Earn Extra Money Easily

Easy Money: Ways to Earn a Little Extra Cash


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Being a Yorkshireman with Scottish lineage, it is no surprise that I am careful with what money I have, and always on the lookout for a little bit more for a rainy day.  Whereas the Save Money  page gives you ideas about how to make what you have go a little further, this page looks into genuine ways to earn a little extra on top of your normal income.

Not surprisingly, the best way to earning extra revolves around the fact that we are all consumers.  This is one qualification which all of us have, and practice the skill on a daily basis.  There are companies out there who are willing to pay for that experience - and some of them quite well too.  

  • The first area to look at is "Mystery Shopping", which involves you as the shopper carrying out a transaction (could be in a shop or bank, or even over the telephone) and then reporting back on your experience regarding speed/quality of service, cleanliness etc..  There are a number of plus points to this method of income generation.  Firstly, you can pick and choose which jobs you do. Secondly, you usually get to keep whatever you bought as a gift (or are reimbursed for a service you have received, for example, an eye test, a haircut or a meal for the family).  You are also paid for both your time and usually transport too.  
Many mystery shopping companies require you to apply in the same way you would any job, but very few will actually bother interviewing you.  You are set on as an independent contractor, but most companies will pay you with tax and national insurance already deducted, so there is no worry of the tax man breathing down your neck.

There are downsides.  You won't get paid if you are sick and there is no guarantee of regular work. Some jobs are quite tedious, but still require your full attention in order to answer the feedback questions. You will also be required to sign some form of confidentiality (non-disclosure) agreement, confirming you will not divulge details about the jobs you have done.

  • The second area of consumer research to consider is focus groups.  You can sign up to be added to a database of potential participants based upon your profile.  You may then be selected to attend a group (or participate online) to discuss certain products or services (for instance, new mothers could be asked to attend a group about a new type of nappy, estate car owners may be invited to look at prototypes  etc..). Payment for focus groups is more often than not paid in the form as a cash gift. Occasionally, you may be asked to attend groups in another country, for which all expenses are paid. Some of the sites detailed in the surveys page also provide opportunities to attend focus groups and product testing.
Below are details for some of the most popular sites where you can find out more or sign up and start earning.

Name Details
Cybershoppers Mystery shopping, telephone audits
Retail maxim Mystery Shopping, website audits
Quality Eye Mystery shopping and focus groups
Edigitalresearch Online mystery shopping/website assessment, online surveys and polls
Gap Buster Worldwide mystery shopping
Retail Eyes (UK) Mystery shopping
Pigservices Mystery shopping, paid mailings, phone surveys
Mystery Shoppers Mystery Shopping
UK Field Marketing Mystery Shopping
Field Facts Global mystery shopping and focus groups
DQM Group Mystery shopping
Indiefield Focus groups by invitation

These are good ways of earning a little spending money, without any risk.  So go on, take the plunge!

Article ©Darren Gibson.  I do not receive any referral income from the companies listed, and their contact information is supplied as is without any guarantees that you will be offered work
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