Flexible Side Gigs to Bring in Extra Income


Making extra money is always a bonus. No contest.

Here are 6 simple side gigs to get you started:

1. Start Consulting
The Second Shift, founded in 2014, addresses the needs of highly skilled professional women seeking flexible employment options and businesses seeking top quality on-demand talent. HourlyNerd links highly educated professionals with big and small companies that need consulting help to solve challenges. 

For instance, Christine Schuldt of Wellesley, MA, a former marketing executive who left her job to stay home with her young children, now earns significant side income through consulting. In the past year, she’s completed five projects, mostly in marketing, via HourlyNerd. “It’s a way to resume your career, reboot your skills, meet interesting people, do stimulating work, and make additional income,” Schuldt says.

2. Be a ‘Middleman’ on eBay
“When people think of making money on eBay, they usually think about selling the junk in their garage and basement, which of course offer limited products,” says Nisa Schmitz, media relations manager at Doubledot Media, which offers drop-shipping on eBay. 

The genius behind drop-shipping: You never actually ship anything — or handle the product. Instead, as Schmitz explains, “After you make a sale, the company ships the product directly to your customer for you.” And you get a percentage of the sale.

SaleHoo, an online wholesale directory of more than 8,000 prescreened suppliers (such as Gap and Playskool), offers a marketplace for those interested in serving as the “middleman” on eBay, meaning you act as the storefront selling wholesale products. Similarly, check out WorldWide Brands.

3. Capitalize on Your Car
If you own a car, you could be making money with it. As the concept of the sharing economy grows, people are looking to rent other people’s cars rather than purchase their own. Sites like Turo and GetAround can connect you with people who may be interested in renting your vehicle by the hour, day, week, or month. 

4. Become a Mystery Shopper
Sue De La Bruere started working as a mystery shopper with Jancyn to make extra money on a flexible schedule without committing to a regular job. Mystery shoppers frequent retail stores, restaurants, and other places of business and report on their experiences to help companies measure their customer service. 

“Shoppers make their own schedules and take as many or as few assignments as they would like,” De La Bruere says. “Some shoppers take just a few assignments per week and make perhaps $100. Others consider this their full-time job and make closer to $500 per week.” For De La Bruere, the side project turned into a full-time commitment. She now serves as a project manager for the mystery shopping firm.

5. Start Affiliate Marketing
“Businesses are always looking for new customers, and some are happy to pay you for them,” says Jennifer Martin, a business coach in San Francisco. “All kinds of companies, from Amazon to Starbucks to Weight Watchers, are looking for affiliates to help them reach out to new paying customers.” Many of these businesses will provide you with a unique URL (which includes a personal code) to share with potential customers. When a new customer uses that link to make a purchase, you make money.

For instance, Martin serves as an affiliate marketer for a Web hosting company. When people use her link and sign up for the company’s services, she earns a commission. You can find out about affiliate marketing opportunities through specific companies’ websites or affiliate consolidators such as Share a Sale or Rakuten Affiliate Network. To learn more about affiliate marketing, visit Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal.

6. Join Focus Groups
Companies interested in improving their marketing efforts often conduct focus groups of potential customers. And if you’re willing to spend the time participating, you can earn extra money. “Companies are willing to pay you for your insight as a consumer and sometimes they’ll even arrange to come to your home,” Martin says.

For instance, a few months ago, a company paid Martin $250 for spending two hours talking with three people about snack foods and tasting some cookies. “Not bad for making money from 6 to 8 pm in my own home when the only thing I’d normally be doing is eating dinner,” she says.

To find companies looking for focus group participants, check out FindFocusGroups.com or search job postings on Craigslist with keywords such as “market research,” “paid study,” or “surveys.”




An earlier iteration of this article originally appeared on DailyWorth on March 23, 2015.

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Join the Discussion

9 Responses to “Flexible Side Gigs to Bring in Extra Income”

  1. Brittany Visser

    My story. I’m a mother of 4 kids, 3 month old twins, 2 and 6 year old boys. My sister became a distributer for Lipsense (kiss-proof, smudge-proof, smear-proof lipstick), and I made fun of her for 2-3 months until I finally tried the product and became hooked! Additionally, she was working part time as a mother of 1, a few hours a day, and within 4 months was bringing in a $3-4k monthly paycheck and within 7 months made an $8k paycheck. I knew I had to jump in and join the team and haven’t looked back since. You may decide to try it, become a distributor and sell it, or decide you don’t care for it at all! Either way, I love this product and the business side of it is amazing.

    If you’d like to earn some side $$ or learn more, you can connect with me on Facebook or Instagram (xoxoglossygirlsbybrit). If you want to just order a couple colors and try it for yourself, it is definitely affordable and worth the money. You can also email me for more information (xoxoglossygirlsbybrit[email protected])

    • guyter

      So you just basically whore yourself for your product by trolling websites that offer helpful information regarding making extra money? Can I get a free lipstick for my discovery?!

  2. chickadee33

    The focus groups are the real deal. I’ve done these for years and it’s literally the closest thing to free money that exists today. The major caveat is that most of them only happen in major cities so if you live in the middle of Nebraska this probably isn’t an avenue for making money. What happens: You go into the offices of these focus groups/ research companies and talk about something (i.e.like insurance or drinks or tv commercials) or anything the company that hired the focus group wants. The point is that they are gathering public opinion on products or services. You sit in a room for a couple of hours while other people sit on the opposite side of a 2-way mirror and record the session. You get a lot of questions and give your opinion. You leave with a check or Visa gift card THAT day – typically for $75 – $150. People don’t think these things are real but they are. They are not scams. You just sign up online to be in their database or fill out surveys on their Facebook page and eventually you will get called and screened over the phone and go in if you qualify. Google: focus groups and whatever city you live in.

  3. Mao

    I found one online survey site that is easy to earn money and I was earn $2,700 last month by taking online surveys https://mmss2017.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/taking-paid-surveys-online/

  4. Brian Winch

    I’ve been making a 6 figure income yearly for over 30 years by providing a simple service that’s almost as easy to do as going for a walk! I provide a nightly litter removal service outside retail, office and industrial properties for property management companies. My service is performed on-foot using inexpensive hand tools. The work hours are great if you’re looking for a side gig that won’t conflict with your day job. Make $20K – $50K a year part time. I’m sharing my experience with others who would like to “clean up” their community. Details: http://www.cleanlots.com

  5. Arava Glam

    Good Tips, Thanks!
    For extra income I use Koocam .
    Teaches my skills and shares my knowledge.
    It’s great !

  6. James Jean

    Are you looking for a great way to earn some extra $$$? I do a paid for surveys site and I make around $300 a month, try it out for yourself.>>> WAHMSURVEYS.COM

  7. american chinese

    If you can write in English, I made some money doing editing work and some content writing on freelance sites like oDesk. It takes a little while to get going initially but once you have a few reviews you can usually make a little headway. I had one consistent client that was a great source of work with very reasonable hours per week.

    As for other tips, all I can say is “a penny saved is a penny earned”. If you are running out of ideas to make money online, start saving. Some quick “low hanging fruit” tips to save some quick cash include – switch to MetroPCS or Boost for cellphone (I only pay $20/month), switch auto insurance to Insurance Panda ($25/month), and start using GasBuddy (saves me like $100/month at least. I drive a lot).

  8. Outdoor Gear Web

    I really enjoy writing stories. I have found that I get to be creative and make some money on the side through http://www.thisbookiswrittenforyou.com All of the writers get to collaborate on a book and then get a portion of the sales. It definitely isn’t a get rich quick type of thing but to be creative and get a portion of any book sale is pretty cool!