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5 Side Income Jobs (Almost) Any Singaporean Can Do

Ryan Ong

Ryan Ong

Last updated 27 April, 2016

To save more money, you need to make more money. If your salary isn't enough to grow your savings, try these side-income jobs in Singapore

It’s easy to say you need a side-income, but much harder to actually find it. Well don’t worry - there are plenty of things that need doing in the country, and the money is there for the willing.

Here are some side-income jobs you can do in Singapore, without needing too much in the range of time and paper credentials:

Always Focus on Needs, Not Skills

When trying to find a side-income job, focus on needs and not skills.

For example: say that your day job is marketing. You may assume that any side-income job you get must somehow relate to your expertise. This will cause you to drop work that seems “outside” your scope, such as helping with the logistics of a blogshop, or administrative efforts. This is a mistake.

When looking for side-income, focus on fulfilling people's needs. Those needs may not be relevant to your skills, but if you can fulfill them you will get paid.

See Also: The Hidden Costs of Launching a Side Business in Singapore

In the above example, if your expertise is marketing but people are willing to pay you to help with their blogshop orders, then help with the orders. If they’re going to pay you to paint a living room, well, do that if you can work out how.

Do the tasks you will get paid the most to do.

shop for people

1. Shop for People

There are online groceries in Singapore and similar websites that will pay you to shop for people. One example would be honestbee. You will get paid to go to a supermarket or deli, and get people’s groceries for them. You can get up to S$14 an hour for doing this.

You can also help blogshops with deliveries. Many blogshops are now looking for ways to deliver products to the customers’ doors, but are too small to have a delivery service of their own. Well now they do - you. Enquire at these sites, and you may be able to find a job as a runner.

As a more traditional alternative, you can approach businesses to help the purchasing manager. This involves simple tasks like finding the cheapest shipping rates and handling the paperwork, or calling up suppliers to find the cheapest product (and then running out and fetching it).

This can be done as a side-income job because small businesses don’t order or re-stock all the time, so you may only need to do it every other week. This normally happens by private arrangement, so you’ll have to ask business owners you know, or knock on some doors.

drop shipping2. Drop Shipping

This isn’t really a “job” per se.  Drop shipping is a logistics term where the retailer doesn’t keep goods in stock. An example would be a Print on Demand (POD) publisher: the books are only printed when ordered, and the publisher doesn’t keep large stocks of books in a warehouse.

This can also be done by people who sell on eBay. One common method is to trawl a website for products, and then place it up for bids on other websites.

For example, say you see a foldable bicycle going for S$130 on Amazon. You’d then place it up for bids on sites like Carousell, eBay, etc. If you can get someone to offer more than S$130 (say S$140), then you will order it from Amazon and deliver it to the bidder. The difference is your profit. In effect, you sell things without having to stock them first.

There are many courses in Singapore that teach drop-shipping, but make sure you find a reputable one (check their reviews online, or ask someone who has attended).

Note that drop shipping is a time-consuming job. You may have to burn weekends or stay up late comparing prices, and you may have to deal with issues such as scams and defective products.

line cook

3. Be a Prep Cook

Not everyone who works in a restaurant kitchen is a master chef. Many small restaurants need prep cooks - these are people who come in during the wee hours of the morning, and prepare ingredients. These are simple things like deshelling prawns, slicing the vegetables, deboning chicken, etc. The prep cooks often leave before service starts.

To be direct: your chances of getting such a job in a major restaurant are slim. These establishments often have long lines of willing apprentices, and they often require more specialised skills (e.g. do you know how to crack open a live lobster?) Don’t have your heart set on getting into a five-star restaurant kitchen, especially if you have no culinary background.

But smaller restaurants are often short on manpower, and may not require kitchen expertise. You will still need to do a hygiene course, as well as some basic training; but apart from that, it’s seldom hard to find an employer who will take you on part-time. Singapore’s Food and Beverage businesses are desperately tight on labour.

Pay can reach around S$15 an hour, but this varies significantly with each employer.


4. Be a Referrer

Some businesses will pay a referral fee for customers you introduce. This is one of the ways that salespeople generate leads. How this works is simple:

Say I run a magazine, and I want people to advertise in it to raise revenue. As a referrer, you introduce five or six companies to me, which may be interested in an ad. For each one that signs up, I will pay you a referral fee of 5 per cent of their ad package (i.e. If they pay S$5,000 for an ad campaign, I’d give you S$250.

Most legitimate businesses will make this deal with you in writing. We suggest you avoid those that want verbal agreements only.

In some cases, your day job will provide a strong advantage. In the above example, imagine if I am running a car magazine, and your regular job is a mechanic in a car workshop. You will probably have access to the exact clients I need. However, do be careful that you would not be violating the terms of your employment contract.

party promoter

5. Be a Promoter

Do you have a lot of friends? Can you get 50 people to come down to a particular club or event? If so, you may be able to find decent side-income as a promoter. You’ll usually have to tie in with club managers, professional emcees, or event planners in Public Relations companies, so don’t even bother if you hate networking (but if you’re even considering this job, you probably don’t).

One of the main terrors facing clubs, bars, beach party events, etc. is a low turn-out. If you can guarantee that won’t happen, the benefits can range from sizeable payments to steep discounts for friends you bring along.

Leading promoters can make S$1,000 to S$5,000 for assembling a crowd at major events. Even a small pub or club, however, will usually be willing to fork out a few hundred dollars (or a night of cheap drinks) if you bring in 40 or 50 people every time you show up. If this is the kind of lifestyle you lead anyway, you may as well make a buck off it.

Read This Next:

7 Must-Do's to Survive a Drastic Pay Cut in Singapore

5 Money-Saving Methods That Don't Work


Ryan has been writing about finance for the last 10 years. He also has his fingers in a lot of other pies, having written for publications such as Men’s Health, Her World, Esquire, and Yahoo! Finance.


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