Easy and Fun Ways To Earn Extra Income This Summer: Invest $100 and Make a $500 Profit

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We love to share ideas on how to earn extra income and have used our Over 100 Ways to Earn Extra Income list to help generate ideas on how you and your family and make a little extra and some of those ideas can possibly turn into a full-time business.  Our personal journey has been such an example!

We started finding extra income to help us increase our income by 2% each month (as part of our 2 By 2 Plan we used to pay off our $100K of consumer debt).  After a few years of doing miscellaneous jobs and income producing activities, some of them turned into a regular income with the handful of businesses that we run from home.  There are also seasons and income producing activities that are short-lived or temporary, but they will play a big factor in the big picture in bringing in that extra income!

With that quick background, we wanted to share some ideas on how to make a lot of extra cash over the summer months with community events, festivals, fairs and of course the biggest being the 4th of July celebrations!

These ideas are specifically geared for events where there are a number of people present, and those summer months are good ones for this seasonal task! It is also something the entire family can do and it is a fun job at the same time!

So, have you thought about selling some very basic items on the 4th of July at the parades, festivities, fireworks shows and more?  Plus extent to selling at many other events in the community?  In our area, we have another celebration similar to 4th of July on July 24th with more parades, fireworks and festivities.  Plus the little city suburbs all have their own city celebrations, concerts in the park, movies in the park, and so much more going on in the community.

What is it that you could sell?  Well this short list of very affordable, but yet a highly marked up items:

  • Bottled Water
  • Flav-R-Ice/Otter Pops popsicles
  • Glow sticks, glow necklaces, glow bracelets, glow rings
  • Mini-fans/fan spray bottles

You can sell just one item and do well, or add even more items – this is just a good basic popular list!

So here’s some ideas on where to get these items and some ideas on mark-up price, based on our experience of what sells well and at what prices.

1. Bottled Water

The best place to get name-brand bottled water is at Sam’s Club or Costco especially when buying in bulk.  You can pick them up for .23-.25 each bottle. In addition, Sam’s Club is even making it easier by offer the Nestle Bottled Water for .25 each bottle shipped right to your door for free too!

Head to your local Sam’s Club or Costco or search for this item on the Sam’s Club site
with item#: 422398 to order online and have it shipped to you!

So here’s the pricing suggestions from us:  At the start of the day and the dead heat, you can easily sell these for $1 a bottle (tax included).  As the day/evening goes on, you can drop the price to .75 each bottle or even .50 if they buy multiples and only if you have a lot left over that you need to push.  You can also considering $1 a bottle or 6 bottles for $5.  More than $1 a bottle will still probably sell, but you won’t be the most popular seller on the block as someone will probably undercut you.  So consider a more reasonable price and sell more. At $1 a bottle, you have a 300% markup! Water is the easiest and most popular item to sell with one of the largest margins of profit.  In addition, if you do not sell out, they are a very practical item to use at home!

2. Otter Pops or Flav-R-Ice pops

The best place to get these in bulk is at Walmart (there might be some dollar stores or local grocery stores in your area priced slightly lower).  At Walmart, you can get a box of 100 ice pops for $3.77 = .037 each popsicle. You can buy these in-store at Walmart as they are not available online to order.  The biggest challenge is to keep these frozen.  Coolers and ice will work well for a time, but they do melt relatively quickly, so you will want to sell and push fast!  Another idea to consider is using Dry Ice as that will last longer and keep the popsicles cooler, however you do have to be more careful with the handling as it can “burn” your fingers.  With that, our pricing recommendation would be some of these options.  3 for $1, .25 each, or even 5 for $1.  At the 3 for $1 price, this is nearly a 1,000% markup! But at .25 each or 5 for $1, you are still looking at an incredible 500-600% markup.

3. Glow sticks, bracelets, necklaces and rings

Third,  if you are considering also selling the glow sticks, bracelets, necklaces and rings – we researched and found that Amazon is one of the best deals out there (even cheaper than Oriental Trading by quite a bit at the time of this post).

Here’s the items you could consider selling, the cost to you, and a recommend sales cost.

100 Assorted Colors of Glow Bracelets for $9.14 shipped FREE
with Prime or $25 or more order.

These will cost you less than .10 each.  We recommend selling them for $1 each = 900% markup!

