How To Make Money Online – 276+ Legit Options

As Sally Struthers used to say, would you like to earn more money? Sure we all would.

Fortunately in the “gig economy,” there are plenty of ways you can earn a little extra cash for your time. Whether it’s market research surveys or focus groups or donating your plasma, there are a lot of places that will pay.

I’ve spent nearly a hundred hours on this post to give you the most comprehensive list of sites that will pay you for something. In some cases, it’s your time – doing tasks. In other cases, it’s your stuff – selling your used goods and turning clutter into cash.

If you’ve ever said to yourself – “I need money?” This post is for you.

When I say I spent a hundred hours, it’s because I’ve vetted these sites. A lot of places that purport to let you make money fast aren’t real. You have to watch out for scams too and much of my time was researching the company, checking BBB listings, and making sure you aren’t going to get ripped off.

I’ve separated the list into two main categories – sites that will pay you for “stuff” and sites that will pay you for your “work.”

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$100 isn’t enough? Here’s 19 ways to make $500 fast.

Table of Contents
  1. Sites that Pay You For Work
  2. Sites that Pay You For Stuff
    1. Try Their Service
    2. Fill Out Surveys
    3. Drive
    4. Start a Blog
    5. Go Shopping
    6. Write/Illustrate Greeting Cards
    7. Listen/Rate Music
    8. Tutoring
    9. Mock Juror
    10. Play Games
    11. Data Entry
    12. Test Websites & Usability
    13. Test Products
    14. Mystery Shop
    15. Freelance Writing
    16. Freelance Work
    17. Watch TV
    18. Search/Surf the Web
    19. Write Reviews
    20. Miscellaneous
    21. Used Books
    22. Junk Mail
    23. Stock Photos
    24. Old Electronics
    25. Make Videos
    26. Unused Computer Resources
    27. Luxury Goods

Sites that Pay You For Work

These are sites where you get paid to do something. If you want sites where you can turn your stuff into cash, go to Sites that Pay You For Stuff.

Sites that will pay you to…

Sites that Pay You For Stuff

These are sites where you can turn things that you currently own into cash. If you want sites that will pay you to do something, those will be under Sites that Pay You For Work.

Sites that will pay you for…

OK, get ready… the ride is about to start! 🙂

Try Their Service

Companies are always trying to get you to try their new service and sometimes there are switching costs, such as with a cashback app (or it’s a pain to switch), so these companies will give you a little extra:

Fill Out Surveys

Surveys are great! Market research is a huge business and they always need people to fill out their rosters.

All of these companies are legitimate, according to my research, and I use the rules outlined in my post on how to tell if a survey company is legit.

Sign up for more than one!

United States:

Canada:

Drive

If you have a car, you can start earning money as a driver!

You can earn hundreds of dollars a month working a flexible schedule and that’s before bonuses. If you are lucky enough to live in a hot city, there are promotional bonuses (some cities it’s as much as $1,000) that can boost your earnings even more.

Each of the rideshare companies has different rules but nothing prevents you from driving for multiple companies.

  • Instacart – Shop groceries for other folks and get paid to deliver it to them.
  • AmazonFlex – You don’t drive people, you deliver packages.
  • Lyft – You can rent a car to drive if you don’t have one!
  • UberEATS – Instead of driving people, you deliver food. You can do this by car, scooter, or even bicycle.

Start a Blog

You won’t be paid immediately but one of the best side hustles you can start is your own blog. In just ten minutes, you can have your own little corner of the Internet. If you play your cards right, as many have done, you could turn that little parcel into a burgeoning metropolis… one that could generate a nice side income for you.

If you’ve been tempted by the income reports, here’s my guide to starting a blog in just 10 minutes.

Go Shopping

When you shop online, you should buy through a cashback portal. A cashback portal will give you a small percentage of your purchase back to you, usually as points and sometimes as straight cash, which is nice since you’ll be spending the money anyway! Oftentimes the cashback portal will also include coupons that will help you save too.

