Online Gigs
If you know the right sites to search, you can make a lot of money without leaving your bedroom. (Image via Pixabay)

Babysitting, yard work, odd jobs for neighbors or even holding down a summer job are great ways to earn some cash before heading back to school in the fall. Many college students are unaware of online gigs they can get from home, or even the poolside, if they have access to Wi-Fi.

Here are five ways to bring in some extra money while still being able to enjoy your summer from home.

1. Upwork

Upwork is a world-wide freelancing platform where businesses and professionals connect and collaborate remotely. Signing up for an online gig as a freelancer is easy and the process is secured by Upwork, who offers, among others, freelance projects in web design, web development, writing, translating, IT, marketing and advertising.

Businesses and individuals hire freelancers through Upwork for various levels of work, from beginners to experts, in different fields. Payment can be fixed or an hourly rate and the payment process goes directly through Upwork, who takes a 20 percent servicing fee.

Upon completion of a project, freelancers can choose to receive their payment through direct deposit, PayPal or wire transfer.

2. On-demand delivery services

The summer heat brings out the lazy in everyone at one point or another. As a hustling college student, this is another opportunity to make extra money through delivery companies such as DoorDash, Postmates, InstaCart and many others. Although the job requires access to a car and cannot be performed online, it can be a good way to earn some extra income over the summer.

A DoorDasher must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, access to an insured vehicle, a smartphone and undergo a background check. Once approved, Dashers have complete autonomy over their delivery schedule: they can choose to deliver whenever they want, for as long as they can and can stop whenever they wish. Check the DoorDash site for a list of cities where the on-demand delivery service is available.

Postmates, which is perhaps a more widely known delivery service, is another option, similar in concept to DoorDash. Postmates is available in more cities and is not limited to delivering food. Drivers for Postmates deliver everything from food to electronics, to flowers to books. The requirements to become a driver are similar to DoorDash’s, except Postmates does not specify the need for a smartphone.

For the environmentally conscious deliverer, Postmates and DoorDash also allow delivery on bikes and even scooters in certain central cities. These extra options of transportation make this delivery service job even more ideal for the college student who might not have a car or who lives in an area that is more easily accessible by bike.

As far as earnings go, the two on-demand delivery services have different equations for paying their drivers. Postmates drivers keep 80 percent of the delivery fee, which starts at $5, along with any tips, according to The Penny Hoarder.

DoorDash, on the other side of the equation, guarantees a minimum of $1 per order, plus customer tips. According to the DoorDash website, “For each delivery, you will always receive at least $1 from DoorDash plus 100 percent of the customer tip. Where that sum is less than the guaranteed minimum, DoorDash will provide a pay boost to make sure you receive the guaranteed minimum. Where that sum is more than the guaranteed minimum, you pocket the extra amount.”

Generally, the average payment per order is $5 without tips, and, of course, the Dasher keeps 100 percent of tips.

3. Sell Your Stuff

Summer closet clean-out doesn’t have to mean switching winter clothes for summer out of the boxes beneath your bed. Instead, make this summer cleaning (as opposed to spring cleaning) an opportunity to earn extra cash. Apps like Poshmark allow for easy and trusted ways to sell barely worn clothes for profit. As an added benefit for these online gigs having to do with retail, you can prevent simple hoarding by setting a minimum number of clothing items to sell.

And this doesn’t have to be limited to clothing. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and other online forums make it easy to generate a profit from things that have already gotten their fair use or have not been used in a while.

Think about that old nightstand from your childhood bed set. Or that bike that’s been rusting in the garage for years (although, I’m not so sure anyone would want to buy that). Or for a more traditional route, there is always the good old-fashioned garage sale.

Whatever avenue seems more appealing, this idea is constant: Make a profit from things that are simply taking up space and not providing any use anymore.

4. Selling Textbooks

Getting rid of school-related papers and books can be a therapeutic way to celebrate the end of a semester. My sister and I have always had a tradition of burning all our papers from the previous year in a bonfire and making s’mores. It was a symbolic way of turning stress and frustration into something good and delicious that made us happy. This same theory of gaining relief from making a bonfire also applies to selling textbooks from past semesters.

There is no reason to have old college textbooks lying around on a bookshelf when they can be sold online. Some of those websites include textbookrush.com, bookscouter.com, chegg.com and many others. A simple “buy back college textbooks” google search will render dozens of websites eager to pay money for books that would otherwise be sitting around taking up space on your desk.

In these instances, however, always be aware of the potential of fraud. Make sure the website promising to buy old textbooks is legitimate. If entering any personal information, make sure there is a lock symbol in the website link, which means the webpage is secure and the information entered is protected.

5. Selling Notes

Finally, one of the last online gigs you can find is selling notes from previous classes. OneClass is one of several websites that are in the business of buying lecture notes. Signing up for an account is easy and compensation for selling your notes is nearly instant.

Although for their payment method they use gift cards instead of direct cash, money is money regardless of what form it comes in.

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