Jay Jay Ghatt Empowering online digital entrepreneurs and professionals to create great things online

Furloughed: 7 Legit Ways to Make Real Extra Income During Govt Shutdown

Sadly, we here in the United States are 5 weeks into the longest government shutdown in history. If you reading and hear the stories from some of the 800,000 people who are negatively impacted by this furlough, you know that people are really struggling out here with no income to pay bills now they are making no money. I’ve heard tales of people selling their cars, lining up at generous meal giveaways and taking advantage of other cost-saving options and offers being made available because the reality is that a lot of us in America live paycheck to paycheck. The harrowing reality is that 78% of federal workers live paycheck to paycheck.

Time To Start Building Multiple Income Streams

At this time, it’s important to start thinking about figuring out how to create multiple streams of income or passive income for times like this, for layoffs and other unforeseen circumstances. When you’re relying on one source, when it dries up or gets taken away, we find ourselves in a hard position. I put together 7 ways that families (and individuals) can make real legit money on the side or passively while also working full time. WATCH THE VIDEO COMPANION VIDEO HERE:
In tough times, the income from these other gigs can totally supplement the household income.

Online Businesses Or Side Gig

An online business is great because, for a lot of them, you do not have to leave your home and physically move to run it. These types of businesses or side gigs come in many forms from online boutiques, blogging and editing, doing virtual assistant to proofreading and virtual coaching and consultants to writing and editing content. A lot of people who are federal workers already do some of these things and have these skills from their day jobs so it’s not too much heavy lifting or a learning curve to just do it on the side. The following are 7 legit businesses or side gigs you can start while you are furloughed.

1. Copyediting/Blogging/Writing

Copywriting, Blogging, Editing, Proofreading and requires you to have some skill at writing, editing but if you do any of these at work already, you are halfway there. Writers.Work promises to pay $20-$75 for any level of writing skill. It is a relatively new app but has gotten decent reviews from users who have booked gigs. Blogger Kristen and Practical Mommy has a post with 5 Legit Freelance Writing Companies you should check out!

2. Freelance Non-Writing Gigs Fiverr or UPwork

There are a few places that pair up with micro biz owners with people with all sorts of skills from Video Editing to Songwriting to Clerical Work and Design. If you can impersonate a celebrity, proofread, create a nice resume, or work as a virtual assistant. On Fiverr, you used to be required to charge just $5 but now the site has lifted the charge cap. Fiverr is now among the most popular of the gig economy websites for freelancers. Personally, I’ve hired folks on Fiverr to create pitch decks, convert logos, create logos, do data entry work, design my YouTube channel header and intro and outro vids, and more! It’s my go to and for the few gigs that didn’t work out, they cost so little that the loss was nominal. SIGN UP TO OFFER SERVICES ON FIVERR I also used UpWork when it was Elance and hired a wonderful woman to convert my ebook into the iBook format and get it approved! You can see one of my books here! By the time we were done, I had paid her about $1500 for the total gig. That would pay a lot of bills! Even if you start today, if you can get at least one client to leave a good review and rating, you’re on your way.

3. Sell Stuff Online

A lot of the items you see being sold on Amazon.com or on your fave online boutique are actually manufactured and shipped from Asia though the owners of the Shops that market and promote their shops are right here in the United States. These enterprising individuals make money in their sleep after conducting some market research to determine what they think people want to buy or coming up with an idea of something they’d like to sell. You can too and have a shop up and running by this weekend. There are several ways to do this.

T-Shirt, Mugs or Pillows Third Party Print-On Demand Merchant

There are a lot of places now that will let you sell customized products to customers on an as needed basis or in small batches. Teespring is among one of the popular ones. I use Printful. Amazon lets you design and sell too from its new service. Cute and quirky sayings demand a premium price in today’s world where people want to be cool and different.

Sell Through Your Own Website

Step A: Build a Quick WebSite If you don’t already know how to create a WordPress website or have someone you know who can set one up for you, you can totally do it yourself, and get a brand new website for your shop up and running with little work using HostGator‘s new Website Builder tool, a full-featured website building and hosting tool with an easy to understand, drag-and-drop page builder. You’ll be ready to go in a few steps because it was created for anyone who has an idea for a website and wants a frustration-free solution to build and launch a website with ease. It also comes with some of the basics you need, such as included website hosting, security basics like an SSL certificate, and a free domain name.

Step B: Pick Products to Sell 

All they have to do after you decide what you want to sell is figure out where to get it from. A lot of dropshippers partner with a wholesale vendor in Asia via Ali Express.  Or Alibaba. It’s a massive retailer similar to Amazon.com but the prices are super super cheap. Some people have branding deals where they coordinate it so their Asian shopkeeper supplier applies personalized branding label so the customer gets the product with the brand of the shop they purchased it from. That usually has extra costs. AliExpress is really easy to order from and you can communicate directly with manufacturers in Asia.