Write/Illustrate Greeting Cards

I bet you didn’t know you could make money writing greeting cards right? If you’ve ever considered yourself a wordsmith in the ultra-short form, consider looking at one of these:

  • Hallmark – Hallmark no longer accepts unsolicited submissions. 🙁
  • American Greetings
  • Blue Mountain Arts – Longer form prose or poetry, not for rhymed poetry, religious verse, one-liners or humor.
  • Ephemera – Not greeting cards but novelty buttons, magnets and stickers.
  • Gallant Greetings – Not accepting verse submissions right now but I kept them on the list in case they change.
  • It Takes Two – Illustrators
  • Oatmeal Studios – Accepting artists and writers
  • Smart Alex – “Funny, edgy & risque” and looking for artists, photographers and writers.

Listen/Rate Music

Do you like music? Do you like rating?

Do you like making money listening and rating music? Get paid a few cents to up to $1 for reviewing music.

  • Slicethepie – Listen to 90 second tracks and leave your 50-word+ review on it. You start off by getting paid just a few cents a song but as you progress you’re paid more per review. $10 minimum required to withdraw via Paypal.
  • Music Xray – Another review site with a ranking system that pays you more as you do more, you can get up to $1 per review which is the highest of any we’ve seen. $20 minimum payout though.

Tutoring

If you are knowledgeable about something, there will always be places for you to teach that knowledge to others. The following sites are for tutoring, rather than building your educational courses and selling them online, and unless it’s noted they are based in the United States.

Mock Juror

Going to jury duty is terrible, but being a mock juror is great!

A mock juror doesn’t have to go to a mock courtroom, hear a mock case, and render a mock opinion. A mock juror just gets a bunch of documents in the comfort of his or her home and get paid for your opinion and feedback. Legal teams need this as a trial run for their big cases and you can get paid to read interesting stories and see fascinating evidence… all without a trip anywhere!

Play Games

If you enjoy games like slots, bingo, and wheel of fortune, you’ll love getting paid to play games. This list contains legitimate places where you can get paid to play various games, usually after watching some commercials or other promotional videos.

They’re fun if you’re into that sort of thing, you earn a few points here or there, and can convert them into gift cards or sometimes cash.

Data Entry

Data entry falls into one of two major categories – micro-tasks and transcriptions. Most micro-task sites, like Amazon mTurk, will have transcription jobs in addition to other jobs.

If you are a relatively fast typer, this is a great way to earn some cash in your spare time.

Transcription

Translation

Micro-tasks

Test Websites & Usability

Website owners always want to know how users are seeing their websites and you can get paid to do the testing!

How much do you get paid? For example, UserTesting pays out $10 via Paypal for every 20-minute video you complete. That’s $30 an hour! All it takes is a computer, a microphone (you will give your feedback verbally), and an internet connection so you can view the website in question.

Here’s a list of places that will pay you to test websites:

Test Products

If there is mystery shopping to test the user experience in a store and there is website testing to test a website, it would make sense that companies would pay you for your opinion of an actual product right?

That’s this category.

Mystery Shop

Mystery shopping can be a great gig – you get paid to shop!

It’s a little more involved. Companies, especially those with stores, will want to get the opinion of the customer as they go through a transaction. For a bank, it might be opening up an account. For a retail clothing store, it might be trying on a shirt and checking out. Sometimes it’s just calling up their customer service line with a problem and seeing how the representative treats you.

They just want to “test” their customer experience and mystery shopping is the best way to do that.

Below is a huge list of companies (over 90!) that do mystery shopping, remote call monitoring, or some other “customer engagement research.” We did not vet the companies on this list, we only checked that their websites loaded and that they appear to still be in business. I wish we could’ve researched this more but that just wasn’t feasible. Before you sign up for anything, please review my post about how to spot a mystery shopping scam plus the Federal Trade Commission’s tips.

Freelance Writing

Do you enjoy writing? You could be paid to do it.

My friend Holly, mother of 2 and successful blogger, recently put together a course teaching you how to make more money freelance writing. Read her story here!

