Welcome to the New Penny Hoarder Community Site

Hey Penny Hoarders! As many of you know, we have a Community site that’s a gathering place for folks to discuss all things money. Through the support of fellow Community members, the site has helped people tackle their debt, increase their credit score and even book a dream vacation.

We’re excited to announce our Community site just got a makeover – one in which we feel provides a much more user-friendly experience. We wanted to share some things you can expect when you visit the new Community site.

What to Expect in the New Penny Hoarder Community

First up, The Penny Hoarder Community is still the place to share tips and find support on all-things money. Besides contributions from other Community members, you’ll also find our staff sharing personal stories on topics like frugal finds, money wins and fails, and more.

Earn Badges

So many badges. On the Community site, you can now earn badges for all sorts of things – creating or commenting on a post, or liking someone else’s post. Even just visiting the Community site on a regular basis. Also, the more badges you earn, the more things you’ll unlock on the Community site. Do you have what it takes to be a top contributor? You’ll not only earn the respect of your peers, but also gain access to exclusive opportunities and offers from The Penny Hoarder.

Events, Feedback and More

Badges are just the beginning. Throughout 2023, we’ll be adding more new elements to the Community site. We’ll use it as a spot to post and host regular Penny Hoarder events where we dive into pressing money topics together and let attendees connect with experts from The Penny Hoarder (and elsewhere).

There’s also a new section specifically for feedback where we welcome your suggestions for ways to continue to improve ThePennyHoarder.com, the Community site, our email newsletters and our social media spaces.

Already a member of The Penny Hoarder Community? Be sure to read our post on logging in to the new site. We hope to see you there!

Will Simons is a community marketing product manager at The Penny Hoarder. Originally from Omaha, Neb., Will loves to help people get talking about bettering their finances.

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.

8 Inflation-Fighting Tips to Earn Back $433 a Month

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We all know inflation is draining our bank accounts, but have you wondered just how bad it’s gotten? How much more are you spending right now just to stay alive?

Suddenly we’ve got an answer: $433 a month.

Yes, the number crunchers at the financial firm Moody’s Analytics figure that the average American household is now spending $433 more per month to buy the same food and gasoline and various goods and services that we were all buying a year ago.

Four hundred and thirty-three bucks! No wonder we’re all broke. Basically, if you’re living the same life you were living in late 2021, it’s costing you that much more just to break even.

That’s not sustainable, so everybody’s got to make changes. We got to thinking: What could you do to make up that extra cash you’re parting with each month?

Below we’ve got a list of eight changes — some big, some small — to make up that difference. Some of them might surprise you. By the end of this article, we’ll have tallied up $433 worth of slick moves to help you balance your books.

1. Eat Lunch at Costco Twice a Month

Costco prides itself on its hot dog and soda combo, which still costs just $1.50. The price has stayed the same since 1985.

For context, the combo — which gets you a jumbo dog and a 20-ounce fountain drink (plus free refills!) for $1.50 — should cost well north of $4 by now, adjusted for inflation.

Why so cheap? Here’s an explanation from Costco CEO Craig Jelinek: “I came to (Jim Sinegal, co-founder and former CEO of Costco) once and I said, ‘Jim, we can’t sell this hot dog for a buck fifty. We are losing our rear ends.’ And he said, ‘If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.’ ”

Projected savings: If you’re spending a total of $3 to replace two ordinary restaurant lunches per month, then we’ll say you’re saving $20.

2. Sell Something on eBay

Need cash? There are lots of things in your home that you may look at and say “Can I sell that? Probably not.”

But what if all the “probably not” items could actually have a home? What if even the strangest things — like empty boxes or broken electronics — could earn you a little money?

We’ve put together a list of 20 of the best things to sell on eBay — some of the most bizarre objects we can dream up to show you that they’ll actually sell.

Projected earnings: If you set your mind to it, we bet you can make at least $30 every single month this way.

3. Sell Your Poop

Looking for an easy side hustle? Every time you poop, you might be flushing money down the toilet. Your poop could save lives and make you some cash in the process.

It’s true. Some medical companies will pay healthy donors for their stool. Your precious sample is then used for microbiome studies or in treatment of patients with Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes infections in the colon.

