Lindy Mint - The Penny Hoarder

If you have an iPhone and a photographic eye, making money may have just gotten a lot easier. Oh yeah - you'll also need access to marketable scenery.

There's a new app called Foap that allows you to turn your iPhone photos into cash.

Here's how it works. You download the free app. You sign up for an account. You take a quality photo. You upload photo to Foap's marketplace. Someone buys the license to your photo for $10. You make $5.

If your photo sells twenty times, you make $5 each time and end up with $100 in your pocket, all for about 5 minutes of work.

Sounds too good to be true? It's not, but there are some limitations.

For one, your photo must be accepted by the Foap developers. If it's too small, too grainy, or too boring (aka not marketable), it won't make it to the marketplace. And those cute Instagram shots? They don't accept those either.

Since Foap is new to the stock photo game it might take a while for sales to catch on. However, they've been on a whirlwind press tour the last few months, so it may be faster than we think.

If you live in a big city and are frequently surrounded by capturable moments, I can see how this app could be a great way to make some extra cash.

For people like me who drive to work and live in a non-photogenic town, I may have to put extra effort into creating photo-worthy opportunities - like by taking a hike in the desert or going to a museum. But I should be doing things anyways, so maybe I'll give it a shot. Pun not intended.

What do you think? Would Foap work for you?

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

Over the past few years my family has made close to $7000 by selling unwanted stuff from our closets.

My husband is a musician, and musicians have a lot of crap...er, gear, so that helped with our earnings. In addition to music equipment, we also sold books, CDs, video games, furniture, toys, and clothes - all stuff you'd expect to come from one's closets.

But there were a few random things we sold that did surprisingly well. And had we not taken a few extra minutes to do our research, or not acted on those hunches of ours, we would have thrown these things away instead.

Here are some of the weirder things we sold.

1. Old magazines

For several years, my husband purchased the monthly issue of Guitar Techniques magazine religiously, until we decided to buckle down and tackle our debt, that is. Thankfully, he's an information hoarder and he'd saved every single one. Instead of dumping them into the recycle bin while decluttering one day, we posted them on eBay, selling them in lots by year. All in all, we sold four lots, and made a total of $287.

Unfortunately not all magazines sell this well. If they did, my pop-culture hoarding mother would make a killing on her stash of People magazines. It tends to be magazines of an informational nature that sell the best.

2. A pile of bricks

The previous owners of our home left a stack of 500 bricks in our back yard. Thanks to their inability to finish whatever backyard improvement project they were planning, we made an extra $100 by selling their leftovers on Craigslist.

3. A guitar neck

I distinctly remember my husband saying, "no one would buy this." When we were $120 richer after selling it on eBay, I may have said, "I told you so." As we found out, music equipment doesn't have to be whole in order for someone to buy it. Parts sell just the same.

4. A broken iPod

Heck, if it's a relatively current electronic and it's broken, there's a good chance you can make a few dollars by selling it on eBay. In addition to the iPod, we also sold an iPhone 1G with a cracked face and a non-functioning Nintendo Wii.  Each of these items brought in around $30 apiece.

5. Vintage hardware

My parents inherited a set of Art Deco furniture from some of their friends. Inside one of the drawers was a bag of the original brass pulls, switched out by the previous owners. I had snatched them up several years ago, intending to use them for a craft project. The craft project never materialized, but $91 did when I sold the pulls on eBay.

So the next time you need some extra cash, take a second and think about decluttering your house. You know what they say, one man's trash is another man's eBay profit...or something like that.

Now it's your turn. Have any of you been surprised by what people buy? Do share.

There inevitably comes a time in a girl's life when she has to redecorate.

For me, that time comes around every three years. One day I'll wake up and that piece of art I said I'd never get rid of suddenly offends me. Like, literally, I get angry when I walk past it.

But because I like to be mindful of my money and my things, I generally try to repurpose what I already have. And if I can't repurpose it, I try to sell it. Furniture gets posted to Craigslist, and specialty items, like antiques, go up on eBay.

However, there's that middle ground of stuff that I have nowhere to sell - nice things, like gently used bed linens, or decorative pillows, or candelabras, or table lamps.

Housewares such as these have a tendency to get lost in the fray on Craigslist, and never seem to pick up steam on eBay. I could sell them at a yard sale, but I'd have to discount them a lot to do so. I could also sell them at a consignment store, but I'd have to give up my control over them.

So you can imagine my excitement when Apartment Therapy, one of the largest online communities for home enthusiasts, recently opened their own classifieds market.