This list contains places where you can get a freelance job directly as well as marketplaces specifically for freelance writers. We avoided specific sites (with a few exceptions for very large, very stable companies like Cracked and College Humor) because these can change all the time.

Freelance Work

Outside of smaller or more specific jobs, like transcription or tutoring, you can find freelance work online as well. Many people earn supplemental income as a virtual assistant or performing other non-specific administrative work.

Below are popular marketplaces for freelancers:

  • FlexJobs – The largest remote, part-time to full-time freelance job board with thousands of jobs – use promo code FLEXLIFE for 30% off
  • Upwork – Formerly oDesk and eLance, this is one of the biggest marketplaces for folks looking for freelance work. They claim 4+ million clients on the platform and you can find anything from design and creative work to IT jobs to customer service, legal, and administrative support.
  • Guru – Smaller client base, 1.5 million, but also a place where you can post a job for free.
  • Fiverr – Fiverr is a huge marketplace where you can sell all kinds of work. From products, like drawings and videos, to services, like a review of your website or resume. Fiverr’s differentiator is everything costs just $5 at a baseline, though you can sell add-ons like faster delivery, etc; for more. The marketplace is huge and there’s a lot of fun and creative things you can do.
  • Freelancer – Can’t beat the name right? Focused entirely on freelancers, their search functionality and qualifications system seems to be the most robust.
  • People Per Hour – Primarily for designers (everything from logos, banners, and websites) People Per Hour is a big marketplace for services related to the digital world. The marketplace also has SEO, copywriting, video and apps but the strength is clearly in design.
  • 99designs – Primarily for visual design, whether it’s logos or a t-shirt, and one of the best known places for it.
  • The Creative Group
  • Krop – Creative jobs
  • Aquent – Marketing, Creative and Digital Staffing

Watch TV

Yes, you can get paid to watch television. This is not a joke!

You won’t get paid a LOT but you can get paid a little for something you’re already doing.

  • Perk.tv – Now completely gone.
  • RewardTV – After 14 years, RewardTV has been shut down.

Web search engines constantly compete for your business and some of them have resorted to paying you.

  • Permission Research – You download a software on your computer to understand how people are using the internet. Our goal is to help companies understand digital content trends and patterns so that those companies can give people like you what you want. The businesses and media organizations rely on PermissionResearch to understand how people view and interact with content on the Internet and on TV.
  • Bing Rewards – One of the big search engines will pay you to search??? That’s amazing! Bing Rewards is Bing’s program that awards you points each time you search. The rate changes and right now it’s 1 credit per 2 searches, up to 15 credits a day on a computer. You get 1 credit for 2 searches up to 10 credits on mobile. You can get an Amazon.com gift card for every 475 points.
  • Swagbucks – Swagbucks does EVERYTHING, including search.
  • Zoombucks

Write Reviews

Years ago, I joined Epinions and wrote reviews of products I liked. The model was simple – write a review, get paid a little for every page view and every commissionable sale the review generated. It was a fun little foray into the Internet and getting paid to write about a product seemed fun. Epinions was later acquired by eBay and shuttered in 2014.

That has not stopped a whole new set of companies to appear offering similar things. Sometimes you get free stuff, sometimes you get paid.

  • ReviewStream – Write a review, get paid if it meets their quality guidelines (get paid 1/5th if it doesn’t), plus bonuses for votes.
  • SoftwareJudge – Write reviews for software products
  • Ciao! (UK)
  • Gen.video – Video based reviews and you earn a revenue share.

Miscellaneous

If the site didn’t fit any other category, it’s here!

Used Books

Below is a list of places where you can sell your books but we also maintain a list of the best places to donate your used books too.

Decluttr
Decluttr lets you sell everything from books to CDS to DVDs to electronics and even LEGO! It’s my best recommendation for decluttering (hence the name!) by selling stuff you no longer want or need. With books, you just enter in the barcode or ISBN and they’ll give you a value. It takes minutes to find out how much your stuff is worth and you don’t have to register or anything to price things.

