During the phase of our life where we struggled to have enough income to cover our expenses each month, I was always apprehensive about asking for assistance but thought that if I could find things to sell from home or provide a service to my friends, it would be a more gracious way of saying, “HELP!”
As I looked around the internet, I realized there were tons of potential ideas for building a business without having to use direct sales.
No, I don’t mean you can sell your dirty laundry, although if you are into that kind of thing, I have a huge supply available for CHEAP. What I mean is that you can do other peoples laundry as a service and get paid for it. Charge extra for pick up and delivery.
Clean out your closets or yard sale for amazing goods that you can sell on Ebay. I did this for a long time and it truly helped. Amazon often has free ebooks filled with tips to help you learn to sell on Ebay.
I have baked cinnamon rolls to sell around the holidays. I would freeze the cinnamon rolls before their final rise and include directions for thawing and baking as well as a plastic storage bag filled with cream cheese icing. (Free Holiday Income Boosting Idea)
If you like the idea of cooking for others, double whatever you cook and sell the extra meals to friends who need a meal but are tired of fast food. Kim from Sunflower Supper Club is always super busy working a similar business.
Embroidery & Sewing
Have an embroidery or sewing machine that is collecting dust? Put that thing to work! Use your creativity to make giftable items. Or, provide a service like making affordable school uniforms or alterations. You can market yourself using Facebook for local friends and Etsy for a more global reach.
Knitting and Crochet
Similar to the idea of sewing giftable items or clothing, use your knitting or crochet skills to make textiles for others.
Using the power of technology, tutor students around the globe in the subject you are most proficient. With Skype or Google Hangouts, you can host a tutoring session that costs you nothing but brings a steady profit.
My mother makes an amazing hand and face cream and gives it away. She could easily sell it because people are looking for natural bath and body products. Ingredients can be purchased through Amazon and recipes can be found all over Pinterest.
Another homemade yummy idea… candy! I made designer gourmet apples to sell around the holidays and made enough money to pay cash for Christmas.
Are you a proficient writer? Selling ebooks through Amazon is so easy! I do recommend you hire someone to proof your copy though as reviews can be brutal when spelling and grammar are poor and bad reviews can hinder your sales significantly.
If you love creating printable party supplies or have an interest in creating worksheets, selling printables online using Etsy, TpT, or even your own website can provide a steady income.
Are you talented in graphic arts? If you can create clip art, you can sell it on Etsy. (I buy a ton of clip art on Etsy!)
Buy a bone cookie cutter and bake homemade dog treats. There are pet recipe books available on Amazon for free and super cheap. One of my readers tried making and selling homemade dog treats and did very well. Or, if you can sew, create pet beds and toys.
I have never made homemade candles but I love to smell them! Especially candles that smell like Baked Apple Pie. Oh my!
If you are creative with ceramics or beads, you can craft original ornaments to sell at Christmas time.
Almost every home in my neighborhood has a wreath on the door right now, and if you visit the local hospital’s maternity floor, a wreath in pink or blue announces the gender of the newest arrival. Wreathes can be big business. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to creative wreath ideas.
I am always amazed at the beads and babbles in craft stores in the jewelry aisles. I am not crafty enough to create something beautiful from all of those choices, but I did try once. I used silver beads and silver initials to make name necklaces and matching bracelets.
I used to have a beautiful set of hand-painted cards… until I gave them all away. Even if you cannot paint, you could use graphics to create something printable and lovely.
Wooden kids toys
Melissa and Doug have made millions from wooden toys. You could easily do the same with a router and one of the toy pattern books at Amazon.
Home decor items
From floral arrangements to refinished dining room tables, people love to buy pretty things for their homes.
If you are handy with your camera or smart phone, you can take photographs and sell them as stock photography at places like 123RF.
Flea market flips
The shabby chic look is very hot, but most people do not want to do the work themselves. So, browse the flea market for items you can enhance or improve and sell the results.
I have a huge space on my living room wall begging for a gorgeous painting. I keep thinking that one day I am going to try to paint something myself but it would be so much easier to buy a painting from someone else.
Hey hot mama. Bet you didn’t know that you were carrying around a supply of liquid gold but for many moms who either cannot nurse or have adopted children, they would love to buy your breastmilk.
The majority of all music sales are not digital. What does that mean for musicians everywhere? Anyone can sell their music on iTunes, Amazon, or their own website.
I am sure that there are other things you can sell from home that did not make this list simply because I have not thought of it yet. If you have an idea for a product to sell (NOT including direct sales companies), please drop us a comment below.
Also, be sure to check out my other ideas for things you can do when your income is not enough to make ends meet.
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