People have been making money in weird ways for centuries. From cavemen who hunted wild game or farmed crops to modern entrepreneurs who sell books by mail order or run internet businesses from their homes, humans have always found new methods of earning income. It’s not that we necessarily want our work-life to be unconventional; it’s just that one man’s “unconventional” may be another person’s “common sense.” The point being that there are no rules here. We're all free to do what makes us happy. With this said, let’s take a look at five different types of unconventional ways people make extra cash.
1) Selling used items -- This type of selling has several benefits. First off, you don't need to buy anything new because you already own everything you'll ever need. You also get to keep whatever profit margin your item still holds once it leaves your hands. Lastly, if you're good enough (which most people aren't), you could even use Craigslist as an effective marketing tool. But before you start hawking your old junk, ask yourself why you'd like to sell it. If you simply hate the thought of having someone else put up with your belongings while they sit dormant, then pawning your jewelry might not be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you love to shop but would rather save time than spend hours searching through piles of clothes, consider giving consignment shopping a try. A lot of thrift stores will accept gently used clothing without question, so long as the price tags are intact. In addition, you won't have to worry about packing and shipping since these places often handle pickup themselves.
2) Renting out services -- If you've got something going on during the day, why not rent it out to others? For example, if you’re willing to clean houses and rooms for strangers, Airbnb allows users to list available spaces under their home for overnight stays. Think of it like hotel rooms only better! As an added perk, hosts receive a 15% commission for each booking made. Of course, this comes with its fair share of pros and cons. One upside is that you can choose exactly which guests stay in your house. However, depending on where you live, certain kinds of individuals may find this practice offensive. Additionally, while you may enjoy meeting new friends and building lasting relationships while hosting, the downside is that you typically don't see much of your renters outside of when they leave and return. Still, those are small sacrifices for the ability to turn unused space into cold hard cash. Plus, with today’s economy, more people than ever are desperate for housing options. So if you’d prefer not to go full hostess, consider renting out your spare room instead. Not sure where to begin? Check out AirBnB [Broken URL Removed], VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, Roomorama and VrboRentals.com.
3) Freelancing -- With job market conditions becoming increasingly competitive, freelancers seem to be popping up everywhere. Whether you're looking for part-time help managing your social media accounts or full-time web design assistance, freelance jobs abound. To locate additional opportunities, check out FlexJobs, Indeed Jobs, Simply Hired, LinkedIn, PayWorkers, Guru, TopResume, ZipRecruiter, and AngelList.
4) Running errands -- Are you tired of running around town looking for things that should come standard with every household? Do you feel that service providers charge too much for simple tasks such as grocery runs or dry cleaning exchanges? Then maybe you ought to give Uber a call. While prices vary based on location, Uber drivers average $17 per hour plus expenses. Drivers must pass background checks, vehicle inspections, and pay state fees. Also, beware of scammers using the same trick over and over again, i.e., "accidentally" blocking your car behind an ATM machine. Finally, remember that driving for Uber isn't for everyone. Afterall, you won't be able to get away with working anytime you please.
5) Working retail -- Did you know that Wal-Mart sells furniture? Don't believe me? Well, it's true. Walmart does indeed offer a wide array of affordable bedroom sets, dining tables, living room furniture, beds and bedding, kitchen appliances and bar stools. They even carry popular brands such as Sealy Posturepedic Beds, Revereware Dinner Sets, Black & Decker Portable Grills, GE Profile Cooktops and KitchenAid Mixer Makers. Now, obviously, none of these products came directly from Walmart itself, but the fact remains that consumers can now access a variety of quality goods at bargain basement prices thanks to its massive distribution center network. And yes, you guessed it — they also hire employees to stock shelves and assist customers.
Nowadays, anyone with Internet access, computer equipment, and a burning desire can set up shop online and become a virtual entrepreneur. Unfortunately, however, this doesn't mean that weird ideas translate well into business models. What follows are examples of some of the worst strategies.
