Whether you want to launch a side gig to generate regular part-time income or you’re looking for some quick extra cash, there are websites that can help you do it.
- Merch by Amazon
Depending on whether you’re looking to earn extra money quickly or build a long-term income stream, each of the following websites offers unique advantages tailored to different needs and interests. Read on for more information on each site.
If you’re a freelancer, or you’ve become one due to losing a job, you might want to look around Upwork.com and look and see if anyone is hiring for gigs that you would be good at. Sanket Abhay Desai is a digital marketing consultant in Herndon, Virginia, and he says that he has found a lot of work on Upwork.
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“Upwork is basically a global ‘e-lancing’ platform where businesses and freelancers from all over the world can connect and collaborate on certain projects,” Desai says. “Businesses usually can hire freelancers for a variety of different services. This includes writing, web design, running SEO campaigns and so on.”
Desai says that last year, he made approximately $30,000 in projects through Upwork, which, it should be noted, takes a commission for each project you get – anywhere from 5% to 20% (the more you make, the less they take).
This is also a popular website that can be helpful for freelancers. Know something about digital animation? You can work for someone who doesn’t have these skills and pick up some extra cash. Even better, you can offer to compile web research for someone for fast cash. The only caveat: You probably aren’t going to get rich quickly by taking on these jobs. The website’s tagline is, “Freelance services for the lean entrepreneur,” and its name comes from the fact that many people work for $5 per task (yes, you can ask for more). With that said, if you get a lot of gigs, you can get paid a significant sum in the long term. Desai says that he earned $20,000 on the website last year.
Are you crafty? If you’re artistic and are the type of person who can make custom jewelry or refrigerator magnets with the best of them, Etsy is the place to sell your products. For the rest of us, we must find another website to go to, so we can earn money to buy things from the crafty entrepreneurs at Etsy.
Are you willing to get your hands dirty? (Think: Weeding somebody’s garden or cleaning somebody’s garage.) People come to this site to find those willing to do various tasks for them, such as putting together a bookcase or running an errand for them. Do as many tasks as you want, and this could become quite the part-time (or full-time) job.
People come to this site when they need research done. Wonder doesn’t just hire anyone, but you can apply (the process takes about five minutes, according to the website). And if they think you have the skills to do research, you’ll get access to their dashboard. You can then choose to answer a question – perhaps coming from a business executive or an author writing a book. Researchers report making, on average, $8 to $16 for each detailed answer, and job sites suggest researchers can make, on average, about $20 an hour. In short, Wonder offers an ideal gig for those who really enjoy doing some digging to find an answer, as opposed to those who just want to make fast money.
With the tagline “secondhand clothes, firsthand fun,” this e-commerce company appeals to thrifty types looking to make money and sell their clutter for cash. The online thrift store sells women’s and kid’s clothes. Here’s how it works: You send your clothes in a ThredUp bag with a prepaid mailing label, and ThredUp will decide the value. They’re looking for nice clothes and popular brands, and keep in mind there’s a fee if your items aren’t accepted. So, if you have clothes better suited for a yard sale, hold a yard sale. But if you have quality outfits you no longer want, ThredUp enables you to sell unwanted items and may even pay you enough so that you can buy new threads.
Like ThredUp, Swap is an online consignment store. After you send in used clothes and toys and games, Swap will sell them for you. However, they may reject your items, in which case you’ll either have to pay a fee to get your things back or donate them. But assuming you’re sending in clothes and toys that people will want to buy, your odds of selling them should be good. As for how much you can make, the website explains that if something is priced for less than $10, you’ll get a 30% credit to buy something from Swap.com – or 20% of the sale price back in cash. If your item sells between $10 and $20, you’ll earn a 50% credit or 40% back in cash. If it sells for more than $20, you’ll receive a 70% credit or 60% cash.
If you have an old cellphone or another device (think iPads and computers), you can sell your electronics here. The website will give you a cash offer for your device. If you agree, you’ll be sent packaging materials. Gazelle pays the shipping costs, and you’ll wait for a check in the mail, a gift card to be sent or cash transferred to your PayPal account. You may not make a fortune, but it’s better than letting an unused device collect dust on a shelf – and far better for the environment to sell it than toss it in a landfill.
This is a popular site for selling gift cards. Maybe some of the gift cards you got last Christmas have sat around unused, and you don’t think you’ll ever use them. Well, tell Cardpool what you have, they’ll make you an offer and if you agree, you can exchange it for cash or, ironically, another gift card. Keep in mind, the site only accepts cards with a value of $25 or more (with a cap of $1,000).
If you don’t have the energy to hold a yard sale, OfferUp may be the next best thing. After you take a picture of what you have and put down a price, hopefully somebody nearby will see it online, love it enough to buy it, send you a note and you’ll meet – in a public place, OfferUp’s website recommends – and you can get your cash for whatever you’re selling.
You might wonder how this is different than selling on, say, the ever-popular Craigslist. Some users claim that it’s an easier site to post on, probably because if you download the app, you can instant message buyers and sellers, and members have profiles, so you can get a better sense that people are who they say they are. If somebody has earned badges that OfferUp gives out, that’s also a good sign that they’re considered a trusted, reputable seller on the website. Nevertheless, you’d still do well to use common sense and buy and sell OfferUp items in public places rather than at someone’s home.
Do you have storage space in your house? Or maybe an empty garage or storage shed? You could sign up to Neighbor.com and offer to store your neighbors’ stuff. It’s sort of like Airbnb for the self-storage industry. You don’t pay a dime and set your own prices. The person who rents your space from you will pay Neighbor.com a service fee for getting the two of you together. And on the plus side, if this goes well, now you have incentive to clean out your attic or garage.
John Frigo, an affiliate manager for a website called MySupplementStore.com, says he often makes money on the side, creating designs for T-shirts. He sells on Merch by Amazon as well as other platforms.
You probably won’t get rich. For instance, Merch by Amazon offers examples of royalty prices, and for a T-shirt that sells for $15.99, the royalty would be $2.21. Still, once the hard work – designing the piece – is done, it’s easy money, according to Frigo.
“Graphic designers can upload T-shirt designs and at that point it’s pretty much entirely passive, and you’re paid a royalty for every one of your designs that sell – but you don’t have to handle returns, do any customer service or ship anything,” Frigo says. “Just upload your designs and get paid.”
Updated on June 8, 2020: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.
Geoff Williams has been a contributor to U.S. News and World Report since 2013, writing about …