How to Make Money Selling Stuff on the Street: 14 Steps

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How to Make Money Selling Stuff on the Street: 14 Steps
How to Make Money Selling Stuff on the Street: 14 Steps

It is quite common to find people working and selling things on the streets in big cities. Do you want to participate in this movement and earn money working on your own? Follow the tips below to start your own business the right way!


Part 1 of 4: Choosing what to sell

Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 1

Step 1. Sell products

  • Try to sell something that is interesting and in high demand in the region. Do you have a product that is relatively hard to find anywhere, but can you buy it for resale? Can you shop wholesale to profit from reselling?
  • Old books and zines are great things to sell on the street. Buy a few copies at bazaars or used book stores to resell on a busy street or at a street market. If you have a good collection of books at home that you no longer use, how about getting rid of it in exchange for some money?
  • Antiques and souvenirs can also be bought at second hand sales and resold on the street for a reasonable profit. Bought a collection of your aunt's porcelain dolls and have nowhere to keep them? Sell ​​to someone who might be interested in the product!
  • Carpets and decorations can be purchased in bulk on TV infomercials and can be resold at festivals and themed events.
  • If you live in a rural area or near campsites, you can sell firewood to tourists and travelers. Put a sign in front of your house to advertise your business!
  • Fruits and vegetables are usually sold from roadside stalls or open markets. If you have a fruit tree at home or a garden whose produce always goes to waste, pack the excess and sell it. Another option is to try to sell eggs and agricultural products in general in these stalls as well, getting rid of the excess that your family does not consume and earning money in return.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 2

Step 2. Sell your own creations

  • Are you an artist and do you always have a house full of copyrighted works? Start selling them!
  • You can sell ceramic products at fairs and events. This type of product can be sold with food, but it can also be sold with paintings and other works of art, if you prefer! You can, for example, produce and sell cooking utensils, cups, bowls, pans, vases, sculptures and party favors!
  • Paintings and photographs are great products for sale at fairs and outdoor stalls, as they draw a lot of attention from passersby. It covers an adequate and fair amount, as people usually don't carry a lot of money in their pockets. It's a good idea to offer discounts when buying more than one product.
  • Jewelry is a great option, especially during the holiday season, as people can buy their wares for themselves or as a gift for loved ones. Still, jewelry and crafts are year-round gifts and it's worth keeping your little shop running!
  • Wood carvings and leather crafts are great options for popular outdoor events.
  • Freshly printed shirts are also a good choice for music festivals. Offer a variety of prints for customers to choose exactly what they want to wear, maximizing their profits and minimizing up-front work. Obviously, remember to bring enough materials to meet the event's demand.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 3

Step 3. Sell food you have prepared

  • Is everyone a fan of your homemade burritos? Is your homemade ice cream a hit with your friends and family? Share your dishes with all the common mortals!
  • Tacos and tamales are good options to sell without needing a lot of space - just take them in a thermos basket, wrapped in aluminum foil for easy delivery and hygiene.
  • Popsicles and bags sell a lot at outdoor events in the hottest months of the year. If you can keep them cool without having to invest too much, you probably already have a livelihood for the summer.
  • Homemade truffles and cookies are great options to sell at street markets and on the street, because everyone loves a candy.
  • Any event goes with drinks! Prepare differentiated lemonades or milkshakes to sell during the hottest months of the year, also offering coffee and other drinks in the colder months. How about selling a hot one in the middle of the year, during the festivities of São João
  • Tip: many people like to consume food made with locally grown products, as a way to boost the economy and local production. Look for regional suppliers to make your food unique and differentiated, gaining a larger share of the market.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 4

Step 4. Sell your creativity

  • Play classic rock like no one else in your region? Take your talents to the streets as artists of old did and collect donations in a hat or guitar case.
  • How about doing face painting on children during open events? Parents will certainly appreciate the opportunity to let the little ones sit for a few minutes.
  • Draw cartoons. If you're good at exaggerated drawings, try selling caricatures in tourist spots. How about drawing couples on honeymoon next to a tourist scene?
  • Put on a puppet show at an outdoor music festival to put on a smaller show for those in attendance? Everyone will love it!
  • Try working as a street mime if you are interested in this art. Go out on the street and have fun making people laugh with your presentations.

