Oliver Stoudt was tired of borrowing money from his parents. And they were tired of nagging him about the overflowing piles of lacrosse equipment in his bedroom.
So in the summer of 2015, Oliver picked out a limited-edition lacrosse stick head and listed it on SidelineSwap, a platform where athletes exchange gear. He was looking to trade it for a piece of equipment he needed but was surprised when a buyer offered him $80 instead.
“I realized that … all this stuff that I accumulated since the seventh grade is actually worth something,” Oliver recalls.
More than two years after discovering this side hustle, Oliver has earned about $6,000. Here’s how he did it.
How Oliver started selling gear online
As a lifelong lacrosse player, Oliver began using SidelineSwap to trade his gear in 2014. He was in the early stages of a collegiate lacrosse career that would send him to Genesee Community College in New York and Georgian Court University in New Jersey for two seasons apiece.
It took Oliver another year — and some prodding from his parents to empty his bedroom — to start selling his gear. There were all sorts of items to pick from, including shirts and shorts, elbow and shoulder pads, helmets, and stick shafts.
Some of the gear was from his high school lacrosse days. Other items were given to him for free or at a discounted rate since he’d become a scholarship athlete.
“That first sale made me [understand] that someone appreciates the little collection that I have,” says Oliver, who’s now an assistant coach for the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. “I wondered how many other people will.”
Oliver needed an income that didn’t require long hours. Between practice and games — and, yes, classes — he couldn’t start working minimum-wage jobs until the summer.
“It really helped as a side hustle,” he says. “I never had [time for] a job where I could make a steady income.”
How used sports gear helped cover Oliver’s school expenses
Oliver had earned $5,977.48 in SidelineSwap profits by January 2018. It didn’t happen overnight. He made money a little bit at a time. He would find time to post a hand-me-down and wait for an interested buyer to message him.
One summer, while transitioning to college in New Jersey, he remembered selling enough to cover $300 worth of books and binders. There was even some cash left over to cover in-school academic costs.
“It might not put a dent in your tuition,” Oliver says. “But it’ll pick up books, class trips, exams. You have to drive somewhere to visit a museum or see a play for a class — I had to do that many times — and that’s gas money or the [ticket] to get in.”
A sale here and there, Oliver adds, covered his teaching exams when he was majoring in education.
SidelineSwap earnings also helped him maintain his car. Being able to pay for essential expenses, Oliver says, allowed him to focus on school and the lacrosse team.
How selling on SidelineSwap works
You don’t need a bedroom full of gear to get started. But one requirement of starting this side hustle is having a little bit of inventory.
If you’re like some athletes, you’re a pack rat who’s held on to gear and apparel over the years. Oliver has a cousin, for example, who he estimates owns about 100 baseball bats.
“It’s very easy to [sell],” says Oliver, who has since started buying lacrosse equipment in bulk and reselling it on the site for at least a $20 profit per item. “You pretty much just need a smartphone.”
If SidelineSwap’s website or mobile app is your preferred selling platform, you start by creating a “locker.” You fill your locker with the items you have to sell, providing details, photos, and pricing.
When a user agrees to buy your item, they foot the bill for shipping. Once they receive the item, the buyer submits their payment and a review.
If lacrosse isn’t your thing, SidelineSwap has categories for about 20 different sports. But you could also list non-sports-specific items. Oliver used the credibility of his 100-plus five-star reviews to sell an iPad on the site, for example.
Start your sports-related side hustle today
If selling sports gear sounds like an appealing side hustle, don’t restrict yourself to using SidelineSwap, which takes a 12% cut on sales.
You also might take unwanted items to your local sporting goods store. National chains, such as Play It Again Sports, routinely buy used equipment from customers. Plus, you could list your items on multiple websites. Just avoid agreeing to sell one item to multiple buyers.
If you’re concerned about the time investment, consider SidelineSwap Seller Assist. Through this initiative, you send your unwanted gear directly to the company. It lists and sells the items for you but takes a 30% cut.
Aside from selling gear, think about sports-related side hustles that use your expertise or pique your interest. Oliver, for example, strings lacrosse stick heads for players of all levels.
If you have academic expenses, find the right side hustle for you. Your efforts could pay for your next round of textbooks or make your next tuition payment more manageable.
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