Looking for a little extra income without the commitment of a part-time job? The internet has made it easier than ever to find flexible gigs on the side of your primary occupation, but there’s also more competition for them than ever too. Let’s briefly run down the premier methods and websites that may help you earn those extra bucks a day you need to indulge.
Ways to Make Money Online
Also see: Ways to Make Money Without a Computer
Fill Out Surveys - Many sites pay consumers to complete surveys, which might take anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour and usually pay in cash or product credits based on the time invested.
- MySurvey, the most popular paid survey site, pays users for taking surveys in a combination of sweepstakes entries and points, which are redeemed for gift cards or small cash rewards—beginning at $10 per 1,200 points, which can take six hours or more of survey-taking to accrue.
- Crowdology pays in cash through PayPal, anywhere from $.40 to $10 per survey completed, but most commonly within the $.50 - $2.50 range.
- Opinion Outpost pays survey respondents in points—each one equivalent to 10 cents—that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards, as well as entry into a $10,000 quarterly prize draw. The rate of points earned per survey varies, but roughly equates to $6 an hour.
- Pinecone Research is an invite-only site that pays $3 for each survey, reportedly equaling $12 to $18 per hour. They limit the number of surveys one can take in a given time period, however.
- Survey Junkie functions similarly, with users earning “points” equivalent to one cent apiece for answering surveys, which may take between one and 20 minutes and pay between 10 and 90 points. The service is desktop-only.
- JustAnswer pays users to answer questions posed by other individuals rather than by marketing companies. Topics range from engineering to jewelry appraisals, and most questions pay between $2 and $
- Swagbucks users get paid in points redeemable for $5 Amazon credits and other gift cards, and all they have to do is occasionally use Swagbucks’ search engine in place of Google and Yahoo. Additional points earning opportunities include taking surveys, testing games, and cutting coupons.
- CashCrate cuts out the points, so users can reportedly earn up to $20 a day by taking multiple daily surveys. They also let you earn rewards by referring others, shopping through their site, playing games, and entering contests.
- Superpay mainly pays users for taking surveys, but they can also earn through more lucrative “paid offers” to sign up for certain websites, watch videos, or provide feedback on ads. Free offers typically pay between $.50 and $2, whereas paid offers, requiring you to purchase a product and enter credit card information, can yield up to $10.
- PrizeRebel ranks as one of the oldest and most well-liked paid survey sites, with additional earning opportunities including access to free contests, promo codes, and other paid tasks. They have a points system with each equivalent to one cent, and a low payout threshold of $5.
- InboxDollars has a high payout threshold of $30, only issuable through check. Users earn $5 just for signing up, and anywhere from $.25 to $4.50 for taking surveys of varying lengths. Other earning opportunities for cash and sweepstakes entries include using their search engine, signing up for outside services, and watching videos.
- iBotta is a free app that gives you small cash rebates, which can still add up to a lot, on name and store brand grocery staples, plus “team” rebate bonuses when you reach certain saving goals in set time periods.
- Checkout 51 is another app for earning easy cashback on grocery purchases just by uploading your receipt, with a payout threshold of $20 sent by check.
- BerryCart rewards users for eating healthy with access to cash back offers on gluten free and organic products at more than 100,000 locations nationwide including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Walmart, and Safeway.
- Paribus saves users money by letting them know when product prices drop. This means you’ll know better when to buy and receive cash refunds of the difference on products you already purchased from Costco, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and others.
- Shopkick users earn rewards in-store and online that can then be redeemed for free gift cards to your favorite store.
- Dosh users securely link their credit and/or debit cards to the app, then receive up to 10% cash back for every purchase they make with the card at thousands of affiliated stores and restaurants, plus $5 for every friend you refer.
- Ebates is a popular cashback site that offers frequent signup and referral bonuses, in addition to the money you’ll receive back every time you start an online shopping spree through their affiliate links.
- Mr. Rebates works much like eBates, albeit with a harder-to-navigate user interface and higher advertised number of participating retailers and cash back rates up to 30%. Nevertheless, the best way to decide between services is to see which accommodates more online stores and product categories specific to your buying habits.
