Maddy Birch was only looking to earn some extra spending money — not build an business or obtain some valuable entrepreneurship and career skills. But that’s exactly what she did when she began selling her old lacrosse equipment on online sporting goods marketplace SidelineSwap.
One Way for Kids to Make Money
Birch, a 16-year-old high school student, originally heard about SidelineSwap from her brother a couple years ago. But at the time she didn’t think much of it. Then when she was looking to earn a little extra income this year, she thought about all the expensive lacrosse goalie equipment she had in her garage.
Birch said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “In the past I had just gone to Play It Again Sports or a store like that [to trade in the equipment], and I was just sick of getting only like $30 back on a $100 helmet. I thought about using Craigslist, but it was too broad and it can be unsafe. So then I remembered my brother had told me about SidelineSwap.”
After making her first sale, Birch was pleased with the return on her investment and the relative ease of the process. So she kept going. Since then, she’s made about $1,930 from selling 15 different pieces of equipment to buyers on the site.
However, the experience hasn’t been without challenges. Birch admits she started to get a bit impatient while waiting for her first sale. Additionally, she’s learned how difficult it can be to please every customer, especially in the days of instant gratification where many expect their purchases to be shipped on the same day they buy. But she says patience and adaptability have been key to her success on the site.
She also encourages other high school athletes or young people to start selling their own used items on SidelineSwap or a similar platforms.
Birch says, “It’s just so easy and you can make a decent amount of money. A lot of people I’ve talked to think it’s not worth the time or they don’t have time to list stuff, but once you go through all of that and get everything listed you realize how easy it is to get that gear up and then it really pays off in the end.”
While Birch has certainly enjoyed her experience of selling sporting goods online, it hasn’t led to any other entrepreneurial dreams for the teen. She plans on going to college and majoring in sports management. However, she says that selling and browsing on SidelineSwap has turned into a fun side hustle for her she certainly plans to continue. The site has a specific niche in sporting goods, but also includes some tech products like headphones which could lead to more opportunities for Birch in finding products to list going forward.
Even if owning a more official business isn’t in her future, Birch’s experience has helped her gain some valuable customer service and communication skills, which can apply to tons of different potential career paths. In addition, the initiative she had to take in starting this side hustle is certainly something to be proud of, whether she chooses to pursue other entrepreneurial endeavors or not.
Images: Maddy Birch