5 Easy Ways to Make Income From Your Home Garage
Five Legitimate Work-From-Home Opportunities
Many of us dream of working from home, and if you’re a car person or motorsport enthusiast, you may want to work from your own garage. The question always becomes how to actually do it. How can you earn income from your home garage, and can you earn enough to make it a true living? Before the pandemic hit in early 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed approximately 25% of the workers in the United States worked from home. With mass furloughs and layoffs in 2020, you may be thinking now is the time to start on your new adventure of working from your own garage. We’ve gathered up some ideas to make income from your garage, which does include how we earn income from the garage at Basin Motorsports.
Opportunity #1: Sell Your Knowledge & Opinions
There are many ways to sell your knowledge, but not all are going to work easily for everyone. These are the main ideas out there, which may need a little funding to get off the ground. We mention where each may need the cashflow, so you should be able to quickly find which ideas suit you best.
Blogging / Podcasting – How you make income off your blog or podcast is up to you, but every blog starts with an idea. There are a few ways to sneak income opportunities into your blog through links to affiliate sites, directly selling your own products, or a mix in between. A well written blog should be compelling to the reader, and when they find your knowledge credible and insightful, they will want to see what products you’re talking about. There are also ways to add ads as a secondary source through something like Google Adsense that can run banner ads on your blog. You see them all over the place parsed between paragraphs and such. There are free options for blog hosting available, but you may be better off buying a domain name that links to a hosting site if you have more going on than just a blog. We use blogging as a part of our website, which does include links to affiliate sites and products we are a dealer for.
If you’re not a great writer, but you have the gift of gab, you may find a great audience with a regular podcast. You can monetize the spoken word, add in extra info about products you endorse, and earn a few extra dollars a month. There are plenty of podcasting options online, from free to services that do everything for you. Don’t go overboard with podcasting equipment until you have a good following, and just have fun talking.
Online Surveys & Focus Groups – Your opinions are valuable to the right audience. Your knowledge of products and subjects can make you income if you can spend time taking online surveys and spend time contributing to focus groups that offer pay. Companies want to know how their audience spends their time and money, what motivates them to make purchases, and what they prefer. You may know all of that, and perhaps that knowledge can put a little change in your pocket. We take surveys and participate with focus groups occasionally from selected vendors that we partner with to help with their marketing efforts.
Product Testing – You and your garage may just be what a company who manufactures products is looking for. Focus groups may offer product testing as part of the study, and other options may be available to test products ahead of their launch in trade for your opinion and feedback. Many testing options allow you to keep the product as part of the compensation, and what you do with it is your choice. You may be able to sell it directly or keep it to build your own toolbox in your garage.
Writing – People may say that websites are phasing out, but the need for well written articles and blogs is ever growing. You may have knowledge on particularly hard to find subjects, or on specialized industries, and now is your time to shine with that info. You may look through Upwork or Freelancer to find what businesses and individuals are searching for. If you have what they need, it may be time to set up an account and start making some income with writing what you know.
Beyond plain content writing there is a growing need for content editors, freelance proofreaders, content managers, and social media managers for large brands to small businesses. There are a lot of opportunities out there just waiting for you. We write content for businesses that fall within our expertise, which helps to drive income higher every month.
E-books & Audiobooks – Beyond writing blogs and shorter articles, there are still plenty of online readers that love a good book. If you’ve written a good story, you can always publish your book as an e-book for some passive income. Once it’s written and published, it’s ready for the world to consume. You can also narrate your book into an audiobook with various publishing and platform options. Beyond recording for yourself, you may also find a good niche doing for others. If you’re classically trained as a voice actor or a narrator, or maybe you just have a great voice, you could narrate for others. As much as that may seem far away from something you can do in your garage, there are plenty of automotive novels that need a good narrator.
Sell Online Classes & Webinars – If you’re an expert with a lot of credibility, you may find an audience from around the globe that will pay a fee to take classes from you. You may be an expert on a certain car model, or a master tech on a certain brand, and do-it-yourselfers may opt to pay a small monthly fee to have access to your insight. You can also have live and pre-recorded webinars available for some extra income. There are now memberships available through many of the streaming platforms such as YouTube, Roku, and Amazon Prime that your information can be housed on for paying customers to enjoy. The toughest part may be finding which will be best to use for your knowledge, and the answer may be all that are available.
Sell Your Answers - Online question marketplaces offer pay to verified experts to answer questions posed by community members. If you’re knowledgeable in a specific area where people have continued questions, you may find a nice monthly income answering their questions. JustAnswer is one such site that offers such a service, and one of their verticals (subject areas) is cars. You may be able to sit in your garage and answer questions in your spare time to bring in a little extra income every month.
Opportunity #2: Sell Direct Products
When we talk about selling direct products, we’re thinking about tangible products that you make or have from your garage. We’ll leave the online or digital products in opportunity #1, and this category will cover things you can carry in your hand.
Downsize & Declutter – Before you offer new products for manufacturing and sale, take a hard look around the garage. Are you like us and have a few too many spare parts from past project cars, a few trips to the salvage yard, or just some weird collection of parts from odd cars? If that’s the case, you may need some space back for new products or equipment. It’s time to sell the extras you don’t need anymore. The extra income will be limited as you shouldn’t have an endless supply of things to sell, but the reduced clutter may be just what you need to stay moving forward and motivated. Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, Facebook groups, and Facebook Marketplace are all good options to move along spare parts. I’ve seen Instagram used to sell parts, and there are other apps like LetGo utilized to advertise and sell a few things. Just be cautious of the fees involved, and watch the shipping costs to ensure you stay in the black. If you’re in a populated area, an old-fashioned yard or garage sale may be a good idea too. Maybe call it a ‘shop sale’ instead.
