You can generate a small side income taking online surveys — but don’t expect to be rolling in the dough. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, unless you invest a lot of time, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Global Test Market. Read our analysis of a dozen survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.
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Named after an 18th-century chess-playing device, this service (mturk.com) lets companies pay people to do simple tasks—like judging if two items in a search engine are the same, or coding a subject category for websites. Each listing has a reward amount from a penny to $5. Have your earnings transferred to an account, or redeem them on Amazon.com.
Make and sell crafts. If you are even a little bit crafty, consider selling your goods on a site like Etsy. Though you can make more money on intricate projects (ex. an exquisitely woodburned gourd), even labor-light projects can bring in good money if you’re willing to produce them in high quantities. Who knows – if you do well, you might even be inspired to start a crafts business.
If you're a good writer but don't have the time to write a lot of extra articles, you can try what I call the "eBay Ad Strategy." There are many high-priced items selling on eBay, such as cars, boats, and motorcycles. Many of these items have terrible descriptions and sales pages. You can contact the owners, tell them that you will write a great sales page for them, and simply ask for 1 percent of the selling price as your fee. They don't pay you anything unless the item sells. This makes the offer appealing to them and because it's a high-priced item, you can easily earn a nice chunk of change from a little bit of work.
Sell baked goods. Working parents might not have the time to whip up a birthday cake or cupcakes for school parties. That’s where you come in if you can create tasty baked goods. A friend of mine who is a single mom started making cupcakes as a way to keep herself occupied while staying with her dad when he was undergoing chemotherapy. She posted a picture of her cupcakes on Facebook and instantly received several orders from friends. Now she makes about $200 a month making cupcakes for others who hear about her through word of mouth or see pictures of her cupcakes on her Facebook page.
We're a little weirded out by those Cash4Gold commercials (mail them our jewelry? who are we, Bernie Madoff?). Take the gold you no longer wear to KLIM Jewelry (66 W 47th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-382-1406, klimjewelry.com), where you'll make $25--$45 in cash per pennyweight (about 1.5 grams) depending on the purity. Event planner Dana Lowenfish got $1,000 for a handful of broken chains, two earrings and an old nameplate. "Gold is at its highest value ever," she says. "Get cash for jewelry you'll never miss."
With just a few paint and stencil supplies you could walk the neighborhoods with curbs and solicit your curb number painting services. Obviously, you need to be somewhat handy with a can of spray paint and stencils, otherwise, you might have people coming after you if you mess up their curb. That said, there is a business for this as people are out there making it happen.
If you live near a university, there are likely all sorts of research studies looking for participants. While I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech, I got paid $500 to participate in a 6-week dietary study. The study provided all my meals and paid me, but I had to eat a 5,000 calorie diet of 50% fat for 6 weeks, plus I had multiple muscle biopsies, urine/blood testing, etc.
Many banks will give you a cash bonus just for opening an account with them. Talk about easy money! Banks are in tough competition for your business and will pay $100, $200 or even $300 just for becoming a customer. For example, right now Chase Bank is offering $200 cash for opening a checking account, and then another $150 cash for opening a savings account. Certain qualifications must be met but if you do qualify that's one easy way to earn $350 cash! Collect $350 cash with Chase Bank
Make the most of your spare space by listing it for short term rentals with Airbnb. If you know how to be an Airbnb host that wows their guests, you have an amazing opportunity to make money fast. By creating a wonderful experience for your guests, you’re setting yourself up for great reviews and lots of repeat guests. Check out our complete guide on getting started as an Airbnb host.