Step C: Pick a Platform

The next step is to set up a means to accept orders, payments, and ship orders. There are a few options but three are most popular: Shopify  The most widely used platform is Shopify, which is actually the site of choice for over 200,000 stores large and small. Most of the small stores you shop from today are run on Shopify’s platform. They have a free trial period then charge like $30 a month for their lowest tier of service. (I show you how to launch a Shopify store here) WooCommerce: Another popular option is to use a WordPress plugin like Woo Commece which is what I used for my Bellyitch Mom Charm Store. It’s super easy to add products and you can also integrate it with dropshipping and wholesale sites like Printful, TeeSpring, and others. Amazon by Fulfillment Amazon makes it super easy for those who do not want to even bother setting up their own ecommerce website. You can sell directly via its locked market. It’s Amazon’s way of cashing in on the Drop Shipment market by offering up their platform of 197M monthly visitors to Amazon.com.
Think about it. People search everyday. So you have your supplier stock a certain amount of merchandise at Amazon’s fulfillment centers around the nation and and Amazon ships the products to your customer. It’s a faster way to get the customer’s order there.C Pros: You get less work. And dont’ have to handle the products you sell at all and you get the credibility of Amazon’s brand. Cons. Amazon charges hefty fees and have very strict rules and can kick you off its platform easily if you mess up in any way.

Step D: Make Money

Dropshipping can be extremely lucrative, depending on the markup. Check out this example below of a LilyVanity online boutique. The shop purchases embellished flats that cost the shop owner $9.15 the online shopkeeper sold once for $79.99!!!
The comments under the Facebook ad the company placed had all their past and future customers clammoring over these shoes! A lot of the buyers were clueless to the fact that if they went to AliExpress they could have gotten the exact same item for much less.

IN PERSON GIGS

4. Sell Your Time And Labor

Skilled Labor:

For those who have actual skills like plumbing, electrical work, housecleaning, yardwork, sewing and more, you can sign up with one of those task apps like Task Rabbit, Handy or others and offer up your services to people who use those apps. I have personally hired Taskers to mount ceiling fans, install smoke detecters, and do yard work. The pay is between $47 to $115 per hour.

Non- Skilled Labor

Here are some of the non difficult skills that you can offer customers on Task Rabbit, for example.
  • Mount a TV
  • Move Boxes
  • Hang Paintings
  • Assemble Funiture
  • Install TV
  • Mount Shelves
These small gigs can add up and cover grocery bills or another household expense. It can beat staying home doing nothing. Grocery Shopper: You can even sign up with Instant Cart to shop for groceries for people who order then using that app. An Instacart Personal Shopper can earn $18.96 per hour and the average weekly par ranges from approximately $427 per week for Store Shopper to $1,000 per week for Messenger. You might not want to grocery shop, but how about delivering food via Uber’s newest venture, Uber Eats? Take trips for a few hours in the mornings, every night, or just on weekends—it’s up to you. You are your own boss and you can choose when and how much you work. Depending on the rules in your city, you may be able to deliver with your car, bike or scooter. Sign up and start earning extra cash tomorrow! Uber Eats pays between $8 to $12 per delivery for drivers who pick up meals from restaurants and deliver them to customers. Set your own hours. SIGN UP HERE!

5. Rent space in your home

Another passive way to earn money is to rent out the space in your home to out-of-town visitors and become an AirBNB or HomeAway host. You can earn from $200 to $10,000 per month. SIGN UP TO BECOME AN AIRBNB HOST or a HOME AWAY HOST at least LIST YOUR HOME today. You can always change your mind later. My partner Airbnb is offering extra financial support to federal branch employees who share their homes thru the company. Those who share their home for three nights between Dec. 18, 2018 and March 18, 2019 will get paid for an extra night, up to $110. SET UP YOUR ACCOUNT

6. Drive Uber or Lyft

If you have a relatively new’ish vehicle in good condition, you can also sign up to drive for Uber or Lyft. Set your hours. Earnings vary for Uber drivers on a city-to-city basis. However, research shows that the average driver earns $8.80-$11 per hour of driving for Uber after accounting for driving expenses. New York drivers earn an average of $29.34/hour, while Nashville drivers earn $8.11/hour.

