How to Boost (or Even Replace) Your Income by Selling on the Side
Most of us have too much stuff cluttering up our homes. Letting some of it go is often the quickest way to generate extra funds: for fun money, to pay off debt, or simply to get through a rough patch. It has the added benefit of creating clear space in your home!
There are even some who get started with occasional selling then end up taking it to the next level, making a really good income. For example, the Selling Family is a great success story of a family who started selling on eBay, switched to Amazon, and turned selling into an impressive work-from-home business.
Ready to Sell Some Stuff? Look Beyond the Traditional Yard Sale
While traditional yard sales are straightforward and easy to set up, timing is everything when it comes to having a successful sale. Time of year, location, and weather can impact your sales. They're often time-consuming and don't necessarily bring in much profit. Having a multi-family sale (or neighborhood sale) in a busy location in good weather is your best chance for success. But there's really no need to wait it out anymore.
7 Ways to Sell Your Stuff with Year-round Appeal
- Local Facebook buy-sell-trade groups
- Newspaper ads
- Consignment stores
- Apps such as: Decluttr, VarageSale, OfferUp, and Letgo
Using any of these options can help boost your income a little and fill in the gaps or pay off some debt. Each has its ups and downs.
With some, you can move items quickly, but you have the safety concern of finding a place to meet. With others, like Decluttr, you have the benefit of selling easily; you can simply scan the bar code of your DVD or game, find out how much it's worth, put it in a box, and print out a shipping label. But you might get less for it than you'd like.
Some have a learning curve, but also have the potential for you to earn more and to move beyond selling your own unwanted items and branch out. For example, selling through Amazon's FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program is a great way to “scale up” because they store and ship your products to customers for you.
Turning Selling into a Profitable Work-from-home Business
There is definitely no shortage of stuff in our consumer-driven society. If you know how to find a bargain, love to shop, can manage inventory, and don't mind hard work, you can turn selling into a profitable business.
Mastering a “method,” like selling on Amazon, can take your selling efforts from just decluttering your own stuff to a full-fledged business, where you buy wholesale or retail at a bargain and sell for a nice profit.
You choose how much time to invest and what hours you want to work.
Amazon is a great option to explore. Learning the ins and outs can be a process, but you don't have to go it alone. There are resources and even online training that can help you along the way.
Becoming a Seller on Amazon
In the past, Amazon was primarily associated with selling used books, so you might be surprised to find out that there are over 20 categories individual sellers can sell from, without any approval from Amazon.
Here are some examples of categories, besides books, that you can sell items from (new, used or refurbished):
- Camera and photo (Cameras, camcorders, telescopes)
- Home and garden (Kitchen, dining, pet supplies, furniture, decor, bedding, hobby, crafts)
- Musical instruments (Guitars, orchestra, recording equipment)
- And many more
You can also become a professional seller. Professional selling has tremendous advantages (including more categories). Professional selling is how the Selling Family achieved their success.
They teach others to achieve the same results using the FBA program and retail arbitrage. Retail arbitrage is buying retail products at a discount, in-store or online, then reselling.
This is how it works: You find a bargain, make your purchase, and list your items on Amazon. You ship them to Amazon, where they're stored in warehouses until the products sell. Finally, Amazon packages and ships to the customer for you!
Besides Amazon storing and shipping your product, they also take care of customer service and returns. And your products are eligible for Amazon Prime.
Of course, there is a fee for using the service; you just have to make sure you cover the cost when you price your item.
Think professional selling sounds interesting? If you want to get a better feel of it, sign up for the Selling Family's free Amazon FBA Starter course. Here's more information on the Selling Family's resources and training.
If selling stuff isn't for you, here are some other opportunities to check out instead.
Have you had success with selling to boost your income? Share your story in the comments below.
Thanks for some great ideas of how to get rid of some of the clutter and simply old stuff we don’t need/use anymore in our home.
My daughter just thought of that today…coincidence? Wanting to sell off her old clothes which don’t fit her anymore.
Your article came just in time for some good pointers.
All the best – Orion
I’m glad it came at the right time! It’s amazing how quickly things accumulate and how easy it can be to make a little extra money from selling it.