Earn holiday money before the holidays
Between gifts, parties and holiday travel, Americans are expected to shell out roughly $1,000 during the holiday season. If you want to participate in the festivities without going into debt, now is the time to start earning holiday money.
Dozens of side hustles see increased demand during the holidays, which makes it relatively easy to earn the money necessary to pay holiday bills before they happen. But the earlier you start to earn holiday money, the easier it becomes. Here are some things you can do in September and October to earn holiday money.
Earn holiday money in September and October
At this point in the fall, it’s still too early to grab seasonal jobs or get paid to hang lights or wrap packages. Those opportunities will arrive in November and December.
However, early shoppers are already gathering holiday gifts, which makes this a great time to sell something, regardless of whether it’s something you already own or something you make. After all, the demand is good. And, if you’re selling your neglected possessions, it helps free up space for the new things you’re likely to receive during the holiday season. Meanwhile, if you’re an artist able to make the sort of gifts or notions that people will want to buy for the holidays, starting now gives you time to build your inventory and marketing strategy.
Many items destined for retailer shelves this holiday season are hopelessly snarled in the global supply chain. What does that mean for shoppers?
Selling lightly used goods
Naturally, the easier of these two choices is to sell something you already have. Dozens of websites will help you advertise your good-condition used goods. Some will even help you collect payment. However, the best places to list your goods will depend on what you have.
Generic household items
If you’re selling run-of-the-mill clothing, furniture or household items, your best choices are Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and EBay. However, each site works somewhat differently.
Both Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace appeal to local buyers and offer free listings for most sellers. Only professional sellers pay fees on local-pickup items.
Facebook Marketplace also offers a shipping-and-payments option, taking a 5% cut of those transactions. All listings are public, but for those who want to sell on the social network’s platform without calling attention to it, Facebook offers a “Hide from friends” option.
Depending on the city and the type of item, Craigslist may draw more potential buyers. So if what you’ve got isn’t getting much traction at Facebook Marketplace, you may want to list it on Craigslist, too. There’s no downside to listing on both sites at the same time.
One caution: Payment fraud has become a massive problem in recent years and free sales platforms like these are top targets for the con artists who perpetuate check fraud scams. Sellers on these sites are best advised to only accept cash from local buyers.
With EBay, you can market more widely. So, if you have unique items likely to appeal only to a niche market, this site gives you the best chance of finding the perfect customer. You will have to manage shipping arrangements for out-of-town buyers, however. And EBay does charge fees based on the size of the order and the type of merchandise that you’re selling. On the bright side, the site will collect payment for you, so you don’t have to worry about check fraud.
If you have a sharp eye for written language, earning an income stream from proofreading presentations or reviewing books isn’t as hard as you may think.
Selling designer goods
With Poshmark, you’re in control of the sales process. You create a “closet” on the site and link your social media accounts. You decide what to sell, the prices and descriptions. There are few limits on what can be sold from your Poshmark closet. The site lists a wide range of items including men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry and housewares. Poshmark collects payment on your behalf, taking a commission on each sale.
Fashionphile, on the other hand, is only looking for good-condition designer handbags, watches and shoes. And, while the site once allowed sellers to consign their goods, it now buys them directly. You present your items for sale either in person at a Fashionphile physical location or by setting up a video call. If you accept the site’s purchase offer, you provide the goods and the site pays you. You don’t have to wait for your goods to resell through the site. But be aware that this site has no tolerance for knock-offs. It only sells luxury, brand-name items and guarantees their authenticity. If your item is missing its tag or is deemed inauthentic, the site can hit you for an authentication fee of $75 to $125.
Although you can certainly sell your old iPhone or Mac on EBay and Craigslist, sites that specialize in selling electronics are likely to pay a better price. There are four that are highly recommended by SideHusl.com, as well as a sales aggregation site that’s worth a look.
Swappa allows you to sell your phone directly to other consumers, which often results in getting the best price. (The site charges a small fee on each transaction.) However, the process often takes a little longer than selling outright to a resale company, such as MaxBack, ItsWorthMore or TheWhizCells.
With the resellers, consumers get a quote based on the model and condition of their phone and the site pays them within a week or two of receiving it. It’s worth mentioning that no one site has the best price on every phone. So shop around using your particular make and model to get the best deal. You can also check prices with Flipsy, which aggregates offers from multiple sellers, much like Kayak does for travel deals.
Selling crafts and homemade items
If you want to create things to sell — crafts, clothing, holiday cards, decorations, jewelry or art — the best site to market and sell these items is Etsy. This global marketplace for unique items is a marketing powerhouse that draws roughly 400 million customers a month. It also uses data collection techniques to present potential buyers with an array of products that they’ll find tempting. Better yet, the fees charged to sellers are reasonable. And you call the shots, determining what to sell, how to price it and whether or not to provide shipping.
Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent website that reviews moneymaking opportunities in the gig economy.
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