Category: Earn Extra Money

Let’s Talk About Merchanding & Mystery Shopping.

I stumbled upon Merchandising and Mystery Shopping back in the late 1990’s not long after I started surfing the net. I used to see ads in my local paper about getting paid to shop but they also always wanted money for a packet. First rule is NEVER EVER pay a fee to a company for info. Good legit companies will never ask for money from you. Those are scams and run away as fast as you can. I have worked for over 20 different companies in the last 10 years and have never paid a fee to work. Again, this won’t make you rich, but it is a good extra income. Sometimes you will you can get with a company who will give you a lot of work so it is possible to make a pretty nice income of even say $20,000-30,000 (this is definitely true if you live in a big metro city). My towns around me are building up and so are the number of jobs. There is some competition, but if you are reliable, have some experience, and take last minute jobs then you will be offered more work. I was with company that the scheduler always called me first since he knew that the job would get done quickly and could depend on me if someone cancelled.

What kind of work will you be doing you ask? Well it depends on the company but I have done Mystery Shopping jobs like evaluating a bank, real estate jobs, buy something from a store, and you either keep it or have to do a return, restaurants, clothing stores, electronics, video game and movies, actual movie theaters, gas stations, pizza, burger joints, pharmacies, grocery stores, and so much more. Pretty much anyone with no experience can start but the more experience you have the higher paid jobs you can receive. This again depends on your area and the company. I don’t take the small $7 jobs unless it’s a quick one and I’m already doing something else. Most jobs pay $10-15 each and there are ones that pay $20-40 (again most of these require more experience). There are times that I will take 3-5 jobs for one day so I spend less money in gas, and I earn that day about $50-80 for a couple of hours worth of work. Most jobs are 10-20 minutes long. The more you do the faster you get with the paperwork.

Now Merchandising is a little different and again you don’t have to have experience but it will definitely help. I did have experience since I used to work as a stocker at my local Wal-Mart, and I used to put together the displays, shelving, and could read a plan-o-gram (the paperwork that shows how to put the display up and where everything should go). It’s really not hard once you get the hang of it, but most companies really prefer you have experience. These pay much better and usually it’s by the hour but sometimes it’s by the job. Most of my jobs I got paid $10-12/hr. Some companies are cheap and only want to pay $8 but I did take one since it was 4 stores all within a 20 mile radius and it was a weekly job so a nice steady stream. Of course gas was still pretty cheap when I was doing this regularly. So now you should definitely consider the cost of gas. I love the flexibility and to me it was fun.

The kind of Merchandising jobs you do could be anything from putting up actual shelving, restocking, and putting up displays. I mainly did displays and restocking. It was extremely rare I had to do actual shelving. I did once have to put a display that required another person to help so I employed my mom. We went to 6 stores in different towns (the same weekend) and we did get paid almost $400 which after gas we still both made $16/hr. The work really wasn’t that hard but it was a lot of fun, and gave us a chance to spend some time together. I even helped her find a few jobs in her town to make an extra income.

There is also demonstrating. This could be anything from handing out samples/coupons in your local grocery store to Wal-Mart but there are other kinds of demo work. Sometimes it can be working at a cellphone kiosk to showing an electronic gadget. There is also work involving taking surveys at a certain location. The pay isn’t as good but most companies pay $7-9/hr for 2-6 hours of work.

Last let’s talk about focus groups and surveys. I have already shared a few really great survey sites that do pay you for your opinion. I also have done focus groups. This is a little hard to break into unless you live in a metro area. The bigger the city the more opportunities. Some are done online but most are done in person. These can pay anywhere from $50-200 or even higher. There are different kinds like mock trials, medical research (with or without using oral meds), and even companies asking if you like a new product or to talk about a certain issue which could be about many things. There are so many kinds of focus groups and some are even for kids. I also have my son take a couple of surveys which pays $10 each so not bad for a young school-aged child.

Now where can I find these jobs? There are several ways to find jobs.
1)Forum boards are a great way to see jobs by location and by company. There are a few good places I check regularly for work.

Volition- http://www.volition.com/getpaid.html

Mystery Shopping Providers Association- http://www.mysteryshop.org/index-na.php (just a small word on this one. If you become certified then they will be more jobs available to you. This changed a few years ago and I have never taken the test. I’m not sure if it’s worth the fee or not).

NARMS (love this place)- http://www.narms.com/s_indiv.html

There used to be a couple more but I lost the info when my computer crashed. If anyone has more to share then please leave it in a comment and I’ll add it to the post. Thanks.

