Author Topic: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!  (Read 179264 times)

brandino29

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2013, 11:18:21 AM »
I sell books on Amazon. I buy them at the Goodwill for $1 or $2, then list them and send 'em off when they sell. The best one I found was a book on internal combustion mechanics that I bought for $2 and sold for $125.

This sounds interesting, and dare I say it, pretty easy (as long as you've got storage space, have patience, and can organize your books easily and efficiently).  How much do you make in a normal month? 

jrhampt

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2013, 11:48:29 AM »
i wrote an e-book, and on a typical month, i make about $50 from it. the first few months it was out, i made a lot more.

working on the second one now :)

Do you know the rough word count of your E-Book?  I want to write something, but I keep thinking it will be too short!

i can't remember exactly, but i think it's between 15-20,000 words. it's 10 chapters long, and each chapter is 1500-2000 words. comes out to 45 pages as assessed by the kindle store.

i priced it low -- $2.99 -- figuring that it will be at least as entertaining and useful as a cup of coffee.

Interesting...my master's thesis is about 15,000 words... I wonder if it has a future as an ebook?  How did you market it, if at all?

maryofdoom

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2013, 11:50:27 AM »
I sell books on Amazon. I buy them at the Goodwill for $1 or $2, then list them and send 'em off when they sell. The best one I found was a book on internal combustion mechanics that I bought for $2 and sold for $125.

This sounds interesting, and dare I say it, pretty easy (as long as you've got storage space, have patience, and can organize your books easily and efficiently).  How much do you make in a normal month?

It is honestly the easiest thing. I have a designated bookshelf that I use to store the books until they sell, though you could use almost any kind of anything that works for you. I don't bother sorting them by author or title; what I do is catalog them on my own spreadsheet that includes title, author, and ISBN. Since I only have around 50 books up for sale at any one time, I don't usually sort them out and just double-check the title and author when I pull books that have sold.

As far as the monthly income is concerned, I don't really have a reliable figure to cite. Amazon pays out every two weeks, depending on when you start your account: I started mine on a Thursday, so I get paid every other Thursday. The least I've made with one of these payments was $5.27 on June 13, 2013, which was due to not listing many books, a week on vacation with the store closed, and slow summer sales; the most I've made was $803.46 on March 8, 2012, which was due to the fact that I bought 1,500 books from a liquidation auction and flipped most of them quickly. (It wasn't really worth it, in the end.) Tomorrow I will make $267.74, though $145.44 of that is books I'm selling on behalf of my EGA chapter that belonged to a member who passed away earlier this year. I volunteered to sell the valuable books on Amazon to achieve a greater profit for the chapter than if the books were sold at a rummage sale. (We'll probably use the money to hire a fancy, nationally-recognized teacher to come teach us something interesting.)

I average about $200 of income per month and somewhere between $50 and $80 in expenses - after all, I do have to buy the books from somewhere. I pick them up mostly at Goodwill, and if I see something else there that I like, I throw it in my bag, so I count that as an expense, too. Plus if there are books I want to read, they go in the bag as well. I have an extensive personal library as a result.

Doing this could be a real job-job if I got more serious about it, but right now it's just a casual thing for me. It is enjoyable, though, and when a book sells for $50 or more, it's quite pleasant.
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madgeylou

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #53 on: August 21, 2013, 11:57:01 AM »
i wrote an e-book, and on a typical month, i make about $50 from it. the first few months it was out, i made a lot more.

working on the second one now :)

Do you know the rough word count of your E-Book?  I want to write something, but I keep thinking it will be too short!

i can't remember exactly, but i think it's between 15-20,000 words. it's 10 chapters long, and each chapter is 1500-2000 words. comes out to 45 pages as assessed by the kindle store.

i priced it low -- $2.99 -- figuring that it will be at least as entertaining and useful as a cup of coffee.

Interesting...my master's thesis is about 15,000 words... I wonder if it has a future as an ebook?  How did you market it, if at all?

i marketed it in 2 major ways:

1) starting an associated blog (be less crazy), and
2) partnering with a big website who published the intro (the hairpin)

without #2 i would have sold almost no copies. really, you have to get your work in front of a bigger audience.

Hedge_87

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #54 on: August 21, 2013, 11:58:38 AM »
I used to help a guy hang Christmas lights in the richer parts of town (know as yuppieville by us port folks). Got paid between $100-$500 a house depending on the house and how many lights. I have moved back to rural America now so this is no lo her an option. From my perspective people in rural areas a way less wussified and less likely to outsource something like this.
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Hedge_87

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #55 on: August 21, 2013, 12:00:27 PM »
Sorry stupid iPhone auto correct. It's supposed to be poor folks not port folks
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jrhampt

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #56 on: August 21, 2013, 12:18:39 PM »
i wrote an e-book, and on a typical month, i make about $50 from it. the first few months it was out, i made a lot more.

working on the second one now :)

Do you know the rough word count of your E-Book?  I want to write something, but I keep thinking it will be too short!

i can't remember exactly, but i think it's between 15-20,000 words. it's 10 chapters long, and each chapter is 1500-2000 words. comes out to 45 pages as assessed by the kindle store.

i priced it low -- $2.99 -- figuring that it will be at least as entertaining and useful as a cup of coffee.

