Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Writer on a Budget: Earn Extra Income During the Recession Part 2

In my last post, I offered several ways to make extra cash during these hard economic times. I’m back today to offer a few more quick tips and money making strategies for the recession:

Sell Your Crafts or Homemade Products

If you are crafty and have created a handmade product, summer is the perfect time to get a booth at places like farmers markets, festivals and local craft shows. Sell your homemade crafts on Etsy, try the online auctions or set up your own website to sell your goods.

In the warmer months, our local communities have lots of street vendors selling arts and crafts from tables along the sidewalk, but as with street performing, look into getting the necessary permits. During summer into fall, I’ve seen people selling paintings, drawings, photography and beaded jewelry (handmade jewelry seems to be especially hot--see Michaels.com/beads for beads and craft ideas.) Arty types can sit along the street or get a space at a festival to sell impromptu portraits of people and their pets!

If you don’t have a handmade product, try a Zazzle or Cafepress business. These two online vendors let you design products online (like T-shirts, mugs, and stickers) and have them printed for customers who buy from your online store. You probably won’t make a fortune, but I’ve heard about freelancers pulling in a few extra dollars each month selling “writer themed” goods they offer in a Cafepress or Zazzle shop.

Yard Sales and Flea Markets

A quick look around your house or apartment will probably yield some unwanted items. After cleaning out your attic, barn or old collections, you can sell these items by getting vendor space at a local fair, festival or antique mall, opening a booth at a flea market or holding a yard sale. More options to sell vintage items include Etsy and the online auctions. To raise some quick cash, sell all kinds of items from furniture to collectibles on your local Craigslist, but use common sense to avoid scams and problems (like safety issues that can arise when meeting up with potential customers from Craigslist).

Two websites I’ve heard about that allow you to sell your unwanted jewelry are: Circajewels.com and ExboyfriendJewelry.com.

For another income producing possibility, consign your unwanted jewelry and clothing at the local consignment shop. My local area has several consignment stores and vintage clothing shops and they do a brisk business. Once you have some experience selling vintage items and collectibles, scour yard and tag sales for antique items to resell. Depending on your geographic area and the type of vintage goods you’re selling, this can be a real moneymaker!

Direct Selling

Avon and Mary Kay are two of the best known direct selling companies, but there are many other companies to try. Direct selling isn’t for everyone (and frankly, I’m not sure it’s for me) but if you are outgoing, enterprising and are passionate about the product, some people do make good money with this type of business. The direct selling possibilities in 2012 seem endless, from selling candles, to kitchen products, to costume jewelry.

One direct selling possibility that really interests me is: Barefoot Books. The books are beautiful; I love the idea of increasing child literacy and as a writer the idea of selling books appeals to me. Barefoot Books is just one of many companies out there, and it’s important to thoroughly research the reputation and policies of a direct selling company before signing on to sell with them, paying any fees or buying any merchandise (for more info, go to: Directselling411.com).

Note: I have no affiliation or material connection with ANY product or companies mentioned in my blog posts. These opinions are unpaid and my own. My blog posts are for informational purposes only and I accept no responsibility for your individual personal experiences with any of the companies or goods or services mentioned in my blog.

I hope these ideas will spark your creativity and get you brainstorming about ways you can make some extra cash during these tough economic times. Good luck with all your money making ventures, and as always, keep your writing dream alive. I wish you a happy summer!