The budding freelance economy makes it easy for most people to find part-time work. But it’s not so easy if you’re still a teenager. Only a relative handful of gig platforms allow job-seekers under the age of 18 to use their sites. And, even those sites are likely to require parental permission. So where do you find jobs for teenagers?
Jobs for teenagers
Your first step is to look local. Sites like Nextdoor can hook you up with odd jobs in your neighborhood, from yardwork to babysitting. And that might even be better for you since you’ll have an on-site boss, who can provide both guidance and, if you work hard, references that you can use to get into college later.
If you’re over 16, you can apply for jobs with local retailers.
When should you look for jobs from online platforms, instead? When you’re too young for a work permit, or when your schedule is too irregular or work-hour unfriendly to accommodate a traditional schedule. In these cases, the flexibility of online job sites can make them the preferable way to make money.
Here are 10 online platforms that offer attractive jobs for teenagers.
Use your skills
Fiverr is an online marketplace for a wide array of skilled and unskilled jobs. You can use this site to find work building websites, providing accounting support — or to advertise your services a psychic reader or giver of sage advice.
You set your own rate of pay knowing that Fiverr will take a 20% commission off the top. Some of the things you can do: Set up social media profiles for other people and companies; give relationship advice; provide translation services; do animation — both drawn and computer-based; design greeting cards; do voice-over work. You can register on the site as long as you are at least 13 years old.
Bambino is a child-care community that charges parents an entry-fee to get access to babysitters screened via social media. The site allows workers as young as 13 to sign up, but anyone under the age of 18 needs parental permission. Babysitters set their own rates and don’t pay a commission to the site. But once your hourly rate is set, you can’t change it based on factors like the timing — i.e. New Year’s Eve, or some other high-value date night — or even based on the number of children you’re watching. Bambino doesn’t allow for tiered rates, even if the family that hires you has 5 kids under the age of 8. You can, however, turn down a job that doesn’t suit you.
Sell your art
Etsy is a marketplace for sellers of arts and crafts. Although you can’t open your own account unless you’re at least age 18, you can open an account with a parent or guardian at age 13. This allows you to sell your home-made arts and crafts on the site by paying just a small listing fee of 20 cents per item. If an item sells, you’ll also have to pay about 6.5% in sales and processing fees. But the rest of the sales price is yours.
Society6, like Etsy, allows you to sell your art. However, this site doesn’t expect you to make a finished product to sell. They want you to upload art that the site will then transfer onto t-shirts, coffee mugs, phone covers and hats, among other things. The sites require that you respect copyrights and licenses of others, so you can’t simply reproduce or alter someone else’s artwork. In other words, you can’t make your own Hello Kitty products or put drawings of your favorite video game characters on the site for sale.
Your original art and designs are welcomed, however. Since you’re not paying for the supplies — i.e. the t-shirts or coffee cups — on which your art appears, these sites only pay a relatively small “royalty” on each sale. That said, if you come up with a popular design that sells briskly on multiple products, you can make a lot from just one upload. Notably, Society6 sets the royalty rate by the product; RedBubble lets you determine your mark-up. (But your mark-up affects the sales price, so if you’re too aggressive, you’re likely to discourage purchases.)
Sell old sports gear
Have you been playing baseball, football, la crosse, golf or tennis since you were old enough to walk? Then there’s a good chance that you’ve got a closet full of old gear, ranging from cleats to rackets, that you grew out of and will never use again.
GearTrade, Sideline Swap, Letgo and Craigs List all provide ways to sell lightly used stuff to families who need it. Of course, if you’re going to resell your sporting equipment, clothing or gear, make sure that your parents are on board with the idea.
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