Interesting...my master's thesis is about 15,000 words... I wonder if it has a future as an ebook?  How did you market it, if at all?

i marketed it in 2 major ways:

1) starting an associated blog (be less crazy), and
2) partnering with a big website who published the intro (the hairpin)

without #2 i would have sold almost no copies. really, you have to get your work in front of a bigger audience.

Very cool.  How were you able to get the larger website on board?

dizzean

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #57 on: August 21, 2013, 03:07:16 PM »
I sell books on Amazon. I buy them at the Goodwill for $1 or $2, then list them and send 'em off when they sell. The best one I found was a book on internal combustion mechanics that I bought for $2 and sold for $125.

This sounds interesting, and dare I say it, pretty easy (as long as you've got storage space, have patience, and can organize your books easily and efficiently).  How much do you make in a normal month?

It is honestly the easiest thing. I have a designated bookshelf that I use to store the books until they sell, though you could use almost any kind of anything that works for you. I don't bother sorting them by author or title; what I do is catalog them on my own spreadsheet that includes title, author, and ISBN. Since I only have around 50 books up for sale at any one time, I don't usually sort them out and just double-check the title and author when I pull books that have sold.

As far as the monthly income is concerned, I don't really have a reliable figure to cite. Amazon pays out every two weeks, depending on when you start your account: I started mine on a Thursday, so I get paid every other Thursday. The least I've made with one of these payments was $5.27 on June 13, 2013, which was due to not listing many books, a week on vacation with the store closed, and slow summer sales; the most I've made was $803.46 on March 8, 2012, which was due to the fact that I bought 1,500 books from a liquidation auction and flipped most of them quickly. (It wasn't really worth it, in the end.) Tomorrow I will make $267.74, though $145.44 of that is books I'm selling on behalf of my EGA chapter that belonged to a member who passed away earlier this year. I volunteered to sell the valuable books on Amazon to achieve a greater profit for the chapter than if the books were sold at a rummage sale. (We'll probably use the money to hire a fancy, nationally-recognized teacher to come teach us something interesting.)

I average about $200 of income per month and somewhere between $50 and $80 in expenses - after all, I do have to buy the books from somewhere. I pick them up mostly at Goodwill, and if I see something else there that I like, I throw it in my bag, so I count that as an expense, too. Plus if there are books I want to read, they go in the bag as well. I have an extensive personal library as a result.

Doing this could be a real job-job if I got more serious about it, but right now it's just a casual thing for me. It is enjoyable, though, and when a book sells for $50 or more, it's quite pleasant.

My wife and I go thrift shopping a decent amount, I could see myself doing this.

What criteria do you have for the books you pick up at Goodwill?

madgeylou

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #58 on: August 21, 2013, 05:37:28 PM »
i wrote an e-book, and on a typical month, i make about $50 from it. the first few months it was out, i made a lot more.

working on the second one now :)

Do you know the rough word count of your E-Book?  I want to write something, but I keep thinking it will be too short!

i can't remember exactly, but i think it's between 15-20,000 words. it's 10 chapters long, and each chapter is 1500-2000 words. comes out to 45 pages as assessed by the kindle store.

i priced it low -- $2.99 -- figuring that it will be at least as entertaining and useful as a cup of coffee.

Interesting...my master's thesis is about 15,000 words... I wonder if it has a future as an ebook?  How did you market it, if at all?

i marketed it in 2 major ways:

1) starting an associated blog (be less crazy), and
2) partnering with a big website who published the intro (the hairpin)

without #2 i would have sold almost no copies. really, you have to get your work in front of a bigger audience.

Very cool.  How were you able to get the larger website on board?

i wrote awesome articles for them for almost a year first. some were anonymous and all were written for free. it was an organic thing -- i stumbled upon this site and i fell in love with it, and wanted to be a part of it. the rest followed from there. :)

SJS

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #59 on: August 21, 2013, 06:05:04 PM »
I have a little "side hustle" selling stuff I find in thrift stores on Ebay.  I make anywhere between $1,000 - $1,500 a month - and that's not working too hard.  I've been doing it for 10 years, so I've gotten better at knowing what will sell.  But it's amazing to me that I can pay $2-$3 for something and it will sell for $50 or more!  Easiest money I've EVER made!  Husband calls it my Ebay Empire!!!  (we are early retirees, by the way, and don't really need the money.  Husband said it's the only hobby I've ever had that didn't cost him money!).

frugaldrummer

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #60 on: August 21, 2013, 09:14:43 PM »
@SJS -
I'd like to hear more about your eBay/thrift store hustle.  This is actually something I've been thinking about for my boyfriend; he's a real clotheshorse and has a knack for picking up incredible deals at the thrift store.  He used to have a lot of money and shopped in high-end stores; now he's broke and finds the same $300 slacks he used to buy, at the thrift store for 7 bucks. I've been thinking he could probably pick up some good money on the side reselling things.

Can you tell me what items work best in your opinion?  Any recommendations about how to display things, women's vs men's items (or non-clothing items?), popular sizes, items to avoid, etc?  How much time does it take you per month?

maryofdoom

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2013, 08:14:00 AM »
My wife and I go thrift shopping a decent amount, I could see myself doing this.

What criteria do you have for the books you pick up at Goodwill?

I have a little computer that I bought, along with a barcode scanner. I also subscribe to the ASellerTool software service, which collects all the data from Amazon and dumps it to your device. You set triggers inside the software for the combinations of selling price and sales rank that you want to use.

