Everyone is looking to make some extra cash, and a side gig is a great way to do that. In fact, some people have side gigs that are even more lucrative than their main jobs.
Take Pinky Chong, for example. She’s a physical therapist by trade, but she makes $8,000 a month on the side by selling luxury items from brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Gucci and Hermes. She has made her extra cash by selling these items on sites like eBay, Poshmark, Mercari and Facebook Groups.
Chong started her side hustle 13 years ago and has become a consultant to others who want to start selling luxury items. She has even designed her own line of handbag accessories. GOBankingRates spoke to Chong to find out how she got started and what it takes to have such a lucrative side gig.
How Chong Got Started
Chong actually had no formal training in the fashion world. Instead, she started her career in the medical field. She got her degree in physical therapy and became an accomplished physical therapist. She practiced physical therapy for 30 years and obtained multiple specialized certifications, including being a yoga teacher and a Pilates instructor.
But, her interest in fashion inspired her to start selling clothes out of her closet before branching out into luxury reselling. She realized how much she wanted to create a global impact by helping the environment through sustainable fashion, and that’s what she focuses on now.
“We’re contributing to the sustainable fashion movement by reusing clothing, handbags, shoes and household items,” Chong said of her side gig.
Since starting to sell items out of her closet, Chong has expanded to help other people clear out their closets. She has assisted thousands of women in decluttering their wardrobes and selling their items to make a quick sale, or even to grow a business like she did. Helping out other up-and-coming entrepreneurs is now a large part of her side gig.
How Much Time Does It Take?
The goal of side gigs is in the name: to be on the side. Though Chong makes very good money from her side gig, it doesn’t take up as much time as a full-time job.
“I dedicate roughly 2-3 hours a day,” she said, “which translates to about 60-90 hours a month.”
Challenges of Chong’s Side Gig
Even though her side gig isn’t as time consuming as a full-time job, Chong says it’s not without its obstacles.
“One of the challenges is striving for greater efficiency when listing items,” Chong said in reference to putting her items on each of the individual sites. “With repetition, you can develop a system and a schedule to take photos, write descriptions and [perfect] shipping that gets better with time.”
Chong also encourages the use of templates to help with writing descriptions or other items of a business that you have to type up over and over again.
Benefits of Chong’s Side Gig
Of course, working in a field she is passionate about really sweetens the deal for Chong.
“Who wouldn’t adore designer items?” she said. “It’s the thrill of wearing them and then turning them into a profit. It’s like owning high-end fashion for free.”
Chong also loves the freedom of being able to work from home. She says that is really an unbeatable benefit.
The Future of Chong’s Side Gig
Sometimes those who pick up extra jobs plan to do them for only a short amount of time. It might be to pay off a debt or to save for a specific expense.
Chong, however, plans to do her side gig as long as possible, since she genuinely enjoys it. She also has grown professionally from the time she has started it, and she feels like continuing her side business can work wonders.
“This side gig has opened doors to other exciting ventures, like my role as a resale consultant and luxury brand authenticator for solopreneurs,” Chong said.
She also has performed consulting services for retail and resale businesses.
For Chong, starting her side gig actually ended up opening her eyes to a new career venture that she has grown to love. Something that started as just another way to make money has truly changed her life. She hopes to continue to build a profitable business, while helping others do the same — all while helping the environment through sustainable fashion and a circular economy.
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