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How to make money on the 4th of July

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

The most American thing you can do on the 4th of July is to hone your entrepreneurial skills and make some extra money.

While everyone else is watching money literally burn in the sky, you can take advantage of the festivities in a variety of ways.

How to make money on the 4th of July

  1. Sell water

  2. Sell food

  3. Sell decorations

  4. Sell other stuff

  5. Rent out your space

Sell water (or some other drink)

The 4th of July is HOT and people get thirsty. Some cities put on displays, find a cooler, buy some water, and sell it there. Selling water to make money can really work. There is one key tenant to this plan and that is finding a high traffic area like a city fireworks display, a parade, or some other event where a lot of people will be attending. Pretty straightforward concept, but let's add some math to it.

If you buy a case of water (24 bottles) and it costs you $5. You also need a cooler, or some other way to keep your product cold and you need some ice which will cost you about $2 more. Then you turn around and sell each bottle for a 500% markup (that's only $1/bottle), you turn that $5 into $24 just by selling 24 bottles. Your only risk is not finding 7 buyers, but if you are going to a large enough show you should be able to make that happen. If you do end up selling all 24 bottles you just made $17. I have to admit that selling water at $1/bottle is really really cheap so you can absolutely charge more and make more. The hotter the weather the more bottles you can sell and the more you can charge, so keep that in mind as you plan your money-making venture.

If your city doesn't put on a big show, then maybe you take the same concept and post up on a street corner someplace. Just like a lemonade stand, but you offer water. If you don't want to offer just water you can set up your own "drink stand" and have a wide variety of drinks available. You just need to make sure you have enough traffic.

Sell food

This is the exact same concept as above but could prove to be a bit trickier. While water and cold drinks are easy to sell because everyone likes cold water, food is harder because not everyone may like what you are trying to sell.

You could try and sell popsicles, or something frozen/cold, but that is tricky and requires more ice so your margins (your profit) could trend down. You could go with sweets or desserts, but if it is hot they could melt.

Some of the best ideas I could come up with are popcorn, small bags of potato chips, fruit snacks, or candy that won't easily melt. Each of these items will have different profit potential and if you find the right area with enough traffic you should do just fine! You can definitely sell food to make money.

Sell Decorations or Party Supplies

Everyone wants to be festive on the 4th! If you can get your hands on noisemakers, glow sticks, mini fans, mini flags, hats, sunglasses, or anything else that is cheap and people might want to buy then you could have another winner.

The key is the same as above, find a high traffic area and mark your items up enough for you to make money. Also, round all your prices so you don't have to give change. Selling something for $2 vs $1.50 is a lot easier for you to manage. And if someone is in the holiday spirit, they won't really mind, they just want to be festive like the rest of us.

Sell other stuff

Anything you believe you can sell on the 4th go find it and sell it. Cups, plates, and silverware can all be sold at a 4th event if there are food vendors or if you know lots of people set up picnics.

If you are going to a parade you can sell patriotic bags to collect candy in. Or you can sell patriotic bracelets or buttons. I've seen patriotic pinwheels and necklaces that light up. Anything you can find, if you have the money to invest and are willing to take the risk, could net you some serious $$ before the 4th is over.

Rent out your space

There are a couple of ways to go about this, but you need to have space that is in demand. What I mean is you need to have a house or lot that are in high traffic areas.

You can absolutely rent out your house, or a room on Airbnb or VRBO. That is a super common way folks make money these days. If that's not your style and you live in an area near a parade or fireworks show you can rent out your driveway as a parking stall. You see this all the time for sporting events and concerts and people can charge anywhere from $5-$50 for a stall depending on where you live.

If you aren't using the space you might as well take advantage of the opportunity and make a little money in the process.


If you want to take advantage of a great opportunity to make a little extra money the steps above should really help you out. What's great is you don't have to miss the festivities. If you set yourself up correctly you can make some money and enjoy the party too.

Last note, keep coming back year after year. At a certain point, people will expect to see you and they won't buy their own stuff because they know they can get it from you. So if you buy way too many mini fans one year, keep them and try to sell them in the same spot the next year. Don't give them away or sell them at a loss, hold them and raise the price slightly the next year.

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