25 Ways People Earned Money During the Great Depression

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by pearlselby, Dec 6, 2015.


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  1. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    GOG, Marck, Motomom34 and 3 others like this.
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    "This is why some people who have lived through economic collapses say that beauty products, such as lipstick, eye shadow, and lotions, are good items for barter."

    This makes sense. During war time past, you could barter for nearly anything, with chocolate, nylons, and lipstick.
     
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  3. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Let's look at this list and update it for the new century.

    1. Caught and sold fish, clams, and crabs (Oh, good luck doing that and not being shut down and thrown in jail today.)

    2. Made homemade fudge and sold it (Sorry, if you're not fined and jailed for it, you will almost certainly be sued.)

    3. Sold newspapers on the corner. Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself. (Here's a clue -most folks don't read the papers, let alone read at all in America any more. Good luck selling a corporate newspaper, though.)

    4. Started a lunch truck/wagon (As long as you are licensed and permitted to operate, have at it!)

    5. Grew, picked, and sold berries (If it's your land, fine. But, selling any produce without a license, permit or some form of taxation is illegal in many areas.)

    6. Road work (well, not in Pennsylvania. The State owns the roads.)

    7. Shoveled snow on roads (Same as last one, not happening. You can shovel snow for private interests, though.)

    8. Multiple part-time jobs, including housecleaning (THIS IS VERY REALISTIC.)

    9. Chopped wood or harvested driftwood (Possible. Again, land comes into question with licensing and game wardens will kill you first and ask questions later, just remember.)

    10. Made and sold handwoven baskets (Not likely, but possible)

    11. Mowed lawns and other kinds of yard work (Very likely.)

    12. Door to door sales of things like shoes or sewing notions (Very likely. But, good luck with licensing.)

    13. Made deliveries for stores (Somewhat likely.)

    14. Made and sold quilts (Very possible, and it's a great idea. Just remember to give the IRS their cut.)

    15. Sold homemade baked goods, like bread or pies (Sorry, not gonna happen for long until you are shut down.)

    16. Sold eggs for 25 cents a dozen (Works great until a snitch turns you in and you are murdered by police for operating a business without a license. Routine questioning gone wrong, police felt threatened by your egg. Completely justified.)

    17. Childcare (Excellent idea, until the department of child services arrives and takes all the kids and sells them to wealthy Saudi Arabian families as sex slaves. In particular, the girls with bright blue or green eyes.)

    18. Rented out rooms (Your call. With as many psychos in the country these days. good luck.)

    19. Mended or altered clothes (Very realistic idea.)

    20. Washed windows (Plenty of bums doing that already for free.)

    21. Would purchase produce and re-sell door-to-door (LOL Yeah, that's jail time for sure.)

    22. Sold apples (Plenty of local orchards looking for cheap labor, I bet.)

    23. Loaded coal (Nope.)

    24. Piecework sewing (Sure, won't garner much payment, though.)

    25. Sold homegrown produce (Sorry, not today. You might get away with it, but chances are you will be shut down.)
     
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    A Business License only costs $50US, BiAnnually where I live... (Bruce's Trading Post) and that allows me to conduct business, in many different arenas, as I choose.... It also allows AlaskaChick to do a large variety of commercial things, that she is interested in....

    I run all my FFL Biz thru it, as well as all my Consulting Income, in Comms, IT, AND Energetic Materials.... I ALWAYS make a Small Profit, each year, that shows up on the Income Tax Forms... Keeps the FEDS at bay...
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
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  5. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    Not so easy these days.. Although @Brokor beat me to it...

    Remember when we were free, until someone started yelling, "There ought to be a law!"

    1. Caught and sold fish, clams, and crabs - Illegal in most States without a commercial license

    2. Made homemade fudge and sold it - Illegal in nearly all States without a commercial kitchen and
    proper licensing

    3. Sold newspapers on the corner. Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself. - This enterprise no longer exists in most cities

    4. Started a lunch truck/wagon - Again, licensing and safe food handling regulations make this prohibitive

    5. Grew, picked, and sold berries - As far as this is concerned, I have seen roadside stands selling local produce but I believe a business license is required.

    6. Road work - These were WPA projects, funded by the government

    7. Shoveled snow on roads - This would depend on whether the State, City and County operations cannot afford to operate. Might be able to provide driveway and walkway clearing.

    8. Multiple part-time jobs, including housecleaning - This could easily be done today on a cash basis.

    9. Chopped wood or harvested driftwood - This also could be done if you could sneak into the National Forest and harvest where the timber industry has leased the timber rights. Harvesting firewood for your own use or commercially requires a permit.

    10. Made and sold handwoven baskets - This could be done, but again a business license would be required.

    11. Mowed lawns and other kinds of yard work - This could easily be done, and is being done, today.

    12. Door to door sales of things like shoes or sewing notions - Not so easy these days

    13. Made deliveries for stores - This could be a possibility if fuel prices and availability go south. Best have strong legs for the bicycle or a horse drawn cart.

