Due to the layoff notice, I’ve found myself exploring side hustles and rewards programs to find quick ways to make a buck. Although it can be a slow process – if you don’t have the street smarts to game the system – one could earn up to hundreds of dollars a month! This, coupled with tester programs that result in free samples or extra compensation, will be enough to offset some holiday shopping costs enabling my family to have a smaller financial burden and still enjoy nice things. Maybe these approaches can help you too!
With payouts ranging from $0.15 to $20, Survey Junkie and e-Rewards are my go to platforms for exchanging opinions and experiences about products and services for compensation. This route is great for anyone who has a smartphone or computer handy, and a couple of minutes of free time a day. Mom’s with kids seem to benefit more and qualify more frequently for earning opportunities but don’t let this deter you. I have no kids and qualify for 5-10 surveys a day!
I like this approach because companies pay a minimum amount of cash even if you didn’t qualify to participate. My husband has scored on-site product testing gigs that led to free swag (valued up to a $1000 USD), and a meal. The more time you put in the higher the returns; be genuine with your responses and make yourself available for interviews to maximize profits. On average, I’ve cashed out $20 a month with two to three hours of work two times a week. Surveys replenish daily and some include free samples or product offers.
2. Receipt Reading Apps
Fetch and ibotta are the most popular receipt rewards programs on the market. The premise is fairly simple: Earn points after scanning receipts from participating retailers. Bonuses are issued if you follow promotional rules for certain brands and for referrals to friends and family. You can cash out with as little as 3,000 points, sometimes less, redeemable for gift cards, magazine subscriptions and sweepstakes/giveaways.
Any receipt from any source counts – they don’t necessarily have to be your own purchases. I’ve got friends who have earned 50,000 bonus points equivalent to $50 USD off referrals alone on Fetch.
3. Product Testing
This one is a bit trickier than the other two because you must find good product testing sites that actually provide reimbursement for PayPal fees, taxes and shipping. Shoprebates seems to be the clear winner for those testers who are willing to leave honest Amazon reviews for the companies peddling their wares. The process is simple, choose from a list of items, order on Amazon, and troubleshoot concerns with the vendor directly before posting your thoughts online. The Product Tester Club and other sites may charge a membership fee to participate; beware of sites that have minimum or maximum reviews and restrictions since they can manipulate offerings to your disadvantage.
A few companies advertise free products on Instagram and Facebook for compensation, and I’ve yet found one that scammed me or didn’t meet basic safety and cybersecurity protocols. However, many are based in India or China and will take longer to communicate with you do to the time difference. Their broken English and bot responses may make it seem like they are not trustworthy even though they are genuine. As a seasoned reviewer suggested only purchase items you can use or resell locally in case you don’t get paid however, for some businesses reselling online will disqualify you from further offers and testing. Read the terms and conditions of the exchange before committing your time and money to this endeavor.
I hope this information helps you find a good side hustle or hobby that makes it possible to save some cash and find items that enrich your life. Keep a spreadsheet of earnings and offers to determine if this works out for you based on effort and pay. Personally, I wouldn’t consider these programs as full time pursuits but they could help in a pinch. Although we reviewed sites and apps, approach with caution.
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