Make and Sell Your Own Products – This category may be a tough one in the beginning as the start-up funding for materials and equipment could put a sizeable dent in the operation. Once you get going though, you could turn a small garage into a production center for niche parts. Think of carbon fiber fenders, shifters, machined parts, or sheet metal wings. All could be done in a small garage with a little work. How you sell them will be up to you. It could be in the same online places for decluttering your spare parts, or you could start a website with a shopping app. Etsy may be a good option depending on your product if you want a hosting service, or you might just choose to design your own website with an e-commerce portal like Shopify or Squarespace.
Opportunity #3: Selling Secondary Products
When it comes times to keep selling products, you may find it much easier to sell someone else’s products from your garage. There are three different ways to look at this: flipping, affiliate marketing, and dealerships.
Flipping Goods – The point to flipping goods is to buy low and sell high. You may be able to find quality used and new parts or products available in many places and later resell them at a profit. The hard part with some of it is having available cashflow to buy in the beginning, and the available storage space until the products are sold. Look at garage sales, buying products for pennies on the dollar at auctions, from online retailers moving out older products, and then get flipping. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is the most popular platform for U.S. resellers, but other options are available online.
Affiliate / Influencer Marketing – You’ve probably seen and heard plenty about affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your blog or website. Most times you are playing traffic cop and directing people looking for products to your affiliate partners who offer that product. In most cases you don’t have to keep any products in your garage, and you’re simply using links to products that offer you a reward or bounty when someone buys off your link recommendation. Amazon is a major player in this market space and you’ll find a lot of social media influencers putting links into their posts or listing “sponsored” posts for their partners. Brands are now utilizing influencers to market and talk about their products versus the old stand-by of traditional ads. It’s more comfortable and familiar to buy from a trusted and recommended source, which makes this an easy one if you have a great following.
Being a Dealer – Dealer opportunities vary by product and company, but there are some differences between dealer opportunities and influencer marketing. As a dealer you have options to carry inventory in your garage for the products you sell, and you can attend shows on behalf of your own garage to sell merchandise. With online marketing, that is usually pretty hard to do as you don’t typically carry anything in person to sell. We are an AMSOIL dealer, which allows us to carry as little or as much of their product as we want. It also provides us with a training system and a support network to help u grow our business. If you decide to go the dealer route, check if there are any fees associated with becoming a dealer and if there are minimum requirements for carrying inventory. With AMSOIL, we can also direct potential customers to AMSOIL products and make income from purchases online.
Opportunity #4: Sell Your Services
There are many options for services coming from your garage with online and in-person options. You may be able to sell your knowledge and goods through a service to add more income potential.
Offer Tutoring – You have the knowledge, and can offer that knowledge through a service. That could be through your monetized webinars, or you may jump into offering in-person classes and tutoring. Online classes may be something posted that anyone can take at any point. Tutoring is more private and may just be one or two students and yourself.
Product Testing – Product testing as a service is a little different than as selling your knowledge online with opportunity #1. Testing usually involves the opportunity to try prototypes and beta versions of parts and products without public knowledge. Your feedback and testing results may influence the development and design of what you’re testing too. You’ll need a thorough knowledge of what you’re testing, but it can be a lucrative option for income out of your garage.
Sell Troubleshooting – The first thing that comes to mind when I think of online troubleshooting is in the world of tuning. Many legitimate tuners that work online offer their services to review and make adjustments via files over the web. It seems easy to offer, but they have years of experience doing the work. Their services often aren’t cheap, but their knowledge can shorten the development time of proper and safe tuning. You can also do the same work in-person from your garage. Customers can bring you in their vehicles for troubleshooting. There are many ways to offer the service. You just have to pick what makes sense for your garage.
Lease Storage Space – Once you’ve cleared out your garage of those extra parts, you may find that you have space that could be leased out. You may find that someone else would want to store a project car, a weekend toy, or extra parts onsite at your garage. Perhaps they need something under cover like a storage facility or just need somewhere to hide an extra car without the worry of it being stolen. Maybe you have extra property that could store a vehicle or a storage container. Neighbor.com offers a platform to offer your space for lease. They do offer $1M in insurance, and you can offer inside garage space or driveway space. Store RVs, project vehicles, or just a few extra things at your garage while making a little extra money every month.
Rent Out Your Car – You may have an awesome project car, or the latest sports car sitting in your garage. Someone may want to drive it for a day, or for the weekend. GetAround and Turo are two service apps that allow you to lease your car with insurance. You may need to check the fees on any service and if your personal insurance carrier allows you to lease your personal car out to strangers. It could be another diversified way to earn some extra money from the home garage.
Opportunity #5: Selling Entertainment
The idea of selling entertainment will be a little stretch as it looks similar to selling information through videos, a podcast, or a website. The difference is that you’re not teaching or educating. You’re helping people have a good time through entertainment. A low cost investment with entertainment could be just sharing content through the current social media outlets that offer monetization. YouTube’s Partner Program offers monetization on their platform as well as other streaming services and social media sites. Each will have their own posting and governing criteria, so double check that your ideas will or won’t be able to hold monetization.
You don’t have to work for a trendy employer to take advantage of the work-from-home trend. Building a sustainable income will take time, not to mention effort, but it is possible with a diversified strategy. Each of these five opportunities currently exist, but they probably aren’t the only options out there. You may find it easier and better to just focus on one or two at a time instead of going into all five at once. We currently have ventures into all five categories out of the garage at Basin Motorsports, and it took us a few years to figure out how each would work for us. Take your time, do extensive research into laws, regulations, and rules of each idea, and go have fun building your new work-from-the-garage business.
*We may be compensated from qualifying purchases through our affiliate partners. Thank you for supporting us!