The making money secret isn't slaving away at a high-paying job, it’s discovering creative solutions to people’s problems, and it doesn't take a long-winded named degree to accomplish that. To cause your creative juices to begin flowing, read about these simple and not-so-simply methods of stuffing your pockets.
Money Making Method Numero Uno
Re-Sell A Product
Buy underpriced used books. Outfit a phone or PDA (personal data assistant) with a scanner, scan the ISBN numbers of books at used bookstores and thrift shops, and compare the asking prices with what the books are selling for on a site like Amazon. Whenever you get a good hit (which won’t be often but, since the process is fast, won’t take long, either), buy the book and resell it online. Be discrete about this, as the store managers probably won’t like what you’re doing.
Bargain-hunt at yard and thrift sales. If you have a bit of knowledge in a particular area (ex. Taxco Mexican silver, action figures, classic National Geographics) or even just a good eye for quality, visit private sales early and often to find unexpected deals.
Go to police auctions. You can find incredible deals here, and though may not be able to resell a car that was involved in a serious crime, you can probably find some spectacularly cheap jewelry that someone else would be happy to buy off you.
Refinish ratty furniture. If you have lacquer thinner, sandpaper, stain, and some craft sense, you can buy worn-out furniture and fix it up for a great resale price.
Rescue battered wood. Pallets and pallet stock are cheap (or free) and easy to come by. Look for untreated specimens at construction sites, community colleges, buildings under renovation, or shipping warehouses and plane them down and/or kiln-dry them in a homemade kiln-dryer to uncover their hidden beauty. You can then resell the wood as is or even turn it into beautiful furniture. (Be sure to advertise that the wood is “reclaimed,” as people are often willing to pay much more for this.)
Flip houses or apartments. If you are a handy(wo)man with great design sense, a knowledge of what’s valuable in the construction of a home, and assets you’re willing to play with, consider buying, fixing up, and reselling real estate. This requires quite a bit of up-front cash and elbow grease, but the payoff can be big.
Money Making Method Number Two
Participate in Studies
Sign up with focus groups in your area. Studies that you are eligible to participate in pop up sporadically but pay quite well – often more than $50 for an hour of your time. You can also look for focus groups online but will have to sort through a lot of bogus “opportunities” and sites that ask you to pay up-front for the privilege of participating before you find anything worthwhile.
Participate in medical studies. If just the thought of this frightens you, know that the intensity of such studies varies greatly. Some studies ask participants (particularly those with medical conditions) to test treatments or medications that can have adverse side effects, but others ask participants to perform physical tasks with no lasting effects. If you are able-bodied and paranoid about keeping it that way, you can even participate as a control in a study at a nearby medical research facility or medical school.
Money Making Method Number Three
Discover Your Inner Artist
Sell pictures. If you have a good camera and a decent sense of light, color, and composition, you can take and sell stock images – i.e. nondescript images that lend themselves to many applications and are commonly used to illustrate online articles or products – with minimal effort. Stock photos of locations (a fire hydrant, a bare wall near an interesting tree, or anything you might find as a default background image on your computer) are easier to take, but stock photos of people (i.e. people arguing, people kissing, people laughing) usually sell for more, as they have more uses and require the written legal consent of your subjects. Hunt for a reputable stock photo dealer or database that will pay you fairly before signing on with anyone.
Design web images. By pairing good aesthetic sense and the use of design or photo-editing software, you can make and sell background graphics for social media pages, web logos, or computer icon packages. If you know or are willing to learn computer programming, seriously consider making web pages; programmers may be easy to come by, but programmers with an eye for beauty are another thing altogether.
Make and sell crafts. If you are even a little bit crafty, consider selling your goods on a site like Etsy. Though you can make more money on intricate projects (ex. an exquisitely woodburned gourd), even labor-light projects can bring in good money if you’re willing to produce them in high quantities. Who knows – if you do well, you might even be inspired to start a crafts business.