- Most banks and credit card companies similarly offer their own rewards cards and programs, including Wells Fargo Wise, Capitol One Quicksilver, and Chase Freedom.
- UserTesting pays users $10 for spending 20 minutes test-driving a new website, app, or game while their screen and voice reactions are recorded. Signup is free, and users report it’s a convenient way to earn up to $50 per month.
- uTest payments depend on a number of factors, including where you’re located, your performance skill in app- and game-testing, the time you spend testing, and a cumulative uTest rating. Golden-rated testers might earn up to $500 a month.
- PlayTestCloud is a platform more focused on video game testing on which players earn payments starting at $49 for an hour or so playtesting or $9 for game-related surveys.
- Twenty20 pays between $2 and $32 per photo.
- MobilePrints collects a standard charge for making and sending an order, but otherwise lets photographers choose the price-point for their own shots.
Collect from the State – All too often, a tax refund, pension payment, savings bond, uncashed check, dividend, utility bill refund, or other payment goes unclaimed by its proper recipient. The state collects and holds onto the money, and will send it upon request. Check Unclaimed.org to see if there's money out there with your name attached.
Get in Shape – Some services offer cash or coupon rewards for meeting your commitments to keep in shape, like:
- HealthyWage is a website that lets individuals and groups set weight loss goals, then rewards them with cash prizes up to $10,000.
- WalGreens Balance Rewards users connect an activity tracker (like a FitBit) to their app an earn points through exercise and regular self-checkups to save money on pharmacy purchases.
Make Money By Joining the Gig Economy
Selling services through online platforms works best if you have either car to complete tasks and deliveries, or some form of marketable skill like translating or accounting.
Become a Ride-Share Driver – Check local ordinances and see if you and your vehicle qualify, then sign up to drive with Uber, Lyft, or another ride-sharing service. Often there's a big bonus for first-time drivers of up to $1,000.
Do Chores – There are several online marketplaces through which users can make a few extra bucks taking on the daily chores others seek to outsource for convenience, like mowing the lawn, walking the dogs, or even waiting in line. The biggest platforms for picking up paid tasks like these include:
- TaskRabbit is a platform available in most US metro areas for users to bid on local tasks they’re willing to take on, ranging from cleaning and handyman work to moving and personal assistant tasks. Needless to say, the format favors those willing to bid and work for less.
- EasyShift has more of a hyperlocal focus, with simple marketing-related tasks specific to your area, like checking prices at a local retailer or taking pictures of product inventories.
- FieldAgent is similar to EasyShift, but also includes Scavenger Hunts that entail hunting down specific products to answer questions about for typical payments between $1 and $12.
- Rewardable users earn money much the same by visiting local retailers, but have access to additional online earning opportunities for watching videos and completing surveys rolled into the same service.
- Gigwalk is one other service for making quick bucks on a flexible schedule by completing simple retail-related "gigs."
Freelance – If you have a knack or passion for more creative or cognitive-based tasks, which could range from essay writing and translating to web design and drawing portraits, it’s easier than ever to monetize those skills in your free time through platforms such as:
- Upwork users post freelance gigs requiring varying time commitments and skill levels for which other users can apply to be considered for. Compensation, which may be issued per hour or per word, is usually quite low, but may provide useful resume experience for newcomers to their chosen field.
- Freelancer.com is another international marketplace for freelancers to find paying projects in fields such as writing, data entry, and software development. They have membership options available for free and paid, with the latter enabling users to place more bids on more projects.
- Fiverr is a website where people can buy or sell all sorts of services for $5 and up—a standard amount that can be both a blessing and a curse depending on the specific assignment. Short translations, writing assignments, cartoon portraits, unique songs, and just about anything that can be delivered online is on the table.
- 99Designs and Dribbble are platforms for finding freelance design work.
- Cloudpeeps focuses on gigs for marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) professionals.
