Stack of pound coins

What Can I Sell?

Don’t have a Rembrandt in the attic or an antique sideboard in the living room? No worries. What we think is old junk is often a little treasure to other people.

Companies buy back old phones. Websites offer to pay for old CDs and DVDs. And the general public are always scouting car boot sales looking for something ‘ex-loved’ to take off our hands.

Follow the links below for more info… although you’ll have to do your own search for that last tip.


The Big Issue, the magazine that used to only be sold by homeless people, is now open to long-term unemployed people and social tenants struggling to make ends meet. Peter Bird, Distribution Director, explains:

“Selling The Big Issue magazine is a great way for anyone in financial difficulty to earn extra cash. You can work when you want, and selling the magazine allows you to learn new skills and meet new people. Every new vendor gets 5 free copies to get them started, which means you can start earning straight away, and our staff are always on hand to offer support and advice.”

In principle, selling The Big Issue is a form of self-employment. Earnings should be declared to HMRC (for tax reasons) and, for benefit claimants, to DWP. However, neither make it easy to do so. For more information on how selling the magazine works, click here.


“I can’t believe I built a small but global business from a laptop and a desk in our loft. I can reach customers across the world through sites like Etsy and Craftsy.”

Lindsay E is one of millions of people with a talent for growing or making things and while a market stall can bring in the bucks, online marketplaces like Etsy have changed everything. “I have run my Sproglets Kits for nearly 3 years. In that time I’ve had two maternity leaves so I haven’t had as much time as I might have liked to develop it. I hope to be able to make it my main job so that I can work around my family – I am close to this becoming a reality!”

Got a garden or allotment? Try growing and selling fruit and veg. Master baker? How about selling party cakes or supplying a local café with goodies? For people with sewing skills, there is a range of options from soft furnishings to baby clothes. Or make funky greetings cards and get them on sale.

Hosting parties where people can browse and buy products are still big business too, there are loads to choose from. So think about whether that might be candles, kitchenware, make up or sexy gear. Sonjia P became a Partylite consultant, hosting ‘shopping experiences in other people’s homes:

“I set up stalls and ‘go live’ via social media to share our home decor range and fragranced candles. I am my own boss so I choose when, where and how I work and the more I sell, the more I earn. I drive so I can show in different places but others are just selling using the social media platform.”

Sonjia says, to grow the business, it’s important to be passionate about we’re selling and to share it with everyone. She adds: “The real key to receiving extra earnings and rewards is for me to grow my own team.  This is what I am concentrating on now. If you can #sharewhatyoulove for a financial reward, why wouldn’t you.”

More details on options here:


Householders have options too. Got a spare room? What about taking on a lodger or signing up to a foreign student hosting scheme to generate some extra cash? The Rent-A-Room scheme, for example, means we can earn up to £7,500 a year from lodgers, tax-free and not counted as income for Universal Credit claimants. An unused parking space, especially if it’s somewhere useful to commuters, can also yield some dosh. Renters, though, should check the terms of their tenancy.

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