Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Extra Holiday Cash

So I said I would give my own suggestions for making some extra cash in hard times. This was in response to the ridiculous article I read in Travel & Leisure. Running a seasonal business, my mind is trained to think outside the box on how to produce additional revenue streams. Here are a few ideas...please feel free to suggest your own in the comments section.

1. eBay, eBay, eBay. A marketplace to the world. Search your basement for things you can get rid of. I recently pulled out the Handspring Visors my wife and I had in high school. (Trust me, they were cool back then!) I can't say they will bring a lot in an auction, but the longer I wait, the less value they will have. After you sell off your extra possessions, think about other things that would sell on eBay. Last year, there were some very popular Sports Illustrated Magazines featuring Brett Favre. These were in high demand in Wisconsin at the time, and I took advantage of that. As I found them on the magazine rack, I bought them all and sold them on eBay. It sounds pretty crazy, but I made a mortgage payment in the process. What's in high demand right now, and in your specific area? Nintendo Wii or Wii Fit? The latest Barbie? Think about it.

2. Deliver pizzas. For you Dave Ramsey fans out there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The holidays are a perfect time to pick up this short-term or maybe long-term position. If you work a 9 to 5 this will work out even better. You might argue that you won't have any time for your spouse if you take on this extra job. The two of you can do this together! While this isn't the most practical method, at least you can spend this time with each other. Play some podcasts of Dave Ramsey in the car while you're at it.

3. This falls close in line with number one, but consider how popular Craigslist is. For those bulkier items or even pieces of furniture, offer them for sale in your local community. You don't have to worry about listing fees or shipping. They can pick them up right away and you'll have cash in your pocket.

4. On the flip side of selling stuff on eBay and Craigslist, think about all the things you can purchase on these sites. I challenge you to take inventory of everything you purchase in a two-week period and then search for those items on eBay. You will be amazed at the savings. You will certainly have to think ahead on some purchases, but it won't take long to get into the habit. An example I have of this are my Gillette razor cartridges. At Target they sell for $15.50 for a 5-pack. I can get them on eBay for under $1 a piece. Considering they last me less than a week, this adds up fast.

I will leave you with these four ideas for now and add more in the future. The opportunities are out there. But it won't always be a breeze. As I like to say, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. It's simple to talk about doing one of these things, but go ahead and take action. Your work will pay off in the end.

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