The amount you earn with each donation depends on the company. GoodNature offers $25-$75 per visit, up to $1,500 per month. Poop With Purpose pays $50 per donation, up to $1,500 per month. HumanMicrobe pays $500 per stool donation.

Potential donors must be 18-50 years old, at a normal weight, nonsmokers and with no history of gastrointestinal disease or drug or alcohol abuse.

Projected earnings: To be honest, $1,500 per month might be a little optimistic. Let’s be conservative and go with $100 instead.

4. Cancel a Streaming Service

We’d say “Cut the cord,” but if you’re as broke as we are, you’ve probably already canceled cable. (If you still have cable, though, cut the cord.)

The problem is, if you’re anything like us, you’re probably subscribing to more than one streaming service. Maybe you’ve even lost track of how many. After all, there’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, HBO Max and Apple TV+, among others.

Check out our comparison of all the streaming services — costs, type of content, number of available titles and more.

Projected savings: If you drop a couple of subscriptions (you can get by with fewer), we bet you’ll save at least $20 per month.

5. Inflation-Proof Your Pantry With a $65 Two-Week Meal Plan for Two

Buckle up. Now we’re getting serious — and more ambitious.

Clearly the price of groceries is out of control. Now, if a $33 weekly grocery bill for a couple ($16.50 per person) to afford three square meals a day sounds a little crazy, you’re not wrong. But we did it anyway.

While you could get by eating ramen and peanut butter sandwiches for a while, scrounging like a college student indefinitely doesn’t have much appeal. Instead, we put together a $65 two-week grocery list of nearly 30 items that’ll net two adults fairly well-rounded meals without skimping too much on the good stuff.

This two-week grocery spending plan can be stretched to accommodate a family of four simply by doubling up on ingredients — and cost. Or expand this plan to a month if you prefer to track your family’s budget and compile a shopping list on a monthly basis.

Groceries are a huge part of everyone’s budget, so you should also look for free printable coupons or try our favorite tricks for saving money on groceries.

Projected savings: Everybody’s got to eat, but there’s more potential for savings at the supermarket than you might think. If you really commit to lowering your grocery bill, we bet you can save in the ballpark of at least $180 a month.

6. Turn Down the Thermostat

Here’s something that’ll send a shiver down your spine: Heating your home is going to be noticeably more expensive this winter.

In fact, Americans are about to see the largest spike in their heating bills in more than a decade. But we’ve got eight tips to help you lower your heating bill. For example, close off unused rooms, insulate your windows (it’s cheap), add a little weather stripping and block out drafts from the bottoms of exterior doors.

If you take the entire year into account, the cost of cooling, heating and lighting your home is massive. Although it requires a small initial investment, try installing thermal curtains or a programmable thermostat. Or check out these creative energy-saving ways to slash your utility bills.

Projected savings: We think you can save at least $30 a month on heating and cooling your home.

7. Look for Cheaper Car Insurance Every 6 Months

Have you been paying your car insurance bill to the same old company for years and years? You have, haven’t you? In that case, you’re probably paying too much.

Every six months, when it’s time to renew your policy, take a little time to look around for a better deal.

If you want, there are any number of apps that’ll happily do this for you. Options include Everquote.

Or you can just do it yourself. Check out The Penny Hoarder’s guide to the best car insurance companies.

Projected savings: It’s reasonable to think you can save at least $25 a month this way.

8. Take a Few Simple Steps to Save on Gas

Filling up the gas tank can be a thoroughly miserable experience as you watch the counter flip past $40, then $50, and keep on going.

But you can save money on gas based on where you fill up, how you pay, when you visit the gas station, how you drive and even the condition of your car.

We’ve compiled 20 smart tips to help you spend less on fuel. Most notably, join a fuel rewards program, use apps like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas, fill up early in the week when prices tend to be lower — or simply ease off the gas pedal and slow down.

Projected savings: We’re going to say you’ll save $28 per month on the dot. Why not?

Make a Habit of Looking for Savings

There we go! Make these eight changes — some big, some small — and bingo, presto, you’ll achieve $433 per month in savings and extra earnings.

