Author Topic: Alternative Income Ideas  (Read 9659 times)

Offline TxGal

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Alternative Income Ideas
« on: March 28, 2012, 11:20:34 PM »
I need alternative/creative ideas for making money because I lost my job and have been unable to find a job in my very rural area unless I want to work at Walmart for $8hr (have done it before but HATE it):

I have a college degree in Business Admin (currently, that piece of paper is not helping me), I'm a state-certified teacher, I homeschooled my children 20+ years
I can do "stuff" like this: create websites and use social media, teach adult classes, teach children 3Rs, internet research, seamstress, home skills--cooking with healthy ingredients, food storage--canning and dehydrating, etc

Ideally, I'd like to work from home using the internet, also interested in teaching classes in cooking using health ingredients and beekeeping

Surely, there are others in a similar situation--please share some ideas!!!

Offline fasteddie

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 12:29:09 AM »
T. G.  I am kinda in a simular situation , exept its worse I think I am working 18 hours a day plus for less than 500 per month, fricken crazy. Here are some of my ideas that I haven't been able to get of the ground yet but I won't give up so maybe someday..... open an online store and partner up with ebay have some new cool niche type items that you sell that you don't even stock, when you receive an order the manufacturer ships the item to your customer. Also attend local auctions in your area and find some goodies to sell on ebay. Or maybe start a you tube chanel showcasing your skills like canning, solar etc. I allready have a couple .com names but no websites yet like thehomesteadersstore.com and sunrisesolar.com and electricwindgenerator.com are 3 of my names but I haven't been able to figure out the rest so far. If you think of anything please share because I need a change to.

Offline TxGal

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 09:08:41 AM »
Yes, that sounds crazy! I have a friend in a niche area on eBay that does make a living and I helped her in her business for awhile. At this point, I believe unless you can go BIG on eBay, it's pretty tough to make it. Another alternative is a site called bonanza.com; they don't charge for listing and take only a small cut for sales. It's not as big as eBay, but better in other ways.

I have an old friend that was going through tough times a few years back; he went to a lot of yard sales (sometimes at the end of the sale) and offered a bundle price for everything--and hauled it off; then after gathering a LOT of stuff, he had a super-size yard sale about once a month. He made it through the summer doing this.

Another similar idea, might be to take the stuff to a local flea market to sell things (some things are not practical to sell online).

Another guy I know, is in the process of moving and used facebook to sell things; there are many local city/county groups; I bought some things from him and he actually delivered them. I asked him how successful selling had been and he said he had made $3000. This made it easier to move--covering some of the cost, plus less stuff to move.


Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 11:28:06 AM »
I ran a business for about 2 years and we were partnered with e-bay. It is a very hard system to get ahead with. You will make some money here or there, but you have to keep your prices so low to compete with the other listings, that you basically are working for free. We made some money, but all our main revenue came from face to face sells, and without a brick and mortar store, that becomes difficult.

The worse part, is that in the beginning e-bay makes it appear that you are going to make money, but as your needs increase, so does the fees, and you have to keep putting on bigger and bigger shoes until you trip. I read everything thoroughly every time, and still got caught up in it.

Also one of the biggest things about selling on ebay is the shipping charges. Shipping cost are though the freakin roof right now, and it makes selling anything but high value items a problem. You end up paying more for shipping then the item is worth. Solution? Volume. But try to match the volume pricing of some of these over seas companies. Its ridiculous.

Offline TxGal

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 11:41:33 AM »
ABSOLUTELY!! My friend was working FULL time making close to $40k JUST to pay the eBay fees in her business, she finally quit the job and now does eBay full-time; she grosses about 100K, but has tons of cost of product, fees, shipping. That's her LIFE now--eBay! I admire/envy her, but that's not for me.

I still believe Bonanza is an alternative idea because you don't have to pay to list; you can add a widget from there to your website which will help generate views/sales. With Bonanza, you won't get the traffic, but at eBay--unless you're BIG, you won't get the traffic either.

The worse part, is that in the beginning e-bay makes it appear that you are going to make money, but as your needs increase, so does the fees, and you have to keep putting on bigger and bigger shoes until you trip. I read everything thoroughly every time, and still got caught up in it.

Offline chickchoc

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 12:01:59 PM »
TG --  I found online tutoring sites that you might look into:

http://www.growingstars.com/online-teaching-jobs/  (application)

http://www.tutor.com/apply  (application)

Tutor Circle inquiries:  1-800-481-2338

Akari Tutoring inquiries:  1-571-218-5599

http://www.tutorvista.com/teaching-jobs  (application)

http://www.etutorworld.net/careers.html  (application)

http://www.eduwizards.com/careers.php  (freelance and specific job listing)

https://www.24houranswers.com/becomeatutor.php  (application)

https://careers-smarthinking.icims.com/jobs/intro  (search for open tutoring positions)

In addition, you may wish to contact any post-secondary schools in your area for jobs as an adjunct or tutor.   You could also talk to school counselors in your area for contacts with struggling students for private tutoring.  If there is a Sylvan or Kumon center in your area, that may be an option as well.

