The Number One Easy Side Hustle That You Can Start Now

If you're going through a quarter-life crisis or midlife crisis this one is for you.

Many of the biggest problems that strike us during these periods is how to find a purpose or how to earn money. Especially if you're a wage slave - it can be tormenting.  

Here's a dirty little secret: Making money today is easier than it's ever been. You don't need a degree or a 9-5 job. You don't need a car. All you need is a laptop and you can change your life. 

Image of Ariella McCall from Instagram
(Photo : Image of Ariella McCall from Instagram) 

Besides learning skills like coding, UX design, how to invest in stocks or cryptocurrency, how to start a blog/YouTube channel/podcast, you can even start smaller than that.

You can start with an online business - and there's nothing easier than reselling your own clothes. It's one side hustle that everyone should rely on for an extra source of income; especially because the market is exploding. 

How Big is The Resell Game?

Today the resale market is valued at $28 billion and is predicted to double to $64 billion by 2024, according to a CNBC report.The resale market grew 25 times faster than the overall retail market last year, with an estimated 64 million people buying secondhand products in 2019. And instead of the resale industry taking a hit from the pandemic - it grew even faster.

"Americans could begin to change their spending habits in the fallout from this pandemic...More people are embracing frugality or thrift." -

Secondhand sales are expected to outpace fast fashion (H&M, Forever 21, and Zara) within the next decade and reach $64 billion by 2028 or $20 billion more than the estimated fast fashion sales, according to ThredUp.

That would mean that the resale market could represent as much as 10% of the retail industry's sales in the next few years.

"Analysts predict consumers will turn to sites like thredUP and Rebag to clean out their closets for extra cash...and stuck at home and worried about their finances, they're hunting for bargains online," said Tech Correspondent Chavie Lieber from Business of Fashion: BoF

Lessons From a Reseller: Ariella Imena 

Ariella dropped out during her sophomore year of college. But without missing a beat she launched her own business reselling her used clothes.

After she ran out of  clothes in her own closet, she turned to her favorite place in the world, thrift stores. Today reselling clothes has become her primary source of income.

"I make $1200 a month and have around 5500 followers on Depop (a site for users to buy and sell unique fashion). The turning point was when selling allowed me to save up for a trip to Europe," said Imena. "Once I started seeing that I could travel the world from selling secondhand clothing, that's when it became a full-time job for me.

Ariella tells me that reselling is the perfect side hustle for thrift shoppers. When she heads into a thrift shop she's hardly even shopping for herself anymore. She's looking for what she can flip for upwards of 5x the price she bought it for.

"When I go to the thrift store, I've become fast with my eyes," said McCall. I always look for very colorful, vibrant fabrics. It takes anywhere from an hour to two hours to search an entire store and sometimes I search through piles just to find one shirt. But I love it, it's like a sport to me."

Photo by Atikh Bana on Unsplash

Right now the "Y2K" style is in season. It's a fashion that emulates the early 2000's apparel. Think Britney Spears-type crop-tops, huge platform shoes, or anything the Spice Girls wear in their "Wannabe" music video.

Young people are most attracted to buying secondhand clothing. 37% of Gen Z shop resale, compared to 27% of millennials and 19% of baby boomers according to Forbes.

From Side Hustle to Making a Business

Customers are very particular when purchasing secondhand clothing. 

It can look unique but it can't look tacky. It can have holes, but it better not be cheap; it can be cute, but no gross stains. There's a perfect balance to secondhand style, and McCall says she feels like the personal stylist for her customers much of the time.

"I'm doing the hard labor for other people to buy it - I'm kind of like their stylist in a way," says McCall. "Friends always ask me to come thrifting and they always say the same thing: 'oh I can't find anything.' They don't get that you have to dig through the racks to find that perfect item that fits your style."

After she finds a piece for reselling, she has to model clothes for her customers and take photos. Her primary site for selling, Depop only allows four images for upload. So she takes dozens of photos for each piece in hopes of finding the perfect picture to post. Clothing has to look flattering, unique, edgy, or cool enough to, and sometimes a combination of all three to draw interest.

What started off as an easy side hustle became a full-fledged business.

She says the key to standing out is prioritizing good customer service. McCall writes personal notes sometimes saying:

"Thank you for supporting my shop, I know you're gonna look good."

She says it isn't about building a fragmented group of followers, it's about building a community and brightening someone's day. Customers take notice too because they often send her messages back on Instagram or Depop.

"I love getting those long messages from people where you can see they recognize the work you put in," says McCall. "It's just treating people the way you want to be treated; we're all a reflection of each other at the end of the day."

Related Article: Researchers Find Optimal Way To Pay Off Student Loans  

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