Writer/Blogger, aspiring published author
Can usually be found on the floor with my two boys laughing, photographing something or dragging home furniture to up cycle.
Published February 12th 2015
No time to play honey, busy making money
1.Source and Create Statement Decor Pieces Without The Price Tag
Now I don't know about you but I absolutely love flicking through home decor and renovation magazines, dreaming about all the wonderful pieces I'd like to add to my own home.
Like most people though my reality comes crashing down when I see the price of these pieces. Hundreds, even thousands of dollars! Bye bye fancy stuff...or not?
Turns out a little research, an addiction to Pinterest and knowing where you can source some great pieces for a fraction of the price can get you to a designer looking home faster than you thought or perhaps some coin in your pocket doing it for others!
Don't worry you don't have to be immensely talented either. With all the ranges of paints with built in primers your fancy furniture could be a spray or brush stroke away.
So let's begin with the fabulous places I get my favourite pieces.
Savers Opportunity Shop in Christies Beach.
If you haven't been to one of the Savers Op Shop chains yet then I strongly suggest you check them out. It is so hard to believe sometimes what people will give away for free. I won't lie, I may just well be addicted to second hand stuff, but thats for another article.
The big find in op shops in general for me is vintage furniture. Anything that is from the 60s and 70s is so on trend right now. Even down to that brown laminate your grandma probably couldn't get rid of in her garage sale a few years ago.
The trend now is to get these pieces and either paint them or coordinate/style them with pops of colour. You would have seen many similar pieces featured on shows like The Block.
So far I have found Savers to be the most reliable in terms of a decent range of goodies among the various op shops. It might be something to do with their reward system.If you have some donations of your own they have a reward system where you get a card stamped ( a bit like when you buy coffee) and each donation earns you a discount on your next purchase in store. Win win! Here are a couple of pieces I have bought and/or up cycled from Savers.
I bought this crystal decanter and six glasses from Savers for $7 (after my donation discount) I sold it on ebay for $25
The next place I get cheap pieces is from Gumtree. I love trawling this site in to the wee hours of Saturday morning ready to go out on the weekend and snap up a bargain! A lot of the things we pick up from Gumtree, we actually get from the free section making it even more exciting to score.Below are some of the statement pieces we got from Gumtree.
This is a side table I picked up for free and then gave it a facelift with some black spray paint, chevron wrapping paper and some modge podge. All up including materials this cost me about $20. I decided to keep it...whoops!
If you aren't confident making your own statement furniture ( please at least give a go!) it doesn't matter. If you have the space, you can raise money by getting good quality freebie furniture off Gumtree and re-advertising them for a profit. Sometimes all they need is a good clean or a small repair and sometimes they don't need anything.
Last year, I picked up an awesome lounge with two chairs for nothing because the owner was leaving to move overseas and needed it gone quickly. I ran the vacuum over it and spot cleaned a few stains and a week later advertised it again and sold it for $400!
Me and my little man checking out how comfy the freebie lounge suite was before we sold it for a whopping $400
I also picked up a free set of really ugly drawers that had been painted blue and black for a kids room however the paint job was bad. I sanded it all back and ended up with a really cool effect on the wood.From there I coated the drawers in clear laquer, finishing it off with a white top and draw handles from leftovers from a previous project. I then listed it on Gumtree a couple of days later and sold it for $60.
2. Head to the markets to source valuables for resale. Then declutter the house and list your own "trash"
Okay, so the other places I like to go are markets. In particular the Brighton Markets SA. Brighton Market is great. Not only is it a fun morning strolling around checking out everyone's bits and bobs, there is also delicious food available.
Chilling with the family (and a few strangers my son recruited to play soccer with him) at the Brighton Markets
I use these markets because there are a lot of "ahem" old people who come to sell what most of us would see as junk. Lots of little ornaments, pottery items, crockery or crystalware. You can skim over most of it but sometimes there is a diamond in the rough if you know what you are looking for.
Thankfully there is no need to be an expert these days with Google on the iPhone. I always check out the pottery first. What these little biddys are selling for a few dollars might actually fetch anything from $10-$40 on eBay by a collector depending on where they were made. Pottery items usually have a identification stamp somewhere on them, usually the bottom. Locate it and do a search on Google seeing what pops up and then see what is selling of that item on eBay and for how much. If there are a tonne of them it's probably not worth it but if there is one or two or none, you could be on to a winner.
Dark green italian made glass is considered vintage and if you can find a set in good condition you could do well. I sold a set of six with a matching pitcher on ebay for $30 after buying them for $10. I consider that a worthwhile return. You do need to make sure though that there is some way of determining that they aren't just fromTarget or Big W. Look at any stamps or etching in the glass as well as emblems.
These glasses bought from a market stall for $10. Sold on ebay for $30
The Brighton Markets South Australia run second and fourth Sunday of every month. You can find out more here.
We also cleaned out our spare room and listed things between Gumtree and ebay. In a few days I managed to make $70 for a bunch of small items. I find books are the hardest things to sell but I priced them low at around $2 (I was never going to read them again) and they sold quickly. Sometimes its just a case of someone particularly needing the thing you are selling on the day, more than just having something 'nice' to sell.
This rocker was a freebie I picked up a few months back. I washed the cover, wiped over the frame and sold it on Gumtree for $15
3. Collect up all the scrap metal, bottles and cans.
I am stunned when I hear of people just throwing out their bottles and cans without a second thought. I see every can and bottle as a 10 cent coin (so obviously if you are clever enough to do the math, ten of them is a dollar!) To me, a dollar is a dollar and I'm not going to throw it away. If I am going to buy a drink while out I will purposely buy something that has the ten cent recycle logo on it so I can cash it in later. My mum also saves all her bottles and cans for me too. It all adds up with our monthly cash in around the $20 mark.
Scrap metal. Also something you shouldn't just chuck out. We recently did a bit of renovating in the backyard and had a lot of metal poles, wire and some broken equipment. We ended up doing quite well out of it at the recycle shop. Some people actually collect scrap metal for a living and to be honest if I had a Hilux its probably something I would consider doing. Once you have picked up a few fridges, washing machines and old fences or roofing you have pocketed yourself a nice little stash of cash.
This Summer I have not been as dedicated to entering competitions as I had been the previous months as I have been busy with a newborn. My wins were mainly small things such as shopping vouchers (technically money), cookbooks, a short holiday break and a pair of thongs. But hey, at least I don't have to spend money on any of those things now. The last financial year I had some big wins.
I won $25,000 worth of cash prizes as well as some decent smaller prizes like concert and theatre tickets, skin packs and more. For all those skeptics out there who say "I never win anything" it's probably because you don't enter many competitions. You would have to have some serious luck to enter two competitions and win one of them. I enter a lot. I spend about 4-5 hours minimum a week entering various free competitions. For me as a stay at home mum it pays off.
5. Get on top of the paperwork.
I can see you rolling your eyes thinking that this isn't technically "making" money but its certainly recovering lost or unclaimed money. The last few months have been super busy for me with a new baby so lots of things had been put on the back burner. I recently went through all the receipts with supermarket or petrol discounts, medicare and private health claims and managed to get $300 back into my account. I also shopped around for the best price on all household utilities, insurances and interest rates and saved another $1500 for the year by switching. I'll be glad I did it by next financial year.
What do you do to make some quick extra cash on the side?
Thank you Erin, this is possiby the best article I have read o weekend notes, albeit many months after posting. Sad to say but your mind obviously thinks like mine, though you have given me some inspiration and new information.