Obviously none of these options may be full time, but several of them together may equal full time employment.

Good luck!


Offline TxGal

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 08:16:07 PM »
Thanks for the list!!

Since eBay was mentioned earlier; check out the new eBay return policy. They are making it impossible for small-time sellers to make it there:

http://www.theonlineseller.com/2012/03/27/upcoming-ebay-return-policy-change-causes-uproar/

Offline fasteddie

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 10:30:51 PM »
your pretty smart with solar, what about a consulting business in energy ?

Offline TxGal

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 12:39:22 AM »
Good news! Teacher Interview next week! Also considering teaching some classes for how to cook with basic healthy ingredients and other detox/healthy living ideas.

Offline archer

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2012, 01:37:36 AM »
good luck, good skill!

Offline lettuceman

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2012, 07:48:40 AM »
Good luck TxGal.

Offline mxitman

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2012, 08:02:22 AM »
yea ebay is not as easy going as the early days back in the late 90's. I have all but stopped selling on their due to all the fee's and other BS that has been going on, not to mention having to use Paypal to process also cuts into profits. I used to be able to sell $10 items all day long but now you need to have a size-able profit % to make it worth all the effort.

As a side note to other ways to make money online there is also Etsy, Artfire, and a host of others like that. Of course there is also Amazon, being in a rural setting limits some things you can do. A friend makes a decent cash flow buying hardback books from places like goodwill, buys them for a dollar or two and then resells them on Amazon for at least double...some are $15-20 books. He just goes to a new Goodwill store everyday and buys all he can..mostly newer ones if he can. Then spends 2-3 hrs adding them on Amazon, and he only ships one day a week, so all in all he said roughly 20-30 hrs and makes $30K a year profit...pretty good $ but allot of leg work everyday...but better than working for someone else.

BTW, my wife would tutor for some extra money while she was in grad school, went through a local tutor service but was  easy for her to make en extra $100 a week doing that.

Just some ideas...

Offline TxGal

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2012, 02:12:21 PM »
Thank you! I agree about ebay; and with the extended return policy going into effect it will even be more difficult. I have some friends making some sales on Etsy; I'm using Bonanza--BUT none of them get the traffic ebay does.

I've never tried to sell on Amazon; think I'll check that out!



yea ebay is not as easy going as the early days back in the late 90's. I have all but stopped selling on their due to all the fee's and other BS that has been

Just some ideas...

Offline pokeshell

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 01:01:42 AM »
I need people to do the closed captioning for an endless amount of video. Pay is by the unit of work, so by word, or in 15 minute video segments. We rip to mp3 and a small video image depending on the worker. Some like to see the people, some just want to do the work.

Send me a personal message if interested. I will be honest, the work is boring, but the pay can be good if you can type fast.

Offline Jesse2004

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2012, 06:54:03 AM »
If you haven't checked out five minutes with Jack, I strongly suggest you do so.

This is Jack Spirko's business advice podcast / website / forum.  All the things you know and love about Jack form the survival podcast - but focused on how you can create / run your own small business.

See:

http://www.jackspirko.com/category/podcasts
http://www.jackspirko.com/
http://www.jackspirko.com/the-100k-forums

Offline Hootie

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2012, 07:50:02 AM »
I need people to do the closed captioning for an endless amount of video. Pay is by the unit of work, so by word, or in 15 minute video segments. We rip to mp3 and a small video image depending on the worker. Some like to see the people, some just want to do the work.

Send me a personal message if interested. I will be honest, the work is boring, but the pay can be good if you can type fast.

And if you want to practice or see what is involved in transcribing... I might know a thread, that would love you to help transcribe a TSP episode... ;)
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?board=182.0

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2012, 03:59:09 AM »
One of the fastest, easiest, lowest investment, fastest return, and funnest ways to make money that I know of is simply to hit the Ren Faire circuit.

The downside is that you'll have your weekends tied up, so you'll either have to have someone watch the kids for you or go as a family and have someone watch the kids for you.

But if making $700-$1,000.00 a day sounds good, it can definitely be done.

Example: Scrounge up the planks from a deck someone wants demolished. Make them into a portable wall 20' long X 6' or whatever high. Think theater set: The wall is braced on the back, and spiked into the dirt, and guyed on the back like a tent.

Made right, one person can set up or tear down the wall in about an hour.

Make some targets out of log cookies that can hang on hooks from the wall.

Paint them gaudy. Paint up a gaudy sign and set up a firing line.

Buy an armload--say 24--of cheap imitation Viking axes.

Congratulations: You now own an Axe Throw, and people will pay you a dollar each, all day long to throw three axes at a target. Or more--and you don't even need prizes.