Bookscouter

Bookscouter
Another site worth checking out is BookScouter, which will check the selling price on 55 different vendors. The list will include the offer price, how they pay (Paypal, check, etc.) as well as whether they pay for shipping and under what terms. If you have a lot of books to sell, they can search up to 3000 ISBNs in a single request if you upgrade to BookScouter Pro. There are also historical prices too in case you want to review trends.

Amazon-logo

Amazon.com
Bookscouter will give you Amazon.com’s trade-in value, where you mail Amazon the book and get a gift card, they will not give you the used selling price because it’s hard to compare apples to oranges. You may be able to get more for your book by selling it as a used book on Amazon, so be sure to double-check that price. As an example, the trade-in value of a book I looked up was $7.87 but used copies were on sale for $19.87.

If you’re a fan of Amazon, you might want to see our Amazon hacks, including how to get $5 for using their app!

Junk Mail

I hate junk mail but did you know you can sell it? These are companies that will, in some way, turn your mail into money.

  • The Hauser Group – They are a marketing company that will mail you letters and ask you to report on them, like when they arrived. You are paid per item reported. They have pretty wide coverage already but you might get lucky if you sign up as an agent. This is often known as a “mail decoy” job.
  • Quotas – Another postal quality survey company based out of Germany.
  • Small Business Knowledge Center – They will pay you to send them your junk mail if you qualify.
  • US Monitor – Another test mail service where you get paid per item reported.

Stock Photos

Fancy yourself a photographer? You could get paid for your photos!

Stock photography has become a big business and you can list your work on a lot of sites, earning a nice little income for yourself. Some sites will take all contributions, others will require you to apply, submit samples, and be accepted.

For example, iStockPhoto.com, owned by Getty Images, requires you to apply to be a contributor. You can submit Photos, Illustrations, Video, and Audio but you will need three samples of your work. If accepted, you’ll be paid a 15% commission for each file downloaded and if you agree to be exclusive. If you make iStock your exclusive royalty-free agent, you can earn up to 45% with additional attention.

Shutterstock, on the other hand, doesn’t have a formal application process and anyone can create a contributor account. You retain the copyright for your work and are paid each time your photo is downloaded based on a schedule.

Here’s a list of popular stock photography sites:

Old Electronics

Do you have an old phone, tablet, or other pieces of electronic equipment you aren’t using? See if you can turn it into cash! There are a lot of services online that will let you instantly see how much your old electronics are worth and many are easy to use.

Make Videos

Have you heard about PewDiePie? Jenna Marbles? How about EvanTubeHD? They all make hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year through Youtube. MILLIONS. It’s insane.

EvanTubeHD, by the way, is an 8-year-old (Evan) and his dad (Jared) and has 2.7 million subscribers. He’s eight! And he reviews toys and other kids love it. It’s amazing, good for them!

If you want to make money with videos, we all know about Youtube, but there are a litany of sites that will turn your videos into cash.

Unused Computer Resources

Years ago, I remember installing SETI@Home to donate my computer’s unused time towards finding extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI stands for SEarch for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). SETI@home still exists but a new set of companies have cropped up and they will pay you to run an application on your computer – don’t do them.

You’ll see lists of sites and companies elsewhere, they’re usually out of date. Many of the companies (Gomez, Slicify, CoinBeez, etc.) are out of business. Gomez BBB listing states that they are believed to be out of business (you can’t even find it on BBB now), though the website is up and taking registrations.

The ones that are left pay out very poorly, which explains why the other guys went out of business! I kept this listing here in case I find anything good but I suspect it’s a fool’s errand.

Luxury Goods

If you have luxury goods, like high-end clothes or accessories, and you aren’t using them anymore, why not sell them? Rather than turn to sites like eBay, which everyone already knows about, you can try one of several high end online consignment stores.

