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.
Join 6 million members who have made money taking easy and quick surveys on Survey Junkie. They pay in cash instantly via PayPal and they have an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.
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$100 isn't enough? Here's 19 ways to make $500 fast.
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…
- Fill Out Surveys
- Go Shopping
- Write/Illustrate Greeting Cards
- Listen/Rate Music
- Mock Juror
- Play Games
- Data Entry
- Test Websites & Usability
- Test Products
- Mystery Shop
- Freelance Writing
- Freelance Work
- Watch TV
- Search the Web
- Write Reviews
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! 🙂
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!
- SurveyJunkie Best Option!
- Ipsos i-Say
- Pinecone Research
- Springboard America
- MyPoints Surveys
- Swagbucks – $5 BONUS!
- Vindale Research
- Opinion Outpost
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.
- DoorDash – Similar to uberEATS, you get paid to deliver food and you can use your car or a bicycle. Check out your guide to maximizing your DoorDash driver earnings from a driver with nearly 6,000 deliveries!
- Postmates – Deliver food!
- 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.
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.
- MyPoints – Get $10 gift card after $20 purchase
- TopCashback – Get $15 added to your first cashout
- eBates – Get $10 after first purchase of $25+ within 90 days
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.
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.
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.
- VIPKID – Part-time online English as a Second Language to children, $14-$22/hour
- Education First
- Tutorhub (UK)
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!
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 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.
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:
- UserFeel (not currently accepting new testers)
- Startup Lift
- What Users Do
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.
- National Consumer Panel
- Nielsen Homescan Panel
- Contract Testing Inc. (Open to U.S. & Canada Residents)
- Product Testing Services
- Loreal Product Testing Panel
- Software Judge
- Good Housekeeping Product Tester Panel
- Brillo Consumer Advisory Panel
- BzzAgent – Word of mouth marketing agency that will send you products from time to time.
- Vogue Insiders
- Redbook Team Red
- Mead TeacherLists
- Stylehunters Trendsetters
- All You Reality Checker from All You Magazine
- Brooks Shoes and Sports Wear
- Nike Product Tester
- New Balance
- McCormmick Consumer Testing
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.
- Mystery Shopper Providers Association Member Companies
- A&A Merchandising
- A Closer Look
- A Customer’s Point of View
- ABA Quality Merchandising (UK)
- Alta360 Research
- Ann Michaels & Assoc
- Anonymous Insights
- Apartment Shoppe
- Ardent Services Inc.
- Associate Consumer Evaluations, LLC
- At Random Communications
- At Your Service Marketing
- Ath Power Consulting Corporation
- Bare Associates International Inc
- Barry Leads & Associates Inc.
- BMA Mystery Shopping
- Business Evaluation Services
- Capstone Research
- Certified Reports
- Cirrus Marketing Consultants
- Confero Inc.
- Comsumer Critique
- Consumer Impressions
- Consumer Research Group
- Coyle Hospitality Group
- Cross Financial Group
- Customer Perspectives
- Customer Service Experts, Inc
- Data Quest Ltd.
- David Sparks & Associates
- Devon Hill Associates
- Douglas Stafford North America, Inc.
- DSG Associates
- Ellis Property Management Services
- Evaluation Systems for Personnel (ESP)
- Graymark Security Group
- Hilli Dunlap Enterprises, Inc.
- ICC/Decision Services
- Instant Reply Inc
- J.M. Ridgway Co. Inc.
- LeBlanc & Associates
- Market Viewpoint, LLC
- MarketWise Consulting Group, Inc.
- Mars Research
- Melinda Brody & Company
- Merchandise Concepts
- Michelson & Associates, Inc.
- Mintel International Group Ltd
- Mystery Shoppers
- Mystery Shopping Solutions
- National Shopping Service Network, LLC
- Northwest Mystery Shopping Service
- Pacific Research Group
- Pat Henry Group
- Patron Edge
- Person To Person Quality
- Premier Service Consulting
- Promotional Network, Inc.
- Quality Assessments Mystery Shoppers, LLC
- QSI Specialists
- The Quest for Best Mystery Shoppers
- Reality Check Mystery Shoppers
- Satisfaction Services, Inc.
- Second To None, Inc.
- Secret Shopper
- Sensors Quality Management Inc.
- See Level
- Service Alliance, Inc
- Service Evaluation Concepts
- Service Impressions
- Service Performance Group Inc.
- The Shadow Agency
- Shoppers’ Critique International, LLC
- Shoppers, Inc
- Shoppers’ View
- Sinclair Service Assessments
- Spies in Disguise
Do you enjoy writing? You could be paid to do it.
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.
- Constant Content
- College Humor – $35 for single articles, $50 for multi-page articles
- Textbroker – Earn anywhere from 0.7 cents to 5 cents a work.
- WritingJobz – A writing job marketplace.
- Listverse – $100 a post if accepted, 1,500 word minimum
- KnowledgeNuts – Get $10 per knowledge nut!
- SeekingAlpha – $500 the best ideas and a chance at two $2,500 weekly performance awards.
- About.com – With a ton of different subject areas, becoming an editor means you take ownership and earning capacity of that category.
- FreelanceWriting – Huge freelance writer job board
- Freelance Writing Jobs – Another massive freelance writer job board
- Writers Department – Freelance writing job for academic and business experts
- Writer Access
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
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.
Search/Surf the Web
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.
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.
If the site didn't fit any other category, it's here!
- Radio Loyalty – Listen to the radio through their app, get points. Boom.
- Naming Force – Business name contests, you get paid if your name is picked.
- Certified Field Associate – Mystery shop movie theaters!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
- Amazon Trade-In
- Best Buy Trade-In
- eBay Valet you can sell it yourself for standard eBay fees or pay 20-40% for the Valet service.
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.
- Youtube – Share of advertising
- Dailymotion – Share of advertising
- Metacafe – Share of advertising
- Brightcove – instead of advertising, you sell video and get 70% of sales
Unused Computer Resources
Years ago, I remember installing [email protected] to donate my computer's unused time towards finding extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI stands for SEarch for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). [email protected] 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.
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.