12 Ways to Make Money from Beachcombing

Beachcombing at Sunrise on Sea beach. Sunrise on Sea beach is near East London in South Africa, in the East Coast Resorts area.
Beachcombing at Sunrise on Sea beach. Sunrise on Sea beach is near East London in South Africa, in the East Coast Resorts area. | Source
The Hub author Teresa Schultz enjoying some fresh salty sea air while beachcombing at Kidds Beach near East London in South Africa.
The Hub author Teresa Schultz enjoying some fresh salty sea air while beachcombing at Kidds Beach near East London in South Africa.
Walking on the beach is exercise!
Walking on the beach is exercise!

Why Make Money from Beachcombing?

If you live close to the beach you can start to make money from beachcombing for almost no cost. If the beach is within walking distance, and you already have some useful items at home like glue, wire, paint, and string, your first efforts to make money from beachcombing may even cost you nothing at all.

Imagine being able to earn some extra income or even start your own little home business with very little startup cost, or even with no startup cost at all. Well, it's possible with beachcombing. Materials that you could use to make a delightful array of beach craft items are just waiting for you on the beach. Think of seashells, pretty pebbles, pieces of driftwood, and pieces of sea glass as money just lying on the beach - money that you don't have to feel a little guilty about when you say "finders keepers."

Another good reason to make money from beachcombing is that you'll be out and about on the beach, getting some fresh air and exercise. Depending on how many times you bend down to pick up or to examine something interesting on the beach, you could do a lot of squatting in just one beachcombing outing, and hardly even realise that you're exercising.

Bending down to look at, photograph, or pick up something interesting at the beach means you're exercising! Especially when you do it over and over again.
Bending down to look at, photograph, or pick up something interesting at the beach means you're exercising! Especially when you do it over and over again. | Source

Many Ways to Make Money from Beachcombing

If you think of all the beach craft items you could make from your beachcombing efforts, you should be able to think of at least 20 ways to make money from beachcombing, if not 50 or more, especially when you consider the different items you could find on the beach.

You can use seashells to make your beach craft items, or you could use beach pebbles, pieces of sea glass, or many different sizes and shapes of driftwood. You could also use a combination of these beach treasures to make your beach craft items.

There are also other things to find on the beach besides seashells, pebbles, sea glass and driftwood. You may find lost pieces of jewellery, fishing hooks, nylon, rope, and pretty pieces of dry seaweed.

Seashell photography.
Seashell photography.
You can maybe charge extra for your beach photography services if your clients want you to do some digital editing of the photos. You can also cosider offering a digital photo editing service if people send you their own beach photographs.
You can maybe charge extra for your beach photography services if your clients want you to do some digital editing of the photos. You can also cosider offering a digital photo editing service if people send you their own beach photographs.
A simple homemade frame. No glass, glue or nails used, only driftwood, a seashell, some sisal (string) and some white paint.
A simple homemade frame. No glass, glue or nails used, only driftwood, a seashell, some sisal (string) and some white paint.
Small pieces of green sea glass.
Small pieces of green sea glass.
Pebble and Seashell Earrings
Pebble and Seashell Earrings
Garden ornaments made from nothing else other than driftwood, sea glass, and wire.
Garden ornaments made from nothing else other than driftwood, sea glass, and wire.

List of 12 Ways to Make Money from Beachcombing

For those of you not too keen on making beach craft items, I do include a few other ways to make money from beachcombing too:

  1. Offer a beach photography service - check with your client if they have any specific preferences and then visit a beach or two, and take photographs specifically for your client. If you deliver or send the photos to your client on a disk, you don't even have to pay for printing.
  2. Take beach photographs and sell your beach photographs in digital format so that you don't have to pay for the printing of the photos yourself. You'd need a place to display your photos - even a free Blogger blog would do.
  3. Take beach photographs, print and frame your photos, even decorating the photo frames with seashells, pebbles or sea glass, or even making the photo frames yourself (use driftwood) and sell your finished product.
  4. Buy or make photo frames, but instead of adding a photo, add a beautiful seashell, piece of driftwood, some sea glass or other item you have found on the beach, like dry seaweed. The seashells or pieces of driftwood that you use in your frames should be fairly flat, but of course you don't even need to add glass to your photo frame, so you could also use chunkier beach finds too.
  5. Sell photo frames with nothing displayed in them, but decorate the photo frames (whether they are bought or whether you made them yourself) with paint techniques, seashells, pebbles, sea glass, or tiny pieces of driftwood.
  6. Sell your beachcombing finds "as is." If you can find enough pieces of sea glass, pack about 8 small pieces together (in a little box, bag or packet) and do the same with tiny pretty shells. If you're lucky enough to find some medium-sized pretty pebbles and medium-sized pretty seashells that aren't broken, sell those "as is" too.
  7. Sell beach crafts craft kits - offer a selection of small beach finds in a little box, bag or packet, and add some string or wire
  8. Make and sell jewellery - even a small smooth pebble can look so pretty if it has wire wrapped around it creatively, and if it is attached to cord as a necklace pendant. Make necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
  9. Use seashells, sea glass, pebbles and small pieces of driftwood to decorate a wide variety of inexpensive items or items you already have at home. Sell the finished products. Some items to decorate could include candles, pot plant holders, glass bottles, hairpins, bags, or wallets and purses. You do not necessarily have to cover the items with your beach findings - simply attaching a small seashell or pebble to an item with wire or string can be very pretty too (have the beach finding dangle at the end of the wire or string.)
  10. Make miniature items. Use seashells, pebbles, sea glass and pieces of driftwood to make cute miniature furniture items, miniature creatures and miniature people, suitable for dolls houses, for using in miniature garden creations, or for simply proudly displaying in one's home.
  11. Make items for the garden. Make cute driftwood signs for the garden. Paint on cute little messages, or use a woodburning tool to burn in the message. Make garden ornaments using driftwood, wire and sea glass (or pebbles or seashells) or make wind chimes and garden mobiles.
  12. Take videos at beaches and upload the videos to Youtube. Monetize your Youtube videos with ads or include a link to your site in the first line of the description beneath the video - to a beach related site that you may be monetizing with ads, or that you may be using to sell your beach craft items from. The videos don't just have to be of the beaches that you visit or close ups of the things you see on the beach - you could also video the beach craft items that you've made, or give a tutorial in your video, on how to make a particular beach craft item.

Sell your beachcombing findings and beach crafts at a flea market or craft market. Attach contact details to each item you sell, and you're marketing your little business virtually for free.
Sell your beachcombing findings and beach crafts at a flea market or craft market. Attach contact details to each item you sell, and you're marketing your little business virtually for free.

Selling Your Products

A flea market or craft market is probably the best place to start selling your beach findings and beach craft items, as this gives you an opportunity to advertise your little business for free. Advertising is important in that even if you have fantastic products you're not going to make any money if nobody knows about your products. Advertising can be costly, or if using free or cheap methods of advertising, advertising can take up much of your time.

Once many people know about your products, it will be eaiser to sell your products from home only, and you'd also have some income to perhaps start a website and sell your products from your site's online store too.

An example of how people might get to your online beach crafts store after landing on your website.
An example of how people might get to your online beach crafts store after landing on your website.
Don't go to deserted beaches on your own.
Don't go to deserted beaches on your own.
Never turn your back on the ocean.
Never turn your back on the ocean.

Conclusion

There are certainly many ways to make money from beachcoming. If you stay close to a beach and need some extra income, then use the opportunity.

Some tips and things to be aware of:

Some beaches are dangerous if you visit them alone. Share your beachcombing hobby with a friend or two, or do not go beachcombing when nobody or hardly anyone else is on the beach.

Beachcombing is fun, but do not get so involved in looking down that you don't notice an approaching wave behind you (never turn your back on the ocean) or so involved that you don't notice a dangerous person walking up to you.

Make sure you have old newspapers or plastic in the car, to protect your car from anything spilling out of your beachcombing bag on your way home.

Keep well hydrated and protect yourself from wind and sun.

Try collecting more than just one item of something particular that you find, because finding beautiful things on the beach can become such an addictive hobby that you may want to keep all your beach findings to yourself. You need to sell your beach findings (or what you make from them) to make some money. Looking for beautiful pieces of sea glass can be particularly addictive.

End of the day on a beautiful beach - Gonubie River Mouth at Gonubie Beach, on the outskirts of East London, South Africa.
End of the day on a beautiful beach - Gonubie River Mouth at Gonubie Beach, on the outskirts of East London, South Africa.