Craigslist Scams - If you think creating a website filled with classified ads sounds easy, then you haven't heard of Craiglist scams. These schemes usually take advantage of unsuspecting buyers who visit websites designed to steal personal information. By posing as legitimate sellers, con artists promise low prices only to demand payments via gift cards or wire transfers. Once the victim sends payment, the scammer either abandons the product or uses the funds to cover operating costs.
Fraudulent Emails/Phone Calls - Email fraudsters send spam emails that pretend to originate from reputable organizations such as PayPal or credit card companies. When recipients click on links inside the message, malicious software downloads onto their computers. Fraudster hackers then collect sensitive user data including names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, passwords, bank account details etc. Some criminals impersonate customer support agents by calling victims pretending to provide updates on transactions. Other crooks pose as representatives from eBay or Amazon, offering special deals and discounts.
Malicious Software Downloads - Criminals create fake versions of popular programs and install malware onto victims' machines. Once infected, computers send fraudulent messages to contacts or display popups asking users to download bogus security patches. Victims end up paying large sums of money for subscriptions or purchases they never authorized.
Spam Text Messages - Spam text messages are unsolicited commercial texts sent to cell phones mostly by telemarketers. Since SMS messaging charges subscribers a fee for sending and receiving messages, spammers target potential clients by sending unwanted sales pitches. Most people block annoying calls by turning caller ID spoofing technology. Yet, spammers continue to persistently reach out until blocked.
If you're ready for a change, there are plenty of options for making money online. Below are three excellent sources that offer tips and advice on starting an online business of your very own.
Empower Network -- EmpowerNetwork provides training and coaching sessions specifically geared towards helping members grow their residual income streams. Using proven systems and tactics, experts teach aspiring entrepreneurs how to build profitable six figure businesses. All courses include prerecorded video tutorials, downloadable resources, weekly group meetings, as well as optional mentorship plans. Memberships range between $195-$995 per month depending on membership level.
Wealthy Affiliate -- WealthyAffiliates offers step-by-step guidance to help newbie marketers learn how to establish successful online businesses. Founder Carson Tate believes that success stories happen after failures. His strategy focuses on teaching newer generations how to succeed despite obstacles. He teaches his audience how to leverage existing content to generate leads and profits. All memberships cost less than $100 annually.
Learn How To Earn -- LearnToEarn.org is dedicated solely to providing helpful resources pertaining to blogging, affiliate marketing, social networking, ecommerce, Google AdSense, SEO techniques, and niche research. Its mission statement reads, "Our goal is to empower our readership by sharing useful information, connecting people together, and encouraging interaction." Membership starts at $30 per month.
In today’s world of endless possibilities, finding uncommon ways to make money shouldn’t be difficult. Just think outside of the box. Take advantage of any opportunity that arises whether it involves buying stuff cheap, trading skills for compensation, or leveraging people’s willingness to participate in crowdfunding projects.
Here are two great sites that showcase creative financing solutions.
Micro Loans -- MicroLoanConnections.com connects borrowers seeking loans smaller than $50,000 with lenders willing to extend short term loans to qualified applicants. Loan amounts range anywhere from $250 to $25,000 and repayment terms last anywhere from 3 months to 12 years. Interest rates are determined entirely upon borrower qualifications.
You've probably heard that you shouldn't judge someone by their appearance—that if they have nice clothes or an expensive car it doesn't necessarily mean anything about who they actually are. But what happens when we take those ideas too far? What would happen if we judged all our customers based solely on their credit card bills, or maybe even their home address? It turns out there are plenty of companies willing to do just that in order to lure new customers through unconventional means. Here are some examples of how some people use technology to find strange opportunities.