Part 2 of 4: Finding a Good Place to Work

Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 5

Step 1. Choose a location with a lot of pedestrian traffic

  • Are there any busy streets in your city where you have a good chance of meeting a lot of people? Choosing a place to work near a park or a busy area will certainly increase your sales.
  • If you're going to sell food, look for a place near commercial buildings to make a big profit at lunchtime.
  • If you are going to sell products, a street fair is a great way to sell yourself, as it will make your offerings unique as other marketers will be selling mostly agricultural products.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 6

Step 2. Check that the chosen location is not in a restricted area

  • Just because the location is great doesn't mean you can work on it.
  • Before selling things on the street, look for the chamber of commerce in your city and check if it is possible to open a business in the chosen region. It's good to find out all the necessary licenses and business permits, so check out the Method below for more information.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 7

Step 3. Don't harm other businesses or companies

  • Playing loud music on the corner next to another street musician is sure to reduce both of your profits. It's important that your business doesn't get too close to others that offer similar goods.
  • Get this in mind: the most convenient place is not always the best. It's okay to want to sell your apples in front of your house, but that's not a good idea if your street is deserted and without customers. Your neighbors may even buy the products, but they will soon get bored and stop consuming them.

Part 3 of 4: Taking care of the legal part

Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 8

Step 1. Obtain the necessary licenses and business permits

  • In many regions, it is necessary to start a business or formalize as an individual micro-entrepreneur to carry out certain types of work.
  • If you intend to sell food, contact your local city hall and find out what permissions are needed to work with this in the region.
  • Contact your local chamber of commerce to find out what it takes to act legally in your city, avoiding problems with the authorities.
  • If you are going to work at an open-air fair or an event, please contact the organizers to find out if there are any extra requirements for the operation. Do this in advance to avoid last minute issues.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 9

Step 2. Sell only cool stuff

  • Selling illicit drugs is illegal and you know it, but what about selling pickles at a music festival or eggs on used cards? There are many hidden regulations for most foods and it's important not to violate any local laws, so choose your product and do a search to see if you missed anything.
  • It is normal to sell pets, but it is important that you only sell nice pets. No trade in wild animals, for example.
  • The sale of copyrighted material is prohibited and considered piracy. Do not market music and movies unless the works are by you or you have the express permission of the creator.

Part 4 of 4: Maintaining Good Professional Practices

Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 10

Step 1. Calculate your expenses

  • Working on your own may seem like something really cool, but it's important to assess the cost-benefit of the operation.
  • Keep a good track of your expenses. Just like someone who rents a space to work, you need to have good financial practices to sell on the street.
  • Are you earning R$300 a day selling ice cream? Excellent! Are you spending R$ 500 to produce the ice cream of the day? You are falling into mischief!
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 11

Step 2. Cover fair and adequate values ​​for your products or services

  • Price your products after calculating expenses to ensure your profit.
  • Remember to take labor into account in expenses, as time worked is one of the biggest expenses in professional life. You'll probably earn less than ideal at first, so strike a balance between what you can sell and what you can produce.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 12

Step 3. Create your brand

  • What is your history? Even if you're not going to go out on television with an ad seen in prime time, it's good to think about how you're going to present yourself to your customers.
  • If you are going to sell handcrafted jewelry with your daughter, create a name for your business that refers to that experience.
  • Think of promotional tactics like "buy one get two free" to get the word out about your product. If you're a street performer, attend open mic nights at live houses to announce your upcoming performances on the street and draw more audiences.
  • Create a business card and print a few copies of it to distribute your contact information and descriptions of your services.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 13

Step 4. Always have good business practices

  • Customer service can make your business a success or it can make it fail. It doesn't matter if your wood carvings are the best in the region, if you don't treat your customers well, no one will buy your art.
  • Think carefully about what to do if someone doesn't like your product. Did that caricature that took an hour make the customer uncomfortable? Are you still going to charge for it? Will you offer to design another one for free, giving up the profit to satisfy the customer?
  • Always practice some situations in which you will lose out so that you will be able to better handle these occasions when they arise.
Make Money Selling Things on the Street Step 14

Step 5. Dress appropriately

  • Your appearance must always be adequate to the customers' expectations regarding your service. For example, it's important to look clean and hygienic if you're going to sell food.
  • Even if you're performing a rock musical number on a street corner, it's important to be dressed as the role asks for. It doesn't make much sense to play in the street dressed as if you were on your way to a football stadium.
  • Hygiene is essential, always. If you are going to handle food, always have sanitation materials available at the tent.


  • Ask friends and family for help in publicizing your service, with posters, recommendations on the internet, etc.
  • Scramble your garage or "clutter room" at home to find old stuff you can sell for good money.


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