Let's say I come across a brand-new copy of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall at the Goodwill, as I did last week. I zap it to see what it sells for. Looks like a brand-new copy of Wolf Hall, in hardcover, sells for $10.00 and its sales rank is 26,600. If it costs me $2 to buy it, the software will apply the triggers I set and tell me to buy the book.

It's sort of an art, and I ignore the triggers sometimes, because I get sentimental about books, but if you follow them strictly, you will always make money.

Books that sell well for me usually include non-fiction trade paperbacks, religious books, books on obscure academic subjects, and prize-winning fiction (like Wolf Hall, for example). Books that don't sell include mystery, thrillers, mass-market paperbacks, romance, and other stuff that you'd usually find at, say, an airport bookstore. Textbooks can be hit or miss.

I'd love to hear more about SJS's thrift store hustle, too. Especially since I go to the Goodwill so much.
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Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2013, 08:59:26 AM »
My wife and I go thrift shopping a decent amount, I could see myself doing this.

What criteria do you have for the books you pick up at Goodwill?

I have a little computer that I bought, along with a barcode scanner. I also subscribe to the ASellerTool software service, which collects all the data from Amazon and dumps it to your device. You set triggers inside the software for the combinations of selling price and sales rank that you want to use.


On the book-selling thread, you could also sell them to used book stores. The Bookscouter app scans the barcode and gives you a list of all the online buyback sites' offers for that book. Your margin will be lower than selling them yourself, but your turnaround will be quicker.

I find that library used book sales are also a great source for cheap books.
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EK

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2013, 09:39:39 AM »
My wife and I go thrift shopping a decent amount, I could see myself doing this.

What criteria do you have for the books you pick up at Goodwill?

I have a little computer that I bought, along with a barcode scanner. I also subscribe to the ASellerTool software service, which collects all the data from Amazon and dumps it to your device. You set triggers inside the software for the combinations of selling price and sales rank that you want to use.


On the book-selling thread, you could also sell them to used book stores. The Bookscouter app scans the barcode and gives you a list of all the online buyback sites' offers for that book. Your margin will be lower than selling them yourself, but your turnaround will be quicker.

I find that library used book sales are also a great source for cheap books.

Thanks for the tip on that app!  I just downloaded it (its free, btw).  I might have to give this a try!

MariaMustache

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2013, 09:48:41 AM »
I'm a taskrabbit, so the gigs vary. I Help at events, housecleaning, helping people pack and unpack for a move, etc.. I charge $10 an hour and can make $200 a month working only on the weekends. www.taskrabbit.com, plus, there are sites like guru.com, elance.com, and odesk.com

Kira

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2013, 10:24:12 AM »
I do mystery shopping - don't be fooled by all the scams, it is a real thing that real people make money at, but NOT $90 an hour or whatever the ads say. You can make money at it but at best you're looking at $10 or $15 per hour. I do a lot of restaurant shops so we get our meals out reimbursed.

Because I am under 30 I also do a lot of alcohol compliance shops - basically I go in someplace and buy some alcohol and see if they ID me. When I was unemployed I shopped every BP in the city for $8 per visit in a single day. I also shop Whole Foods and once in a while Trader Joe's. But mostly I do restaurants. Shops that don't require you to buy anything are usually not very well paid - maybe $4-6 apiece - since everybody wants those. But if you're going anyway, you can pick up a little money.

maryofdoom

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2013, 11:02:37 AM »
On the book-selling thread, you could also sell them to used book stores. The Bookscouter app scans the barcode and gives you a list of all the online buyback sites' offers for that book. Your margin will be lower than selling them yourself, but your turnaround will be quicker.

I find that library used book sales are also a great source for cheap books.

You're right! That is a good idea. I often take loads of books that I have read up to Half-Price Books, which is sort of good, because they take everything, but also kind of sucks, because I usually leave there with more books.

I've only sold stuff on Amazon, assuming that the other book buyback sites aren't worth the time it would take me to use them, but this tactic may be a good choice for others.
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livetogive

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #67 on: August 22, 2013, 11:38:42 AM »
I used to sell tickets on the side and am thinking about getting back into it.  It was for a different business purpose than simply scalping, but it ended up bitter sweet.  I couldn't prove my hypothesis so the business kinda sank, but I ended up making a couple hundred a month in the process plus some decent credit card rebates from all the churn. 

I think I churned about $50k in tickets lol.

As a hobby I flip phones and tablets on ebay but the market is pretty tight so I'm usually happy to break even feeding my dark consumerism based interest.  I don't seek out low priced electronics, but I do seek out ones I want to try and attempt to add enough value on the resale to make up the ebay fees.  ex:  My SO wants to try an HTC One, so i'll probably buy one on ebay used for around $450, let her play with it for a month or two, then mod it and try to get 500 out of it to cover the fees.


dizzean

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #68 on: August 22, 2013, 08:40:12 PM »
My wife and I go thrift shopping a decent amount, I could see myself doing this.

What criteria do you have for the books you pick up at Goodwill?

I have a little computer that I bought, along with a barcode scanner. I also subscribe to the ASellerTool software service, which collects all the data from Amazon and dumps it to your device. You set triggers inside the software for the combinations of selling price and sales rank that you want to use.