It would be easy to assume that finding odd jobs and making money with your computer involves doing something like selling stuff on eBay, but this isn't always true. Plenty of sites offer services such as "I want to volunteer", "my local library needs help," or "I'm looking for work." As long as these requests aren't illegal (e.g., asking for donations from non-profits), most businesses won't care where you live, so don't worry! You'll still need to provide good customer service, however, which usually requires being polite anyway.
There are also numerous websites offering paid surveys. Although they may not pay much each month, over time you could earn quite a bit of cash from taking part in these surveys. If you're interested, check out Consumer Intelligence Research Partners' site here.
Another option is signing up to become an affiliate marketer for Amazon Associates. This company offers products that range from household items to electronics. They will send you free merchandise at discounted rates, and once you sign up they give you tools to promote their wares via social media platforms and e-mail marketing. Their commission structure varies depending on the product and the retailer, but affiliates typically receive compensation anywhere between 30%–75%. The only problem is figuring out how to choose one program and stick with it since they tend to rotate different programs every couple months. However, if you enjoy shopping online and wish you had more control over what you purchased without having to deal with shipping costs, then becoming an affiliate marketer might be right for you. For additional information, read How Affiliate Marketing Works.
Some sites allow users to post advertisements for goods and services instead of creating accounts. These ads are called classifieds. Unlike other types of advertising, classified ads often contain no description about the item itself. Instead, advertisers simply list the price they'd accept per piece sold. So why bother posting an ad if nobody ever sees it? Because sometimes these listings turn into real business deals.
Craigslist has been around forever, allowing anyone to advertise almost any type of goods and services in dozens of cities across America. Since Craigslist does not verify its members, you should exercise caution before sending personal info to strangers, especially financial information. Still, it remains a popular place to buy used cars, rent apartments, meet women, etc. Another great feature of Craigslist is its ability to connect buyers directly with sellers. To create a listing, go to craiglist.org.
If you're trying to avoid dealing with potential scammers, consider using Postlets.com. Users can post classified ads on topics ranging from dating to employment, while receiving feedback from others searching specifically for certain categories. Once posted, everyone can see these ads until they decide whether or not they want to respond to them. When someone contacts you for further discussion, you can start chatting privately with them. While Postlet's primary goal is to foster communication among those seeking similar interests, it's possible to conduct transactions with them as well. All payments must be handled manually, however, because Postlet's system lacks merchant account capabilities.
Posting ads on bulletin boards seems pretty straightforward, but what makes it unique is its integration with Facebook Messenger. By adding code to your website, you can link your ad to a specific URL within Facebook Messenger. At present only 5% of U.S.-based adults use Facebook messenger regularly, but they could potentially view your advertisement through their phones.
When it comes to getting extra income, most people think first of big ticket items like furniture, classic cars, jewelry, antiques, art, and electronics. Unfortunately, those kinds of purchases generally require a lot of research, negotiation, and effort to obtain. If you're short on time or experience, try buying low priced products off eBay. In fact, you can make hundreds of dollars per sale, and you never know exactly what kind of junk somebody wants to throw away. Just search for "[your city] cheap clothing" or "[your city] used books". Also keep an eye open for sales at thrift stores and yard sales.
Although the world of internet marketing includes everything from legitimate career options to pyramid schemes, some methods seem like scams at first glance. Some of these include multi level marketing programs (MLM) and binary trading systems. MLMs promise huge returns quickly, whereas binary trading promises high profits but takes longer. Before investing your hard earned money, learn everything you can about both industries. Many resources exist to educate yourself on either topic. One example is BinaryBuddha.com. From their homepage:
We started BBS because we wanted to teach investors how to trade forex properly and safely. We found that many students were attracted to forex trading due to claims made by marketers touting fast gains. Most of us learned about forex by reading forums, blogs, articles and watching videos...we became victims of false hope.
In addition to learning about forex, you should familiarize yourself with binary trading as well. After all, the two concepts rely heavily upon each other. A successful trader learns how to predict future trends and execute trades accordingly. Binary traders, on the other hand, analyze past data to determine future outcomes. Without proper training, though, mistakes can occur. Read more about it from Investopedia.