You don’t have to stop there, either. If any of these strategies aren’t working for you, here are four others to try:

  1. Pick a cheaper grocery store. You might not be shopping for food at the least expensive option. Compare prices, which you can typically find online.
  2. Get a haircut every eight to 10 weeks instead of every six.
  3. Before you shell out for things like furniture or baby gear, check out Buy Nothing groups on platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor to see if one of your neighbors is looking to get rid of something similar.
  4. Get a side gig to boost your income. Here are more than 30 legit ways to make extra money online.

Way to fight that inflation monster!

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) 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.

5 Things to Do Instead of Borrowing Money from Family

Say what you want about credit card companies, but at least you don’t have to see them at family gatherings. And it doesn’t get weird if you stop communicating with them regularly.

Sure, family members probably won’t charge you interest if you borrow money from them. But things can get awkward quickly — and the person you borrow from will probably want their money back soon, rather than letting you pay a minimum payment every month.

Borrowing money from family and friends is never fun. There are other options. Here’s how to get the money you need without having to borrow it from people you know:

1. Add $225 to Your Wallet While Watching the News

If family and money are a volatile mix, politics is an accelerant that could make the whole thing go boom.

Instead of keeping your opinions on the news to yourself, you could make some money and preserve the peace in your family.

You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with Swagbucks. They’ll present you with short surveys to choose from every day, which you can fill out while you watch tonight’s broadcast.

You just have to answer honestly, and Swagbucks will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $429 million. We talked to one user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid while you watch the news.

2. Win Up to $249 Playing Games on Your iPhone 

If you play games on your iPhone, but aren’t winning money every time, you’re making a big mistake.

We know of three different apps that can score you up to $83 every time you win a game. Whether you want to play Solitaire, bingo or just pop some bubbles, there’s an app for you to rake in the cash.

Solitaire Cash, Bingo Cash and Bubble Cash are three of our favorite iPhone games that can earn you serious money. Each of them are totally free to download and there’s no risk involved, since you can play for free, too.

Even better? None of the apps have annoying ads to deal with, so you can keep on playing and earning.

Ready to start earning some cash while you have some fun on your phone? Download Solitaire Cash, Bingo Cash and Bubble Cash for free and earn nearly $250 in your spare time.

3. Earn $300+/Month in Passive Income with Your Extra Space

If you’re like us, your garage probably isn’t doing much of anything at the moment. Maybe you have some tools in there, or maybe it’s home to your boxes of odds and ends, collecting dust.

But with a website called Neighbor, your extra space — whether it’s a spare room, an empty garage or a parking space — could be earning you an extra $300 a month in totally passive income.

Neighbor works by connecting people who need storage space with hosts who have the room to spare. The average host makes about $300 a month, but some people have earned up to $50,000 a year just by letting people park on their property.

It takes less than 10 minutes to get started. Just answer a few questions about your space, take some pictures and set your asking price. Neighbor will recommend a dollar amount based on your location and type of rental, but the final listing is up to you.

Neighbor even gives you up to $1 million in free protection as a host and offers protection plans for your renters, giving you both peace of mind.

Neighbor is an easy source of passive income, and it’s easier than most side hustles. It’s free to list your space, and you’ll only be charged a 4.9% processing fee from the profit you make each month, so there’s no risk to you.

Sign up here and see how much you could earn.

4. Let This Free App Save You $50/Month on Dining Out and Groceries

It’s no secret that things are getting more expensive these days — including food.

But an app called Upside can help you save money every time you dine out or buy groceries. They keep it simple: Spend money at a participating grocery store or restaurant and earn an average of 13% cashback on groceries, or 17% at restaurants. Oh, and that’s real cash, not points.

Here’s how it works: Just download the Upside app and create a free account, then browse the map to find participating restaurants and stores in your area and claim an offer.

Pay for your groceries or meal with a card that’s stored in your Upside wallet, then tap “Check In” or take a picture of your grocery receipt — this will confirm you actually bought groceries or food (dine-in or takeout) at a participating location.

Upside will tally up your cashback earnings. And when you’re ready, you can transfer your funds to a bank account, PayPal account or exchange them for a gift card from brands like Starbucks and Amazon. You’ll get your money in two days or less.

