t have to register; you can just create a listing on Craigslist.
  2. The site prompts you to answer a few questions about the type of item you’re selling and your location.
  3. Describe the item in detail: price, dimensions, color, condition, anything you think is pertinent for the buyer.
  4. Post a few photos.
  5. Include your contact information or opt to correspond through anonymous emails.

Then the replies will start rolling in. Be prepared to haggle.

5. Facebook Marketplace

What doesn’t Facebook do?

In 2016, the social media giant launched an on-site feature called Marketplace. It works a lot like other local-listing websites, except there’s the added benefit of looking through the Facebook profile of the buyer or seller — a relief for online shoppers, surely.

Anyone can browse the marketplace anonymously, but to bid or create a listing, you need to sign in to your Facebook profile, which of course, is free. (You’re probably already logged in if you’re reading this.)

Pro Tip

Pricing an item realistically is key to selling through online marketplaces. Learn more tips in our guide to selling on Facebook Marketplace.

Sellers can create a free listing for homes, vehicles or other items. The only stipulation is that all listings must comply with Facebook’s commerce policies and your local laws.

Facebook forbids creating listings for:

  • Animals.
  • Weapons or ammunition.
  • Irrelevant content, i.e. posting news, memes or humor that “has no intention to buy or sell products or services.”

The marketplace also aggregates relevant buying and selling groups in your area. Posting in these groups is a good way to advertise your item to a target audience.

Pro Tip

Big-town universities usually have very active marketplace groups, due to the constant flux of students.

Facebook has a direct-payment system built into Messenger, which is also free to use. You can also opt to allow payments via credit card, debit card or PayPal, and cover the associated fees.

6. Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a relatively new, private social media platform with an interesting twist. It’s not for individuals, but for neighborhoods.

To join Nextdoor:

  1. You have to verify your street address and use your real full name.
  2. Nextdoor verifies your account by phone call or postcard.
  3. Join your neighbors on a private message board, where folks share neighborhood updates, ask questions, and list items for sale or for free. “Neighbors” in this case doesn’t always refer to a neighborhood, but to the area designated as the community by at least 10 founding members and approved or adjusted by Nextdoor staff.
  4. Join groups based on trending topics in your area — like local sports teams, schools and more.

Nextdoor posts aren’t indexed by search engines, and they’re not available in the app to users who can’t verify an address within the designated area. That means all posts you see are ostensibly from Nextdoor users in your “neighborhood.”

While these members may indeed be your neighbors, it’s still a good idea to adhere to the safety best practices mentioned above when selling in person.

A woman photographs her clothes to sell on Offerup.

7. OfferUp

OfferUp is a mobile-based secondhand marketplace that launched in 2011. It’s focused on local sales, but you can list items for sale nationwide, too.

It’s one of the only online marketplaces that requires sellers to upload photos of the item via its mobile app. Buyers aren’t required to use the app, though it’s a more convenient way of shopping OfferUp because of built-in messaging and payment processing.

You just have to download the app for iOS or Android, or visit the website, and log in with Facebook, Google, Apple or your email address. You can create an account name that represents you personally or your business.

To start selling:

  1. Tap “post” in the app and snap three to 12 photos of your item.
  2. Give the post a title that includes pertinent details, like color, size, year, etc.
  3. Add optional details, including category and condition.
  4. Write a brief description of the item with any additional details.
  5. Set the price, and set whether you’ll sell only locally or ship nationwide.

Items prohibited for sale on OfferUp include alcohol, guns, animals, vitamins and more. The site also has in-depth guides on the best practices for posting and marketing your item, which include using multiple photos, categorizing your item correctly and writing a good product description.

It’s free to list your item and to sell it in person. You’ll pay a fee for national listings and promotions, as follows:

  • National listings: Most items are automatically listed for sale in your local area. For a fee of 12.9% of the selling price (minimum $1.99), you can have the item listed nationally and shipped to the buyer.
  • Promoted listings: A feature that keeps your post within the top 50 search results for a category. Cost is $4.99 for three days, $7.99 for seven days and $14.99 for 14 days.
  • Bumping: This feature refreshes your item as if it were a new post, listing it higher in search results. Bumps cost between $1.99 and $3.99 per item.
  • Paying through OfferUp: Transactions are typically cash-based, but for national sales or situations where you don’t want to use cash, the website offers transactions through Stripe, which charges a processing fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

All paid features are optional. So to keep costs down, keep it local and use cash.