The bottom line is, if you really want to make money online, spend some time researching various markets and techniques before diving headfirst into one particular opportunity. Make sure you understand the concept behind whatever method you choose. Then, put in the necessary hours to hone your skills. Finally, stay patient and disciplined. Online success depends largely upon persistence and determination. Good luck!
Have you thought about getting extra money on the side? Have you tried any of these methods yet? Share your experiences below!
How do you become rich without being born into wealth like Bill Gates or Donald Trump? The answer lies in all sorts of interesting places. From selling body parts to running an illegal casino, here are just a few ways that ordinary folks have made themselves wealthy.
These examples may not be for everyone (or even most people), but they're still worth checking out if you want to earn more than what your paycheck provides each month. And don't forget about these creative ideas from Reddit either!
1. Selling blood plasma
In China, it's common for healthy young men between 18-30 years old to sell their blood plasma once every three months as part of a government program designed to help support families with children who need organ transplants. Each donation typically lasts around two hours and can net donors $500 per session plus benefits such as free food and lodging at hostels where donations occur. Donors also receive medical screening before donating and a certificate after giving plasma. While this isn't exactly going to put any cash in your pocket, there are plenty of other creative ways to generate income online.
2. Running an underground gambling den
If you live near Las Vegas, New York City, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, or Mumbai -- which happens to be home to dozens of casinos -- then you might know something about making money off the books. In fact, one man decided to open his own underground gambling house in Malaysia where he could take bets against local bookies. The business wasn't turning huge profits, so he tried offering odds on movies instead. After setting up a "sports channel" similar to ESPN, moviegoers were now able to bet on everything from box office results to Oscar wins.
3. Becoming a surrogate mother
It turns out you can actually pay someone else to carry your baby while you go ahead and enjoy life. Surrogacy programs allow expectant parents who cannot give birth full responsibility over raising a child by adopting the infant through surrogates. This means the parent will provide financial assistance and emotional support, but won't bear any legal liability should anything happen.
4. Getting paid to watch TV shows
Have you ever noticed when watching TV commercials, you'll sometimes see ads popping up during commercial breaks asking you to call 1-800-XXX-XXXX? That number is usually associated with companies looking for beta testers. But did you know those calls come straight from actual marketing professionals? A company called Consumer Test Systems runs a service whereby marketers can send potential customers text messages and phone calls inviting them to sign up for product trials. If accepted, consumers would get compensated via PayPal or gift cards based on how much time they spend interacting with particular brands. It sounds kind of fun...but maybe only for the select few who already have disposable incomes.
5. Making wine
There aren't too many jobs I'd consider worse than winemaking. Sure, harvesting grapes has its perks, but bottling, aging, blending, and tasting wines takes a lot longer than simply growing some vines. However, you can find success in the world of vintages thanks to a couple guys named Michael Larrison and Robert Mondavi. Both entrepreneurs started experimenting with different types of grape varietals back in 1962 and eventually built successful businesses producing high quality reds and whites. Today, both Larrison and Mondavi continue to act as consultants for new vineyards, though neither has ever been known to accept a salary. Instead, they've dedicated their careers to helping others build better farms.
6. Writing Yelp reviews
Yelp reviewers aren't exactly getting rich, especially considering the average review goes viral within days. But depending on how often you write a good review, you could end up earning anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year. It's pretty easy to start writing reviews on sites like Google+, Facebook Places, Bing Local, Yahoo Maps, and Foursquare. All you really need to do is type up a quick description of whatever establishment you visited along with some honest feedback. Then sit back and wait for others to check out your page. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't strive to offer constructive criticism. Just remember, no place is perfect 100 percent of the time.
