On occasion we have had threads/post on the Dope from Dopers who have, through misfortune or economic privation or whatnot, had trouble with little things like keeping the electricity turned on, the rent paid, getting health care, car payments made and whatnot. And there’s generally some helpful suggestions in response to such posts/threads, but it’s kinda scattershot in nature.
So I was thinking of starting a thread that would be a resource for people who need some economic grease to get them through the tough spots. Suggestions for ways of making extra money, resources for keeping food, clothing and so forth in place. Even the Dopers who are now fairly comfortable have often gone through lean times and learned a few ways to get by in those lean times.
Of course, the Web is full of advice on how to make money, the difference here is, it will be from people who are not trying to sell something, and who will hopefully be giving realistic advice on how they make or made money.
I’ll start with something Terrorcotta and I did for about 18 months: we sold specialty cosplay garments on ebay. Terrorcotta was a fan of an obscure anime and made herself a costume for it, but needed an item to make her costume complete. But nobody was selling it, so she designed it and found a good supplier for the clothing item, and I bought a $50 “starter” silkscreen set and silkscreened the design onto it. Then we figured other people might want the item for their costumes, and sold them on Ebay at about one item a week. Our costs ran about $3 per item, and they sold generally at about $20 per item … sometimes for as little as $12, but once for $70 and a couple of times in excess of $50. Cosplayers wanted that item bad.
After the item sold for $50 plus a couple of weeks in a row and then for $70 (made our Christmas a little nicer that year), some pirate out in Hong Kong took note and flooded the market with them, and we exited, pocketing our proceeeds.
I’d say the secret to the success of that venture was Terrorcotta’s knowledge of that anime and her design skills. My mad silkscreen skillz might have helped too. But other people may have knowledge of particular market niches that could let them successfully sell things on Ebay, too.