“I’m Not Working, Or Working as Much … HELP!” – My Reply to Our Most Popular Questions About Money ….
This is the number one question I get asked through private message is if I have pointers or ideas in how to make money or find jobs.
This is such a loaded question. I can say the obvious and say make sure to check local craigslist, Indeed, and just keep yourself in the job searching market. These are the normal basic things to do if yes you want to work, and if you are in an area that actually has a lot of work. I know, in MA where I live there is a lot of work floating around but that isn’t the case all over the country. Not to mention transportation and child care are serious issues.
But to be honest, I work for myself, and have for years now. I make more than 50k a year (on a good year) and live in a very trendy city (Salem, MA) that is expensive … and I’m a single mom of a teenage daughter. I used to work a normal 9-5 job where I paid a fortune in gas to commute to work and even more of a fortune for child care and after school care for just 1 child – at times I thought my God I am literally working to afford to have enough money to pay for child care so I can work, how nuts is that. Not to mention the stress of what to do if my daughter got sick, or if I had to go get her from school, the list goes on. The job market is not easy on family life especially if you are a single parent. And even the best job is not happy if you have to call out due to a sick child or unexpected day off and so on. This is something I think all parents go through.
So I am going to give you some ideas based on what I do to support myself, and what I have done. So this is truly tested and how I work day to day. And its work, this is not a get money easy and quick scheme.
Freelance Online Work – Upwork
For YEARS I did what is called freelance contract work online. This is when you use a site like upwork.com, freelancer.com, fiverr.com etc and put in letters requesting gigs for certain jobs posted. When you are chosen the money is taken by the site from the person who is going to pay you and they put it in escrow. And when the job is completed the site itself releases the money to you so both parties are happy and no one scams the other. I was skeptical about this at first but there is so many different jobs – everything from data mining information online, doing spreadsheets, data entry, personal assistant work to even more skilled higher paid gigs like game coding and app development If you can do it on a computer someone is looking for someone to do it and willing to pay. I swear by this! I have a friend who is a writer and he has been writing full time now from getting ghost writing jobs through upwork. The possibilities are endless.
I did tons of jobs. Hundreds. And I got paid very very well. And the sites do all the tax stuff for me and act as the employer so that headache was taken care of at the end of the year I didn’t have to pay contract taxes on each and every job. It was beyond awesome. I mostly used Upwork (formally elance). I did everything from working with book authors to pre-review novels and actually do a proofreading and mild editing work, to creating the actual amazon ebook files for their books when they were completed, graphic design work, web design, data entry, data mining, research, everything up to doing personal assistant work for business people that were too busy, the list is long. The point is I worked from home about 30 hours a week or less and usually made over $500 a week easy. If I wanted to make more I could just find more jobs to take. I worked any hours I wanted (Night Owl here) and it was great in the mom department so I was always available there.
I could have stayed with that but in January of 2016 I decided to give an app a try called Poshmark. I was putting items up on Ebay and thinking about selling vintage jewelry on Etsy now that they had a market for that on there (other than just artisan items). I listed 10 items, vintage clothes and jewelry and within 48 hours I sold 3 items. Boom, just like that. I was hooked. I got excited, I got items ready, took pics listed the items and sold sold sold. And it happened fast. And consistent Mostly because how the site is set up. They strive for you to share and interact with other sellers like Instagram. So the more your items are shared the more exposure you get the more followers you get, the more your items get liked, the more you sell. In the first month I used Poshmark I made $350 I was over the moon ecstatic. I thought this is beyond awesome I will do this to add to my workload to bring in more money. So I will do upwork and poshmark. At the time that was my game plan and it worked great. Even starting out the longest I went without a sale was 6 days. And the slowest sales I was ever at in the first 6 months was I only sold 5 things in 1 week, that was my lowest selling week.
As I used Poshmark and got better at it, grew my followers and learned some great techniques I was selling much more. The more you have listed the better. I have been selling on Poshmark for 15 months now and I make about $500+ a week on it, and I mail out about 45 packages a week and its consistent. I make more from Poshmark easily than I do from Upwork or the other sites. So I kept a few contracts I have had for years as steady contracts and I do Poshmark. On a typical month I bring in over $5,000 from all incomes in total. This is not what I call easy money, I still work. I work every day, like a normal job. I have a routine I stick to no matter what, I do not let myself slack, I do NOT think oh I can take time off, I make sure something is done every single day and I make good money.