The two popular ones are Poshmark and TheRealReal. Both make it dead simple to sell (and buy!) luxury items. The RealReal will pay you 60% of the sale price (more if you sell a lot) and Poshmark has a tiered commission structure. Sale prices under $15 pay a $2.95 flat fee and everything else is just 20%. Tradesy is another company and they take just 9%.

Lastly, you could always become a professional video game player!

I haven’t used every site on this list so if you have and want to share your experience (good and bad), leave a comment below.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Best Transcription Jobs 2021: Work from Home

Transcription work can be a viable side hustle if you are a fast and accurate typer. Most companies pay per minute of audio transcribed so the faster you can get the work done the more money you will earn.

The 14 Best Places To Sell Used Furniture

Which place is best to sell your used furniture depends on what you want to sell and if you are willing to ship it. If you are selling large household furniture, such as your old couch, local marketplaces like Facebook or OfferUp are probably your best bet. However, if you have high-end specialty items you'll likely need a broader market and have to ship it to the buyer. In this case, you'll want to look into places like Sotheby’s or Chairish. 

Jim Wang

About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of three who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and a farm in Illinois via AcreTrader.

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These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  1. rebecca says

    really awesome list. Just wondering, I am moving to mexico. What I can do over there to generate some money. I assume all these websites are just for USA? Thanks in advance

  2. Mandi says

    Wow! This is a great resource and I’m so glad to have stumbled across your site, looks like you have a lot of great resources here! Thanks!

    In the freelance writing gigs, it appears about.com is gone (gasp!) it links to a site called dotdash.com. I tried going to about.com myself to make sure it wasn’t a bad link and sure enough it took me to dotdash.com. In their careers section they are currently hiring some freelance (contract) tech writers but that was the only “freelance”/contract position(s) they have. Thought you’d like to know.

    And again thanks for all you’re doing here!

  3. Steve M. says

    I just started using Survey Value Inc. It starts with them mailing me a cashiers check for $2900.42. I then had to buy $2500 worth of Google Play Gift cards from multiple retail stores.

  4. A Girl Has No Name says

    I’m glad I found your list. I have started with *Survey junkie* and it’s the best. (Swagbucks 👎)
    I wanted to test it first to see if they really will offer to pay cash and not gift cards.
    I earned the minimum amount to request payment (1000 points or $10) and submitted it and literally in no more than 15-20 SECONDS I had it in my PayPal account!
    The only drawback I would say is you have to be quick to click because they fill up FAST! They only take a certain number of people and you don’t know if it’s full or not. You can see a survey for 250 points and when you click it will say SORRY this one is full. They go from 40 points up to 950. That’s the highest I have seen. Of course that gets filled quickly (it’s worth $9.50) because it’s basically earning one percent of, so for the 40 points you get .40 etc.
    You can take them on your cell phone but most will bump you because you have to take it on a desktop, laptop or tablet. The times for each ranges from 7 minutes to 25 minutes. It just depends on the points. I take a lot of 40 points for 15-17 minutes. Sometimes you luck up on a 20 point for 4 minutes. I’m usually able to do those on my phone.
    80 pts or higher I can only do on my computer or tablet.
    All in all it’s an easy way to make a little extra money. I’m thankful for the list.

  5. Florie Barry says

    Aloha Jim, thank you very much for the awesome research to share. This year was challenging. Who knows what next year will bring. Every little bit helps. Happy Holidays and have a great 2021.

  6. Linda Mohar says

    Would you please tell me if health care cost research is legit? They want me to send them a copy of an insurance Explanation of Benefit from an xray I had taken and say they will pay $50.

    You can attach the EOB to this email or fax it to 888.808.1415. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

    Sincerely,

    Market Research Specialist

    Healthcare Cost Research Group I Phone and Fax: 888.808.1415

    We are committed to safeguarding all personal information entrusted to us and continually implement practices to protect your privacy. For more information about our privacy practices, please visit: https://healthcostresearch.com/privacy-notice/.

    • Jim Wang says

      Hi Linda – I’m afraid I don’t feel comfortable giving you any guidance on that – personally I wouldn’t send them anything that personal identifying information.

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