Where to Sell Games and Electronics Online

While every website or app above accepts listings for electronics, it’s a good idea to list them on marketplaces that specialize in these types of products.

For example, someone on Facebook may indeed want a laptop, but your gaming laptop has 16GB of RAM, a terabyte of disk space and you just upgraded the graphics card. The Facebook buyer may only be looking for a computer that can run word processing programs. You’ll probably get a lowball offer that reflects that basic need.

To get what it’s worth, list it on a marketplace where buyers will appreciate the specs of your gaming rig.

8. Decluttr

Decluttr is an online buyer and seller for media and electronics, including:

  • Video games, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and music.
  • Cell phones, tablets and consoles.
  • Smart watches and laptops.
  • Even textbooks and Legos.

Instead of creating listings and dealing with buyers yourself, you’ll just sell your items to Decluttr, and the company takes care of reselling.

To get a cash quote for tech such as phones, devices and consoles, enter the model of the item you want to sell into the website or app search field and select its condition (good, poor or faulty). A cash quote will appear immediately.

For CDs, Blu-rays or other discs, scan the barcode with your smartphone for an instant quote. If you accept the offer, you can send your items in at no cost with the free shipping label Decluttr sends you via email, and you can get paid via direct deposit as soon as the day after your items are accepted.

Matt Wiley got an offer for more than $50 for some old movies and a few PS3 games selling on Decluttr.

The company takes care of selling and pays for shipping. Not a bad deal. All you have to do is pack the items in a box, tack on the label and mail it off. Wiley recommends asking your local supermarket for free boxes. Cost-saving and environmentally friendly!

Video games lay on the grass.

9. Gameflip

Selling video games and related content is one of the best ways to make money as a gamer.

With Gameflip, you can sell video games, gift cards, rare in-game items and movies all in one place.

Lifelong gamer and video game content creator Frederick Aldeco, a.k.a. DaddyGamer Fred on YouTube, used Gameflip to sell almost all of his games (except the handheld Switch and PS Vita) to help fund a move from the U.S. to Switzerland.

But Gameflip is not just a marketplace for items and products. Gamers and designers can also sell services, such as tutoring sessions; or graphic designs, such as logos and artwork.

To become a Gameflip seller, you must either register a credit or debit card (no prepaid cards allowed) or submit your ID for verification. You can sign up using an email address, Facebook or Google account.

You can list items for free, and you’ll pay an 8% commission when you sell an item, plus a 2% digital fee for selling digital items.

Frequent sellers can join the Gameflip Club to reduce or eliminate commission fees. Membership tiers include:

  • Gamer Club: For $1 per month, pay no commission or digital fees, as long as you earn less than $50 per month.
  • Pro Club: For $4 per month, reduce your commission to 6% and digital fees to 0%, with a sales cap of $500 per month and access to exclusive promotions and VIP support.
  • Ultra Club: For $15 per month, pay no digital fees, with a sales cap of $5,000 per month  and access to exclusive promotions and VIP support.
  • Bot Club: For $1 per month, reduce your commission to 4% and digital fees to 0%, with a sales cap of $5,000 per month and access to exclusive promotions, VIP support and bot trading.

All income from your sales is stored on your Gameflip profile and you can withdraw it through PayPal.

But perhaps the biggest payment of all is being able to say, “See Mom, it does pay to play video games.”

10. Gazelle

Are you one to buy the latest model iPhone or Samsung as soon as it hits the market? Then get paid for your old model by selling it to Gazelle. No sifting through bids or haggling with buyers.

Gazelle will buy your used tech. It focuses primarily on smartphones, but also buys:

  •  Tablets.
  •  MP3 players.
  •  Laptops and desktops.
  •  Various Apple products.

To see if your product is eligible, find the make and model on the website, then answer a couple of questions about the specs and condition to get a quote.

Make sure your exact model is listed, otherwise the company won’t purchase it.

