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Simple Ideas to Make Extra Money

Updated on October 25, 2012

With today’s tough economy, people everywhere spend countless hours online searching for ways to make extra money. With the endless scams the internet has to offer, it is easy for them to fall prey to a scheme, wasting not only their time but in some cases, their money as well.

Many people give into the frustration, and throw in the towel, before finding what they were searching for. But, there are legitimate ways to make money online and offline, if a person knows what to look for. Here are some ideas to guide you in the right direction.

1. Sell on eBay

Selling items on eBay is a perfect way to make extra money online. EBay has a proven track record of paying people just as it promises, and your payments go through PayPal, so you can rest easy knowing your money, and personal information, are safe and secure. EBay’s listing process is very easy to use, so even those who aren’t good with computers can make money with eBay.

You can sign up for both an eBay account and a PayPal account absolutely free. And since you can start by selling the items you already have in your home but don’t use, you can begin making money with no start up cost.

The only real drawback to selling on eBay is this: You do not receive your earnings right away when you first begin selling. You put your item up for sale in an auction setting. You have a choice of how long this auction can run, but most people generally give it seven days. After it sells, the buyer has a few days to send you the payment. Although most buyers pay instantly, not all of them do. By now you have already waited a little over a week to get paid. But, that’s not all. As a new account with PayPal, your money will be put on hold on this end too, and how long that hold will be is determined by PayPal. So your first payment will take a while to get to you, but it will get there. The good news is, once you have been selling with eBay for a while, and have shown eBay and PayPal that you are reliable in shipping off purchased items, the holds won’t be put on your earnings anymore, and you will start receiving your money quicker.

2. Sell on Amazon

Selling books on Amazon is another way to earn extra money. Just like with eBay, Amazon is free to sign up for, and you can begin selling with no start up cost by using the books you have in your home already. Amazon’s listing process is very easy to use. And Amazon has also proven itself to be a trustworthy site as far as making sure people receive their payments and keeping their private information safe.

Unlike Ebay however, Amazon does not use PayPal, and instead direct deposits your earnings into your bank account. Many people like that Amazon by passes PayPal, as PayPal does have transaction fees that it will charge.

Amazon will hold your payment the first time, so again you will be waiting to receive your earnings. But, after that, as long as you sell a few books every week, you receive a direct deposit every week into your account.

3. Craigslist

EBay and Amazon are great if you can afford to wait out those holding periods. But if you need cash fast for an end of the week bill, these options aren’t going to work for you. Don’t rule them out completely though, as you can begin your new online business with them, while taking some of the items you were going to sell on those sites, and listing them on Craigslist instead.

Craigslist is basically an online classified ad site, and has a site for every state in the U.S. Craigslist narrows it down even more, by breaking down the states into towns and cities, so you will be able to find a Craigslist for your local area.

People post all kinds of things on Craigslist- from cars and trucks, to small business ads, to furniture, to items they are giving away for free. This will be a great place for you to sell your unused items for quick cash.

You don’t even need an account to post items for sale on Craigslist, although having an account does make the process faster. Listing your item is as simple as taking a picture of it, telling people a little bit about it, and naming your price. People will respond back to your ad, through email (Craigslist will keep yours anonymous). If the person wants to buy your item, it is recommended that you meet with them to exchange item for payment in a public place, as opposed to meeting them alone, or having them come to your home.

4. Surveys

Taking surveys in your spare time can be another way to make extra money. But this is where it can get sticky. When signing up for a survey site, remember, you should NEVER have to pay to enroll. If the site is asking you for payment, quickly close out of it, because it is a scam. Finding a legitimate survey site can take some digging around online, but they are out there.

Many stay at home mothers enjoy taking surveys online, because aside from earning money and rewards, it gives them a chance to express their opinions on the products they use in their home, around their children.

Surveys are generally simple questionnaires that take ten to fifteen minutes to answer. How much you can earn depends on the company the survey comes from. Payments generally range from $1 to $25 dollars.

Sometimes there will be a lapse in between surveys, so the trick to earning money with surveys is to sign up for a few different sites.

5. Write Articles for Money

People are often under the misconception that in order to be paid to write, you have to be some type of scholar. This is not the case. You simply have to have good grammar and punctuation skills, and have a good grasp of the English language. That really is all it takes.

There are websites out there that will publish the articles you write (and you can write about anything you know), and then pay you based on the amount of views your articles receive or will split with you it’s earnings from ads. Sometimes, you get a mix of both.

Writing articles will not make you rich over night, however if you work at it, and build up a good collection of articles, then you can begin to make a steady monthly income. The best part of this is, you will continue to earn month after month on every article you write, all the way back to the very first article you wrote!


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    • Heather Tripp profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Edgens 

      8 years ago from Georgetown, Delaware

      Focus groups are a great way to earn extra money. But like you said, it has to do with location. Unfortunately, in my area, we just don't have it.

    • TinaAtHome profile image


      8 years ago from California

      I've registered with a few local companies to do focus groups. It does depend where you live, but the pay is usually around $100 per hour, and the focus group is fun. I used findfocusgroups dot com to find (I think) 3 different companies in my area and then registered with them.

    • Heather Tripp profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Edgens 

      9 years ago from Georgetown, Delaware

      Oh, good. I was sitting here trying to figure out how to remember to get back up with you when I finally get a chance to write it up!! LOL

    • crissytsu profile image


      9 years ago from Texas

      LOL I will point her that direction for sure! I'm following you so I'll see it when you post it...can't wait to see it.

    • Heather Tripp profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Edgens 

      9 years ago from Georgetown, Delaware

      Your mother has my applause as well!! I wish her luck.. Just as soon as I have some time, I am going to put up a hub about how I earn a couple hundred dollars a month online. Once I get it up, I'll try to figure out how to let you know, cause you may want to point your mother in that direction. LOL

    • crissytsu profile image


      9 years ago from Texas

      My 76 year old mother (whom I applaud for even using the internet in the first place) is always falling for "make money at home scams". She kills me. Nice hub, voted up and useful.

    • Heather Tripp profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Edgens 

      9 years ago from Georgetown, Delaware

      Thank you Janis!! And thanks for all your help getting me set up here!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      9 years ago from Washington, DC

      Yaaayyyeeee!!! Congrats on your first hub. I think it's a great first hub, Heather. It's straightforward, concise, well-written, and relevant. Good job, voted up and useful. Welcome (again) to hubpages.


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