How I Leveraged Craig’s List and Made Thousands

CraigslistI was 18, making minimum wage, and sick of having bosses telling me what to do.   I had started out as a bag boy at a local grocery store during college and had moved up the ranks to the produce department.   While I learned a ton working at a grocery store for three years, I realized the danger of settling for mediocre pay and not challenging myself to think outside the box.

One day while I was working at the grocery store, it was like a light bulb went off.   I think I was stacking some apples and day dreaming about what I would do in life.   This is when the entrepreneurial spirit inside of me began.   I started brainstorming money making ideas while I worked away at the grocery store and was confident I’d come up with something.

Then it hit me.   I started thinking about my talents.   While some people fit into tidy categories, I seem to break barriers in terms of social aspects.   The Lord has blessed me with physical strength as well as a passion for communication and talking with people.   So that got me thinking.   What could I do with my strength and relationship skills?   Nothing came to mind at the time.

As I was driving home on a weekday, I saw a large moving truck near my house and it hit me!   Why not start a moving company!   I sped home and started researching.   Doing a couple Google searches for moves it was obvious that the majority of companies were using Craig’s List to advertise their services.   Genius!   Free advertising coupled with text and an image.   Heck I could do that I told myself.

I threw up an ad the next day and read something like this: College student mover offering relocation assistance for $20/hour.   You provide the truck and I’ll do the heavy lifting.   All revenue will be going towards my college education.❠  Clever words huh?

Well guess what happened?   My cell phone started blowing up within hours with soccer Moms asking me to move their furniture.   They were so enthralled with my drive to pay for college that it was a no-brainer for them to hire me.   I was also priced extremely low.   While other moving companies were charging $55/hour, I was a bargain at $20/hour.

I carried out my first move that very weekend and I remember smiling all the way home.   I couldn’t believe how easy it was to move furniture!   It helped that I worked out every day but the money was huge compared to my minimum wage job at the grocery store.

Soon, the money started to pour in and I was booking clients right and left.   I ended up quitting my grocery store position and focused all my attention on moving jobs.

Over time I began to realize that Craig’s List was a science and there were perfect times to post.   My typical regimen was to post four times a day during the week and work the entire weekend.   I would post once in the morning, once at lunch, once in the afternoon, and one in the evening.   My ads never really changed and I always focused on my goal of paying my way through school without debt.   Parents loved it and the business kept rolling in.

This posting regimen as so effective I sometimes had to cancel on clients because there was simply not enough time in a weekend.   I remember some weekends where I would work from 6Am until 4AM the next day!   I’ll be honest, working that much was not something I enjoyed, but the money sure was nice!

In terms of revenue, I won’t go into specifics, but I’ll just say that I was making in a weekend what most people make in a week at work.   Between the $20/hour wage, tips, and maxing out hours on the weekends, I raked it in during college.   To this day, some of my friends still don’t believe how much money I made during school.

After a year of moving furniture for clients, I ended up creating a personal blog for my services and posted a link within my Craig’s List ads.   It worked well and noticed an uptick in business because of it.

So, now you know a little bit about my side hustle in college.   Late nights, obsessive Craig’s List postings, and buckets of sweat later, I look back on my moving days❠and just smile.   Who knew someone like me could leverage a free service and make thousands of dollars while others were making minimum wage?

If you’re a college student and looking for ways to make extra money, hopefully this article spurred you on to do what I did!   All it takes is some strength, dedication and communication skills.   The rest is a cake walk.

To the readers: what about you, what were some of your side hustles in college?   Did you have any unique ways of making money that you’d like to share with the rest of us?   Comment below!