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How to make money when you are poor

Updated on September 11, 2017
W. K. Hayes profile image

As a writer with years of experience in finance, I like finding new and unusual ways to make money to help those in desperate times.

Update: 9-11-2017

Coming soon, I will be adding a lot more information to this article that was originally written several years ago. First, I need to research some basic information that can help people to find sources of income when finding traditional work becomes one dead-end interview after another.

Author: W. K. Hayes

How to make money when you're broke

Financial advice is usually, geared around minimal investments for maximum returns for those that have money. However, if you are dirt poor and in desperate need of money, there are ways of solving this problem that most people do not know about.

When asked, I often tell people that one of the quickest and easiest ways to make money is flea markets, yard sales, and pawnshops. Since I have dealt with all three over the past six years, I designed a system that will work for anyone even if all you have is ten bucks to start out.

Pawnshop Brokers buy or pawn items at a set rate. Even before you walk in the door with a handful of video games, they already know how much they will pay for games, in advance.

Call a few pawnshops and ask them how much they give for games and write it down. Next, hit the flea market and see how much the, man or woman is willing to buy games for and make a note of this as well.

Knowing what pawnshops and people at flea markets give for games, is key to making this work.

Once you know what you will be, paid, hit the yard sales and start looking for video games. Haggle with the people and get them beneath what you know you can get for the games and by the end of the afternoon, you should have a handful of games that you can double your money back on, if not more.

I will warn you though; many pawnshops and flea marketers will not take sports games. From experience, they are hard to sale and with a new release coming out every year, the older one become obsolete really, fast.

The reason for recommending video games is simply: they are cheap; it does not take more than ten bucks to get started but if you have more money to spare, by all means buy as many as you can.

In a single day, I have turned twenty-five dollars into one-hundred and fifty dollars. This is also a great way to make some extra side cash and works with anything. Most Pawn Shops will take anything of value just make sure you know what they’ll give then spend your time looking for those items and soon enough, you will be buying and selling for profit in no time.

Many people live on fixed incomes and this article is for them, mostly. Some weekends will be better than others will and summer time is generally the hot spot while winters are a lot slower. Still, use your head.

In the mountains, where I live, we refer to this as, ‘Horse-Trading’, but this system of buying and selling miscellaneous items helps many families, especially if you live in a small, tourist town where work is seasonal.

All it, takes, is knowing what people are will to pay for something and buying cheaper than that. Maybe even put up ads declaring you buy old games or at least, put the word on the street.

DVD movies are another great item for horse-trading. Again, know what you can sell them for before you start buying them. Also, make friends with the person running the pawnshop…ask what he or she is looking for and get an idea of what they will pay. Movies, music, and video games are the easiest to start with for people, who are super broke.

Generally speaking, most people at the flea markets give more for games and movies so be sure to ask them about movies as well.

I sincerely hope that this article helps people are in desperate need of making some extra money. Unfortunately, many others feel that a, person who is poor is lazy. Such racist thinking can only come from ignorance, arrogance, and lack of experience.

Many Americans do work but the jobs available to them pay minimum wage, which, is virtually useless in today’s economy. Having to rely on welfare while working is very unfortunate but it does happen. Make no assumptions about the poor.

Whether you are dirt poor or looking to make some extra money, this article will help you with both. Thank you for reading it and have a great day!

Update: Dec. 23rd, 2016

This article was written several years ago and I thought it was about time to revisit and update. However, I have a better idea... if you read this and have your own suggestions that might help others, please post it in the comments section.

Not every idea or concept works for everyone but maybe if everyone jumps in and helps by posting suggestion, we can work together to build a better future for each other.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      This is good advice. In high finance it's called arbitrage. Anyone can do it, given sufficient patience and initiative.

    • profile image

      sandy wedemeyer 

      6 years ago

      We are going to have a yard sales. But we have know idea when we will have it?

    • W. K. Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Warren Keith Hayes 

      7 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you HopefulPoet...I'm sure it work out well for you

      ChuckHuckaby, thank you, as well...most people don't realize how to turn their money over and suffer because of it. 'Horse-Trading', is a great way to make some extra money when a person needs it most.

    • ChuckHuckaby profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      I think the advice of checking the "spread" between what local pawn shops will pay for games and what flea markets (or yard sales) will sell them for is unique, but obvious now that you mentioned it!

    • TheHopefulPoet profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      I am going to try this right away! Thanks for the helpful advice. :)


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