Think you might want to earn a little extra money on the side? Unless you’re willing to let “little” be the operative term, pick your side job carefully. A handful of jobs in the gig economy pay great wages — anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour. But a lot of high-profile platforms ranging from InstaCart to Postmates tout “up to” hourly pay that looks great on the surface but proves illusive in real life, particularly after paying platform fees and other necessary expenses.

In an effort to find America’s best-paying side jobs, the editors at SideHusl.com examined 175 money-making opportunities and found that the best jobs were offered by some of the lesser-known platforms.

For instance, if you happen to be an artist, instead of setting up shop on Etsy, you may want to consider Society6 and RedBubble. These two platforms provide so-called “print-on-demand” services, which allow you to upload your art and have the platform put that art on everything from coffee cups and iPhone covers to t-shirts and baseball caps.

You send out notices to your fans on social media (and wherever else you might market your art), and when someone buys a t-shirt emblazoned with your drawing/painting/photo/saying, you get a royalty.

Society6 has a set royalty rate for most products; RedBubble allows you to set your royalty rate at whatever level you’d like. But, of course,  if your royalty rate is too high, it hikes the price of the product and could discourage sales. The per-item royalty rate is rarely much — usually a few dollars per sale — but you do the work to put your art on these products once but get royalties every time someone buys your art-emblazoned products. So, at least theoretically, the sky’s the limit. 

Not an artist, but you’re both an extrovert and a gourmet cook? Consider signing up with EatWith. EatWith is a platform that allows you to advertise homemade meals that will be presented in your own home. You set the menu and price; the date of the event; the number of people you wish to accommodate; and the site markets and sells tickets to your meals. Chef Christina Xenos says she typically nets $350 per night for an eight-guest dinner party at her Los Angeles home. Even if preparation and presentation take most of the day, she’s still making roughly $40 per hour.

Are you a history buff? Into art or architecture and know the best local sites to show to like-minded people? You may want to set up a tour on a site, such as Vayable or ToursByLocals. Like setting up your meal on EatWith, you design the tour; price it; determine how many people you can accommodate; and when the tours will run. The site will then market and manage your bookings for a 20% cut of your fee. When my daughter and I first went to New York, we booked a one-hour walking tour of the city’s garment district. Each guest paid a modest $10 fee, but because there were six of us, the guide got $48 — $60 minus the 20% site fee — plus tips. Viator, a division of Trip Advisor, also facilitates side hustlers, who want to offer their own tours. 

Don’t have any of those talents, but you do have a truck? If you’re willing and able to lift heavy items, consider signing up for Truxx, GoShare, Amazon Flex or BuddyTruk. With Truxx, GoShare and BuddyTruk, you’re signing up to help people move and usually getting paid between $20 and $50 per hour. Amazon Flex pays a little less, but you’re lifting and moving packages rather than refrigerators and sofas. 

If you have patience and some experience with kids, you may also want to drive for one of a number of services that offer to help busy parents shuttle their kids from school to soccer or ballet. Three such services operate in California — Ride Zum, Kango and HopSkipRide. If you’re not in the right service area, never fear. All three hope to expand. In the meantime, you might want to sign up with Urban Sitter or Care.com, which offer some nanny and babysitting positions that can be low-key and lucrative. The driving services estimate that workers will earn between $20 and $35 per hour, depending on traffic and whether the driver provides additional child care services after the ride. The straight babysitting jobs pay less — usually between $11 and $20 per hour, plus tips.

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