Comments 14 comments

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Teresa. How interesting. We are off to Florida next week so we'll have to keep our eyes open while on the beach. You certainly have some great creative ideas here. Great job. Voting up and sharing. Have a great day.


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa Author

@ bdegiulio - thanks for the comment and share, and I do hope you have fun on the Florida beaches next week. If you're lucky you may find some sea glass on Navarre beach, Cinnamon beach, and Jacksonville beaches.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a cool idea for a hub! I didn't know you were from South Africa....or was this a vacation? Anyway, loved the photos and the ideas. Wish we had decent beach here. :)


Hawaiian Scribe profile image

Hawaiian Scribe 3 years ago from Hawai'i

I love your hub! Do you actually beachcomb yourself or are you just writing about it? I live right across from a beach and never really thought about trying to earn money from items that wash up. But now I'm going to give it a try and have fun at the same time. I do love sea glass and was planning on starting a collection before I read your hub. My dream has always been to find a glass ball float in from Japanese fishnets, but as you pointed out, there are many other interesting finds lying there. Voted up, useful, interesting, beautiful. Shared on pinterest & tweeted. Aloha, Stephanie


Deepak Chaturvedi profile image

Deepak Chaturvedi 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

informative hub.L personally liked your idea.Thanks to share.


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa Author

@ billybuc - thanks, glad you like this idea for a hub. I'm born and bred in South Africa and have so far never left South Africa. The photos were all taken in and around East London in South Africa, where I live. I love East London and South Africa. We have lovely beaches here, and I'm sorry to hear you don't have a decent beach there.


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa Author

@ Hawaiian Scribe - I'm pleased you love my hub and thanks for all the shares and votes. Love your enthusiasm and wish you luck in one day finding that glass ball float! No, I'm not just writing about beachcombing. Tony and I have recently taken an interest in not only beachcombing, but also an interest in trying to make some extra income from it. Being interested in this topic makes it easy and enjoyable to write about it, and I do hope my ideas inspire others.


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa Author

@ Deepak Chaturvedi - thanks for the comment and I'm glad you like the ideas.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Refreshing ideas...I have friends who make a bit here and there with metal detectors on the beaches in the UK: they get watches, rings and money of course. But lots of people at it.

Bob


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa Author

@ diogenes - I like the word "refreshing" - a bit like the ocean and cool salty ocean breeze. Thanks for the comment. I have no idea how much a metal detector costs - but yes, using a metal detector is certainly another way to make money from beachcombing. I'm more into the whole natural sort of thing though - making things with the natural items I find on the beach - like seashells, pebbles, driftwood, and sea glass. Have so far only found the most common colors of sea glass here in East London, SA - green, white, and a bit of brown, but it's still exciting finding good quality natural pieces (frosty and smooth, with no chips).


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Teresa-what an awesome hub. I haven't thought of making money from beachcombing, but it worth a second thought. It'd be much more fun to have someone to do it with though. :) I'm going to add a link to my beachcombing hub to yours. Rated UP/U/I/A


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa Author

@ Denise - thanks for the comment and votes, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this beachcombing hub. Thanks, too, for the link. I already have one to your own excellent beachcombing hub in the first paragraph of my content.


Derdriu 3 years ago

Teresa, The earrings and the garden ornamentation are so simply elegant in their arrangement and design!

Beachcombing is a favorite activity of mine. It goes back to childhood and visiting my grandmother along more northerly shores of Lake Michigan and my aunt along more southerly shores.

It also was particularly fun in Brazil, France, and Greece.

Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing your ideas and photos, Derdriu


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa Author

@ Derdriu - thanks for popping in and it's so pleasing to hear from others that they enjoy beachcombing too - I have only very recently realised that I enjoy it, and now I want to beachcomb all the time! As a kid I didn't really beachcomb, but would play on the rocks, sand or or pebbly beaches while my parents did some fishing off the rocks - what was great to recently discover though, while beachcombing at a old fishing spot of my parents' that I hadn't visited in over 30 years, was that there were these little pieces of pottery here and there amongs the pebbles - and then I remembered! I'd collected those exact same pieces of pottery the last time I was there, over 30 years before! I don't know what I did with the pieces way back then, but it was so good to remember that day, and to also realise exactly how old some of the pieces of glass and pottery one finds at the beach really are - and perhaps beachcombing has been in my blood ever since that day over 30 years ago, , and I just didn't know it.

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