Some More Ways to Make Extra Money
By Steve Gillman
At twenty-one, I was looking for ways to make extra cash,
but didn't want the usual jobs. I was willing to try just about
anything, so when my brother's towing business got a contract
to repossess cars, I was ready to be a "repo man."
Before long I was prowling in the night with my brother, looking
for and legally "stealing" cars.
I was paid for each car we took, so I had a lot of motivation
to find them and get them. Was it dangerous? Well, at various
times we were chased by a crowd, had the window of the tow truck
pulled out, and had a guns pulled on us. Actually, it was fun
at the time, but the following are some less dangerous ways to
make extra money.
While camping at a desert hot spring one winter, my wife and
I met a man who sold used stuffed animals on the side of the
highway. He bought the stuffed animals at thrift stores. Originally,
he even got the stores to give him the animals, with the agreement
that he would return with the money or the animals the next week.
Many small towns sell a vendor's permit cheaply ($18/year,
for example). Otherwise he set up his stand until he was chased
out of the county. He says he was never fined, and claims he
sold $4,000 in stuffed animals his first month. Maybe he was
exaggerating, but because of him we sold used stuffed animals
in our flea market stands with some success.
Hand-made walking sticks were a better seller for us. One
July and August I sold over a thousand dollars worth, alongside
our other items. I made them from trees near home, adding handgrips
made from recycled leather jackets. They cost about 50 cents
to make, and sold for $6 to $26.
At flea markets, we also discovered why so many people were
pulling things out of the piles of stuff on the curbs of our
town during spring clean-up. Many people throw away good radios,
furniture, toys and more. The flea market entrepreneurs ran around
gathering it up to clean and sell. It cost gas for the car or
truck, and around $10 per day for a spot at the market.
For several years, I used to put up the cash to buy cars.
I did this for a couple different friends. They knew their cars,
and I had cash. For example, when my brother saw a repossessed
truck for sale for $900, and knew it was worth at least $2000,
I put up the money to buy it. The truck sold for $2100. After
expenses, it netted us $900, which we split. $450 on a $900 investment
in ten days is a decent return.
An acquaintance used to find fantastic buys on used restaurant
equipment. Now, if he had used his shopping skills to look for
more than just what he needed for his little coffee shop, he
could have easily made a few hundred dollars extra money each
week. He just needed to buy and quickly resell ovens, coolers
and display cases.
My own car selling example shows that you don't need to know
much about the value of things to make money investing in them
for resale. Just find someone who does know enough. Then invest
your money and collect your share of the profits. It has to be
one of the easier ways to make extra cash.
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