Let's say I come across a brand-new copy of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall at the Goodwill, as I did last week. I zap it to see what it sells for. Looks like a brand-new copy of Wolf Hall, in hardcover, sells for $10.00 and its sales rank is 26,600. If it costs me $2 to buy it, the software will apply the triggers I set and tell me to buy the book.

It's sort of an art, and I ignore the triggers sometimes, because I get sentimental about books, but if you follow them strictly, you will always make money.

Books that sell well for me usually include non-fiction trade paperbacks, religious books, books on obscure academic subjects, and prize-winning fiction (like Wolf Hall, for example). Books that don't sell include mystery, thrillers, mass-market paperbacks, romance, and other stuff that you'd usually find at, say, an airport bookstore. Textbooks can be hit or miss.

I'd love to hear more about SJS's thrift store hustle, too. Especially since I go to the Goodwill so much.

So this software, a laptop, and a barcode scanner?  Seems like a pretty low startup cost.

theSchmett

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #69 on: August 22, 2013, 09:12:45 PM »
maryofdoom: I'm totally impressed with your side biz! I have sold a few books here and there on eBay, never considered opening an amazon store.  I DO always check amazon to see what books are selling for and too often its .99 + shipping.  Edit: 1 penny + 3.99 shipping. Is this just avoidance of having to pay for disposal?

My Question is, is the $4 I see that it costs to ship most books real? I haven't sold a book in awhile and I don't know what the best method is. I don't think I'm going to be at goodwill but definitely want to get rid of books in my house.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 09:21:10 PM by theSchmett »

mm1970

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #70 on: August 22, 2013, 09:38:21 PM »
I have done some hemming for friends (especially when we were all pregnant - us shorties would have to buy regular maternity jeans).  I have also made some baby blankets - contracted to do them.

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2013, 03:10:34 AM »
Previously:
- playing piano at a restaurant (paid by the hour, plus free food)
- recipe development, writing and photography (did that for awhile, was paid per recipe + cost of ingredients - stopped because the company I worked for was a hassle to deal with)
- freelance writing (paid per piece, was hired by a social media agency to do that briefly for a temporary project)

Currently/Ongoing:
- my blog is bringing in $50/month at the moment - not much, but nice to have because I would be blogging anyway regardless

Villanelle

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« Reply #72 on: August 23, 2013, 08:26:42 AM »
My wife and I go thrift shopping a decent amount, I could see myself doing this.

What criteria do you have for the books you pick up at Goodwill?

I have a little computer that I bought, along with a barcode scanner. I also subscribe to the ASellerTool software service, which collects all the data from Amazon and dumps it to your device. You set triggers inside the software for the combinations of selling price and sales rank that you want to use.

Let's say I come across a brand-new copy of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall at the Goodwill, as I did last week. I zap it to see what it sells for. Looks like a brand-new copy of Wolf Hall, in hardcover, sells for $10.00 and its sales rank is 26,600. If it costs me $2 to buy it, the software will apply the triggers I set and tell me to buy the book.

It's sort of an art, and I ignore the triggers sometimes, because I get sentimental about books, but if you follow them strictly, you will always make money.

Books that sell well for me usually include non-fiction trade paperbacks, religious books, books on obscure academic subjects, and prize-winning fiction (like Wolf Hall, for example). Books that don't sell include mystery, thrillers, mass-market paperbacks, romance, and other stuff that you'd usually find at, say, an airport bookstore. Textbooks can be hit or miss.

I'd love to hear more about SJS's thrift store hustle, too. Especially since I go to the Goodwill so much.

So this software, a laptop, and a barcode scanner?  Seems like a pretty low startup cost.

I don't think you need a barcode scanner.  I believe you can do it with a smartphone (if you have one). 

maryofdoom

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #73 on: August 23, 2013, 08:33:11 AM »
@Dizzean: Startup costs for this book-selling endeavor break down like this:
  • Portable computer that holds the data: $75 on eBay
  • Software subscription: $30/month (the software is free but they charge you for access to the data, which is a non-trivial thing)
  • Barcode scanner: $100 on eBay. You can use a smartphone for this part, but since I am trying to limit my data usage, and also because the reception inside my local Goodwill is crap, I use the external scanner. It is also possible to type the ISBN numbers in by hand, but that is a pain.
  • Computer at home with printer: $200 (you print the postage out at home and just drop stuff at the post office)
  • Office supplies: $100 or so every six months (paper, tape, padded envelopes from ValueMailers.com)
  • If you sell more than 40 books per month, it's worth it to subscribe to Amazon's Pro Seller service. Normally it costs $0.99 in fixed fees when a book sells, but the Pro Seller service is $40 and doesn't charge those fees. I did Pro Seller for a while, and if you can turn enough books through it, it's not a bad choice.

The key is really to print out the postage at home and just drop the books at your post office; ain't nobody got time to wait in post office lines every single day.

As you can see, you need to make more than $30 in income per month (or $70 if you're going with Pro Seller) to make it really profitable. This also doesn't consider how much you're paying for your books in the first place.

To give some raw numbers (because obviously I have data from the past three years that I've been doing this), I have $12,695.56 in income and $8,811.86 in expenses. As you can see, it's not a sole source of income, but it's not too shabby.

@theSchmett: People who sell books on Amazon use automatic re-pricing algorithms to make sure they always have the lowest price on the books they sell, and as a result, these algorithms drive the prices lower and lower until books are selling for a penny plus shipping. If you get the books cheap enough, you can still make money on penny books, just not very much.

