Selling Your Stuff
Did you inherit your grandpa's valuable old baseball card collection? Is your basement full of mint-condition vintage beer advertisements? Did your daughter go through a serious American Girl doll phase? One of the easiest ways to make money without a job is to sell the things you already own. With Web sites like Craigslist, eBay and Amazon Marketplace, the world is your garage sale.
Of course, to make money in the resale market, you need to offer items that people actually want. Craigslist is already crowded with folks hawking outdated electronics and rusted yard tools for five bucks "or best offer." If you are selling used goods, it's better to concentrate on rare finds and collectibles, which are a nice match for an auction site like eBay, where avid collectors can outbid each other [source: Spors].
Or maybe you're crafty. Do you have a knack for ironic embroidery, homemade soap making or faux-vintage jewelry design? Welcome to Etsy, the online marketplace for make-it-yourselfers of all stripes. Note that Etsy charges 20 cents to list each item and keeps 3.5 percent of each sale.
If you don't have the skills to craft your own products, why not grow them? There are more than 7,800 farmer's markets in America, and consumer interest in local food is red hot [source: USDA]. Farming is a full-time job, but growing a small patch of tasty and attractive vegetables is more like a part-time hobby (and it doubles as dinner!).
If these ideas sound suspiciously like jobs, there is one other option: selling bits and pieces of yourself. For example, you can sell blood plasma — the liquid portion of your blood — to a plasma collection center for around $35 a poke. Women and men with long hair can sell 10-inch (25-centimeter) tresses for $10 an ounce or try to auction them on eBay. Some long healthy hanks of hair can fetch $400 or more [source: Bonander].
And then there are sperm and egg donations. Men can make around $60 per specimen, but can donate up to three times per week [source: Seattle Sperm Bank]. Women can make considerably more — between $5,000 and $10,000 — but egg removal is a surgical procedure with some risk of complications [source: Center for Human Reproduction].