After you accept a quote, Gazelle will send you packing and shipping labels for free (for orders over $30). Load up your tech and ship it back for confirmation. Gazelle will pay only after it’s received your shipment and checked the item.

For example, if you listed an item in “flawless” condition and the company finds scratches or dings, it’ll adjust the offer. You’ll have five days to accept the new offer before Gazelle returns it to you.

You can choose payment via Amazon gift card, Paypal or check.

If you need cash fast, you can instead deposit your tech at a nearby EcoATM kiosk and get paid immediately. Gazelle notes that kiosk payments are typically lower than quotes made on the website.

Where to Sell Your Clothes Online

Of all the things we have too much of, clothes are probably the biggest offender. And we probably don’t realize it. We’ll tuck a bag or two in the hallway closet, put our unused sweaters under the bed and line our doors with hanging shoe racks.

But if we were to gather that garb into one pile, it would be enormous. Seeing it all in one place puts things into perspective.

Donating is a great start to chipping away at that fabric mountain on your living room floor. But if you want a little cash for your clothes, you have plenty of sites to choose from.

11. Poshmark

Dubbing itself a “social marketplace for fashion,” Poshmark is a platform for stylish clothes for adults and kids that’s a little more involved than most buy-and-sell websites.

It’s not a list-it-and-leave-it kind of place, but the extra work you have to put into creating a pleasing profile really pays off.

When fashion blogger Alison Gary decided to rent out her house and travel the country in an RV with her husband, she realized her wardrobe was weighing her down. So she took a bunch of high-quality photos of her outfits, made them into a collage and posted them on Poshmark. Within a few months, her excess clothes earned her more than $1,000.

Gary laid out her best practices in our guide to selling on Poshmark. To name a few:

  • List multiple pictures.
  • Haggle for the best price, but know when to say no.
  • Give fashion advice along with your clothing. (Hello, upsell!)

To become a seller, you first must download the Poshmark app and sign up with Facebook, Google or your email address. Then you can create your own listing using Gary’s advice.

For each sale, Poshmark takes a commission, depending on the sale price:

  • For sales $15 and under, there’s a flat $2.95 fee.
  • For everything over $15, the commission jumps to 20% of the sale price.

The good news is Poshmark handles shipping for free. It sends you a pre-labeled, postage-paid package you can use to send clothes to a buyer.

12. Swap.com

Admit it. There’s a bag of clothes in the back of your car that you’ve been meaning to take to one of the many used clothes stores, but you never got around to it. If that’s the case, Swap.com was meant for you.

It works similarly to consignment stores, where your clothes are appraised, you’re given an offer based on in-vogue fashion or seasonal trends, and you earn money when your item sells. Except with Swap.com, it’s all done online and through the mail.

Selling to Swap.com requires a little legwork upfront. First, you need to register an account and complete a “premier seller application.” You’ll provide:

  • How much you want to charge for each item..
  • Which brands you plan to sell.
  • How frequently you plan to sell to Swap.com this year.
  • Your phone number.

If your application is accepted, you’ll be prompted to send in a test box, which must meet acceptance criteria including:

  • Clean, with no signs of excessive wear.
  • Original retail value of at least $5.
  • Includes brand and size tags.
  • Not altered.

Swap.com doesn’t take homemade or vintage items because of limited appeal with its user base — so consider Etsy for your crafty digs.

After your test box passes, you’ll be invited to sell through Swap.com whenever you like.

You earn a commission based on the list price of items you sell:

  • For items with a list price of $8 and under, you earn 15% cash, plus 20% Swap.com credit.
  • For items over $8, you earn 70% in cash, plus 20% in Swap.com credit.

If some of your items are rejected, Swap.com charges $11.90 to ship them back to you. So make sure to follow the acceptance criteria to a T. Don’t include dirty, damaged or faded clothes, because you might end up with more fees than earnings.

A woman logs into Thredup.

13. ThredUP

For the clothes that might have gone in the donation pile, ThredUP may be just as good a home, partly because the company takes those donations off your hands. For free.

This women-and-children-centric secondhand retailer makes closet cleaning easy. To offload your items, select a “clean out kit;” there’s one for donations or one for items you want to sell. If you select standard shipping, the kits are free. Expedited shipping costs $16.