It costs $2.60 to send a single pound of printed material via Media Mail.

If you have books at your house you want to get rid of, and you don't have the little barcode scanner or a desire to get one, here is how I would deal with them:
  • Make a spreadsheet list of all of your books: title, author, ISBN, and condition (which doesn't have to be in-depth, you can just say "New," "Very Good" (clearly used but still nice, like you'd find in a used bookstore), and "Acceptable" (a beat-up college textbook, a book with water or sun damage, but something you could still read).
  • In your copious amounts of spare time, type the books' ISBN numbers into Amazon. Put their sales ranks on your spreadsheet. The sales rank is about halfway down the page: if you do a Ctrl+F and type in Page Rank, you'll find it very easily.
  • While you're on the book's page, note the lowest sales price for a used copy (or a new copy, if that's what you have). Put it on your spreadsheet.
  • Use my approximate time-to-sale formula (presented below) to figure out which books you'd like to list.
  • List your books. Write funny descriptions if you want them to sell faster. (One time I got a heavily annotated copy of Homer's Odyssey that had hilarious annotations in it, obviously written by someone who just didn't understand the book. I wrote, "This book has been heavily annotated by a person named Hunter. Poor, dim Hunter. He or she was baffled by the subtlety of Homer's prose, repeatedly writing things like, 'WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?' and 'I DON'T UNDERSTAND.' This copy will make you feel bad for Hunter as you learn more about Odysseus." IT SOLD IN FIVE HOURS.)
  • If your research shows that you have lots of books with high sales ranks, or books that would sell for a penny, pack them into bags and go to your local Half-Price Books bookstore. They will give you cash money for any printed material. Not a ton of cash money, but cash money just the same.

Approximate time to sale:
  • 1 through 10,000: Less than a day
  • 10,000 through 50,000: A week
  • 50,000 through 100,000: A few weeks to a month
  • 100,000 through 1 million: Several months
  • 1 million and up: Anywhere from a month to a year

I think that's quite enough to bore you with for now. Let me know if you have more questions!
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FIence!

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #74 on: August 23, 2013, 10:30:36 AM »
ain't nobody got time to wait in post office lines every single day.

So the post office to you is like Bronchitis to Sweet Brown?

fiveoh

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #75 on: August 23, 2013, 11:54:16 AM »
I do surveys and focus groups. 

I've been thinking about doing detailing on the weekends but I really don't enjoy it.

theSchmett

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #76 on: August 23, 2013, 08:08:17 PM »
Mary of Doom you are my hero.

cats

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #77 on: August 23, 2013, 11:01:53 PM »
I also have a pretty niche side gig: I design knitting patterns and sell them through my blog/publish them in knitting magazines.  The pay is pretty variable (and low) but I've been bringing in a few thousand dollars a year for the past few years now.  Basically, it's been a good way to turn a hobby (and potential money sink, yarn is expensive!) into a cost neutral/cash flow positive sideline.  I'm not going to quit my day job to take it up full-time any day soon though!

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #78 on: September 14, 2013, 07:19:34 PM »
I've hussled $$ on the side, well, forever. One great job I had was to clean a small office once a week for $125/mo. It was less than an hour on either saturday or sunday. I cleaned 1 bathroom, the coffee station and vacuumed the place. I got the job via word of mouth. I needed the money to pay for my horse habit. Its really the horse habit that has always led me to better and better side gigs.

I framed art for years, then once I got my grown up job I would work for this same company during the holidays. Its a great skill to have and I do own some equipment, a chop saw and mat cutter. There's a local art supply store that has the professional equipment I can use for larger pieces.

I used to sell computers. I would build them and deliver them, set them up and give the buyer a 2 hour walk through. often this led to more time at $30/hour easy money and I enjoyed helping folks learn to use a PC. Today I could see someone be a "consultant" to help folks go buy a PC, like a PC personal shopper.

As I phased away from building computers, I started consulting with small businesses for $75/hour. I knew quicken, quickbooks, excel, mysql, and would happily learn and teach them any software they were struggling with. I even worked as an IT consultant for a sporting goods store and they had a ginormous ski sale once a year I would help prep for. I think I did that gig for 3 years or so. It got to be too much as I had moved to IT for my day job.

Now I have 3 side gigs that have blossomed into really lucrative ventures.
 1. the old computer business is now a web building, hosting maintenance gig, I do this as little as possible since its my day job now as well. I can only handle so much web (been doing web work for 16 years now)
 2. I created hundreds of designs and put them on cafepress, invested the earnings in my own equipment and now make the same designs at home. I have a set of travel sized equipment and go to horseshows and make the items there, as well as compete with my horse (sold him last year). I also make high end custom jewelry to sell at the shows. I make about $1500/weekend. I work solo. sometimes my horse friends will hang out with me and if they really help I pay them in food, product or $$. I could make alot more if I did get formal help. I could work on the custom orders during the day while someone sold. But I like it just the way it is.
 3. I have built or signed up on many websites with the above products I make. The best seller for me is ebay. I bring in alot during the holidays. Im usually exhausted by Christmas. I always take Christmas week off and veg.
 Side lined: I have written an e-book, but never did figure out a good security model so it sits on the side lines. I had a special promo for a keychain, they submit their serial number and their detailed info, that was to feed my database of buyers for the next book. Oh well... Im busy enough already. This could be revisited at a later date. Perhaps when I am FI and need something to fill my time.