2)The other way is to check the company directly. Not all will share a job list and some won’t even take applications. You can check companies above at those forums and just go to the site directly.

3)Another of my favorite ways is to talk to other vendors and check the vendor log. When you merchandise most stores have a vendor log for you to sign with your name, company name, date and times you were at the store. Some ask for you to wear a vendor tag if you don’t already have one. This was a great way for me to find other great companies. Then I would either go to the website or call the company. Some won’t take apps but a few schedulers would add my name to their database and it’s how I got in good with one. I proved to be reliable and dependable for those that quit or backed out and I would go and do the job. Of course this helps if your kids are in school or older or even no kids. It’s not always to take last minute jobs with small children. Good luck and I hope this helps those that were curious.

More Survey Companies

Here are a few more survey companies.

General Mills Advisory Panel: Only open to residents in the US. Once you earn 1,000 MAP points then you can either cash out for $10 paypal or an Amazon gc sent via email. I just joined a month ago and have gotten a little over 100 points so far.


Click Here to Sign up for General Mills Advisory Panel

VocalPoint: I get free samples, coupons, and a few other things from this site. I have heard of others getting nice gift packs or gift cards. I never have but I don’t fill out the surveys faithfully either. So if anyone with more experience with this program want to comment on more details then that would be great! I have gotten some nice free stuff from this site.


Click Here to Sign up for VocalPoint

BuzzAgent: This is a great program. I need to be more active so I can move up in the ranks but I think this is a newer feature. The more active you are and if you do well on your reports then you get access to more campaigns. I have received a Sonicare toothbrush and many other great free items. You usually get a full size product and coupons but sometimes you get samples along with it to hand out to your friends, family, and/or co-workers. Then you tell them about the products and how great they are or aren’t. I’m usually very satisfied with the products I receive. I love my Sonicare toothbrush and by far the best freebie I’ve ever received! It’s a great program so click on the link below if interested.


Click Here to Sign up to Become a BuzzAgent!

Here Are Some Ways I Earn Extra Money!

How to Earn Extra Money

I want to share a few ways I earn extra money online. You won’t get rich or even make thousands of dollars a day sitting at home not doing anything. What you will do is spend a few minutes on sites clicking, taking surveys, shopping (if you do anyway then why not get rewarded), and also doing offers. It’s spending money for me, plus I earn gift cards that I give as presents, which all helps my budget and stretch those dollars.

Surveys
I spend an hour a day basically on several different sites, and I also take surveys which usually take a few minutes. It depends on how frequently I get surveys, and if I get any higher dollar ones.¬† I do average $40-50/month from surveys. My goal is actually to start generating a small income from this blog. I’ll update more about the earning extra money from my blog in a later¬† post. I have to get enough posts before I can start applying. I am going to list the sites that I do daily. If any of these sites interest you then please use my links to sign-up, and thanks in advance if you do use my links. The ones I need to send you an email so you can join then please contact me at [email protected] asking for an invite to which sites you would like to join. Thanks again.

Pinecone– This is a great site but you have to find a banner which isn’t easy. I don’t know where to find one either.

Your 2 Cents– I like this one as well. The payouts aren’t great but it’s a steady $1-5 and sometimes more depending. Just go to their site http://www.your2cents.com to join and it’s very easy. Their payout is a bit slow and you can only cash out in increments of $5 or more. I have cashed out over $50 so far in less than a year. It does take 6-8 weeks to get a check.

BuzzBack– I have been with them for over 3 years. I get paid $3-5 a survey and sometimes more depending. They used to pay a little faster but I usually get a check within a month. I also get the most surveys with them. They also have cash prize drawings but I never win. I do like them and it’s a good company.