Write eBooks – Have a creative story to tell or a passion you love to talk about? It may take some time writing and formatting, but these ebook marketplaces now have built-in audiences through which authors can earn a passive income for years to come:
Become a Secret Shopper - Mystery shoppers get paid to buy items at local stores and are reimbursed for their purchases. Sometimes they're even allowed keep the products. Shoppers are sent to clothing stores, gas stations, drugstores, and even restaurants. A few well-known mystery shopper employers include:
Make Deliveries – Apps that let users order groceries and other goods online pay part-time contractors to deliver those products as suits their own schedule. These include:
- Instacart drivers reportedly make up to $25 per hour during busy hours, or as low as $7 when things slow down.
- Postmates drivers keep 80% of delivery fees, which start at $5, equating to an hourly wage up to $19 in busy hours, or $25 for more experienced couriers.
Write Reviews – Companies are willing to pay for honest reviews of products and services, and there are many intermediaries connecting them to average consumers (though online influencers are especially prized), such as:
- Slicethepie pays users to review music, ads, and fashion items and give feedback to their makers. Each review may be worth only a few cents, but users can increase earnings by leaving consistently thoughtful, high-quality reviews -- and discover new artists along the way.
- Sponsored Reviews lets those who already have their own blog or online outlet get paid for posting sponsored content from advertisers.
- BzzAgent users receive free products and services tailored to their preferences in exchange for posting and speaking about them through online platforms like Instagram and to friends in-person.
Become a Turk
- Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for small tasks that need a human touch, which could be anything from transcribing text from images to visiting and classifying websites. Sign up to be a Turk and earn extra money online whenever the mood strikes. Reddit users have compiled a useful start-up guide and clue people into the highest-paying gigs.
Tutor from Afar - Online tutors get to teach from the comfort of their homes and keep flexible schedules. In-demand subjects include English, physics, statistics, nursing, sociology, and literature.
- Tutor.com is one of the premier online marketplaces to find remote tutoring work.
- iTalki is one of many sites through which native English speakers can connect with students and set their own rates for imparting the language.
- Alternately, you could seek referrals and build an online presence to strike out on your own.
Consult for Local Businesses – Those with reputable certifications and workable experience in business can offer their services as consultants to small businesses for an especially lucrative side-gig. You might advertise through Craigslist or other local platforms or seek gigs through:
- Catalant is a marketplace specifically for MBA alumni to connect with businesses in need of consultants on topics like fundraising presentation and competitive analysis.
Prepare Tax Returns – If you have a knack for numbers and enough free time, try getting certified as a tax-preparer in as few as 10 weeks through online training programs like the Income Tax School. Then when tax season rolls around, you can charge competitive rates (up to $200 per return) to prepare taxes for friends and colleagues, or find similar gigs online through the standard freelancing sites.
Pet-Sit – Taking care of others’ pets can be a rewarding and easy way for animal lovers to earn extra without taking on too many extra hours’ work. If you’re unable to find this sort of work through referrals, try building a pet-sitting resume through sites like:
- Rover is a dog-focused sharing economy site through which owners pay users to walk, house-sit, or provide boarding for their canine friends during vacations. Sitters can earn up to $1000 per month with the equivalent time commitment of a part-time job.
- Care.com is another pet-care providing site based in Canada, advertising an average hourly wage of $8.58USD.
Provide Notary Services – Notaries are people licensed by the government to provide witness to signatures on contracts and act in various other legal capacities. Depending on the state, it can take considerable time, paperwork, and training to become one, but once you do, the certification will make it easy to market your services online and set you apart from the pack for other related freelance gigs.
Make Money Creating Content
Creating your own website, product, or service will involve investing considerable time and effort in creating the product and then getting the word out before seeing even a cent of payment. Nonetheless, it can be a great way to monetize one’s interests and may yield dividends down the line.
Create a Course – If you're an expert on a topic, teach others through an online course. You'll need to know how to create and edit video, or at least a slide show, and use recording equipment. You can host classes through:
- Udemy takes a cut of each course sale and provides instant access to thousands of students.
- Teachable differs in that it leaves marketing the course up to you.
Film Yourself - Making money on YouTube isn't easy, but it's doable. Enlisting the help of cute children or kittens can help, as it's all about the views -- and the ads before the video starts. Expect to earn a couple of bucks for every 1,000 views.
Design an App – If you have tech expertise and the right idea, you could try you hand at creating a functioning (and free) app that fills a consumer need and start earning ad revenues through the Android or iOS app stores.