Finally my DH has become a property investor. Though not as a side gig. He is working on replacing his income and this will become our core FI income in another 2 years per my calculations. He has a PM do the tenant work on the rentals, he does all maintenance he wants, and lets them do whatever isn't up his alley. He hasn't done a flip yet, though his first task was to rehab our place that we have lived in for 12 years, its now awesome! If the value of our place hits a certain amount, we will flip it, if not we will enjoy it. We won't work on a flip until our core rental income hits a certain threshhold. He helps me with all of my side gigs and I help him, its a win-win!

I love the Amazon book selling idea. I even think thrift shopping/reselling on ebay I could expand upon. I do that for horse show shirts already...hmmm always new ideas to try out!

bawaboy

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #79 on: September 14, 2013, 08:08:28 PM »
My wife found a niche in the market where we live. She is a stay at home mom and in talking with friends/neighbors, she noticed how many of them needed help watching their kids before the school bus came in the morning and after school as well. The YMCA before and after school care in our town isn't the greatest and is quite expensive so.......

We have 8 kids that come to the house between 7-830am (bus comes at 830am) and 6 kids that get off the bus at our house and stay from 330-5pm. She charges a little over half of what the YMCA charges, feeds them a good breakfast in the morning and a snack after school. She makes just over $400/week and works 3 hours a day. $400 for 15 hours of work per week is a pretty decent wage! 

I admire my wife for finding a niche in the market and capitalizing on it - that $1600/month sure helps the cause!

nz

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #80 on: September 14, 2013, 11:00:58 PM »
A friend and I take  a few thousand cuttings from my lavender hedge and plant them out in potting bags. We usually do this in March/April ( autumn down under) and sell them as young plants in Sept/Oct for $2 each. We just stick them in a car trailer outside his house with an honesty box and after a few sunny week-ends when the gardners are out and about we have ourselves a few thousand dollars. Good fun, small amount of capital and relatively no stress.

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #81 on: September 15, 2013, 04:26:54 AM »
I am self-employed and only work about 20 hours/week. I get easily bored with all of my free time, so in order to keep myself busy I picked up a side gig at a local retail store. I go in and count the deposits every day. About an hour a day. Days off whenever I want them, and an extra $300-350 every month.

And I like it! :)

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #82 on: September 15, 2013, 09:18:57 AM »
I do a little swing trading mostly by selling overpriced weekly options.  This is probably similar to poker...taking advantage of other players who do not know math. 

MrsPete

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #83 on: September 15, 2013, 10:05:47 AM »
I am genuinely the best cook I know, so I pick up an occasional catering gig. It's physically demanding to handle food for a large group, so I don't really want to count on this for long-term income.

I LOVE wrapping presents, so I am considering copying the Christmas present wrapping idea. 

I have considered doing after school care as a retirement job.  Since I'm a certified teacher, I'd be a shoe-in for getting kids off the bus, feeding them a snack and supervising homework.  But I dont know that I want to be tied down 180 afternoons a year.  One of the things I look forward to after retirement is the freedom to travel off-season.  Teachers can't do that. 

Has anyone worked at a Renaissance Faire or similar?  It doesn't pay all that well, but it's only weekends for 6-8 weeks.  Might be fun work . . . I mean, we go every couple years, and pay for the privilege. 

My husband and I are searching for our part-time after-retirement work, and all we know for sure is that we don't want anything that ties us down too much, and we don't want to do anything that is too similar to what we do now.  The money doesn't have to be outstanding.  We have no mortgage, and my pension will pay the basic bills.  We just want a little income to allow for travel and fun without dipping into our savings too soon. 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 10:07:57 AM by MrsPete »

MMMdude

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2013, 04:46:05 PM »
So after thinking about side gigs for awhile, I think I might have finally found something.  I started selling a product I can get from China for less than $3 per item shipped to my house.  I sell it for $7, but most people buy 6 at a time, so it makes about $20 to $25 profit per transaction.  The product is in fact a knock off and I'm sure people know that, but the quality is good and I'm sure they are of the mindset that they'd rather spend the $7 each than $20+ on the real thing.  My goal is to make a few thousand bucks per year and use that $ on vacations, fancy dinners out.  Stuff we wouldn't spend the $ on otherwise.

Villanelle

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #85 on: September 15, 2013, 05:42:32 PM »
So after thinking about side gigs for awhile, I think I might have finally found something.  I started selling a product I can get from China for less than $3 per item shipped to my house.  I sell it for $7, but most people buy 6 at a time, so it makes about $20 to $25 profit per transaction.  The product is in fact a knock off and I'm sure people know that, but the quality is good and I'm sure they are of the mindset that they'd rather spend the $7 each than $20+ on the real thing.  My goal is to make a few thousand bucks per year and use that $ on vacations, fancy dinners out.  Stuff we wouldn't spend the $ on otherwise.

Selling knock offs can get you in serious legal hot water.  There are ethical considerations as well, but even if you don't care about that, the legal issues should give you pause.

