Going freelance or starting your own business is expensive. Especially if it’s a new area for you and you have no connections. Start-up costs can include website, branding, training and memberships and can quickly escalate.
It can take time to build credibility and you may have to work for free before you get any paying clients. Whilst you’re waiting to get your business up and running, you may feel the need to supplement your income.
But if all your time, money and mental energy is being zapped up by your new venture, the last thing you need is to invest more of your time, money and energy in earning some extra cash.
Save your best self for your pet passions and family and take a look at three easy, low stress ways to make a little extra cash from home.
Start selling on eBay
If you work from home or left work to stay at home with the kids, you may have formal office wear including coats and bags you don’t need anymore. Chances are someone on eBay might. There’s a strong market for second hand luxury goods, but be prepared. High value sales can lend to more negotiating, so be prepared to barter.
Brand new items with tags also have a high chance of selling. So, if you have any unwanted gifts lurking around in your cupboard gathering dust, you could fetch a tidy sum for them.
eBay terminology can be a little intimidating for the beginner. Bidding? Listings? Sounds complicated. But actually, it’s really simple to get started as a casual seller on eBay.
All you have to do is get registered online and go through the step–by–step process of selling your first item. You create a description, upload some pictures and set a price.
It’s even easier if you download the app as everything is in one place. It’s a cinch to keep up to date on bids and respond to direct offers in this way. There’s even a nifty feature allowing you to ‘tidy up’ photos by removing the background.
With auctions you set the duration of the bid and a minimum price that you are not willing to go below. At the end of the auction the highest bid wins the listing.
You get 1000 free listings a month which is more than enough for the casual seller. Postage is included in the price the buyer pays and you can usually choose a first or second class postage option.
When setting your price, it’s worth bearing in mind that eBay take 10 per cent of your final sale and 3.4 per cent for payments made by PayPal.
In order to get the most money from your sale, don’t waste your precious pennies buying postal packaging from the Post Office. It might be convenient but there are more cost-effective options available at discount stores and online like Amazon and, errr, eBay.
Complete paid surveys
There are lots of companies out there that reward you for completing surveys. Many offer vouchers and gift cards and some also offer PayPal pay-outs.
Some are more reputable than others and offer a better user experience on their website, whilst others require you to traipse through pages of adverts before you get to the actual survey.
Two of the more well-established ones are Life Points and Opinion Outpost and they both work in similar ways. For every survey you complete, you accrue points. The longer the survey the more points you rack up.
There are often additional points available for completing a more comprehensive profile and taking quizzes that help the company with their own market research. You can also opt to be contacted by companies wanting to recruit participants for online focus groups and get extra points that way.
Once you have acquired the set number of points for a minimum payment, (£5 for Life Points and £2.50 for Opinion Outpost) you can request a payment via PayPal. It can take up to 7 days with Life Points but Opinion Outpost is just a couple of working days.
The speed at which you get to the minimal pay-out threshold depends on how quickly and consistently you complete the surveys and how many extra opportunities you take part in.
Many of these companies say you can earn up to £300 per month, but this is based on spending a significant amount of time completing surveys. If you spend an hour a day completing surveys you can expect to earn about £30-40 a week.
It’s not the most well paid or satisfying work, but it’s an option if you want to earn some easy money. Also, if you’re spending the last hour before bed scrolling through random Instagram feeds or falling down an internet rabbit hole, why not use that time to make a little cash if you want to.
Sell gold online
Gold prices are at an all–time high, so it is a great time to sell if you have been thinking of it. Because of the Coronavirus lockdown many people can’t visit their high street jewelers or if they can they may not be happy with the price they have been quoted.
Cash for gold websites are an option in this case and some offer quick pay–outs. Always check for credibility by reading reviews and asking friends and family for recommendations.
The process is usually quick and simple. You fill in an online form detailing the weight and carat of your jewelry and post it via Royal Mail special delivery to the buyer.
They weigh and test the metal on their end and get back to you with a quote. If you are happy with the price and give them the thumbs up, they will go ahead and melt the metal. A payment, usually PayPal, is made to you as quickly as the next working day.
It is worth mentioning that some cash for gold websites don’t deal in gems and precious stones. So, if your jewelry has any, either get them taken out before sending or check with the buyer if they are able to return them to you before they melt it down.
Another consideration is that you will only get the value of the weight of the gold. Cash for gold websites are only interested in the metal and their quote will be based on the weight. They won’t take into account inclusions and design of your jewelry.
None of these suggestions are meant to be a replacement for a full-time income. If you’ve left full time work to be a stay at home mother it can be an adjustment going from financial independence to dependence. These options are easy and flexible ways in which you can earn some extra cash for yourself and your family, raise some seed money for your next project or tie you over whilst you’re shooting for the stars.
Author: Sana Ali
Sana Ali spent a decade working as a communications adviser before leaving city life to be a stay at home mum and content writer. She works with other female business owners to write compelling copy for their website, blogs and social media. She posts updates on her quest to ‘do life’ simply on .