    14. Made and sold quilts - Not much demand for these and, they would be expensive as few sew these days.

    15. Sold homemade baked goods, like bread or pies - Again, the commercial kitchen and safe food handling regulations, business license, etc. make this impossible today.

    16. Sold eggs for 25 cents a dozen - Safe food, business license (although people do it today). Here fresh eggs go for $4.00 a dozen.

    17. Childcare - Could be done today, easily.

    18. Rented out rooms - This could be done as well, but say good by to your privacy.

    19. Mended or altered clothes - I don't know anyone today with the machines or ability to tailor clothing, except a few professionals.

    20. Washed windows - Would possibly require a business license.

    21. Would purchase produce and re-sell door-to-door - I doubt there would be much excess produce available this next time.

    22. Sold apples - Gleaning orchards after the pickers have been through used to be what a family did to bring in fruit to can, make pies, apple butter, sauce, and goods for their pantry. I suspect you would have to fight for those apples this next depression.

    23. Loaded coal - Possible if the CO2 regulations haven't destroyed the industry by then.

    24. Piecework sewing - Again, I know of no one who has the skills for this work, not that there aren't some, I just don't know any.

    25. Sold homegrown produce - Entirely possible if you have the machinery, land, water and the seed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
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  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Arts and crafts, can be made from all sorts of things )and have been) including bottle tops and pull rings.
    My son buys surplus bikes and reworks them into working bikes, and resells. He makes a profit doing so. Anything not usable gets scrapped.
    (Recycling, while depressed now is almost free money and locally it is tax free as an incentive)
    Uber. Folks being their own taxi service.
    House painting, no one likes doing it.
    Lawn service. There is ONE kid near my sister's house, and he charges $50.00 per lawn. With the three hour commute and the toll roads, he has gotten some of our business.
     
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  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    I clean houses as a side job. Some people just do not have time to organize and tidy their place. If a depression happens their will be some that can afford help. As for the list, many of those things I see sold at farmers markets,fairs and events. I do not recall seeing license signs displayed. I went to one fair that had jams, knives, candles, soap etc... all those were home crafts, no tax collected. I also had a neighbor that set up an honor system honey stand. People let money and took a jar but there was no real price just a written note on suggested cash donation.
     
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  8. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Locally, we have, for lack of a better term, a farm store where farmers bring produce to sell.. The store has a license; I doubt the farmers have one.
    A lot of cities and small towns have a farmer's market; although I've never asked, I doubt they have business licenses.
    We get eggs and some vegetables from neighbors who sell them; I am certain they lack a business license. We buy 100 ears of corn from a farm and I have no plans of sending red flags up by asking him if he has a business license.

    My mother grew up during the Great Depression; her mother had a lot of chickens. They bartered for food. One of the neighbors raised hogs and so many chickens/eggs for pork. As they lacked modern refrigeration; no one wanted 4 chickens so my grandmother kept a ledger; they were owned so many chickens and the dates when the neighbor got one. As my mother kept it; we still have her book.
    They also killed deer without a hunting license; even today, deer raiding a crop can be shot.

    All those ways mentioned were more a business and making money; not people trading. The only difference I see is they were face 2 face neighbors; not a business.
    As my mother said she felt sorry for city people because all they had was concrete and we had dirt.

    I guess if the plan is do whatever for resale; one better get a business license. If I'm trading what I have for what you have; just who is going to drive up the lane to bust us?
     
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  9. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    As other have already noted, much of what is on that list is highly regulated today. Government Regulation = protection of the existing players (payers) and barriers to entry for everyone else.
     
  10. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    DHS, of course...you are a threat to the whole crony-capitalist oligarchy, a freakin domestic terrorist! [patr]
     
  11. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    They have sentries out when we pick up eggs. :D
     
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  12. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    Thanks to croney capitalism you can't saw and sell lumber without the gov being all involved, a friend of mine saws on halves and barters with his half
     
  13. tc556guy

    tc556guy Monkey++

    Just keep in mind that things like that have a limited shelf life.
    My late mother used to sell Mary Kay products; Mary Kay made her buy quite a bit of product up front which she would then sell.
    In going through her unsold stuff after her death a few years ago, we found that much of it had aged out beyond any usefulness and it went into the dumpster.
    I could see a household with a number of females living there stocking up on stuff they actually used; before my divorce I lived with three females under the same roof.
    I can't see expending any money on stuff like that if it isn't being rotated, donated or otherwise being used up while it still has some utility.
     
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  14. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    I have been in several devastated areas were the lady shows up selling lunch out of the trunk of here car and we bought from her everyday no problem ... A ND USURY AT THEORY END OF THEORY FIRST WEEK SHE IS ALSO DOING THEORY WHOLE CREWS laundry ... never a problem
    I guess it just depends on were u are!,,,
     
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