Making ends meet is hard work. And with the global economy still suffering, finding a job that pays all of the bills is more challenging than ever. But as we work our way steadily towards the end of the 2010’s, a new solution to our financial woes has emerged: the side hustle.
Many people are turning what used to be odd jobs into viable part-time employment. We’re all familiar with the success of apps like Uber and Lyft… but it turns out that you can make money doing more than just driving people around.
Gone are the days when you had to go door-to-door to find a way to make a few extra bucks; now you can promote your real-world skills to as many people as you want. And even if you don’t feel like you have anything practical to offer your community, there’s always sales. eBay may have had the corner on online thrifting back in the 90’s and 2000’s, but now there are tons of specialized websites that exist purely so you can sell whatever it is you’re not using.
So if you need a little extra green to finance your summer vacation, or are just looking to keep your checking account looking a little healthier, here are some relatively easy and quick ways to start padding that paycheck.
1. Turn Your Love of Pets into Cash
Are you an animal lover? Then congrats, because you can literally get paid to hang out with people’s pets all day. Talk about #dreamjobs!
If you sign up for websites like Rover.com (which recently joined forces with Dogvacay), you can become a professional dog-walker or dog-sitter. This site has a quick, easy, and free enrollment process (though you can pay to add insurance to your account in case of emergencies). You can set your own schedule of when you’re available to either take someone’s pooch for a walk, drop by their house for a visit, and even take the dog into your own home for boarding while their owner is out of town. You can set your own rates, receive ratings and reviews from clients, and can also specify what size/ breeds of dogs you’re comfortable with handling.
You can also use Care.com to become a temporary or long-term caregiver for people’s pets. Unlike Rover, Care.com is not limited to just dogs, and opens you up to interact with animals of all kinds.
It might take a while to start raking in the jobs, as most people look at ratings and reviews carefully before trusting their beloved companions to strangers. But if you’ve got some friends who are willing to put in a good word for you, your profile can quickly get started on the right foot… or paw!
2. Do Other People’s Chores
Everyone hates doing chores, right? But somehow those everyday tasks seem a little more manageable when you’re actually getting paid to do them.
Taskrabbit.com is a website that allows people to find and pay others who are willing to help out around the house. Possible tasks include putting together furniture, lifting heavy objects, cleaning, gardening, or helping out with home improvement projects. You can also find tasks that are more personal-assistant related, like helping someone organize files on their computer. As a “tasker,” you can set your own schedule of when you’re available to help people out, and will set your own rates as well. You get paid as jobs are completed, and can receive reviews from your clients to help improve your chances of getting hired.
3. Become an Undercover Shopper
Yes, Secret Shoppers still exist. Apps like Easyshift allow you to find quick jobs at businesses around your area, and generally involve you inspecting promotions to make sure a company’s products are being marketed correctly, taking pictures, checking prices, and providing reviews on customer service and other features. It’s an incredibly easy way to make extra cash, especially since you can do it while you’re out running your normal errands. No experience necessary!
4. Get Paid to Take Photos with Your Phone
In this day and age, everyone is linked up with Instagram, Snapchat, and a zillion other image-driven social media apps. So if you’re already taking pictures, why not get paid to do it?
Apps like Foap allow you to post original (generally unedited) photos, and will pay you every time a company purchases them to use in their marketing. Signing up is painless, and you can rate other people’s photos to help improve their chances of being picked (which means that people can rate your photos as well). Foap is a great way to make some extra cash if you’ve got a good eye for photography… though bear in mind that what you get paid is dependent upon how many companies (if any) want to license your photo(s).
5. Put Your Yard Sale on the Worldwide Web
There’s no denying that eBay is the OG when it comes to selling your unwanted stuff online, but since you can use it to sell almost anything (or at least anything legal), it can take a long time to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Luckily, a lot of other companies have taken up the online-thrifting banner in the past decade. Sites like poshmark, thredup, and tradesy allow you to sell old clothing, jewelry, and (unused) makeup. Keep in mind that the items have to be in useable condition (as in, you’d probably buy it if you saw it yourself at a thrift store), but this is a great option for fashionistas… and those of us who just really need to clear out our closets.
If you’re more of a tech addict, you can use swappa.com, glyde.com, or gazelle.com to sell your old electronics. Swappa.com has the advantage of zero seller fees, but will only accept gently used items (so no cracked screens or water damage). Glyde.com will take tech in a wider range of conditions, though more damaged electronics will understandably be sold at a lower rate than others. Glyde also takes 15% of whatever your item sells for to help keep them running… though that’s still a steep drop from eBay’s 25%.
Gazelle.com will purchase even damaged items from you (provided they’re not completely destroyed), and will give you a quote of how much they’re willing to pay before you commit. With Gazelle, you sell directly to their company, instead of to other users, so you don’t have to wait until your item sells to get paid.
6. Get Money for Telling People What You Think
Do you like to give your opinion on… well, everything? You’re in luck! Sites like focusgroup.com and opinionoutpost will literally pay you for your opinions or reviews on a variety of products, services, entertainment, and more.
Focusgroup.com works by having you try something new (which can mean trying a new snack, watching a new show, testing a new product, and more), and then you record your thoughts via video. You can do interviews and surveys, and can even be invited to attend specialized focus groups based on your answers. The pay can get pretty decent- anywhere between $75-$150 to participate in a focus group- and it’s super easy. All you have to do is say what you think!
Opinionoutpost is more survey-based. You get paid a certain amount depending on how many surveys you fill out, and will also have the opportunity to win gift cards from your favorite retailers for your time. As a special bonus, Opinionoutpost offers a $10,000 quarterly cash prize, and every survey you complete gives you a better chance to win.
As you can see, there’s literally any app or a website out there for you to sell just about any practical skill… or item, for that matter. The internet has made it possible to turn your casual interests or hobbies into actual paying jobs… all of which can be accomplished in your spare time! And with most of these, it’s as easy as setting up a profile and linking it to your bank or Paypal account. Embrace the art of the odd job, and watch those extra dollars start rolling in!