How I make an extra £500 per week from my little side hustle
I’ll never forget the day I was sitting at the table in the window of my snug feeling completely sick when suddenly the reality hit me, and the physical pain of fear ran through me.
It was a Sunday morning in early February 2019 eight months after I found out I was up to my neck in debt. I’d spent those months doing everything I could to keep cashflow coming in, a few months earlier I’d sold my car to invest heavily in and launch my little herbal tea company, I was trying to keep my other businesses and smallholding afloat and keep the wolves from the door.
Winter fodder that year was incredibly expensive, the costs were spiralling and financially crippling until eventually that dreaded day I realised I had absolutely zero cash left and not enough coming in to cover expenses, costs and the debt repayments.
It was made worse by the fact our heating oil had run out the day before, so we had no heating or hot water, our cupboards were almost bare with just a bag of budget pasta left, I had no food for my dogs and no idea what the hell I was going to do.
I just felt completely drained and wanted to get back in to bed never to get out again!
Molly (my youngest) was just 13 years old at the time, it was only me and her and it was Molly that kept me going. She needed me and I needed to step up and be there for her. As a mother the tremendous instinct of survival is a powerful motivator not to give up.
I had to think of something fast that would bring in a much-needed cash boost. I sat there wracking my brain flicking through ideas that were all NO!
Feeling complete despair, unable to think of anything I could do to raise even £1 I decided to call my son and confess to him just how bad things had become. I felt incredibly ashamed, humiliated and like an utter failure but I had to make the call and ask if he would take Molly, feed her and keep her warm until I could figure things out. My heart was broken.
As I explained to him my quandary, he suggested I try selling things on Facebook marketplace. I’d never even heard of marketplace, I didn’t use Facebook at all at the time in fact it was a place I avoided like the plague!
He explained to me what marketplace is and a brief description how to use it – he’d never sold on there so had limited knowledge about how to sell.
I came off the phone and started thinking about all the things I had outside that I was more than happy to part with, I had of course already thought about listing them on ebay but being in the predicament I was in ebay was just too time consuming and it would mean I’d have to wait until my listings finished to get any income… Plus all the fees, packing and shipping large items etc.
The first thing I had to do was get the Facebook app and figure out how to use Facebook and then figure out marketplace. I was pleased to find it was incredibly easy – with that said I have fairly good knowledge on tech stuff so it didn’t take me long to figure it all out.
I had a mountain of stuff laying around the smallholding just waiting to be moved on. The year before I’d bought at auction two brand new spruce hot tubs, one had been installed the other was still sitting in its box in the hay shed. So, the first thing to photo was that hot tub.
I listed it for £1500. It sold within 10 minutes, within the hour the buyers had been, paid and collected their new hot tub.
I could not believe my luck.
I’d gone from destitute to having £1500 cash in a matter of hours and of course with that came a renewed energy to keep going.
Over that week I listed anything and everything including 40 of my cattle! Not fully understanding Facebook rules I decided it was time to reduce cattle numbers and I had 40 youngstock beef cattle ready to go, so I went round took a few photos and a short video and listed them. I ended up with a bidding war, they sold within half an hour the farmer paid straight away by bank transfer and arranged for collection the following week. Needless to say not ten minutes after they sold Facebook pulled the ad and I got a very stern warning!
Since then, I continuously have a steady stream of items for sale on marketplace, it inspired me to open my little vintage farm shop (pictured above) in one of my outbuildings – which I advertise on marketplace and people message to make an appointment to come and look round.
I spend around 5-10 hours a week on this little side hustle and never fail to make £500.
Where do I get the items to sell?
I haven’t emptied my home or smallholding of everything I own so I can sell it all on marketplace but when I could see the potential that marketplace had to bring me in that steady flow of income I started to find ways to replenish the things I could sell and turn this into a profitable side business.
I’ve put together this fantastic free ebook which explains everything you need to know about making a profitable side business on marketplace, where to source your items to sell and how to build a loyal customer base.
Are you interested in learning how to sell and make profit on marketplace?