If you’re donating, stuff your kit full, mail it out and call it a day.

If you want your items to be accepted for selling on the site, you may need to be a little more choosy. Include brands that sell well, such as Athletica, Kate Spade, Lululemon and Patagonia.

Accepted clothes will earn you between 5% and 80% of the listing price.

Listing Price Percentage of Earnings
Less than $15 5%
$15 to $19.99 10%
$20 to $34.99 15%
$35 to $49.99 25%
$50 to $74.99 50%
$100 to $199.99 60%
$200 to $299.99 70%
$300+ 80%

When loading up your kit, make sure you’re ready to part ways with whatever you send in, because ThredUP recycles the clothes it rejects for selling on its site.

14. Tradesy

Tradesy runs like most other marketplaces on this list, except it’s tailored toward high-end feminine fashion from designer brands like Balmain, Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

In addition to clothes, Tradesy accepts accessories, purses, shoes and all things wedding-related (invitations, veils, decorations and more).

To create a listing, you know the drill: photos, description, price. If you need a little help setting it up, Tradesy will pitch in with automatic photo editing and pricing suggestions.

Where Tradesy distinguishes itself is in its shipping policy. Before you publish your listing on the site, you can choose from three shipping methods:

  • Tradesy-supplied shipping. Choose from an assortment of bags and packages that best fit your item. Prepaid labels are included.
  • Printed, prepaid shipping label. A flat $10.50 shipping price, which the buyer pays at checkout.
  • Ship it yourself. The best option to keep your listing price down, but more work for you.

All shipping costs are added to your listing price. Your selection will increase the price for the buyer — and ultimately for you too, because seller fees are based on the total item cost, including shipping.

Earnings accrue on your Tradesy account. For each sale, Tradesy takes a commision based on the listed price of the item:

  • For sales under $50, the fee is a flat $7.50.
  • Listings above $50 incur a 19.8% fee.

Your earnings will be stored on your account for 21 days. You can use those funds to shop on Tradesy or withdraw them into a checking account, a debit card or a PayPal account. Each withdrawal incurs a 2.9% cash transfer fee.

How an Entrepreneur Sells Stuff Online

While you can find a website that lets you create a for-sale listing for just about anything, that doesn’t mean anyone will actually buy.

Think about it from the perspective of the buyers: What will they need to make the decision to purchase your item?

Here are a few easy steps to make your listing pop.

Take Good Photos of Products

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling: People will want to see it. A well-lit photo (or five) is one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart. Good photos make your listing appear much more legitimate and trustworthy, too.

Try taking your own photos before you use stock images. Original is better.

“It’s all about perception,” Etsy seller Gosik-Wolfe said. “It’s about how people are seeing you, because they can’t have that in-person experience.”

Include Useful Keywords

If you’re trying to sell a Samsung 32-inch flat screen LED TV, you’ll want to include those details. Don’t just say “TV for sale” and call it a day. A well written description is going to help the buyer make a decision once they find your listing, and item descriptions contribute to your item’s ability to show up in a search.

Many e-commerce sites have algorithms that work like Google. So if someone is searching for a “Samsung LED,” your listing will have a much better chance of appearing in the results with those keywords in the title.

A screen printed shirt from Dark Cycle Clothing is made.

Study Successful Listings Tips from Merchant

See what top sellers are doing with their listings, especially ones in similar categories to what you plan to sell. And take note on how they sell products online.

Each website works a little differently. A good listing on one site may not be a good listing on another, so tailor your listing to each site if you plan on selling your items in multiple places.

When Coryn Enfinger co-founded her screenprinting business, Dark Cycle Clothing, she leaned on all of these tactics to ensure success. She researched for weeks on how to create the perfect listing to showcase their clothes, which her husband Adam designs and prints. She found high-quality photos are essential for online sales.

When Dark Cycle Clothing’s online store launched, buyers came flooding in. And what started as a hobby flourished into a $350,000-a-year screen printing business. Since then, Dark Cycle Clothing has ranked as a top-five seller of handmade clothes on Etsy and sells in stores and markets around the country.

“People don’t realize how much work it takes,” Enfinger said. “They just see the product, and they see it selling.”

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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