Record a Podcast – Starting a podcast on a subject in which you and your guests have some familiarity can be fun and easy if you have access to the appropriate equipment. You’ll need to build an audience and attract advertisers likely for quite some time, however, before your show starts paying out.
Build a Niche Site – The internet is in perpetual need of content, and you could get paid to make your own just be researching and compiling facts on any subject that interests you – from DIY projects and healthy eating to backpacking and educational apps. After creating your niche site or blog, you can monetize the views you receive through affiliate programs like:
- Amazon’s affiliate program lets site owners link to Amazon products in their site copy, then pays them a small amount whenever readers click through or make a purchase through said links.
- ShareASale works much the same, but services a variety of smaller ecommerce sites.
Answer Questions – There are several sites that let users earn just for answering questions, drawing upon either past expertise or extensive research. They include:
- JustAnswer pays “experts” to log on and answer questions posed by other users for a posted amount they’re willing to pay. This rarely falls under $20 or exceeds $50, but you’ll only receive payment if your answer is accepted.
- Clarity.fm users create a profile advertising their expertise in a specific area of business, then get paid to jump on phone calls with business owners in need of advisement.
Sell Stuff for Extra Cash
Maybe the most obvious way to make money is by selling what you already have, which can have the added bonus of alleviating clutter. Online services now make it easier than ever to connect with prospective buyers in your community and around the world, but it’s best to base what service you use on the items you’re selling:
Sell Old Electronics – Some websites specialize in buying used electronics, which net a higher price when only lightly-used. These include:
- Gazelle lets users list their old electronics on pages for the specific device, answering a few questions to determine the item’s condition and general market price. Shipping is free and payment comes in the form of PayPal deposit, check, or Amazon gift card.
- Nextworth works similarly, with free shipping and recommended quotes to fit the product you’re selling. Compare prices to see which service is likely to earn you more for the device. Again, there are no shipping costs to contend with, and users are paid through PayPal.
- Decluttr is a smartphone app whose barcode scanner makes listing your products easy.
- For more options, most major ecommerce sites let users sell their used electronics and parts, including eBay, Amazon, Decluttr, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.
Sell Gift Cards – Old gift cards can pile up, particularly when they're for a rarely visited store. Turn the store credit into cash by selling gifts cards on websites such as:
- Raise is a mobile and desktop service lets users list their old gift cards for free but collects a 15% commission off the selling price. Orders are insured and pay out via check, PayPal, or ACH Direct Deposit.
- GiftCardZen also buys and sells gift cards from most major retailers, so compare prices to find the best value from either. User reviews indicate GiftCardZen has more trouble executing payments than competitors.
- Cardpool advertises a cash return of up to 92 percent for your gift card sales, depending on which retailer it’s for—plus additional cash back for going through affiliate links. This plus their well-reviewed customer service make Cardpool the de-facto best option for reselling gift cards.
- GiftCardGranny is an aggregator of current buying and selling prices for used gift cards, which confirms that Cardpool's maximum returns are the highest. Their app finds regular offers for selling unwanted gift card, and their web extension automatically finds available deals as you browse online retailers.
Sell Shirt Designs – Have you ever looked at the T-shirt designs on sale at major clothing retailers and thought, “I can do that”? If so, you can try your hand as an amateur fashion designer and marketer by creating and selling custom T-shirts through sites like:
- Teechip handles printing, shipping, and customer service, so all users have to do is upload their clothing designs, attract customers, and pay a 7% fee on their gross payout amount.
- Teespring works much the same, letting users submit designs in more than 20 product verticals. Though they’re less upfront about how much their service fee collects from each purchase, they do provide a profit calculator.
- Other prominent sites for independent T-shirt sellers worth comparing include Threadless, SellMyTees, SpreadShop, and TeePublic
Flip Garage Sale Items – If you don’t have your own stuff to sell, head to a few local garage sales and look for discount items to sell at a markup online. Head out first thing in the day to get the best merchandise and consider a second run toward the end, when sellers might be more open to negotiations. Preliminary research on what items resell well always helps as well. Common resale sites include:
- eBay is a long-running ecommerce site that lets you sell products for a set asking price, or through timed auctions. Listing fees can be up to $.30 per item plus 10% of the final sale price.
