Spring is in the air and we’re excited! Between participating in yesterday’s Runnin’ of the Green here in Denver and spending the rest of the day at our favorite rooftop bar, we were outside most of yesterday. It was a nice day of exercising, relaxing and spending time with friends in the warm sun. For us, that’s the best aspect of the warmer weather.
Another of the many benefits of spring and summer weather is the money generating opportunities that spring up just as surely as the cottonwood that ignites our allergies. We often talk about ways to control spending and saving a dollar here and a few dollars there. We discuss ways to pay less in fees and how to be a more efficient consumer.
There are two sides to a balance sheet, however. There is the expense side, but there is the income side. Today we want to talk about ways to make more money through an existing hobby or skill or even through simple willingness and capability.
Spring is the time of year when we’re all ready to dust off the last bit of snow from winter, open our windows and doors to freshen our homes and clean away the grime of the past two seasons. With the needs of people to do their spring cleaning, paint their homes and mow their lawns, among the numerous other chores, spring is a great time to market yourself for hire for these odd and end tasks.
If you’re not handy or if you’re looking for a way to make money from something you’re already doing, there are now ways to create your own e-store just as if you had a store in your local mall.
Below are four ways to market your products and services and improve the income side of your personal balance sheet.
TaskRabbit is a marketplace for those willing to pay someone a fee for their service and those wanting to be paid a fee for providing a service. As a TaskRabbit, the title of a person selling their service, you create an account, have a background check done and, once complete, start bidding on tasks you’re willing to and capable of completing.
Tasks can include mulching a garden or weeding a yard. Someone may need help with their spring cleaning or help with cleaning out their garage. One client may need help with painting a shed while another person may need help cleaning patio furniture.
Tasks don’t need to be seasonally related, either. We just have spring on the brain. Someone may ask you to pick up a package for them or do their grocery shopping. Someone may need help with sewing or ironing clothing or with putting together their IKEA furniture.
Tasks can be simple or complex. Some task can be completed by almost anyone while others require skill. Almost anyone with a clean criminal record, however, can sign up to be a TaskRabbit. No interview is required. You only need the ability and willingness to work.
The benefit is that you can pick and choose which tasks you complete, manage your own schedule and bid on your own fee per task. You can, also, do this in addition to a regular job.
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If you’re artsy and looking to delve into e-commerce, Etsy is a great platform to sell handmade or vintage items. If you’re already making something, such as pottery or paintings you can create a store in Etsy to sell your creations.
A friend of ours turned her hobby into a business. Our friend loves antiquing, yard sale-ing and hunting at consignment stores, Goodwill and The Salvation Army. She finds pieces of value from anything including furniture, decorations and clothing to resell on her Etsy store. What was once a hobby for her has turned into a job that brings in about $1,000 a month.
If you are creative or have a good eye for spotting something of value being underpriced, Etsy is a great way for you to increase your income. As with the benefits of TaskRabbit, you are the boss. You make your own schedule. This can be your side-hustle or it can be your primary source of income depending on your financial needs.
The cost to sell on Etsy is $0.20 per item for up to four months. After the item is sold, Etsy is paid 3.5% of the sale.
If Etsy’s fee for selling your wears is too costly for you, give Zibbet a try. Zibbet is based in Australia, but most products sold on the site are from the U.S. and all transactions are in U.S. dollars. Zibbet’s basic package allows for selling up to 50 items for free for an unlimited period of time.
Zibbet was inspired by eBay because often artists and creators on eBay end up selling their creations for a steal because of eBay’s bidding style platform. This is bad news for the artist or creator’s wallet and where Zibbet thinks it can be of value.
Of course, we couldn’t skip CraigsList even though it’s older than both TaskRabbit and Etsy. While TaskRabbit is expanding into more cities, there are many locations where it doesn’t yet reach.
CraigsList, just as the classifieds sections in ink-smudging papers used to be, is great for marketing your services, whether they include handy-person services or something that requires less skill, or selling products you’ve made or found.
Not only is CraigsList available in more areas, it has a larger customer base with 60 million users per month. For marketing your products and services, you will have a bigger reach. For those looking to not have to counter-bid their fee or “manage” a store, CraigsList is an easier online platform to use, not more difficult than submitting a classified ad to your local newspaper.
As you can see, there are many ways to market your willingness to work, sell your products and services and make a little extra money on the side. More sites are springing up almost daily that offer similar services, each with its own twist. Summer and spring are a great time to get your name out there for many of these services people need. Take advantage of what’s out there, be creative and make yourself a few extra Benjamins.