People who use the app regularly save an average of $240 a year on groceries and $160 on dining out. Download the Upside app to get started — it’s completely free, and it works at more than 50,000 businesses, including gas stations.

5. Ask This Website to Help Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month

If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape…

And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates — some up to 36%. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.

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.

Here’s Why Your Coworkers Always Seem to Have More Money Than You

Is it as simple as better pay? Could your coworker really be making that much more than you while doing the same job? How do they afford all the exotic vacations, fancy cars and the prized ZIP Code they call home?

Better pay might be a factor. But there are lots of financially savvy moves your carefree coworkers could be making behind the scenes — moves that save them thousands of dollars each year.

These are some of the most impactful things your coworkers are probably doing.

1. They Cancel Their Car Insurance

Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But don’t waste your time hopping around to different insurance companies looking for a better deal.

Use a website called EverQuote to see all your options at once.

EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the US, so you’ll get the top options from more than 175 different carriers handed right to you.

Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the top recommendations for car insurance. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $610 a year.

2. They Stop Paying Their Credit Card Company

If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape…

And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates — some up to 36%. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

You don’t need a perfect credit score to get a loan — and comparing your options won’t affect your score at all.  Plus, AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

It takes less than a minute and just 10 questions to see what loans you qualify for — you don’t even need to enter your Social Security number. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.

3. They Get Paid Up to $140/Month Just for Sharing Their Honest Opinion

It sounds strange, but brands want to hear your opinion. It helps them make business decisions, so they’re willing to pay you for it — up to $140 a month.

A free site called Branded Surveys will pay you up to $5 per survey for sharing your thoughts with their brand partners. Taking three quick surveys a day could earn up to $140 each month.

It takes just a minute to create a free account and start getting paid to speak your mind. Most surveys take five to 15 minutes, and you can check how long they’ll take ahead of time.

And you don’t need to build up tons of money to cash out, either — once you earn $5, you can cash out via PayPal, your bank account, a gift card or Amazon. You’ll get paid within 48 hours of your payout being processed, just for sharing your opinions.

They’ve already paid users more than $20 million since 2012, and the most active users can earn a few hundred dollars a month. Plus, they’ve got an “excellent” rating on Trustpilot.

It takes just a minute to set up your account and start getting paid to take surveys. Plus, right now, you’ll get a free 100-point welcome bonus just for becoming part of the community.

4. They Get Paid up to $83 to Win Solitaire Games

Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?

There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.

With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

5. They Earn $300+/Month in Passive Income with Their Extra Space

If you’re like us, your garage probably isn’t doing much of anything at the moment. Maybe you have some tools in there, or maybe it’s home to your boxes of odds and ends, collecting dust.

But with a website called Neighbor, your extra space — whether it’s a spare room, an empty garage or a parking space — could be earning you an extra $300 a month in totally passive income.

Neighbor works by connecting people who need storage space with hosts who have the room to spare. The average host makes about $300 a month, but some people have earned up to $50,000 a year just by letting people park on their property.

It takes less than 10 minutes to get started. Just answer a few questions about your space, take some pictures and set your asking price. Neighbor will recommend a dollar amount based on your location and type of rental, but the final listing is up to you.

Neighbor even gives you up to $1 million in free protection as a host and offers protection plans for your renters, giving you both peace of mind.

Neighbor is an easy source of passive income, and it’s easier than most side hustles. It’s free to list your space, and you’ll only be charged a 4.9% processing fee from the profit you make each month, so there’s no risk to you.

Sign up here and see how much you could earn.

6. They Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Netflix 

Saving for retirement is smart. Having your company contribute to your 401(k) is helpful. But having an ownership interest in a Fortune 500 company that you don’t even work for help get you to your retirement goal? That’s awesome.

And it’s surprisingly easy to make happen, with an app called Stash.1 It lets you own pieces of well-known companies, like Amazon, Apple, Google and more for $5 or less.

Seriously — with only a few dollars, you can invest in thousands of stocks and ETFs, which can help you grow your investing portfolio and reach your retirement goals. The best part? Some companies may even send you a check every quarter for your share of profits, called dividends. If these companies profit, so can you.

