Are you looking to make some money quickly? I’ve been there. The internet provides countless ways to make money. You will also find countless lists providing information on how to do it.
But most of those lists don’t understand the plight of a broke person. They offer methods of making money that require money to make money. As someone who has been flat broke before here are 5 methods that I have used to make money in a hurry. Little to no money required.
1. Sell something you own.
The quickest and easiest way that I have found to make money is by selling things that you already own. Ebay is a great medium for selling your stuff. Craigslist can be a good option for some things, but don’t expect to receive top dollar for your item on Craigslist. People who use Craigslist are typically looking to buy things cheap. What will end up happening is the item will never sell, or you will end up selling it for much less than you would like to.
If you decide to go with ebay, the key here is to sell something that has some value. You don’t want to waste your time trying to sell junk, because nobody is going to buy it.
- Look around your house or even brainstorm about things you own that might have some value.
- Research the item and see how much it is going for. I tend to list my item slightly above the current USED price but below the NEW price (assuming the item is used). If the item doesn’t receive much interest, I slowly lower the price in increments every few days.
- Take good pictures! I’m always amazed at how many sellers overlook this. Take good pictures (cell phone pictures are fine) and take as many as you can add to the listing (12 I think). Get every angle, and get up close photos of any details. Simply make the item look good. Imagine you are the buyer. Wouldn’t you like to see lots of photos of something you were considering buying?
- Create a detailed description. Again, often overlooked. Some people think the item is going to sell itself. It wont! You don’t have to be a good writer or salesperson to create a detailed description of your item. Just describe it. What color is it? What size is it? How old is it? How many times was it used? People want to know the condition. Is there any flaws, damage, defects?
- Don’t be a ‘salesperson’. Don’t sound like a salesperson in the description. Especially if your a new ebay seller. It makes you sound untrustworthy and it won’t manufacture interest in your item that wasn’t already there. I find that sticking to the facts is the best policy, and yields the best results.
- Get shipping estimates for your item. You don’t want to make the mistake of undercharging for shipping costs. This will reduce your profits. Ebay has a pretty good estimator if you accurately input the package weight and dimensions. I suggest using it.
- List your item and respond to any questions in a timely manner. You won’t get much questions if you have good pictures and a good description. But if you do, respond in a timely manner. That could be the potential buyer of the item after all.
- Lastly, ebay charges fees for items that you sell. If you accept payment through paypal (standard) they also charge a fee for processing the payment. Luckily there are really good ebay and paypal fee calculators online that you can use to determine exactly how much will be charged in relation to how much you want to sell it for. Use these calculators to offset the fees by adjusting your price. HERE is a good fee calculator.
2. Buy something cheap and sell for profit
Okay, this one requires some money. But not necessarily a lot. One of the huge advantages of the internet is the vast scope of its reach. I found that buying something cheap locally, can be sold for profit online due to the exponentially larger buying market. Years ago I bought used iPhones on Craigslist and sold them on ebay for $30-$50 profit each. Thats not exactly a lot of money, but do this 10 times and you can see the potential. This method can be used for anything that buyers are interested in. Before you decide to go this route, heres a few things to remember.
- Research the item your interested in buying and selling. If your interested in buying and selling iPhones for example, go on ebay and get a idea of how much used ones are going for. Pay close attention to the condition, carrier, and specs. Selling prices can vary greatly based on the phones storage capacity so make sure you pay close attention to things like that. In essence you should have a really good idea of how much you can sell the phone for before you even buy it.
- Thoroughly inspect the item you intend to buy before buying. Make sure it is exactly as described. I once made the mistake of trusting that the seller was accurate with their Craigslist description of a iPhone and didn’t fully inspect before purchasing. I realized my mistake when I turned it on and the phone was still under contract with AT&T, essentially diminishing the phones value to almost nothing.
- If you choose to sell the item on ebay, don’t forget to calculate the ebay and paypal fees HERE to prevent you from reducing your profits.
