How to Make Money Out of Nothing
Lost my house, my business, my car, my bank account is empty, now what?
Yes.. this really happened to me - and more..
I had a bad year in 2009 - to say the least - the week that they towed my car away, I received the official foreclosure notice in the mail, along with a notification from the IRS that I was being audited. I could only take a deep breath and ride the wave that was building behind me. Things could have been worse - and for many people they really are. I'm blessed because I've always had good friends and a loving family - it always helps when you know that someone actually cares about you. But, some people don't even have that - at least they don't think that they do..
The reason for this HUB is to publish some Hope, for those that think that they've reached the end of the road - maybe you're only a few dollars away from being out on the street.. maybe you're behind on your mortgage, or behind on your rent, or just don't feel like there are enough hours in the day to make what you need to survive.
I've already sold everything that I had of any value - now what do I do?
When I started to feel the effects of the economy on my business, and realized that I was at that place of desperation - no real money coming in - I started to use craigslist to sell my belongings. Looking back, I probably should have kept my own things, or those things that were most important to me, and gone onto the next step. Hopefully I've caught you in time - don't get rid of everything to try to make ends meet - there's another option. Even if you don't have any cash to buy things to re-sell, which is what some people do for a living - Read on...
Don't sell Your stuff, Sell Other Peoples Stuff!
Did you know that there are ton's of people out there with stuff that they'd like to get rid of, or sell.. but they're not like you. They don't get online and read hubpages, or use craigslist, or ebay, or any of those sites... I read an article recently that said that 30% of american homes do not have internet - still! And of those that do, not everyone is internet savvy.
I'm making the assumption that you are because you did find this page..
I'm not going to bore you with a lot of detail here - but basically - if you need cash, and can post an ad on Craigslist - start off by posting an "I'll sell your stuff for Cash - I don't get paid unless your stuff sells" - or something similar - I put it in the "Wanted" section -
WANTED: YOUR Unwanted stuff to sell - I work on commission only - no upfront fee's"
Every time that I post that ad - I get replies. The first time that I did it, I got a call from a guy with some old equipment - I went to his property, took some pictures, posted them on craigslist and made $250 in commission within 3 days of posting that ad - I asked for 25% commission. Some people will pay you up to 50% commission to sell there things.. I eventually got picky and put a minimum in my ad - I work with items that have an estimated value of $1000 or more.
How do you value an item? Find out all of the details about it - Make, Model, Year, Condition, get pictures of it - Use Ebay, Google, and Craigslist (other cities) and you will find similar items and see what they sell for - start there.
If you're up for a challenge, like to do some research, and don't mind the unknown, this may be all that you need to do to make ends meet - place your ad when you need some extra cash, or keep an ad in place until you get overwhelmed -- pull the ad, then post it again later.
Word of mouth will get you business too..this is where you'll tap into the "offline" market - get started using online ads because they are free - but eventually to build your business, you may want to print some flyers and pass them door to door in neighborhoods that have older homes - you know.. the ones that have been around for a while and have had time to build up a lot of stuff :-)
Made $250 on this...
But I'm not a salesman - I don't like sales jobs... blah blah blah
Me either - and I used to own a marketing company, although it was direct mail marketing because I don't like face to face sales strategies either...
So bear with me - if I can do it, you can do it.
Selling things online is very "behind the scenes", and even introverts like myself can have fun doing it. Most of the people that you meet and talk to will be calling you, you're not pushing yourself on them. So far, I haven't run into any weird, or uncomfortable situations. Remember, you'll always have the right to pass on a deal, or tell someone that you don't think that you can help them if it's something weird that they want to sell (enough said there)
Ok - So far I'm liking this, What else can I do to make some cash?
Cash is always nice to have - so... If you've got some big deals in the works, you probably have some free time on your hands while you're waiting for the big items to sell...
This is what I do with my free time - FLEA MARKETS, YARD SALES, SWAP MEETS
If you are the type of person that CAN set up a yardsale, or go to a local flea market - don't miss this opportunity to make some cash too.
You can just as easily get FREE STUFF TO SELL, as you can get STUFF TO SELL ON COMMISSION.
How? -- place an ad on Craigslist offering FREE CLEANOUTS - your unwanted things in exchange for my labor
You'll get calls - especially from people that have yard sales themselves.. most people do this to clean house - they really don't want to drag that stuff back into the basement - so alert them in advance by posting an ad on Craigslist that you'll come pack it up for them when they're through and haul it off. If you want to get competitive, offer them some cash too. Although that's not really necessary. When you get a little extra money for postage, you can also send a letter to the "garage sale" ads letting them know about your service. Most people post an ad on craigslist, or in the local paper about a week ahead of the yard sale - use this as your mailing list. Be careful not to "spam" the ads on CL - replying to an ad with a service offer could be considered spam by Craigslist - but sending them a letter via the postal service doesn't fall into that category.
You may need a pick up truck, mini van, or cargo van at some point... but if you're just getting started, pack the trunk of your car as full as possible - use the roof if you have a roof rack, and get really good at packing stuff. Think of any friends or family that you have that might be willing to help you too if they own a pick up or van.
FREE CLEAN OUTS - We LOVE your CLUTTER!
Button it up - run a tight ship
Ok.. if you've opted to gather FREE JUNK to re-sell - go through these things carefully. If you see anything old, vintage, rustic, collectible, look it up online before you haul it to a flea market.
Flea markets are great places to sell odds and ends - and are also great places to meet some very unique people who could probably teach you a lot about what's valuable and what's not... so take advantage when you're there and look at what everyone else is selling too.
For the items that appear to be worth $10 or more and fall into the collectible, vintage, or antique category - think about setting up a store on Ebay, Bonanzle, or Etsy - there's quite a few others too. If you can get about 100 items posted at your online store at any given time, you should see a steady stream of income start to build. For typical household items, tools, electronics, equipment, etc.. use craigslist and sell it locally. I offer delivery for a few dollars more in my craigslist ads - especially if you're in a metropolitan area where many people rely on public transportation - you'll make sales because you're willing to deliver.
Take good pictures, use good descriptions, do your research, and you will do well!
One man's trash is another man's treasure...
I want to sum it all up by first of all encouraging you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are so many people out there that are facing financial challenges.. don't ever feel like a failure because your situation has changed.. just press on.
I want to share one last "secret" with you - that really shouldn't be a secret at all..
My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - He is why I was able to weather the storm that I faced.. I knew when it happened that I was being tested - I tried to be faithful to the Lord, and at times got down right whiney -- but the Lord never gave up on me...I did know that He still loved me, and was looking out for me even when my faith was running thin - I never went without food, clothing or a roof over my head.
I've learned a lot of lessons in the past couple of years - that I will never forget. If anything, I've learned to be compassionate, giving, and patient..and I definitely know who my Provider is. I hope this little Hubpage has given you hope too.. because that's what you need.
So.... DON'T GIVE UP!! :-) Contact me if you need some help or encouragement!!
How to make money out of nothing II
- How to make money out of nothing II
I recently posted this follow up hub - my how things have progressed in the past 2 years!