Call it the "Viking Axes of Doom" or whatever. Dress up like a Viking, talk like a Swedish chef.

Paint the outline of a shapely woman near the center of the wall. She was your Lovely Assistant...the poor dear...it was so sad...

People will throw axes at her outline all day long and pay you for the pleasure.

And if your Lovely Assistant had survived the Tragic Accident, she would have been standing right...there! (THUNK!!)

You'll have a bag of money by the end of the day. Better bring two bags. Big bags.

Or...

Get a staff, put a wooden rim around the top of it, like a horizontal halo. Lash on a few spokes to hold it firm. Make it look crude and beggarly.

Get about ten pounds of cheap trade beads and jewelry gee-gaws. Hang each one on
a macrame cord/leather thong/silk cord/whatever. No two alike. Presto: Instant necklaces.  Smother the halo in hanging necklaces.

Then dress up like a Mute Wanderer or a Poor Little Match Girl and walk around with the loaded staff. You say, all day long, not a single word. You just point at potential customers, point at your jewelry-rack, and raise your eyebrows. When they ask how much, you hold up five fingers, and gesture for them to take their pick.

Every $5.00 sale you make will net you $4.75.  Selecting couples, you'll mostly sell them by twos.

All...day...long.

Yes: there are fair fees, and gas costs, and etc., etc., but you can make a killing in Ren Faires--without a huge investment.

I know a guy that just paints himself blue and sits around all day in a loin cloth and shackles. People walk by and drop money in his "food bowl". He's never missed a meal.

I know a young woman that dresses up in Gothic Slave Girl, and has herself hung up in net---she just hangs around all day and people pose beside her holding the official Slave Whip &  Capture Rope--at a dollar a pose. Plus tips.  Her yearning for Freedom is very photogenic.

Her Slave Master fiance has excellent timing when he says "No tips, wench, and you'll get no water again this day!"

She gets lottsa tips.

To entertain, intrigue, amuse--that's all it takes.

If nothing else, get a carving knife and some soft pine and carve feathered birds at $5.00 each while people watch. It's an easy project, and easy enough to research & learn the process. Makes really nice lifelike birds with fanned wings. Takes maybe three minutes per bird.

In the US there is a Ren Faire somewhere reasonably near you just about every weekend of the year.

Opportunity awaits...












Offline archer

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2012, 11:37:58 AM »
One of the fastest, easiest, lowest investment, fastest return, and funnest ways to make money that I know of is simply to hit the Ren Faire circuit.


good tips!

Offline goldbugger

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 02:11:58 PM »
Hello TxGal,

Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would avoid ebay and I would focus on your teaching skills as those are skills always in demand. Plus teaching is an info-business, much easier to conform to the internet and more flexible. Around when Google+ came out a number of articles were posted for folks that were turning a business into holding cooking class and similar hangouts for fee.

I think you may find a hungry market in helping parents homeschool or supplementing other parent's homeschooling. Make an nice simple website with your qualifications and a success story or two, and then perhaps post some introductory hours for sale on Ebay, Craigslist or even here! Think outside the box too, there may be parents looking for this service outside the US, especially if its English-based. Avoid much of Europe since homeschooling is illegal in most of those countries. I know child actors are often homeschooled, what about kids who globe-trot with their parents? Their may be some target groups you could market to.

Take advantage of folks you know on this Board who may be able to give you feedback on whatever it is you do!

Here's what I was talking about:
http://lifehacker.com/5885472/chefhangout-gives-you-personal-cooking-lessons-over-google-hangouts

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 09:40:06 AM »
TexGal, I can relate. You could start a local meetup group to talk about homesteading type stuff with an angle towards doing consulting. I know of a solar guy that is doing this for contacts. Craigslist is another option. Start up websites on what your interests/passions are, and add adsense or similar. 
Unless you have many unique/rare items I would avoid ebay. It is a big hassle and waste of time, and ebay is nothing like it used to be (very few eye balls for the work). I was a powerseller for many years. People now mostly go to Amazon or other venues and not ebay, and ebay has not kept up with the times (it's still burdensome to list stuff).

Offline andrewm

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2012, 11:52:02 AM »
Call around to all the schools in driving distance, and check out options for substitute teaching, since you are certified teacher. Where I live, it pays about $100-110 per full day of subbing.

Look into private tutoring also, advertise around the area on bulletin boards, craigslist, local newspaper, etc.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Alternative Income Ideas
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2012, 12:10:05 PM »
Andrewm makes some good points.
Have heard that Texas is using the new STARR testing and end of course (EOC) exams which are new academic achievement measurements. Have heard from a parent who has two teens in public school that all the school districts are struggling with the new rules, so that opens opportunities for tutoring on the side in addition to substitute teaching. I have heard of cutbacks of new teacher hirings. I would think that would be good for temp. substitute teaching posts as well.