A little bit of extra pocket money never hurts, especially if your budget is tight. Here’s how to boost your bank balance.
 A little bit of extra pocket money never hurts, especially if your budget is tight. Here’s how to boost your bank balance.

Three steps you need to take to make serious cash

You may hear stories of people who claim they make thousands of dollars a month from flipping - which is reselling items online. Some professional sellers do make consistent income, especially if they have established a particular niche (eg vintage) and a brand, and have channels for obtaining second-hand goods cheaply. 

But can you make cash doing it? Is it worth all the effort of listing online and reselling? A little bit of extra pocket money never hurts, especially if your budget is tight. My experience is that every dollar counts and if you have a financial goal (eg saving for a home deposit), then selling your unwanted goods can be useful.

Selling items online is a good way to earn some extra pocket money.
Selling items online is a good way to earn some extra pocket money.

It can even be fun, as you get to meet new people and experience the joy of your clutter becoming someone else's treasure. But it's crucial to remember that most people will generally receive much less for an item than they paid for it - and not everything will sell.

HOW AND WHEN TO SELL

If you want to try it, make sure your items are clean and in good condition. Give your clothes a wash and an iron and, where possible, keep goods in their original package. If clothing needs a bit of attention (eg vintage clothing items missing a button), state it clearly in the ad.

It's also important to take good-quality, clear photos. Include a professional photo of the item from the brand's website, if available.

Choose the right time of year to market your products. In October people are likely to be searching for Halloween costumes and race-day outfits. There is not much demand for heavy woollen jackets or ski gear - especially with limited overseas travel.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE MONEY YOU MAKE

I like to put funds from online sales into a separate account - or even better, a micro-investing program such as Raiz or Spaceship Voyager - so that I can watch how my savings grow. Hubby and I did this three years ago as we were saving up for our (super frugal) wedding. We were amazed at how quickly our nest egg built up. It became semi-addictive.

 Say you made $25 a week from selling items - over a year that would bring you $1300. If you invested it in a bank at 1.15 per cent, that would grow to $1314.95 after 12 months. 

But if you put it into a micro-investing app, potentially higher returns could see it compound even faster. Spaceship Origin recorded an annualised performance up to August 31 of 9.52 per cent. Assuming 9 per cent, your $25 a week from unwanted goods could grow to $1417.

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Originally published as Three steps you need to take to make serious cash


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