7. Sell Your Old Stuff

There are several places where you can sell your stuff. There is always eBay which was a pioneer in online sales of used items but which can still be time-consuming to set up. Now we have several mobile apps that have helped people bring in major bucks. The following excerpt from sites like Techilicious may be helpful and talk about 8 places to sell your old stuff

1. Decluttr

Decluttr is a mobile app that provides a fast, easy and free way to sell and Buy CDs, DVDs, Games, Books, Mobile Phones and Tech. There are no auction fees and they pay the next day and they pay to ship your old DVDs, CDs and Games and send you a pre-paid box! You cannot go wrong because you can accept or reject the offer for the items. A lot of it will be sitting in your shelves anyway. As long as you’re home, you might as well go through your house and scrounge up any stuff you think you can sell and start stacking those offers. It could add up! Best for: Digital devices, books and tech.

SIGN UP TO START SELLING YOUR STUFF

2. Poshmark

Poshmark app is the place to sell your high end monogram handbag you never use, old Louboutins and rarely used couture items you cannot fit anymore or simply do not like. Major shoppers probably have handfuls of unworn clothes in their closets. People have made full time income from this site. It functions similar to to eBay in that it allows people to buy and sell clothing and accessories with ease making it an ideal platform to offload some of the unwanted gifts during the holiday season. Since launching in 2011, it has transformed into a community of five million sellers, who so far have been paid out $1 billion, according to Poshmark.
Poshmark takes a $2.95 commission on all sales under $15. It takes a 20% commission on any sales above $15.

Best for: High end clothing DOWNLOAD IT at iTunes TODAY!

3. Offer Up

If Craigslist is an online version of the classifieds, OfferUp is a tech-savvy version of Craigslist. It sports a gorgeously intuitive, picture-heavy interface for buyers to find anything from appliances and antiques to clothing to electronics in their respective locations.

Download OfferUp on iTunes.

4. Tradesy

This sophisticated clothes reselling marketplace focuses on branded fashion from j. Crew to Louis Vuitton, with items displayed in a magazine-esque design that showcases editor’s picks and categories such as “unique and surprising shoes.” Sellers can compile a personalized homepage or “closet” showing items for sale as well items they’ve liked from other sellers. Users can follow sellers and brands in order to keep track of new items. Best for: Designer bags and accessories, with somewhat lesser demand for high-end clothing and shoes.

Get it on the Play Story or iTunes Today!

5. Vinted

There are dozens of fashion reselling sites out there, but Vinted offers an additional feature: the option to swap items without incurring any fees. If you prefer to make some cold hard cash, it’s also an easy option for putting stuff up for sale. Where high-fashion-centric sites require sellers to send in their prospective items for checking before sending on to the buyer – thus lengthening the time before you get paid – Vinted lets sellers and buyers conduct their own exchanges, with seller ratings and the option to follow particular sellers and brands. Best for: Clothes that are in good condition, from mass market fashion to designer brands, though the bulk of listings seem to be for mainstream fashion.

Download Vinted from Play or Google Play

6. Chairish

Chairish is a beautifully designed site and iOS app focus on the reselling of unique or designer homeware, as well as antiques and jewelry. The site’s homepage shows timely curations of the available products, such as barware in time for Father’s Day, or items from “New Miami Sellers.” A couple hundred new items are posted each day, with the site’s catalog filtered by designers, styles, and cities, so that buyers can hunt down anything art-deco in Chicago, for instance. Best for: Vintage or antique furniture, house accessories, or jewelry in good condition.

VISIT CHAIRISH

7. Facebook Marketplace

With nearly 1.5 billion users, the reach of Facebook Marketplace can’t be beat. Marketplace defaults to listings in your local area, so you don’t have to worry about shipping your item. That makes it great for larger items, like furniture and appliances. But there is a brisk trade in a wide range of products.  Best for: Nearly anything in your house, including big items such as appliances and furniture and smaller items like clothing or accessories.

FIND FACEBOOK TAB in FACEBOOK!

8. Craigslist

Over 54 million people use Craigslist every month, posting anything from jobs to event listings. The buying and selling of secondhand goods represent a brisk trade on an overflowing marketplace that still looks like a 90s-era message board. It’s often the place to pick up a bargain from people who just want to get rid of their stuff. Best for: Nearly anything in your house, particularly big things such as appliances and furniture. Smaller items like clothing or accessories are better suited to other sites

Download Craigslist Preferred AP

Poshmark

Poshmark app is the place to sell your high end monogram handbag you never use, old Louboutins and rarely used couture items you cannot fit anymore or simply do not like. Major shoppers probably have handfuls of unworn clothes in their closets. People have made full time income from this site. It functions similar to to eBay in that it allows people to buy and sell clothing and accessories with ease making it an ideal platform to offload some of the unwanted gifts during the holiday season. Since launching in 2011, it’s transformed into a community of five million sellers, who so far have been paid out $1 billion, according to Poshmark.
 Poshmark takes a $2.95 commission on all sales under $15. It takes a 20% commission on any sales above $15. Best for: High end clothing DOWNLOAD IT at iTunes TODAY!

