Are you the proud owner of a truck, or even a decent-size SUV? City dwellers always need help delivering furniture, especially on fine summer weekends. Advertise online, or hang out at yard and estate sales. (Hint: introduce yourself to the sellers so you don't look like you're casing the joint.) Bonus tip: when you charge your customers, be sure to account for the price of gas.
THROW A PANTRY RAID
Lemonade stands are a Norman Rockwell fantasy. These days, even a 10-year-old could tell you that street vending has a shitty profit margin, and that's before you invest thousands of dollars in permits and insurance. But if you're a good cook with a decent kitchen, you can squeeze lemons and make . . . money. Organize communal-cafeteria group-cooking sessions and charge a fee. To get diners you trust — and promote the hell out of the events — use Facebook or other social-networking groups. It's a win-win: you charge other people for the food you get to eat, and you help your culinarily challenged friends stock up on freezer-ready entrées for the week (which will probably save them money, too).
BE AN AUCTION HERO
Economy be damned: if you have, or can make, anything remotely worth selling, chances are somebody wants it. Yard sales are cool if you need to unload a lot of stuff immediately (what, you need to pay off those loanshark debts?), but you're likely to get better money on the Internet. Try Etsy (etsy.com) if you're crafty, eBay if you're not, and Craigslist if you don't mind putting up with scads of sketchy, haggling, no-showing assholes.
Now, as for what to sell, start by checking the bottoms of grandma's old dishes for trademarks and find out what they're going for online. (We're operating on the assumption that grandma is cool with this.) Watch your fingers, as you might be surprised by your suddenly hot plates. If you saved your old Transformers and My Little Ponies, you're in luck, you sentimental bastard: a discontinued toy can go for many times its original price, especially if it's in good shape. Be sure to look for Web sites that cater to specific collectibles, too. You're likely to get a better price there than in the eBay slush pile, and browsing their classifieds will give you an idea of what people are looking for.
And hey, if you can draw, consider drawing on commission. The patronage system is alive and well in various dank corners of the Internet. (Some danker than others — you heard us, deviantart.com.) Practice drawing wide-eyed cartoon foxes in compromising positions, and try not to get sued by Disney.
TWEET YOUR HEART OUT
A few years ago, if you spent all your time farting around on Friendster (hey, remember Friendster?), that just made you a self-absorbed clod. Now your deficiencies are a business skill. Even the New York Times has a social-media editor. Are you a vigorous Twitterer? Hit up businesses you know well and see if they need help promoting themselves online. Twitter is gaining currency, and forward-thinking businesses are finding creative ways to tweet up new customers. But even if they're Internet-savvy, few small business owners have time to sit around barking out 140-character communiqués all day. Bear in mind that you may have to educate your prospective clientele. (Tweets? Tags? Twits? Tweeple? Admit it, it's fucking confusing.)