3. Find something for free and sell for profit
Free stuff is always nice. Free stuff that can be sold for profit is nicer. Its also a lot easier than you might be thinking. The first step is to of course obtain free stuff. There are a few ways of going about this.
You might not know it, but Craigslist has a ‘Free’ category. Basically its a section on Craigslist that offers various items for free. The items vary greatly, and so do their potential for profit. Since the items are free there is no buying risk. If you see something that seems like it could be sold for profit, go get it. On many occasions I got free items from the ‘free’ section of Craigslist, and turned around and sold it in the ‘for sale’ section of Craigslist. 100% profit is nice 🙂
Another, perhaps less desirable, method of obtaining free stuff is to take items that people put out with the trash. This has a unpleasant stigma, but you would be surprised at the quality of some of the items that people will throw away. In fact, lots of people put items out with the trash hoping that someone who can make use of it will come along and take it.
Furniture has the highest probability of being sold for profit in my opinion and Craigslist is the medium I would recommend for selling these types of items. Real wood tables, end tables, night stands, chairs, are always in demand on Craigslist. If they are in decent condition, and priced reasonably, they will sell.
4. Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk)
Amazon Mturk is a platform for taking paid surveys. You can read more about it in my blog post Can You Make Money Doing Surveys?
Mturk is definitely a viable source of money. Due to the low pay-outs for most of the surveys, .01 -.75 cents, it can take some time to earn substantial income. If you do it in your spare time, you can accumulate a pretty decent sum of money in your Mturk account before you know it. If you want money fast, you can absolutely pull a 20 hour session of survey taking and earn a decent bit of money. Some Mturker’s claim earnings of $100 per day. This can take an almost excessive amount of time per day to achieve but it is possible. I think the most I ever earned in a day with Mturk was about $20. But that was a day I got lucky and landed a $9 survey. Pretty uncommon.
5. Participate in medical studies
Heres a interesting one that most people are scarcely aware of. Medical studies are a real thing, and they pay real money to participate. Some pay very well actually. I participated in about 5 medical studies over the course of a few years.
The highest paying study I participated in was the first one I did, and it paid $3200. The study involved testing a new medication over the course of a 4 week period. During the four weeks I had to stay over night at the research center every few days, get countless blood samples taken, and answer basic questions about my health. Considering it didn’t impact my day to day life that greatly, I would say all in all it was a easy $3200.
The other 4 studies I did ranged in pay-out from $1000 – $2600 and varied in time commitment. There was one study I couldn’t commit time to that required a full 30 day stay at the research center. It payed the participants close to $8000! If medical studies are something you are interested in looking into, heres a few things to keep in mind.
- Medical research centers are not available everywhere. They are in most larger cities, but you may have to travel if your interested in participating.
- Most studies require the participants to be smoke and drug free.
- Most studies stipulate that you are not permitted to consume alcohol for the duration of the study.
- You must not have any current health issues. They perform pre-screenings.
- Most studies require the participants to commit varying degrees of time to the study. If you have a job, it would likely have to be flexible with your schedule to permit your participation.
If you can find the time to participate in a medical study, it can absolutely be a way to earn fast money. I have plenty of humorous medical study stories, and it never fails to be a great conversation starter in social settings.
All of these methods of making money were used by me at some point in my life. Although they provided quick cash in my time of need, I’m glad I no longer have to resort to them for money.
After spending years dabbling in various making money methods I came across the website wealthyaffiliate.com. Wealthy Affiliate taught, and continues to teach me how to create and grow my online business. I now have multiple websites, which all generate income for me every day. I no longer have to look for ways to supplement my income. I’m thankful that my only source of income (and the only one needed) is through my online business. To learn more about wealthyaffiliate.com read my review of it HERE.
Author: Derek Martin
Hey, my name is Derek. I am the creator of thewealthybum.com. This website exists to help people grow their online business. My goal is to inform and educate. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.