College is expensive, y’all.
I got the first textbook email of the summer from my biochemistry professor. According to her, the book is ‘cheap’. Woman, I ask you, HOW IS $110 CHEAP!? By textbook standards, it’s relatively cheap, but man oh man, my orgo book was only $30!
To ensure that I can pay for my textbooks and save the money I need for rent (I’m not tryna be homeless) I’ve taken matters into my own hands; there is little I wouldn’t do for money these days. Here’s a comprehensive list of the side hustles I’ve taken up this summer to get those fine US legal tenders:
- SWAGBUCKS: I have such a love/hate relationship with Swagbucks. I love how easy it is to get paid, but I hate the content (for the most part). Swagbucks is a rewards site that will pay you (mostly in pennies, but they add up [sometimes]) for watching videos, literally CLICKING ON LINKS, searching through their search engine (still love you, Google), and taking surveys. It’s so easy (albeit slow goings) to get paid. I’ve probably made about $50 since signing up at the end of May. The downsides, are: obviously the super slow payoff; if you’re persistent, you can maybe make 2ish dollars a day. The surveys (aside from free trials and such) usually have the highest payoff, but they’re so. freaking. hard. to qualify for! Like, I shit you not, one of the most visited pages on my computer is the ‘survey terminated’ page. Not having a credit card throws a wrench in the whole ‘sign up with a valid card for rewards’ thing, and the videos are pretty uninteresting and are always preceded by ads.You can cash in rewards at 500 Swagbucks ( = $5.00), HOWEVER, instead of getting actual money, you cash in those hard earned points for gift cards. No big deal, I’m using mine for Amazon gift cards to save for my textbooks. Once you hit 2500 SB ($25.00) you can get a $25 PayPal gift card, and send your hustle money right to your bank account. It’s dull work, but it can definitely be a lucrative side hustle (I mean, come ON, you know you’re just going to be watching YouTube videos anyways, sign up and get paid for playing the videos in the background. You’re welcome).
- EBAY: Okay, so this is honestly not the most lucrative side hustle, and I mostly regret using it as such, but I’m gonna mention it anyways. Here is a piece of advice: IF YOU SELL SHIT ON EBAY DO. NOT. OFFER. FREE. SHIPPING. LIKE, EVER. DON’T DO IT. See, I sold most of my Funko Pop figures, as I was honestly a little embarrassed by them (it was a PHASE), and really needed some quick cash. I fell into the trap called: “if I make the shipping free to buyers, more people will want to buy my stuff!” BAD IDEA. I probably spent at least $50 shipping those things. Not to mention the money I had to spend on shipping boxes ($1.49 at Staples. I know, because I bought a shitton), packing tape (3.49 at my local USPS office), and eBay seller fees (~$30). I still made money, but it cost me a lot, too. With few exceptions, most of my Pop figures went for between 10 and 20 dollars, so it took several sales to cover my seller fees. I paid for shipping boxes and tape with tip money. Taking boxes, tape, and seller fees into consideration, I probably made $250. Look at the seller fees before trying this side hustle!! I say again, if eBay is your kind of hustle, DON’T OFFER FREE SHIPPING.
- DECLUTTR: Okay, this is literally so much fun. You won’t get a huge payout, but this is honestly such a great way to get rid of your unwanted stuff, and get paid for it! Decluttr accepts your used books (sometimes. I’ve found that they will only accept recent [~2ish year old publication dates] books), electronics, CDs, and movies. Download the app, scan the barcodes of all your junk, and it’ll give you a buyback value. For the most part, you’ll get about 20 cents an item, though I inexplicably got $1.50 for the Sims: Castaway Nintendo DS game. That’s another thing! Decluttr paid me more for my old Nintendo DS than Gamestop offered! Through Decluttr, I got rid of my DS for $20. At Gamestop, they were going to offer me $12 for it. I’m so glad I hung on to it. $20 is almost a tank of gas, people! Once all your items are scanned in, you’ll get a free(!) shipping label. Pack all that junk in a box, and send it for free! The only downsides I’ve found are: obviously the low buy back rates, their unwillingness to accept all books, regardless of pub. date, and the time it takes for you to receive your payout (2 weeks to a month). Other than that, I had so much fun running around my house scanning everything in site. No, dad. I don’t know what happened to your PlayStation 2 Ford Racing game. (10 cents, guys!
- SELLING TEXTBOOKS: Ah, the beautiful full- circleness of selling textbooks to pay for textbooks. Using Bookscouter.com I was able to find the site with the highest buyback value for my textbooks. Once you register your books with a site, they send you a shipping label and you send them off for FREE! I was able to make about $400 off of old textbooks. The ones I didn’t sell are waiting in the shadows to attack unassuming rising sophomores at school, mwahahaha. But seriously, aside from Bookscouter, try the swap and sell page for your school. I plan on selling the ones with low Bookscouter values to other students at my school for more money.
- DOGSITTING: I can’t believe it, but I actually got paid to hang out with people’s dogs. A dream come true.