- eBid is a lesser-known eBay competitor that pledges not to collect more than 3% commission from an item’s final selling price.
- Bonanza is another competing service, whom sellers pay 3.5% commission on items sold for under $500, or $17.50 plus 1.5% for items costing more than $500.
- Facebook Marketplace is the social media giant’s platform for resales, comprising thousands of yard sale groups you can join to buy and sell used goods for cheap.
- Craigslist, for those that don’t know, is a classifieds website where users can buy, sell, and exchange most any product or service. It’s a simple platform to use, but given the site’s relatively little oversight or restrictions, all transactions are basically conducted at your own risk.
Sell Furniture and Décor Online – If a garage sale isn’t an option or the weather isn't cooperating, there are online opportunities for selling wares. In addition to Craigslist and eBay, there’s:
- Etsy provides mostly antique or artisan-made items, so works best if you don’t mind repurposing or renovating your goods for resale.
- Chairish is an online secondhand furniture marketplace that vets items to ensure their vintage and/or modern pedigree.
- AptDeco is a Craigslist alternative that helps users by guiding them on the best price point for their item if it doesn’t sell in the first 24 hours after listing.
Flip Designer Clothes and Accessories – If you’re a fashion obsessive looking to offload some of your wardrobe for cash, there are numerous resale sites specializing in luxury consignment items. They include:
- TheRealReal users either send in using prepaid shipping labels or have someone pick up the qualifying designer items they have to sell. They then pocket 55 percent of the going price for listings under $1,500, and 60 percent for those over.
- Material Wrld works much the same, except users can choose to accept payment in one of three ways: credit to use on their resale market, pre-paid debit card, or cash with 15 percent PayPal deduction.
- ThredUp is a better option if your clothes and accessories aren’t all high-end designer brands, with an online payout calculator to help users know what to expect back before listing their items.
- Poshmark lets users upload their items for resale in under a minute, and the sales themselves are posted on Facebook and Instagram, meaning social media engagement may drive how successful you are through this service.
- Rebag specializes specifically in luxury handbags with a strict list of accepted designers.
- IDoNowIDont.com is an online marketplace specifically for reselling diamond rings and other jewelry risk-free.
Sell Photographs - A few stunning photographs shot with a smartphone or DSLR camera could lead to extra dough. Shutterbugs can enter photography contests -- Photo Contest Insider lists many -- or try to sell prints at local coffee shops or galleries. Certain sites also let people who upload and tag photos earn licensing fees when someone buys the images, with payouts often well over $100, although some charge subscription fees that lower the profits a bit. They include:
Sell Your Data – If you don’t have anything tangible to sell, you always have data, an increasing (if still low-cost) commodity in the digital age. Several companies pay smartphone users to install apps that record how they use their phones and occasionally conduct surveys or product trials, including:
- Smart Panel pays users $5 for qualifying for their Smart App and $5 for every month of use after that, as well as a "loyalty bonus" of $10 after the first six months, then $15 for every three months after that.
- Nielsen Mobile App, run by the same company that defines TV ratings, promises users a yearly reward of $50 for letting them record their mobile habits, but at a steep cost in performance speed, according to consumer reviews.
- Datacoup lets users monetize their data easily by authorizing read-only access to their various online, financial, and even health accounts. The platform then assigns their data a dollar value based on the overall market and lets them make withdrawals when companies buy the data for small sums (rarely exceeding single digits in any month).
- Mobile Xpression lets you earn gift cards, cash, and product credits in exchange for providing access to their messaging, camera, and browsing data. Members get a $5 Amazon gift card for their first week, then about $20 a year after that.
Ways to Make Money Without a Computer
Of course, not all part-time earning opportunities revolve around the internet. There are plenty more old-fashioned ways to make money offline, though they’ll work best if you have a strong community to connect with potential customers or clients.