Shopping Sites

Ebates– I love this site for getting back cash on all my online purchases. So far I have earned over $20 back from purchases in the last three months. There is always a special promotion to earn double to triple cash back. They work with hundreds of retailers. Click Here to Sign Up For Ebates

Swagbucks– I recently started using this site. It’s easy to use and there are always bonus codes to earn. You can earn bucks by searching with their search box on a toolbar, watching videos, and taking polls. I already earned enough to cash out for a $5 Amazon gift card in less than one week! Click Here to Sign Up for Swagbucks>

BigCrumbs– So it’s not a Pay to Click site but you can advertise your ebay store and listings there for FREE! Plus if you sign-up as a Crumb Earner then you will get a % of all your referral’s purchases plus whoever they sign up for up to 5 generations. You won’t get back as much from your own purchases but it’s still a great way to get back money from certain retailers. It’s all listed on the site. Click Here to Sign Up for BigCrumbs

MyPoints– I have been using this site the longest. I signed up over 10 years ago and still love them. I get gift certificates for many stores and they also have paid emails to read, cash offers (sign up for a service), purchases thru certain retailers, surveys and more! They are very reputable and have a great turn around time on mailing the gc’s. I usually get mine within a week or two. Unfortunately they make the referral process harder and the only way for me to do it is I need the email address you wish to use. I highly suggest using one you don’t mind getting lots of email.

Inbox Dollars– I just joined this month and I already have $20 in my account. They give you $5 just for joining and there are many ways to earn more dollars. There are cash offers (signing for services and such), shopping, games (you have to fund with actual money), surveys and reading emails. You only get 2 cents for each email but I have read over 60 emails this month already so it adds up very quickly. I did an offer but most of my points are coming from free sign-ups and surveys. You need $30 to cash out and they do take out $3 so you get a net $27 but once you get your first $30 then you become gold. That is completely free and you get more offers, higher points and some other perks. It’s been very easy so far and I really enjoy it.

Sunshine Rewards– This one takes longer unless you do a lot of online shopping which I don’t. There aren’t many clicks on this one so it’s taking me a lot longer. I’m going to look at this site harder and what is neat is that you can opt to get your payments in Disney Dollars! It is a good site and the forums are very helpful.

BoomerTowne– I just joined 2 weeks ago and already have over 6,000 points. You can cash out at 12,500 points for a $25 GC to Target or Best Buy or get more points for a Visa Card and other great prizes like a WII! It’s very easy to earn points and if you max out daily which is 1,500 points then you could earn an average of $45,000 points! You could get 3 $25 Target or Best Buy GC’s. I have been earning about 1,000 points a day (some days I slack or forget to log on) until I realized how easy it was to get the points. Now I make a point of logging on daily. You get points for requesting friends, accepting friends, chatting in chat rooms, discussion boards, rating jokes or tips, clicking on articles, and so so much more. Unfortunately it’s another one that I can only send referrals thru email. So if interested then please send me an email to [email protected] with your first name and the email you want to use to sign up. Sorry for the inconvienance. They never paid so I am taking them off but wanted everyone to still see they are not legit!

Those are the ones I do most often and daily. I did quite a few programs over the years but either they took too long to pay or the deals were too sparse. I am constantly adding new ones so I will add more to the blog as I do them. Below are the survey sites I faithfully get surveys for which is at least twice a month or more. It just depends.

So what are your favorite reward and survey programs? I am always looking for good dependable sites so comment with your referral link if you wish for me to sign up. I can only sign up for sites I haven’t listed here.

A Little About Me

Hi and welcome to my blog about my ramblings. I’m a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) and I also sell Tupperware for extra money. I love the freedom and I am making a nice little extra income with very little time since most of my sales are online. I have had a few parties but all were catalog parties so very little work on my end. I also started this blog to share my thrifty tips, my remodeling projects, and the ways I make extra money from my computer. I also homeschool my son who just finished first grade. It was a very hard decision but I think it was the right one. I am not here to bash public or private schools, and I personally have nothing against them or teachers. I actually have several family members who are teachers and I have the utmost respect for teaching professionals. We do our schoolwork online using Odyessy Learning and we love it. It works for us for now and I also supplement with weekly trips to our public library and other activities.

I have been married to my best friend for 10 years as of the 1st of May. The time has really flown by, and I can’t wait for the next 10. He is a wonderful husband and father. He really is my best friend and am so happy to have found him. Ok no more mushiness for now.

There is really so much I want to say in this blog and I just love sharing my tips and ideas with others as well as learning new ones. I was a powerseller on Ebay for almost 8 years but recently quit for so many reasons. Again I won’t bash Ebay since I was able to make a nice living for a few years, but I am sad about some of the many changes under the new CEO. I still like to hang out in my groups and on some of the boards. I also am discovering some new sites to make some extra money and will critique the ones I use most often. I’m not getting rich off of them, but it’s extra money and gift cards which helps to stretch my budget. I also use a few of them as gifts so I didn’t spend any money but the recipient gets a nice gift. I have so much to share so I will try to post often. Thanks for stopping by.