Now redecorators like myself can post their pieces of art (that aren't really that offensive), in hopes that another local Apartment Therapy reader will fall head over heels and want to take it home.

I just posted my first item, and I have to say the interface is really user friendly. And not only am I posting to a targeted  audience, but I'm also not competing with thousands of listings since these classifieds are relatively new to the scene.  Right now there are only 11 other listings for my town, so that gives my item some pretty good odds.

ApartmentTherapy.com

Another benefit is that posts never expire. So if I wanted to, I could keep mine up until the right eyes happened upon them. Speaking of eyes, there's also a chance someone who lives outside of my town could see my listing. The editors of the classifieds promote featured items to their front page that are visible to everyone.

Now, there are a few drawbacks. For one, there's no telling if these classifieds will catch on and have enough of an audience to be profitable. Though I think it's a great idea, it may take a while for others to follow suit.

Another drawback is that it isn't totally free to use. The site works on a credit system. By signing up for an account, you automatically get  10 credits. Each listing costs 1 credit, so theoretically your first ten listings are free. They also offer other ways for you to get free credits, like by referring a friend, or uploading a picture of yourself. But beyond that, you'll have to buy more credits for around $1 apiece.

One more thing, these classifieds are specifically only for home goods. So if you try to post something like your car or CD collection for sale, there's a chance it will be removed by the moderators.

I'm excited to see how things turn out. If all goes well, I may need to start redecorating every two years instead.

Just kidding.

Good luck, Penny Hoarders!

Editor's Note: Hi everyone - I'm so excited to welcome Lindy from MintingNickels.com! She has agreed to become a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder and will be sharing her own, unique spin on how to make extra money each week. Enjoy...

Call it a case of being too-cooped-up as I wait for the 1000 degree heat wave to pass, but lately I've been hit with an all-encompassing need to create something.

So the other night I dug through my craft cabinet, pulled out my long-ago forgotten jars of ink, and sat down to release my inner artist. But alas, I had no paper.

The last time I did a pen and ink drawing was in 2001. Though I'd scratched out several masterpieces in black and white back then, I never found a paper I was fully satisfied with. They all seemed to pill and tear at the sharpness of my pen.

Now, it may be hard to believe, but back in 2001 the Internet was still in its toddlerhood. Thus, my only option for getting answers to my paper dilemma was to ask someone who worked at the art store. But those art store employees, with their hip, torn jeans and their better-than-thou attitudes intimidated the crap out of me. The shy girl of my youth avoided them like the plague.

Luckily I don't have that same problem today. The Internet is now deep and wide, and it can answer pretty much anything I ask. So the other night I asked my friend Internet what kind of paper I should use for my ink drawings.

The Internet responded, as it usually does. Only this time, instead of giving me the quality answer I had hoped for, it gave me one as bad as my arch-nemesis, the Art Store Employee. The Internet gave me a niche site.

Whether you've heard of a niche site or not, I'm certain most of you have encountered one or two. A niche site (pronounced neesh, rhymes with sheesh, not nitch, rhymes with hitch) is a blog or website focused on one narrow topic - like art supplies. It's usually one of the first sites to show up in a search result, and its sole purpose is to get you, the information seeker, to click one of its ads, which are often cleverly disguised as part of its content. Click an ad, and the niche site owner makes a few bucks.

Now normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this type of transaction. However, it's often the case that the niche site doesn't actually answer my question. It's filled with ads and links and barrels of content that promise to give me valuable information, but it usually just wastes my time.

As a user, soulless niche sites are my biggest pet peeve. And as a blogger who has dabbled in the art of making money online, I know their number. I know there are droves of people trying to make money with niche sites right now. I know many of them are willing to write (or hire someone to write) pages and pages of content on something they know little-to-nothing about in hopes of making some extra cash, or better yet, the pinnacle of all types of income - passive income.

In short, whenever I encounter a niche site, I shake my fist and move on.

And yet, I'm building one as we speak.

Call it the siren pull of passive income. Call it having an idea I just have to follow. Call it a case of being too cooped-up from the summer heat. But there's one thing you won't call my niche site, and that's soulless.

I'm building a niche site with soul - one that will be incredibly useful, on a topic I know plenty about. And maybe I'll make a little cash while I'm at it. I figure it will be a good test, anyways, to see if it's possible to make money without selling out. I'll keep you all posted.

So what do you think Penny Hoarders? Is it possible to make money online without compromising quality? Am I being too hard on niche sites?