It takes two minutes to sign up, and your investments are protected. With Stash, investments are held by their custodian, Apex Clearing Corporation, a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money comes with protection.”2

Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.3

7. They Know You Don’t Have to Pay Full Price — Ever

Most rich people didn’t get that way by accident. They watch their money like a hawk. You’d be surprised at the lengths even the wealthiest people go to to save a buck — they almost never pay full price.

Good news: The rest of us don’t have to, either. A free site and desktop extension called Rakuten works with just about every online store you shop at, and they can make sure you get some cash back every time you buy — up to 15% cash back.

We talked to Denver resident Colleen Rice, who’s earned more than $526.44 in cash back since she started using Rakuten. For doing nothing. Seriously — she just uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights.

It takes less than a minute to open a Rakuten account and start shopping like you normally would. You just need an email address.

They’ll pay you with a check in the mail every few months or deposit it to your PayPal account. Talk about money for nothing.

1For retirement, Stash offers access to traditional or Roth IRAs.

2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value. Apex Clearing Corporation is a third-party SEC-registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC

Remember, not all stocks pay out dividends. And there’s no guarantee any stock will pay dividends in a quarter or year. Dividends may be subject to additional taxes, and are considered taxable income. Please refer to the IRS for additional information.

Investing minimums for fractional shares start at $0.01 for a Personal Portfolio

3Offer is subject to Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the Bonus, you must complete the following steps: (i) successfully complete the designated registration process of opening an individual taxable brokerage account (“a Personal Portfolio”), (ii) link a funding account (e.g. an external bank account) to your Personal Portfolio, AND (iii) initiate and complete a minimum deposit of at least five dollars ($5.00) into your Personal Portfolio. In the event you only complete the designated registration process to receive the Financial Counseling Service (as defined in your Advisory Agreement) or do not otherwise complete the account opening process for an individual taxable brokerage account (“Personal Portfolio”), you will not be eligible to receive the Bonus.

The Penny Hoarder is a paid solicitor of Stash. 

This information is for educational purposes only. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value. All product and company names are trademarks ™ or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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.

7 Tips to Help You Launch Your Own Resale Business

So you want to start a resale business? If you’ve been considering striking out on your own in this realm, you’re not alone. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has seen the biggest boom in history — and not just for big-name box stores.

According to Digital Commerce 360, consumers spent $870.78 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2021, which is a 14.2% increase from what they spent in 2020. The good news? Online shopping isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, meaning selling goods online might very well become your next lucrative side hustle.

The bad news is that the market is pretty saturated.

“The number of online sellers have doubled since the pandemic,” said Kim Alsbrooks, owner of the Etsy shop FernvaleVintage. “It’s not a lazy person’s game. Whether you sell at a flea market or a shop or online, it’s something that needs a lot of attention to succeed.”

How to Start a Resale Business

So how exactly can you start your very own successful resale business that will stand out amongst the crowd? We’ve got the scoop on all that and more right here.

1. Do Your Research

This might sound obvious, but the best way to start a successful resale business is with a bit of research. Mainly, you’ll want to figure out what you want to sell and where you want to sell it.

“You’ll learn and evolve as you go, but taking some time to research as much as you can beforehand is helpful,” said Kari Durm, owner of vintage Etsy shop The Cherry Attic. “Compare platforms, other sellers’ shops, various resell items, pricing, etc.”

2. Follow Your Passions

Once you’ve started the research phase, you’re going to want to determine exactly what it is you plan to resell. Maybe its books, clothes, antiques, decor — you name it. But rather than just picking something arbitrarily (or because you think you can make lots of money selling it), Durm recommends selling something that actually interests you.

“I think you should have a passion for what you’re selling as opposed to just copying what someone else is doing because they seem to be doing well,” Durm said. “A huge misconception is that reselling vintage is an easy, quick way to make a lot of money and there’s nothing further from the truth. I’ve had many weeks where 30-plus hours were spent only on shipping. It can quickly become exhausting and if you don’t love what you’re selling, keeping that pace could be difficult to sustain.”