50 Assorted Colors of Glow Necklaces for $22.50 shipped FREE
with Prime or $25 or more order.

These will cost you .45 each.  We recommend selling them for $2 each = over a 300% markup!

50 Assorted Colors of 1.5″ Glow Sticks for $6.29 shipped FREE
with Prime or $25 or more order.

These will cost you .12 each.  We recommend selling them for $1 each = over a 700% markup!

12 Assorted Colors of Flashing LED Light Rings $6.95 shipped FREE
with Prime or $25 or more order.

These will cost you .58 each.  We recommend selling them for $2 each = nearly a 250% markup!

100 Assorted Colors of glowing accessories from bracelets, necklaces,
glasses, earrings for $21.99 shipped FREE

with Prime or $25 or more order.

These will cost you an average of .22 each item and you can probably sell each one for $1-3 depending on what they were = equals as much as an 800% markup!

4. Personal fans/spray bottle combos

Finally, the fourth recommendation we would make is going to cost a little more and may be a little risky when compared to the items above, but considering either paper fans or the personal fans/spray bottle combos.

Here’s what we have found, Oriental Trading seems to be the best place for this purchase (not sure what shipping would be).

They have many disposable fans for around $3.99 per dozen (like the pictured Patriotic Fans) and they will cost you .33 each. You could probably sell them for $1 each = 200% markup

Also, we spotted several personal fan necklace spray bottle items (including the above pictured Patriotic ones) for $15.99 per dozen.  this means that they will cost you $1.33 each and we would recommend selling them for $4-$5 each (approximate 200% markup or better).  We would also recommend checking your local dollar store for these first as there is a good chance that you can just get them for $1 each instead and avoid shipping too!

You can use coupon code: WCE3219 on the Oriental Trading site
to get 15% off your order of $49 or more.

So there’s our top four suggestions, but depending on how much money you want to invest, you can literally add more patriotic jewelery/accessories, candy and so much more! However, one thing we have learned, if there are too many options, people don’t seem to be as interested! Consider keeping it simple, especially with the first three options we have listed (water, popsicles and glowing accessories!).  The markups are great on all of them and the investment is not much nor is it very risky!

So here’s the reality check if you invested $100!

If you only invested $100, here’s how it could look!

  • 8 cases of water at $5.99 each = $47.92 and 192 bottles of water
  • 4 boxes of Otter Pops at $3.77 each = $15.08 and 400 popsicles
  • 2 packs of 100 bracelets at $9.14 each = $18.28 and 200 bracelets
  • 3 packs of 50 glow sticks at $6.29 each = $18.87 and 150 glow sticks

Total of $100.15 invested

If you sold them all:

  • 192 water at $1 each = $192.00
  • 400 popsicles at .25 each = $100.00
  • 200 Bracelets at $1 each = $200.00
  • 150 Glow Sticks at $1 each = $150.00

Total made = $642.00 or about $500 profit (reserving $42 for incidentals, ice for the coolers, signs etc.)

What a fabulous way for the family to make money together, or even a fun money-making project for your older kids!

What you’re most likely looking to do is to walk around and sell.  You’re not looking for a booth as the cost of the booth at a park event would be quite a bit more and dip into your profits quite a bit!  You could always look into this, but it requires a much higher investment and is more risky as to making a profit – especially to start!

So there is one final thing to consider……

This next statement is going to vary GREATLY in each city and state.  But before you sell anything publicly, you need to check with the city offices to see if you need permission, a selling license (which the cost of this will need to be considered), or if they quite frankly just don’t care if you sell! Either way, you want to make sure you are “legal.”  This again is going to vary greatly.  If your city ordinances have ridiculous hoops to sell or just cost too much during a parade or event or in a park, then consider checking the ordinances of the next town over too.  You don’t have to exclusively sell in your city you know :)

Photo Credit: KSL


  1. Sarah says

    Domt forget to research your area’s laws on selling things in public. Probably will need a business license and check city ordinances!

    • says

      LOL – I guess you didn’t see the last paragraph. This is very important to consider (cost, effort and other factors) which is why we did specifically talk about it and from our experience, this varies greatly from one city to another :)


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