10 Side Hustles to Earn Extra Money in Dallas

You'll get to keep 80 percent of your fares if you drive for Uber or Lyft.
You'll get to keep 80 percent of your fares if you drive for Uber or Lyft.
Prathan Chorruangsak / Shutterstock.com

The holiday shopping season is coming up and if you're planning on buying your friends and family shiny, expensive gadgets to prove you love them in a total materialistic way, you might need some extra cash. 

If you're not one of those overpaid CEOs who gets a check to run a company into the ground or someone who helps presidential candidates avoid paying taxes, you might be interested in picking up a small side job to earn some quick cash. Thanks to new technology and the rise of the freelance economy, there are several ways to make some extra money without having to literally take another regular job. 

1. Uber/Lyft
Even if you've never ordered a car from your phone, you've at least heard about the ride-sharing app from someone who texted you an ETA or asked if you'd like to split one before a night of heavy drinking and fighting with cabbies. Both ride-sharing services offer flexible hours that let you work when you have extra time instead of a set schedule. Sign up to become a driver on Uber and Lyft's respective websites. You probably won't make the $25-$35 per hour salaries that the companies advertise, but you do get at least 80 percent of your fares (minus the companies' fee for doing business with you) before taxes, according to MoneyUnder30.com. However, you also have to factor in costs of using your own car such as gas, maintenance, insurance and other vehicle necessities that those companies don't cover. 

2. Good Local Market 
These days, people actually care about what goes into their food before they put it in their bodies. If you know how to grow vegetables and make tasty foods without injecting them with hormones and think you've got a crop that people actually want, the Good Local Market has a place where you can sell them. The market season runs from March to December every year and they accept vendor applications through their website. You'll need to pay a $30 application fee so they can determine the quality of your product before they allow you to sell it. Once you're accepted, you only have to pay a $10 per day electricity fee and a either a $15 produce vendors fee or a $30 fee for vendors who sell specialty food, meats and/or cheese, and what you make depends on how good you are at producing (no pun intended) a quality product and how good you are at selling it. Try watching those "Slap Chop" ads and doing the opposite of that. 

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3. Sell Stock Photos of Dallas Landmarks 
If you're handy with a camera that's not part of your smartphone, you can turn those photos you took of the Dallas skyline into a quick buck. Stock photo companies such as Getty Images buy photos from photographers all over the world through their iStock program and all you need to get started is a good working camera and an internet account. Apply to become a contributor and they'll start you with a base royalty rate of 15 percent every time someone downloads your photo. If they bump you up to exclusive contributor status, the rate jumps to 45 percent. 

4. Market Research
Ever wonder how marketing groups know that people would want to buy things like Hot Pockets, Crocs and pizzas with hot dogs stuffed in the crust? They asked a group of real people in marketing sessions. Dallas' business community is stuffed with more marketing and research companies than grade-D cheese in a Steak-umm. Marketing research firms like Dallas by Definition and Bryles hire people to serve on research panels and focus groups. All you need to do is join their online database and wait for the call to serve on one of their marketing juries. The only downside is that you might have to test something horrid that the public will never see, but someone has to take that meat stuffed bullet. 

5. Sell Your Clothes to a Consignment Store
Chances are you've got a pile of clothes sitting in your garage or your closet that no longer fit you or left the fashion train station long before people stopped using Myspace. There are several businesses that will buy your used clothes like Plato's Closet, Clothes Circuit and Buffalo Exchange before they become another shammy cloth for the dipstick in your car. Places like Plato's Closet and Buffalo Exchange will assess the big box of clothes you bring into their stores but Clothes Circuit actually gives you a percentage of the clothes you sell including 60 percent for items $250 or more or 45 percent for other less valuable items. 

6. Food App Deliveries 
If you've got a car but you don't feel like cleaning it to transport strangers to their destinations, there are other apps that can turn your car into a food delivery vehicle. Apps like Door Dash and Postmates that set up in Dallas use local drivers to transport restaurant quality foods to people's homes for a middleman fee and all you have to do to get started is have a working car and apply through their websites. Their reviews seem to be better than those who have worked for Uber and Lyft. Glassdoor reports that Door Dash and Postmates drivers earn around $11 an hour on average and there's no chance you'll have to deal with a puking drunk in your backseat unless there's a restaurant that offers such a thing on their menu. 

7. Call Center Customer Service 
If you need a job with structure so you don't squander all of your days on Xbox One and oversleeping, a call center job could be just the thing. The Dallas Business Journal reported in 2013 that North Texas has over 300 call centers for companies such as Geico Insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Hotels.com. All you have to do is look up the listing for these various companies to see if they are hiring and chances are that they need people to handle their customer base over the phone. It offers regular, guaranteed hours and a regular salary between $9 and $17 per hour depending on the company, according to PayScale.com. The work can be challenging. Just ask anyone who's been on the receiving end of one of Comcast's tech support calls. 

8. Mystery Shopping 
Chances are you're already spending your time shopping for gifts to get ahead of the Christmas season or just enjoying a snack and a cup of coffee because you've got nothing better to do. There are companies that will pay you to tell them what you thought about your shopping experiences, such as Market Force and Best Mark. The pay starts at the minimum wage level but it can increase if you can provide a regular stream of information over time to as high as $25 an hour, according to JobMonkey.com. Just make sure you're with a reputable company that's not asking you to pay them to become one of their employees. 

9. Taskrabbit
If you're absolutely desperate for money and are willing to do anything the law will allow to make some extra cash, then signing up for Taskrabbit is an option. The app provides links to people who can take on home chores and minor home repairs like furniture assembly and all you have to do is sign up on their website to complete their application process. The schedules are flexible and it can be profitable if you can take on more complicated tasks, according to some profiles of Taskrabbit users at Time Magazine. However, the app only offers general jobs for people who have less knowledge of handyman skills and may not give you the job you want, according to Pando

10. Wyzant
Tutoring students might be more fulfilling if you don't know how to swing a hammer or unclog a garbage disposal and thanks to Wyzant, it could be profitable. The tutor sharing app hires real people to help students of all grades from elementary to college in a variety of subjects. Prospective tutors sign up through their website and can set up clients based on location, subjects and whether they want to meet with them in person or just do a Skype session online. They are also allowed to set their own rates and private tutors make an average of $32 an hour depending on their specialty subject and availability, according to Glassdoor. Your schedule may be flexible but the commission amount that Wyzant takes out of your check ranges between 20 and 40 percent depending on the number of hours you worked. If you don't need a math tutor, you can figure out if it's the right part-time job for you. 


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