7. Renting space inside your mouth
You probably wouldn't think twice about having a dentist right next door to your workplace. But according to the American Association of Oral Behaviors, dentists actually rent rooms inside patients' mouths to perform specialized procedures. As long as nobody notices, it seems most people won't question whether or not you work in healthcare.
8. Playing professional poker tournaments
Playing real-life poker requires a significant amount of skill and luck. So why bother playing amateur games when professionals charge exorbitantly for lessons and tournament tickets? For example, Joe Cada makes a living teaching aspiring players how to play Texas Hold 'Em. He plays in televised events for tens of thousands of dollars per appearance, but says he never cashed a single prize because he was always eliminated early on. Still, that hasn't stopped him from becoming one of the highest ranking pros on Full Tilt Poker. Why stop there? You can try winning big bucks in video game competitions as well.
9. Owning a pet store business
Pets aren't cheap. According to the ASPCA, it costs nearly $700 per year to feed and shelter animals under normal circumstances. When prices increase due to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and other factors beyond our control, pets become even less affordable. So why not turn your love of dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, fish, and other critters into a legitimate job? Pet stores are great sources of passive income since you can keep inventory stocked, maintain cleanliness, deal with angry clients, etc., all day long. Plus, it helps if you have experience working with animals. One woman founded her own shop in 2003 specializing in dog grooming supplies, cat collars, leashes, and related accessories. She currently pulls in $50 million annually.
10. Starting your own online magazine
While traditional print magazines seem to struggle to survive nowadays, digital publications are flourishing. With technology advancing rapidly, anyone can create their own website today using websites like WordPress.com. By developing a strong user base and focusing on original content rather than advertising, publishers can quickly begin generating revenue. Some popular names include Thought Catalog, Bored Panda, Lifehacker, and Smosh.
11. Buying domains by the dozen
Buying domain names used to require spending large amounts of money on software tools and services offered by third parties. Nowadays, however, you can register entire top level domains (TLD) for pennies on the dollar..tv domains cost roughly 20 cents apiece, whereas a.tech purchase can set you back almost half a grand. Even sweeter: you can buy multiple TLD extensions to expand opportunities down the road. For instance, you can save a bundle by purchasing five consecutive.info domains versus attempting to snag one individual name at a later date.
12. Using Twitter for ad sales
Twitter users tend to follow accounts run by celebrities, politicians, sports stars, etc., meaning advertisers can easily target specific demographics. Companies use social media networks to promote products, monitor brand mentions, and gain insight into consumer trends. Advertisers will gladly shell out millions of dollars for access to audiences otherwise inaccessible through television or radio advertisements. But unlike many forms of modern entertainment, Twitter users aren't forced to click on sponsored posts. They willingly decide whether or not they wish to interact with certain brands. Which brings us to another option...
13. Setting up a microblogging site
Microblogs are short message boards similar to Twitter except smaller in scale. Popular examples include Tumblr and LiveJournal. These platforms let users post pictures, videos, links, commentary, and personal thoughts. Users can also subscribe to other users' feeds, allowing them to read updates from afar. Most importantly, individuals can choose to remain anonymous. Microbloggers can freely express opinions without worrying about repercussions. Since microblogs operate outside mainstream search engines, they're ideal for expressing controversial views. Remember, anonymity allows users to say things they normally wouldn't feel comfortable saying elsewhere. And with no rules regarding offensive language, microbloggers can speak their minds without fear of censorship.
14. Selling stuff on Craigslist
Craigslist is an internet classified advertisement site that lets members post listings for items, services, housing, among other things. Originally launched in 1995, the platform didn't acquire widespread popularity until 2005 when Craig Newmark began posting advertisements in San Francisco. Today, Craigslist boasts millions of active communities across numerous cities throughout North America. People searching for goods or services can browse relevant categories and sort postings chronologically. Alternatively, you can filter listings by category. To show interest in a listing, visitors must contact the poster directly. Once communication starts, sellers can negotiate terms and conditions privately.
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