3. Think Logistics

With an idea of your prospective goods in mind, now’s the time to figure out exactly how you plan to sell things: Online, in-person, or some combination thereof? Decide this early on and it will in large part determine how you spend your time growing your business.

For example, online business owners tend to spend lots of time on shipping and advertising, while an in-person resale business will require you to physically be on-sight for a certain number of hours per week to sell your goods.

Given these limitations, many successful resellers suggest sticking to an online-only business model.

“People are used to shopping online, and it also means you can work from home and set your own schedule, while maintaining a huge customer base,” Alsbrooks said. “You could also do both (online and in-person) but you’d probably need employees to delegate certain tasks to, and it would be a lot of work.”

Another bit of logistical detail to work out? Figuring out how and where you plan on storing your inventory of goods.

“Additional shelving and stackable plastic tubs are helpful, but if you have a small space and plan to keep a large amount of inventory on hand, you might need to get more creative with storage,” Durm said.

4. Source Your Goods

No matter how you plan on selling your goods, you’re going to need to know how to source them. For this, Alsbrooks recommends taking stock of what’s locally available to you.

“It can be as simple as shopping at your favorite thrift stores or checking out local flea markets, large and small,” she said. “I’ve become very familiar with a local auction house that sells in my price range and always has interesting quality auctions. Then there’s my favorite — estate sales.”

When it comes to sourcing online, Alsbrooks cautions against it.

“You will seriously be surprised — good and bad — at half of what you get, when you finally see it in person,” she said.

With the number of people buying online, this can also make it harder to get a good deal, which in turn can affect your ability to turn a profit. Alsbrooks recommends focusing on buying things in person for a good price, and scouting out which locales offer the best goods at the lowest prices.

5. Pick a Platform

With your supply chain figured out, now’s the time to get your business established. While setting up a brick and mortar will involve a lot of extra steps (like finding a space to rent or buy, applying for a business license in your community), getting set up online is actually fairly simple. All you really need to do is pick a platform.

While there are plenty of these to choose from (notably Poshmark, eBay, and Gazelle), the resellers we spoke to said they prefer to use Etsy.

“Etsy has been the only one I’ve stuck with,” Durm said. “I know quite a few people who do well on eBay, but I just couldn’t get my shop going there. I also prefer Etsy’s overall look and user interface over eBay and other platforms.”

Alsbrook also prefers Etsy, but cautions that it takes more work to be successful on Etsy than it would on say, eBay.

“If I post something on eBay, it might take all of three minutes,” she said. “A single listing on Etsy takes hours. Why? Items must be cleaned and in top condition, photographed well, researched (listing description has to be interesting and accurate) and you do your own SEO. Not to mention buying time, and the pressure to get good reviews. But the profit of the same item is at least twice what you’d get from a bargain basement like eBay.”

Keep in mind that you also have the option to cross-post your goods on multiple platforms, but this will add to your overall workload, both in time spent posting and in taking down sold inventory.

6. Hone Your Skills

After logistics, comes goal-setting, and a great way to approach this aspect of your business is by focusing on what skills you want to develop in order to succeed.

“Understand the process and fully address each job skill required,” suggests Alsbrooks. “You will never get found among the competition if you just open an e-commerce shop and then forget about it and expect people to find you and buy. It’s not that easy. It’s very competitive out there, especially post pandemic when the number of online shops more than doubled. If you’re not near the top of the game, it will be difficult to be found online.”

To keep an edge on the competition, Alsbrooks recommends focusing on developing actionable skills like perfecting your product photography, business branding, and even your SEO abilities—all of which will help you appear in more search results and as a result, gain more loyal customers.

7. Master The Financials

Last but not least, you’re going to want to wrap your head around the financial aspect of your business. This includes things like tracking your income, setting aside enough money for taxes, and paying whatever fees are required from your chosen platform (or city) to comply with the legalese of owning a business.

No matter what you end up selling, starting a business will take time and work. If you can get really clear about what you want your business to be, and then focus on attaining the skills necessary to make it successful, you’ll be halfway there.

Looking for more tips on starting a small business? We’ve got loads of them here.

Contributor Larissa Runkle frequently writes on finance, real estate, and lifestyle topics for 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.