Offer Up

If Craigslist is an online version of the classifieds, OfferUp is a tech-savvy version of Craigslist. It sports a gorgeously intuitive, picture-heavy interface for buyers to find anything from appliances and antiques to clothing to electronics in their respective locations. Download OfferUp on iTunes.

Tradesy

This sophisticated clothes reselling marketplace focuses on branded fashion from j. Crew to Louis Vuitton, with items displayed in a magazine-esque design that showcases editor’s picks and categories such as “unique and surprising shoes.” Sellers can compile a personalized homepage or “closet” showing items for sale as well items they’ve liked from other sellers. Users can follow sellers and brands in order to keep track of new items. Best for: Designer bags and accessories, with somewhat lesser demand for high-end clothing and shoes. Get it on the Play Story or iTunes Today!

Vinted

There are dozens of fashion reselling sites out there, but Vinted offers an additional feature: the option to swap items without incurring any fees. If you prefer to make some cold hard cash, it’s also an easy option for putting stuff up for sale. Where high-fashion-centric sites require sellers to send in their prospective items for checking before sending on to the buyer – thus lengthening the time before you get paid – Vinted lets sellers and buyers conduct their own exchanges, with seller ratings and the option to follow particular sellers and brands. Best for: Clothes that are in good condition, from mass market fashion to designer brands, though the bulk of listings seem to be for mainstream fashion.

Chairish

Chairish is a beautifully designed site and iOS app focus on the reselling of unique or designer homeware, as well as antiques and jewelry. The site’s homepage shows timely curations of the available products, such as barware in time for Father’s Day, or items from “New Miami Sellers.” A couple hundred new items are posted each day, with the site’s catalog filtered by designers, styles, and cities, so that buyers can hunt down anything art-deco in Chicago, for instance. Best for: Vintage or antique furniture, house accessories, or jewelry in good condition.

Facebook Marketplace

With nearly 1.5 billion users, the reach of Facebook Marketplace can’t be beat. Marketplace defaults to listings in your local area, so you don’t have to worry about shipping your item. That makes it great for larger items, like furniture and appliances. But there is a brisk trade in a wide range of products.  Best for: Nearly anything in your house, including big items such as appliances and furniture and smaller items like clothing or accessories.

Craigslist

Over 54 million people use Craigslist every month, posting anything from jobs to event listings. The buying and selling of secondhand goods represent a brisk trade on an overflowing marketplace that still looks like a 90s-era message board. It’s often the place to pick up a bargain from people who just want to get rid of their stuff. Best for: Nearly anything in your house, particularly big things such as appliances and furniture. Smaller items like clothing or accessories are better suited to other sites BONUS Opinion Surveys and Cash Back Programs I personally have not participated in opinion surveys for cash or programs that pay you back money when you shop, but I see them all the time and a few folks I know use them and swear by them for getting extra money so I will share here but am not endorsing. EBATES The way it works is that you shop for products you ordinarily would be shopping for anyway through this website. The companies, brands pay ebates for sending shoppers their way (even though technically, you would have been shopping with them anyway), then Ebates splits the commission with you. It’s totally legal though it seems scammy. shrug But like I said before a few blogger mom friends of mine say they get decent checks from $100 to $500 each month from eBates so I’m not mad at them. You can SIGN UP FOR EBATES to check it out HERE! Opinion Outpost This is the most popular and most used opinion survey companies. The way it works is that companies pay them to conduct surveys on consumers. They then hold raffles for prizes and money or they pay outright for each survey you complete. If you have extra time on your hands and don’t mind spending it this way, I can see it being another avenue for earning money but sounds like small change to me and I do not know about being entered for a “chance” to win. I think when times are tough, you’d need more of a financial gurantee but you never know. Try it and SEE if it’s worth it!

Be Safe and Watch out for Scams

While there are plenty of legitimate and reasonably lucrative ways to make money at home, there are some scammers who are out to take your money. As you look for work, watch for red flags like companies or websites with no contact information. Also, for local sales apps, never agree to meet a buyer in a remote location and go with a friend to avoid being robbed or scammed. Some other signs of trouble are if a company asks you to pay them a fee to get started or if a position seems too good to be true. Once you find a company that you like, research them to see if anything pops up about scams or bad business practices.
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Jeneba “JJ Ghatt”,is editor at Jenebapeaks.com, an online hub where she helps social media butterfly who empowers digital entrepreneurs and professionals to create great things online at her online learning platform Digital Publishing Academy.  She is an editor of tech blog Techyaya.com and founded the annual 200 Black Women to Follow On Twitter List. Read her bio, then get all of her online & digital biz startup advice and tools in one spot here!