Kira

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #86 on: September 15, 2013, 07:42:41 PM »
So after thinking about side gigs for awhile, I think I might have finally found something.  I started selling a product I can get from China for less than $3 per item shipped to my house.  I sell it for $7, but most people buy 6 at a time, so it makes about $20 to $25 profit per transaction.  The product is in fact a knock off and I'm sure people know that, but the quality is good and I'm sure they are of the mindset that they'd rather spend the $7 each than $20+ on the real thing.  My goal is to make a few thousand bucks per year and use that $ on vacations, fancy dinners out.  Stuff we wouldn't spend the $ on otherwise.

Selling knock offs can get you in serious legal hot water.  There are ethical considerations as well, but even if you don't care about that, the legal issues should give you pause.

And the fact that eBay will remove your listings. Selling drugs would be a very lucrative side job as well, but principles are worth more than retiring a little early...

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #87 on: September 15, 2013, 08:01:21 PM »
Selling knockoffs is unethical.

What you should do is start a hedge fund and bilk people out of millions, then have a golden parachute when the fund goes belly up.

DoubleDown

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #88 on: September 16, 2013, 08:49:59 AM »
Selling knockoffs is unethical.

What you should do is start a hedge fund and bilk people out of millions, then have a golden parachute when the fund goes belly up.

Lol
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uspsfanalan

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #89 on: September 16, 2013, 09:28:46 AM »
I'm noticing that the trend has been people have a side gig reselling items that they are able to find cheap. The skill there being understanding the market, finding under valued items and being organized. The other most common set seems to be producing something non physical - webpage design, coding, editing.

It seems like relatively few of us are producing a physical product. I was considering trying to build fancy dog houses because I like building things and have all of the tools needed. At the same time, it seems like a side hustle works best when it doesn't take up too much time and can be done remotely.

I also notice that the side hustles people mentioned tended to start cheap or make use of tools and skills the person already has. No need to drop a thousand bucks to get started. It's nice to see the MMM crew demonstrating some side hustle ideas that I read about.
 
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/08/07/the-company-mans-guide-to-starting-a-side-hustle-part-ii-think-big-act-small/

Matt K

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #90 on: September 16, 2013, 10:25:41 AM »
I'm noticing that the trend has been people have a side gig reselling items that they are able to find cheap. The skill there being understanding the market, finding under valued items and being organized. The other most common set seems to be producing something non physical - webpage design, coding, editing.

It seems like relatively few of us are producing a physical product. I was considering trying to build fancy dog houses because I like building things and have all of the tools needed. At the same time, it seems like a side hustle works best when it doesn't take up too much time and can be done remotely.

I also notice that the side hustles people mentioned tended to start cheap or make use of tools and skills the person already has. No need to drop a thousand bucks to get started. It's nice to see the MMM crew demonstrating some side hustle ideas that I read about.
 
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/08/07/the-company-mans-guide-to-starting-a-side-hustle-part-ii-think-big-act-small/

I like that link. Very very similar to "The $100 startup", which is a book I quiet enjoyed and found useful.

I don't know if your observation about selling cheap and producing soft (as in information) products (ebooks, web pages) is universal, or simply a case of the sort of people who flip products, write ebooks, and create web pages are more likely to spend time on the internet (and thus more likely to post here) than people who spend their time in the wood working shop.

I have one existing side hustle (Teaching and guiding mountain bike riding - and since I run the company, it is a side hustle, not a part time gig working for someone else). It's neither a hard product nor an information good. I'm curious how many music teachers, language and math tutors, and the like are on here too.

I am starting a second side hustle, this time selling photographic prints. That is much closer to the wood working you talk about, and the link you provided is a great reminder of where to focus my efforts (I already have a carefully targetting business plan, but being reminded to stay targetted is important).

SisterX

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #91 on: September 16, 2013, 04:26:51 PM »
I'm not really sure if it counts as a "side hustle" since I mostly do it for fun, but I get paid about $1000/year to play my instrument.  It could be a lot more if I gathered a few friends into a group and we rented ourselves out for weddings (am considering that, actually, but really enjoy my free time....), but what I do now is fun.  Just a few community musicals/operas per year.  I'm bummed this year, though, because the fall show for one of the groups I play for opens 4 days after my baby's due date, so it won't really work out this time.

KimPossible

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #92 on: September 16, 2013, 06:30:09 PM »

I have one existing side hustle (Teaching and guiding mountain bike riding - and since I run the company, it is a side hustle, not a part time gig working for someone else). It's neither a hard product nor an information good. I'm curious how many music teachers, language and math tutors, and the like are on here too.


My husband provides instruction in a recreational activity.  It started off as a side business, but has grown to full-time.  Fortunately, he loves what he does, since he probably averages well over 40 hours/week working.

Hedge_87

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #93 on: September 18, 2013, 11:44:02 AM »
I don't do this personally but I have a really good friend that breeds and trains hunting dogs. He spends quite a bit of time doing it but hunting/outdoors is also his passion. I've considered this myself however I don't have the patients for the training part of it. He also breeds English bull dogs
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Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #94 on: September 19, 2013, 09:42:14 AM »
This is a great thread. My side gig has never been aimed at profitability - it's basically just a way of allowing my hobby (woodworking) to pay for itself. I use a lot of hand tools, mostly vintage, and when I spot a deal I'll buy it, fix it up, and sell it on eBay. I've gotten inexpensive vintage tools from a variety of sources - estate sales, tool exchanges on woodworking forums, and occasionally antique stores (but antique stores usually have their tools massively overpriced).

