Five Alternative and Easy Ways to Get Some Cash


Summer term can be brutal: your student loan or savings are a distant memory, but exams or essay panic leave you with zero time to top-up your wages. If that sounds painfully familiar, there’s a fix! There are loads of ways to earn extra income in a flash – just pick one and say goodbye to skint.


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Up-sell to turn a cheeky profit


Up-selling involves selling things for more than you paid for them. The simplest way is to grab pound store and second-hand bargains, then list them for sale at a profit. You don’t even need to leave the house to get stock: one student made £30k selling clothes on eBay, loads of which were cheap items she found … on eBay!


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  • Hit pound stores, but look for limited editions you can sell on for far more than the quid it cost you to buy.
  • New-season Primark gear goes quickly in-store as savvy sellers snap ‘em up and hock them for twice as much online.
  • Keep an eye out for students offloading set texts and other uni essentials (you can up-sell them to next-year’s intake instead).
  • If you’re a sewer or DIYer, look out for items in need of some love: you could get ‘em cheap – or for nowt – then upcycle for extra profit.

If you’re thinking about selling regularly, eBay, Etsy, and Amazon are good for reaching more buyers (but keep an eye on seller’s fees or postage costs when pricing up your items). For fee-free try Facebook, Shpcok or Preloved.


Get renting


Up-selling can be a sweet deal, but the downside is having to replace stock to keep turning a profit. If that’s not for you, rentals are worth a look: you can earn cash repeatedly from a couple of items, plus you can use stuff you’ve got around the house:


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  • Designer clothes/accessories or fancy dress outfits
  • Kitchen kit: think niche gadgets on a try-before-you-buy basis, or even extra pots, pans and plates for special occasions
  • Out-of-hours printer access
  • Your bike, roller blades or, if you have one, your car
  • Sports or hobby gear
  • High-end gadgets (camera, musical instruments) or gardening gear.

There’s almost no end to what you can loan out – but if it’s something valuable make sure you’ve got a damage clause in place so you’re not left out of pocket if the worst happens.

To find punters near you get notices up around campus and in corner shops, get on forums, and generally get the word out!


The Instagram flash sale


Got an Insta account? You could be sitting on a gold mine – and finding out takes almost no effort! Brooklyn photographer Daniel Arnold tested this out a couple of years ago, when he posted: “For one day only I am selling 4×6 prints of whatever you want from my Instagram archive for $150 each.” Bosh: 24 hours later, he’d made 15 grand.


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Now, Arnold’s a well-known street photographer which obviously helps – but if you’ve got the pics, it could be worth a shot. Just make sure you’ve got permission to sell photos that include other people, trademarks or private property!


Sell your bod (in the good way!)


With so many folk pitching photos to stock libraries like Alamy and EyeEm, demand for models is on the up as well – which is where you come in! Forget any hang-ups about not looking like a catwalk clothes horse: close-ups of hands, feet and hair, as well as regular people doing normal things, are all trending. Hook up with local photographers and it could be a win-win for both of you.


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Alternatively, stalk the Ugly Models Agency facebook page: the name’s an ego killer, but they often post call-outs for ‘normal’ people to feature in ads, articles, films and photo shoots.


Make your own freelance gig


Whatever your talent, there’s a way to cash-in on it! Forget zero-hour contracts and stingy wages: going it alone means more profit and less hassle.

If you want to stay local

Get the word out about what you’re offering: dog walking, child minding, cleaning, removals, DIY, sports/hobby or academic tutoring… you get the idea. Knock on doors, post flyers or take out a classified in the local press or on gumtree.

If you want to go global

You can teach just about anything (music, languages, hobbies) online though video messaging or blog tutorials. Got design, social media or voice-over skills? Try sites like Fiverr or fivesquid.

There are loads of ways to build up a business empire but if quick cash is what you want, use the skills and kit you’ve got to hand to get started without the faff. Good luck!


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