Poshmark is great for a number of reasons. The reason I choose it over ebay or etsy or any other similar site is because they handle all the shipping and customer service. So when someone buys an item or bundle (I’ll explain in a moment), they pay the site for shipping. The site sends you the shipping label for flat rate. They charge you a flat % fee, after the sale, which ends up being cheaper than ebay so it works for me. In the end, not having to pay for shipping costs or go back and forth with customers on shipping is amazing. AND, any and all disputes they handle. Items show up broken, customer not happy with items, they complain about whatever, they go through Poshmark not you. Poshmark even offers a paid service to authenticate very high end designer items so if a buyer wants to make sure they are paying $3,000 for whatever designer and its legit, Poshmark will actually handle that for you to give both buyer and seller peace of mind but also saves the seller from having to deal with a buyer trying to claim its a fake after the fact. Poshmark will handle returns but usually they refund and pay both buyer/seller in good faith so everyone is happy. The service is the best I have ever seen. I swear by it and so does thousands of other people who use the app. Not to mention you can transfer your balance to Paypal and get paid as often as you like no minimums or you can choose a check mailed to you but Paypal is the best bet there.
When Poshmark started it was just women’s clothing, accessories, makeup, etc. They have since added Mens clothing and childrens clothing. No toys, electronics, household items allowed – its mostly clothing accessories and beauty. That is it. This includes shoes, purses, bags and so on. Now, bundles. This is when people buy more than one item. As a buyer you can set what is called bundle discounts. My discount is 25% off of 2 or more items. They range from 5%-30% on 2 to 5 items depending on the combo you would like to offer. And there is a feature called offers where buyers can send in an offer on an item or bundle. These features is how a seller makes the most money. With the type of discount I offer its rare someone buys just one item from me, they usually buy a bunch. A bundle will only have one shipping charge regardless of how many items in that bundle. Because of how I do my discounts I have a very high percentage of return customers.
Another sure way to make a ton of sales on Poshmark is if you lower the price of any item you have by at least 10%, Poshmark notifies all people who have “liked” that item that it was put on sale – and they offer a discounted shipping price for one hour. Oh, you can see how that would definitely work in your favor. Say you have 20 people who like an item (sometimes an item can have hundreds of likes), all 20 will get notified that its on sale, they will see that it was liked by 20 people and if they wanted that item they rush to buy it. If you have a good bundle discount they rush to not only buy that one item but to shop to make a bundle. When I put items on sale in my closet I put a ton of items on sale so I can literally watch the sales and offers pour in. In one night I can easily sell 25 orders and make over $400 in sales. Just from that one trick. Poshmark will only do the shipping discount one time a week so you can put the item on sale every day, so I choose the weekend because thats usually payday and when people have time to go through the app and shop. You can use the app on any device AND online, but you can only list items on a phone or tablet. You cannot list items online. With so much access it is huge. So people can sit at their computer and shop too, not just their phones.
Below is my “Posh Stats”. Right now I only have 477 items listed. I try to keep it to 500 or more but sold a lot of items in the last few days and will be listing new items shortly. I sell lots of vintage jewelry and vintage couture clothing along with high end cosmetics. I buy from large estate lots, thrift shops, even huge lots on ebay at a huge discount or just my personal collection that im cleaning out. I take the time to make sure items are in perfect condition and cleaned up before listing and make over 800% profit on most items so I can afford easily to give bundle discounts, etc because in the end its all profit if I can get 500 items of vintage jewelry for less than $50. Some of that jewelry is going to be high end signed that I get $50 a single item for alone, some will just be nice trendy pieces I can make $10 from easily. In the end its all profit. But even if you just sell out of your own closet and jewelry box like many people do – to clean out what they no longer use and wear, it is worth giving a try for a way to supplement your income. Here is a link to my Poshmark page if you want to check it out! If you decide to start selling (or even just buying) add me!
So if you are under-employed, un-employed, retired or just looking for extra income. It is possible. Regardless of where you live, if you have access to a computer and a smartphone, it can be done. Nowadays you can get a smartphone for less than $25 in most stores. And the ideas above are how I make money. I know many people’s whose lives changed dramatically by using apps like Uber or Lyft and making money driving others. There are so many ways now to make money, in legitimate ways, from home so no matter what you can make sure you have funds coming in to survive and even be very comfortable.
I hope I answered some questions that have been coming in. But mostly, I hope I gave some of you ideas for making money and depending less on the job market or lack of jobs in a location. Good luck everyone. I am going to put a list of useful links below.
Poshmark – Buy & Sell Online Market!
Etsy – Buy & Sell Online Market
Ebay – Buy & Sell Online Market
Upwork – Freelance Work
Fiverr – Freelance Work
FiverUp – Freelance Work
Zeerk – Freelance Work
Gigbucks – Freelance Work
Freelancer – Freelance Work
SEOClerks – Freelance Work
Paypal – If you have not signed up, get $5 for FREE.