I usually aim for tools that need a little TLC to be put back into use. I'll buy some tools for my own use, and then try to sell the rest to cover my costs, so I essentially get the tools that I keep for free. Unfortunately, this process ignores the time that I invest in buying, fixing up, taking pictures, writing descriptions, and packaging the tools. I've recently started slowing down as I've begun to place more value on my time, and I've even started selling some of the tools that I planned to keep for my own use, but didn't really need. So I figure I've turned a small profit in the last few years, but at the cost of a buttload of my spare time. On the other hand, I've gained a valuable skill (hand tool restoration). I've also made most of the furniture in my house, rather than buying it, which has definitely saved a lot of money.

I'm trying to think of a side hustle that doesn't require so much time marketing and packaging, because these are the parts that I hate the most. I could probably turn a profit of a couple hundred a month or more, if I focused on making profits instead of filling out my tool chest. But then I think about listing so much more crap on eBay, and I realize I would get burned out on that pretty quickly. This thread has given me a lot of good ideas.
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SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #95 on: September 19, 2013, 12:24:38 PM »
I'm not really sure if it counts as a "side hustle" since I mostly do it for fun, but I get paid about $1000/year to play my instrument.  It could be a lot more if I gathered a few friends into a group and we rented ourselves out for weddings (am considering that, actually, but really enjoy my free time....), but what I do now is fun.  Just a few community musicals/operas per year.  I'm bummed this year, though, because the fall show for one of the groups I play for opens 4 days after my baby's due date, so it won't really work out this time.
Where are you located? What do you play? I'm looking for pro level string players to join me to play wedding gigs again here in the Denver area.

mindaugas

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #96 on: September 19, 2013, 04:05:44 PM »
I'm a sysadmin, so I do IT work on the side for individuals and very small businesses,  At $50 an hour I'm pretty happy, and I know I could make and charge more if I were to really push it, but I am a very busy person already so I usually let the work find me.   If I were young and single and didn't want to work for "the man"???  There is good money here, certainly qualifies for one of those 50K+ jobs without a degree that MMM recently posted about.  If I were out of work I am confident I could fall back on this.

I do the same type of work and also think Sys Admin qualifies as a $50k w/out degree.
But, how did you get started on the side? Did u advertise somewhere? How much time do u put into it and do u only do after hours/weekends? I've always wondered if businesses would be willing to do work after hours or on the weekends.

enginr77

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #97 on: September 19, 2013, 05:33:32 PM »
I'm not really sure if it counts as a "side hustle" since I mostly do it for fun, but I get paid about $1000/year to play my instrument.  It could be a lot more if I gathered a few friends into a group and we rented ourselves out for weddings (am considering that, actually, but really enjoy my free time....), but what I do now is fun.  Just a few community musicals/operas per year.  I'm bummed this year, though, because the fall show for one of the groups I play for opens 4 days after my baby's due date, so it won't really work out this time.

Me too.  I play with a couple orchestras about once a month.  It's a nice way to get paid for something I love, plus it's a break from the day job. 

Li

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #98 on: September 20, 2013, 08:35:24 PM »
My side gig is teaching yoga (3 classes/week).  It's wonderful as I get to share something that I'm passionate about and get paid for it at the same time. As an added bonus, teaching the classes ensures that I get some yoga in myself each week.

hybrid

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Re: Who has a side gig/job that brings in extra cash?? Share with us!
« Reply #99 on: September 20, 2013, 09:39:51 PM »
I'm a sysadmin, so I do IT work on the side for individuals and very small businesses,  At $50 an hour I'm pretty happy, and I know I could make and charge more if I were to really push it, but I am a very busy person already so I usually let the work find me.   If I were young and single and didn't want to work for "the man"???  There is good money here, certainly qualifies for one of those 50K+ jobs without a degree that MMM recently posted about.  If I were out of work I am confident I could fall back on this.

I do the same type of work and also think Sys Admin qualifies as a $50k w/out degree.
But, how did you get started on the side? Did u advertise somewhere? How much time do u put into it and do u only do after hours/weekends? I've always wondered if businesses would be willing to do work after hours or on the weekends.

First thing I did was develop my own website and had quality business cards printed.  The best way I found business was through work.  I work in legal and know fellow sysadmins at other law firms.  When they got approached by attorneys at their firms about home computer problems they would reference them to me.  I also advertised in my local neighborhood association newsletter and picked up business there as well.  I got some business from the country club I used to belong to. Etc. Etc.  I'm an extrovert.  Put yourself out there and work will find you.

I thought about doing this full time at one point, but I would need to charge closer to $75 an hour and hustle my butt off finding steady gigs to make the same amount I make at my firm (since I would have to travel a lot to my jobs).  Not worth the hassle to me since I like my day job, but great to know I could go there if I had to.  If I were doing this full time I would advertise by direct mail into high end neighborhoods and work those contacts I already have.  Doctors, lawyers, bankers and the like want professional service to come to them, treat them well, and just fix the damn problems.  They do NOT want to go to Geek Squad and pay a similar amount and deal with that hassle.  And they never dicker on price (I hate doing work for secretaries generally, because I know I am usually dealing with someone who wants a $20 fix for a $100 problem).  There is a market taking care of well-heeled clients.  I just like my day job too much to go chase it.

Making your own money is a lot of fun.
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