Did You Walk By The Passive Income Idea Today At The Store?

by Scott on March 2, 2009

Sunday Ads
photo credit: MNgilen

Sometimes a passive income idea is looking at you and asking to make you some extra money. In this case we’ll look at taking ordinary items at your local store and turning them into cash for your family. You might look at your next shopping trip a little differently and you probably will be smiling the entire time you’re out hunting for passive income. Just to be clear, this will require your time to buy the items and also some up front cash. If you don’t have a savings account or emergency account established, I wouldn’t suggest you try this passive income idea. You can start out small until you have amassed a nice little savings account to use for this new source of extra income.

So what is it? It’s not as glamorous as investing in stocks for passive income and it doesn’t require you to spend hours writing an ebook. You will visit the same stores you normally visit during the week, but now you’ll add some items to your shopping list. The Sunday paper or your weekly ads from major retailers will provide all the necessary information you need for this passive income idea. This weekend I found a name brand flash drive that retailed for $19.99 that had a manufacturer rebate check for $19.99. Total cost for the flash drive was $1.70 to cover the 8.5% sales tax here in California. I then fill out the manufacturer rebate to receive my check in the mail for $19.99. At this point the flash drive has only cost $1.70 and I can list the item on ebay. Name brand items sell wonderfully on ebay and look for tech gadgets and software. I have been able to pickup copies of anti virus software and resell it on ebay for a nice $30 profit. Again, make sure you have funds to cover the time it takes to receive the manufacturer rebate check. You don’t want to be paying 19.99% interest on a credit card balance while you are waiting for your item to sell on ebay.

Look for ads in your local newspaper and circle items that have rebate checks from the manufacturer. Best Buy, Radio Shack, Rite Aid, and Walgreens all offer rebate checks. This weekend I even found a blood pressure kit that was free after a rebate at Rite Aid. This could be a great source of extra income to cover some of your household groceries or even a meal out once a week.

You will need to be organized and timely with your rebate check submissions. Don’t forget to read all of the fine print and what is needed for the rebate process. Do you need the UPC code and a copy of your sales receipt for the rebate? Some retailers offer electronic checks so that the process is much more automated. You might want to start with a Walgreeens or Rite Aid and research what they offer first.

How much can you realistically make doing this? We have an electronics retailer called Fry’s that has numerous manufacturer rebate offers during the week. The retail value for this weekend at Fry’s would equal between $100-$200. Rebates were offered on hard drives, anti virus software, books, and flash drives. See if you can find some passive income ideas in your newspaper.

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Passive Income Opportunities - Think Creatively — Passive Family Income
March 5, 2009 at 6:46 am

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MacNessa March 2, 2009 at 5:16 am

What a great idea, I wish that more stores around these parts had rebate cheques. The concept here is very rare, in fact electronics stores around here are only now cottoning on to the idea of tax rebates for old technology trade-ins. Something which has been commonplace in the USA for at least 2 years. It certainly makes the price of my much desired 24″ iMac far easier to reach…

2 Jeff@StretchyDollar March 2, 2009 at 7:30 am

I like this idea – if you’re willing to do the research and follow all of the tiny rebate rules, it can be very profitable. T-Mobile paid us $100 for our cell phones (on sale for free for one day). It’s nice!

3 Maria @ Residual Income Web March 2, 2009 at 9:28 am

Can this really be called passive income? From looking at the ads, driving to the store, spending time in line, listing on ebay, filling out rebate form, packaging, shipping … seems like a lot of active work to me. Where does the passive part come in? ;)

Secondly, what does the hourly rate work out to? I guess if you are already at the store there isn’t as much time involved, but there’s still the eBay selling headache.

I stopped selling on eBay precisely because of the poor returns for the time invested.

4 Matt March 2, 2009 at 10:01 am

Good idea! I do tend to pick up a bunch of free or low cost electronic stuff when I see ads in stores / newspapers but never considered selling them on EBay for a profit. I think that next time I am out and find a bargain maybe I’ll give it a shot!

5 pfincome March 3, 2009 at 11:08 am

I agree with Maria that this is probably a stretch at passive income – but still something that I may be interested in looking into. I already scan the weekly ads as a Sunday ritual so there is no extra time for me there. Plus my wife and I shop several different stores (Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Target) – so again, not a lot of extra time for me. The time spent on eBay would be where I would spend time. What about paying someone to sell your items on eBay for a cut of the profits?

Question – Rebates that require a UPC symbol – How would you handle selling those on eBay?

6 Scott March 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm

@ Maria and PFincome

Okay, maybe it was a little stretch to make this passive income idea. But, many retailers are offering electronic rebates and help automate the refund process. As for ebay, yes this would take some time to list, but could be a great source of extra income. I also wouldn’t suggest going to a store that would take half a tank of gas just to get a rebate.

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