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May 19, 2014

How I Earn Extra Cash from Home

In this space, I love to chat about bargain shopping and frugality; and today, I want to share with you some various ideas for making cash from home! You may be thinking I don't want to take the time to do these things. or We don't really need the extra cash. or I'm not very tech savvy. Let me tell you, all of these methods are super easy [and can be fun] if you are willing to make the effort and actually DO IT. If you prioritize your time and energy and make it happen, you will be amazed at the potential for bringing in dough; and I don't care who you are - no matter what your financial situation - it is super fun to see returns.

How I Make Extra Cash from Home
(Craig's List, Ebay, Consignment, and More!)

Craig's List Ebay Consignment and More

Now I realize that some people will not find these ideas fun - not in the least - and I understand that; but for those of you who are interested, this post is for you. Hopefully, I will answer many of the questions I oftentimes receive; and if you think of something else, I would love to hear from you.

Now...let's get started...When yard-saling, I oftentimes come across name-brand clothing items, like new accessories, brand new shoes (still in the box), etc. for $.25-$1.00 per piece. I will purchase these items, and a few stacks of goodies can turn to lots of cash very quickly. Multiply this over and over throughout the spring & summer - Abracadabra! However, it's not just clothing/accessories/etc. for which I've found a market...there's more:

Check it out:

eBay - This is where I sell specialty items that are either high end or in demand. (Buyer pays shipping) At the end of last fall, I purchased several children's costumes - at an extremely discounted rate. I will resell these [on eBay] at the start of next fall, and make quite a profit. (I have done the same thing with Christmas outfits, etc.)

Half.com - I use this website for selling books and other media items. (Buyer pays shipping) A super easy site to use! There are various apps you can use [when thrifting, etc.] that will allow you to scan bar codes on media items. This will allow you to see their "going rate" on-line. For media items, I am typically selling things that we are simply finished reading, etc. and ready to clear out; but a lot of people have been super successful focusing their energy on this type of resell.

Craig's List - I just love my Craig's List app! While I have used it to find great (non-upholstered) items for our home - World Market, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, etc. - it is on CL that I sell furniture or any other large items that may be more difficult to list on-line and ship. We ignore any spam/mail we receive, and we always meet buyers in a public place. (Warning: I have had situations where buyers do not show, and yes, that is annoying - reeeaaally annoying - but it is rare that this happens.)

Facebook Yard Sale Groups - Have you checked these out for your area? Like with Craig's List transactions, we always meet buyers in a public place. (Warning: Once again, remember you are dealing with people. Sometimes they do not keep their word. Sometimes they run late. There are annoyances that go along with this as well; but most of the time, this serves as an awesome venue for selling.)

Consignment - I enjoy shopping kid's consignment, but when it comes to making cash, I focus on selling women's clothing - [recent/stylish] name-brand items that are in great condition - Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Coach, 7 For All Mankind, Anthropologie, White House Black Market, Michael Kohrs, Nine West, etc! When shopping yard sales, thrift stores, etc. I watch for items that I can resell on consignment. I sell with two consignment shops back in my home town and I also sell with a local consignment business here that annually hosts four set-up & tear-down consignment events.
Yard Sale - Each year, my mom and I host a yard sale. By this I mean that she hosts it at her house, and I drag all my junk into her driveway. This is where "the leftovers" end up...things I haven't been able to sell through my typical avenues...items that aren't quite nice enough to sell on-line or on consignment...kid's stuff (clothes, small toys, etc. from our closets) that won't bring much more profit even if you worked yourself to death trying to sell it elsewhere.

Where do I find my merchandise? I regularly find great items (oftentimes new/like new) for literally next-to-nothing. Where? At yard sales. At thrift stores. On clearance racks. If it is something my family needs, we keep it. If it is something I bought for the purpose of donating to a worthwhile charity, we pass it on to them. However, there are some items that I buy for the express purpose of up-cycling or reselling. With these money-maker items, I not only pay for any items that I purchase for us to keep, but I will come out in the green overall. Addicting? Yes! Remember: *When bargain shopping, only buy things you need or will use immediately! Only buy items that have a specific purpose in mind...items that will quickly have a new home. Do not veer away from this or you will - in no time - go from bargain hunter to hoarder. There is a fine line...beware! *smile*

How do I know what to buy? This has been a fun hobby of mine for a long time, and after awhile, you learn what sells and what doesn't. When shopping, ask yourself a few questions. Is this a current brand/style? Is this item in excellent condition? Would a lot of other people be interested in this item?

How do I price the items I plan to sell? After doing it awhile, you learn your way around this as well. Browse what items cost new vs. used. Comparing prices on eBay, Amazon, etc. has always been the best way to go for me. Be fair! Think about what you would be willing to pay if you were interested in the item.

What am I buying for my family? It is the exception - not the rule - for me to I buy new items when it comes to the following categories: clothes, accessories, books, homeschooling supplies, art/craft items, home d├ęcor, etc. I am purchasing ALL of these things while thrifting! I am paying for ALL of these things for my family and making extra cash by reselling things we do not keep/items bought for the purpose of resell.

See this little batch of items?
I paid $1.00 for everything you see pictured - total. Now these goodies were for us to keep.
Yes, I know my child should have long since had the Leap Frog toy, but I was waiting to find one in nice condition - for a great price, and I scored...big time!

Where do I donate items? We have a local pregnancy center in our area, and David and I are incredibly passionate about supporting their efforts to support life. I specifically purchase baby/toddler as well as maternity items for their ministry. As far as leftovers from a yard sale, I am not a big fan of Goodwill - Yeah, I know it's easy to drop off there and I'm not saying I haven't ever thrown a bag or two of junk their way, but I just feel like there are many, many other charitable organizations out there that are doing more when it comes to helping shoppers that are in need. Are there any churches, schools, etc. that could benefit from your items?

For more of my thoughts on Yard Sales/Garage Sales, Thrifting, and Consignment, check out the following posts:
A Few Thoughts About Consignment

Yard Saling 101: How to Shop at Yard Sales

There is No Magic Formula to Finding Bargains on Saturday Morning

In addition to this type of thing, I also make extra cash through mystery shopping, blogging, selling on Teachers Pay Teachers~

I love finding creative hobbies that serve as an outlet for me while also benefiting my family.