What can you do to make some additional cash from home?
By Shon Alam, Bidwedge
When we look back at what we are going through now with Covid-19 which words we will find ourselves using most frequently? My guess is that they will be “uncertain” and “unprecedented”.
We are now in a unique position that we are mostly all required to be at home with many hours to on our hands when we would otherwise be commuting, socialising, exercising etc.
By now you have probably had several ideas of how to fill the time, perhaps having a good clear out, starting the craft that you bought the materials for months ago or just a long list of movies or boxsets to get into.
Perhaps some of those idea could turn into opportunities for making some extra money.
I’m not suggesting that you’ll make a huge fortune but here are some ideas for making a little extra money from home.
If you’re clearing out cupboards and find items worth selling, eBay (ebay.co.uk) is the obvious place to go. As a seller, you need to be responsible about the sending, ensuring you adhere to social distancing at the Post Office. You can make items ‘buyer collects’ however this is best only if the person is local (avoiding unnecessary journeys) and you can hand over the item using the distancing guidelines. If you can wait for the money, take photographs, write the descriptions and be ready for listing and despatch when the situation improves.
Facebook Marketplace (www.facebook.com/marketplace) and Gumtree (https://www.gumtree.com/) are also handy. You may not make as much money as most people buy locally. Be sure you adhere to the social distancing at the point of exchange. For example, can they pay online and then collect from a designated spot where you can leave it in advance? Always wash your hands before and after any exchange.
If you’re planning to spend your time on a new craft or an old favourite, there are so many options out there and you can get materials delivered to your home. Whether you want to create with yarn, wood, paper or recycled materials that you have around the house, if you find (or already know) that you are creating something that others would like to buy, there are lots of places where you can set yourself up as a seller with ease. Check out these to start with:
Setting up a Facebook page and showing your items on Pinterest are also great, free ways to get your crafts in front of people.
Again, when clearing drawers and shelves, we all have those vintage items that we have received from family members in bygone years or bought at a boot fair when feeling a bit Arthur Daley. They might not be worth taking to Antiques Roadshow – perhaps they are dented or missing a bit – but they are almost certainly worth something.
VintageCashCow will buy your vintage items for cash! It’s so simple. You put everything you want to sell in a box (during the isolation period, they are offering a free home collection service so you don’t have to leave the house), they then value it and offer you a fair price within 48 hours. Any unsold items they will return for free! What are you waiting for? https://www.vintagecashcow.co.uk/.
You need to be pragmatic here: look through your books and decide which ones you will re-read or pass on to a friend or family member to enjoy. Then the rest, if you’re honest with yourself, are simply decoration and you can sell them.
Amazon is the obvious place to start. You will need to register as a seller (have your mobile, passport / driving licence and payment card to hand). Then away you go. Again, ensure you can post what you are offering for sale or get everything ready to go for when you can. https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/sw/SSR/R2Lv2/step/SellerInformation
Alternatively, try We Buy Books (https://www.webuybooks.co.uk/sell-books-online/) or Music Magpie (https://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/sell-books). Both operate in a similar way to one another. You enter the barcode or ISBN number and they give you an instant quote. When you have entered all your books you can send it to them free of charge and they will pay directly into your bank after receipt. We Buy Books will collect from you, as well, whereas Music Magpie offers faster payment.
Whether you’re a frequent traveller or just go abroad once or twice a year on holiday, there’s little doubt that, when clearing through the depths of those drawers that you haven’t looked in for months, you will find bits and pieces of currency that were too small to change up post-trip.
Indeed, it’s estimated, in a survey by M&S Bank in November 2019 (https://www.swnsdigital.com/2019/11/the-nation-sits-on-2-7-billion-in-foreign-currency/)
that £3 billion in unused foreign cash currency is sat in UK households and that each year, on average, travellers return with £1 billion in various denominations in cash, plus around £1bn is spent each year by UK travellers ‘using up’ currency in their departure airport before returning home.
At Bidwedge, you create a free account, state the amount of currency you have and they will tell you the price they will pay for your currency. If you agree, post your currency to Bidwedge and the agreed amount will be paid direct into your bank account. There are no additional fees, postage is free, and all transactions are insured.
Bidwedge’s Currency Buy Back is currently available for Euros and US Dollars and starts as low as 10Euros or $10.
If you like spending time on your PC or other device, why not use some of that time to earn some extra cash?
Surveys are an obvious choice and, although they don’t pay that well, you can dip in and out as you choose, and you only need your device and your opinion. Be careful to pick legitimate sites and ones that don’t waste your time and pay very little. Try YouGov (https://yougov.co.uk/), Prolific (https://www.prolific.co/), LifePoints (www.lifepointspanel.com/) and Swagbucks (https://www.swagbucks.com/) to start with.
Some sites will even pay you for watching video. Try Gift Hunter Club (gifthunterclub.com) too.
You can even earn cash just by changing your browser! Have a look at qmee.com.
The uncertainty has, until recently, really affected the self-employed and freelance workers badly. Tradespeople that need to go to people’s houses have been in a rather tricky situation and, despite now knowing they are eligible for money from the government, they still have customers that rely on them. But there are some great apps which means you can help your customers to help themselves until you can return to them.
Try Zoom (zoom.us) or perhaps WhatsApp. If your client has a small issue that you can talk them through on the phone with the use of video, so you can check they are doing the right thing, they can keep themselves going until you return.
Obviously, there are limitations; you have to have customers that are up to the job and able to follow your instructions and, obviously, there are some things that need you to do them in person. For example, electricians, you’re not going to supervise a full rewiring but you could help your customers change a plug or replace a trip wire, perhaps. Plumbers can use the same principal and help customers bleed their own radiators or re-pressurise their boilers. Gardeners, talk your customers through planting seeds (which they can order for themselves online) or transplanting seedlings so they are ready for when you can return to their garden. Probably all tradesman should be available to give advice on smaller concerns. You can charge a small fee for these services and / or use them to retain customer loyalty and confidence in your abilities.
I hope these suggestions are helpful and that you can make one or two them work for you. Stay safe and stay healthy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shon Alam is founder of Bidwedge. Bidwedge makes it easy to change your left-over cash currency back into Sterling – at great rates for even the smallest amounts. Just enter the amount, see the rate you’ll be paid, post the cash and watch the money appear in your bank account. It’s easy to do.
Website – www.bidwedge.com
Twitter – @bidwedge – https://twitter.com/bidwedge