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Side Hustles For Teens

Are you on summer break and bored out of your mind? Well, good news! Jetson has found some unique side hustles that you can take on to start your journey as a teen entrepreneur.

When it comes to side hustles, it's all about doing what you love, making some cash on the side, or maybe even saving up for something big you've been eyeing. The best part? You don't need a suit or fancy lingo to get started. And no, we aren't talking about just mowing lawns, babysitting, or dog walking.

Those boring stuff is not up to par at Jetson. We strive to provide teens with unique experiences and unconventional side hustles, designed especially for young go-getters like yourself. If this sounds like it's up your alley, then keep reading!

Unconventional side hustles for teens:

side hustles for teens

1. Claw machine side hustle

Initial Budget: $250 minimum Profit Potential: up to $1500 a month

How to get started:

  1. Find a Machine: Once you figure out your initial budget, look online for new or used claw machines. Sites like Alibaba or eBay often have a wide range of options. Make sure to read reviews and check the machine’s condition before buying.

  2. Stock Up on Prizes: Prizes can range from stuffed animals to electronics, depending on your audience. Remember, attractive prizes will draw more players. You can buy these items in bulk from wholesale retailers or online marketplaces. Aim for a variety of prizes with a range of appeal and value.

  3. Location: Location is crucial for your claw machine business. Ideally, you want to place it in a high traffic area where your target demographic hangs out. Think shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants, or even your school (with the necessary permissions). Some locations might charge you a rental fee or ask for a percentage of your earnings.

  4. Maintenance: Claw machines require occasional maintenance to keep them running smoothly. This includes restocking prizes, collecting money, and fixing any technical issues. You might want to learn basic repair skills or budget for a professional service.

  5. Legalities: Check your local and state laws regarding this type of business. You may need a permit or license to operate, and there could be restrictions on where you can place your machine. Check here to see the regulation for your state!

2. Vending machine side hustle

Initial Budget: $1000-3000 (used vending machines), $3000+ brand new Profit Potential: $400-800 a month

How to get started:

  1. Find a Machine: Look for a vending machine that fits your budget and needs. You can find both new and used machines online on websites like Alibaba, eBay, or specialized vending machine retailers. Keep in mind what type of products you want to sell (drinks, snacks, etc.) when selecting your machine.

  2. Stock Up on Products: Once you have your machine, you need to fill it with goods. You can buy in bulk from wholesale retailers or directly from manufacturers. Consider your target demographic when choosing products and aim for a variety that appeals to different tastes.

  3. Location: Just like in the claw machine business, the location of your vending machine is key. Places with high foot traffic such as schools, offices, shopping centers, or gyms are ideal. Contact property owners or management to negotiate placement. They may ask for a rental fee or a percentage of the profits.

  4. Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for your vending machine business. This includes restocking products, collecting cash, and addressing any technical issues. Learning some basic repair skills can save you money on professional maintenance services.

  5. Legalities: Research the laws and regulations in your area concerning vending machine businesses. You might need a permit or license, and there could be restrictions on the type of products you can sell or where you can place your machine. Also, it's important to keep track of your earnings for tax purposes.

  6. Customer Service: Last but not least, remember that good customer service can make a difference. Keep your machine clean, restock regularly, and quickly address any issues. Satisfied customers are more likely to return and spread the word about your vending machine.

3. Selling Snacks At School

Initial Budget: $50-200

Potential Profit: Profit is based on how much you sell items for. Average is most likely $100/week.

How to get started:

  1. Choose Your Snacks: What snacks will you sell? Think about what your friends and students at your school and what snack they enjoy. Do they prefer healthy snacks like fruit and granola bars, or are they more into classic snacks like chips and candy bars? You could consider conducting a small survey to find out. Remember, buying these snacks in bulk from grocery stores or online retailers would be your cheapest option.

  2. Price Your Snacks: After determining the cost per snack (including the packaging), you'll need to decide on a selling price. Ideally, this should be competitive while still allowing you to make a profit. A common approach is to aim for a profit margin of 50-100%.

  3. Find a Location: You'll need to find a good spot to sell your snacks. This could be a popular hangout spot, the school grounds during breaks, or even before and after school. However, always ensure you comply with school rules and any necessary permissions to sell. (If you want to do it low key, don't get caught!)

  4. Spread the Word: Use word-of-mouth, social media, or even create simple posters to advertise your new snack business. The more people know about it, the better your sales will be. BUT if you're low key about it, don't advertise too much.

  5. Maintain Stock and Quality: Regularly check your stock levels and keep your snacks fresh. Nothing will turn customers away faster than stale snacks.

  6. Manage Your Money: Track your earnings and expenses to keep an eye on your profit. It'll also help you understand which snacks are the best sellers and which aren't performing as well, so you can adjust your offerings accordingly.

4. Flea Market/ Thrift Stores Flipping - Remote Side Hustle

Initial Budget: $20-100+ Potential Profit: Profit is based on how much you flip items for. If you do clothings you can make $100+ a week.

How to get started:

  1. Know Your Market: Before you start buying items, understand what sells well. This could be anything from vintage clothing, records, furniture, to unique collectibles. Take the time to research online selling platforms like eBay, Poshmark, Depop or Etsy to gauge what's popular and profitable.

  2. Scout for Items: Head to your local flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, and even online marketplaces. Look for items that are underpriced but have a high potential resale value. Pro tip: Going towards the end of the day might snag you better deals, as sellers are often keen to offload their items.

  3. Negotiate: Don't be afraid to haggle. Sellers expect it, and you can often get a better price if you negotiate. Remember, the lower the cost of the item, the higher your potential profit!

  4. Refurbish If Needed: Some items may need a little TLC before they can be resold. This could be as simple as a thorough cleaning, or as complex as restoring furniture. Be careful not to spend too much time or money on this process though, as it can eat into your profits.

  5. Sell Your Items: Decide where to sell your items. This could be online through platforms like eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, or in person at your own flea market stall or garage sale. Take clear, appealing photos, write detailed descriptions, and set your price. Remember to factor in any fees the platform might charge.

  6. Manage Your Money: Keep track of your expenses (buying and refurbishing costs) and your income from sales. This will help you understand your profit and which items are the most profitable.


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