Monday, August 30, 2010

Work at Home Jobs for Moms Part 1: Re-Selling Stuff

There are many work at home jobs for moms that require little to no overhead, do not involve finding people to sell under you or host selling parties, and can be enjoyable as well as profitable. As a work at home mom who makes in the neighborhood of $3,000 a month primarily from my computer, I have several years' experiences and many ventures from which to draw on in order to share this knowledge with you.

I've earned money selling items on eBay, reselling kids' clothes at consignment sales, grading English papers from home, mystery shopping, forum posting, writing articles for hire, freelance editing, writing content articles, blogging, publishing websites, ebook writing and affiliate marketing. Two things I don't do, and refuse to do, are "paid surveys" and any type of multilevel marketing, whether it's selling makeup or microfiber cloths or kids' educational toys or kitchen gadgets at home parties -- no thanks.

It's very, very hard to build a passive income from multilevel marketing -- the cards are stacked against you. Conversely, it's actually quite possible -- with hard effort and some skills -- to make a significant income from home with a job you will enjoy and hours you choose.

Since I currently earn the bulk of my income through online sources, I'll focus on those methods in the future posts in this series. However, I first want to note several great sources for side income, especially since these can be used to build capital for  funding and growing an online business.

Work at Home Jobs for Moms:  Reselling Used Stuff

You can buy and re-sell kids clothes, home goods, collectibles and the like while working from home. This works best if you have a good sorting and storage area, such as garage or basement space, that you can use just for this purpose. as you'd assume, the key is to buy things very cheaply and to resell them for more.

eBay Selling
Don't dismiss eBay auction selling as impossible, overcrowded or not worth the time. If you find good items to resell, you can make money -- possibly even lots of money-- every week through online auctions. When I was first a stay at home mom, I built up a small eBay business and earned a few hundred dollars on the site every month, sometimes more. I simply bought things for a little and sold them for more. For example, I found a new Calvin Klein duvet at a thrift store for $5 and resold it for $60. A lamp I paid $2 for sold for $20 plus shipping, and there were many items like this where I was able to turn a  few dollars into more. Some work at home moms make a full time income selling on eBay, and most got their start finding used things to re-sell.

Good sources for items to resell include yard sales, consignment stores, Craigslist, giveaway bags from friends and family, clothing salvage stores such as Gabriel Brothers and Rugged Warehouse, discount places like Ollie's and Big Lots, and your own attic and basement.

A friend and fellow blogger, Suzanne, has tons of advice, information and free resources on making money from home with eBay at her eBay Selling Coach blog. If you have an eye for things that would sell well, or would like to develop one, check it out. Suzanne discusses ebay niches, eBay success stories -- like a thrift store find of vintage sewing patterns for 76 cents that sold for $75 on eBay -- and she is all around the best eBay blogger I've ever read.

Kids' Seasonal Consignment Sales
I sell used children's clothing, toys and furniture at semi-annual sales held in my area and make about $200-$500 per season for what amounts to a few hours' work sorting, cleaning, tagging, and  delivering my items. The money lets me splurge on new things for my kids and have extra money to spend on their birthday and Christmas gifts. If you get serious about it, you can earn thousands of dollars per sale (assuming you're selling at a sizable sale in a good area).

ConsignmentMommies is a great website and offers some key advice on top-selling kids' items and how to maximize your consignment profits. When you can source items very cheaply and resell them for great used-item prices, you'll do well. They have an extensive listing of consignment sales by state, too.
(By the way, if you are looking for affordable kids' clothing and don't have local consignments sales, you can also swap kids' clothes online for free at Thred-Up.)

 Consignment Stores
Despite the recessionary economy of the past year, or perhaps in part because of it, one of the new businesses that opened up in my hometown was a consignment store in the town's main shopping center. They accept everything from home goods to furniture to ladies' clothing to kids' toys. While the store/ consignor split isn't the best (they keep 60% of the sale price) it is an easy way to make extra money, using the same sources listed above for re-selling on eBay. for me, the consignment store is the least favorable selling option and used mainly for heavy items, home goods that wouldn't do well on eBay, and kids' clothes only in between the seasonal sales.

There are many work at home jobs for moms, and I'll discuss more -- especially online ones -- in future posts. My favorite ways to earn money form my computer involve residual income and being paid over and over for the same work. But as you can see, reselling things can be a great way to get started earning money from home. 

Have you made money selling on eBay or via consignment? What's your best re-selling success story?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wealthy Affiliate Progress: Goals & Tasks

My blog posting has admittedly fallen to the wayside as I've concentrated on my niche sites over the summer. A big part of the Wealthy Affiliate approach is to set goals and create related tasks to accomplish these goals, periodically checking in to ensure you're still on track. The goals are an important way to envision success and articulate what you hope to achieve.

Written goals give you a way to measure your progress, and your successes or failures along the way. For example, one of my goals is to earn $800 per month from my three mini cooking-niche sites combined by September 12, 2011. Since they are currently earning just a few dollars each every month, I have a good amount of work to do to see the achievement of my goal. That's where tasks come in.

The tasks related to each goal are the specific ways in which you will work to achieve the goals. Tasks are set up on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on your level of motivation and time available. One of my current tasks is to add three posts or pages to each of my cooking sites this week, and create one new backlink for each.

My Wealthy Affiliate control panel includes a user-friendly section for Tasks & Goals where I can stay organized, and create or delete these items as needed. Of course, actually doing the work is still up to me ... but having both my goals and self-created tasks staring at me is totally motivating and I am accomplishing much more than I was without a written plan.

An unanticipated benefit to my membership there has been the tools to promote Wealthy Affiliate and earn commissions on referrals made. To date, I've earned $394.50 from WA commissions, just by discussing WA on two of my blogs and in a few emails. Everyone who joins has the ability to see this kind of success and better. With the tools and instruction provided as part of your membership, you can use WA to pay for itself at a minimum, or provide another income stream to further diversify your online income.

What are your current goals for making money online? Have you set up specific tasks to help you reach those goals?

P.S. After writing this post, I noticed that fellow WAHM blogger Felicia at No Job for Mom is dreaming big with a  long term goal in the six figures annually ... I have no doubt she'll get there, and you can, too!