Busk - Street performing (busking) is a tried-and-true way to collect a few bits. Some people make a living from busking and even gain international recognition. The Naked Cowboy, based in New York City's Time Square, has appeared (in animated form) on "The Simpsons" and inspired many copycats. Playing music, telling jokes, making street art, posing as a living statue, doing acrobatics, and a host of other activities are well-known forms of busking.
Help the Neighbors – Short, one-off jobs are a good way to earn extra income. Let the neighbors know you're willing to dog walk, housesit, water plants, rake leaves, etc., and look for public forums online and off like Facebook groups or bulletin boards on which to advertise. This could be particularly effective during the winter holidays or when families take vacations in the summer.
Participate in Focus Groups – In-person focus groups can pay hundreds of dollars to people who fit the desired profile. Most often participants need to live in or near a major city, because that's where many companies are based. Some reputable focus group companies are:
- Plaza Research owns one of the nation’s largest networks of focus group facilities through which they connect market researchers and respondents, who sign up online and may wait weeks before being contacted and months between surveys. Payment depends on the length and scope of the focus group.
- Fieldwork participants receive payment starting at $75 for every focus group they participate in.
- Ingather Research’s studies last from 10 minutes to three hours and pay starting at $40, potentially (but rarely) exceeding $500.
Host a Garage Sale - Everyone has a little clutter they'd like to clear out of their home. Hosting a garage sale is a good way to sell unwanted items, although you may not get top dollar for your goods. Join with a few neighbors to organize a block sale and attract more shoppers.
Sign Up for Medical Research Studies – Medical research studies often pay hundreds or thousands of dollars. Studies may involve taking drugs that are still in development, but not every study requires medication. For example, some people get paid thousands to participate in sleep studies. Find studies looking for participants through ResearchMatch, the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, and others.
Donate Plasma - People older than 18 and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate plasma. Donors may need to undergo medical screenings and examinations. Once cleared, they can earn about $20 to $50 per donation, depending on how much plasma is collected.
Donate Sperm and Eggs – Women can earn upwards of $1500 for donating their eggs, a lengthy process that entails several clinical visits for prescreening, testing, and operating. For men donating sperm the time investment and payout are smaller, netting between $50 and $200 per donation following a similar screening process.
Make Money Renting What You Own
If you have a spare bedroom or vehicle doing little more than gathering dust, you can monetize it with a minimal amount of work by renting it out through the online sharing economy.
Rent Your Place – If you have an extra room or often leave your place unoccupied while traveling, you can establish a steady income stream by listing it on various websites for vacation rental. Just make sure to check if your state or locality has any requirements for renting before you create the listing.
- Airbnb is the largest online platform for listing homes, rooms, and individual beds for short-term rental. More recently they’ve started selling tourism “experiences” like city tours that users can also organize and host for extra money. Hosts are charged a 3% commission on reservations.
- Homeaway is a vacation rental platform with fewer listings and generally higher commission fees for hosts averaging 8%.
Rent Your Car – The sharing economy is now giving car rental companies a run for their money too, with consumer-to-consumer sites through which users can rent out their idle vehicles for visitors to use.
- Turo is the largest service for peer-to-peer car rentals, available nationwide and across Canada. As with Airbnb, users can be assured of others’ trustworthiness by checking reviews they’ve received from other renters in the past.
- Getaround is only available in select major cities, but the service makes the rental process more streamlined (if impersonal) by allowing users to pick up and gain access to cars through the app alone.
- Sidecar is for renting out space within a car rather than the whole car itself, meaning vehicle owners can get paid to carpool when commuting or undertaking long road trips.
Rent Your Parking – Parking is a valuable commodity in many cities, so those living in desirable high-traffic areas can easily earn hundreds each month just by renting out space in their driveway or carport. Apps that help you do so include:
- Parqex users get 85% of the profits for renting spaces by the hour, day, week, or month. You can also rent an entire garage and let renters open it through the app so you needn’t be home at all times.
- Parking Cupid users, on the other hand, pay a membership fee as low as $90 annually to access their marketplace, but then get to keep all the profits from future rentals.
- Curbflip has a broader focus, so users can also rent out spots for bicycles, campers, and boats.
- Pavemint is a parking app only available in Los Angeles that provides guidance on how much to charge for your space based on the current market.