A sophomore in college would like to earn a little extra money, but with no car and limited work-study, the options are relatively few. Three years ago I found myself strapped for cash and searching for something a little less than mainstream online at 2 am along with checking out the FKC Concept review for more ways to make money, while my roommate edited her compilation cd of local rock bands in the corner of our tiny dorm room. I had a couple of years of experience selling items on Amazon.com, which had stripped away the fear many people have of giving out personal information or trusting anybody or anything on the internet, so I had decided to search for ways to make money by taking surveys online. I have no idea what first prompted me to search; probably one of that horribly annoying flashy pop-up ads we all hate but can’t help but read and register before we close them down.
I wasn’t completely naive. I knew enough to refrain from simply signing up with any company that the search turned up, no questions asked. Instead, I confidently used my credit card to pay $49.95 to a website promising a list of hundreds of safe, secure, and sure online money-making opportunities. Thus protecting myself from being scammed, I proceeded to enter the password I had been emailed to access the list and sign up for everything I could. After hours of entering profile information, activating accounts by clicking confirmation links in emails, and filling out get to know you short surveys, I called it a night and tried to get some sleep. After all, I was going to make big money in the coming months, so there was no need to rush that particular early morning.
It didn’t take me long, of course, to realize that the vast majority of the sites I had signed up for were worthless. Furthermore, I began to suspect that I could have found all of them with a google search, instead of paying the 50 dollar fee for ‘easy access to an organized list’, or whatever it was they had promised. Hey, after all, I was getting a college education here. You couldn’t expect me to remain ignorant forever. Realizing my mistake, I simply swore to myself to never tell a soul, pretend like it didn’t happen, and shake my head, lips pursed, offering a sympathetic sigh whenever I heard about all those poor people who were cheated out of money on the internet. I also vowed to make my $49.95 back, and so, despite the hundreds of junk mailings I had been receiving, I gritted my teeth and waded through my inbox in the hopes that I would find something that would actually pay me for my time.
Oh, and I didn’t mention any of this to my dad until I had made the 50 dollars back and then some. Such mistakes are always easier to admit after having some concrete remedy to show.
It took time to build point balances high enough to request my first redemption checks, but eventually, I made it, and, to my surprise and delight, I soon found checks in my little student cubby hole. Three dollars might not be big money, but it was money! It was proof that my 50 dollars hadn’t been spent in vain! If it took about 10 surveys to get the three dollars, then by my calculations, I only needed to complete about 450 more to make back what I’d lost!
Luckily, it didn’t take nearly that long. Other surveys paid better, and I soon abandoned the slowest in favor of a few constant sites that I repeatedly took surveys from. And now I’d like to save you the 50 bucks, and share a few. Mind you, this isn’t exactly going to generate a huge income. It can, however, be a nice supplement. Moreover, it can show you that there are actually ways to make money online, and perhaps help you build confidence to do some research and find more things that can be profitable for you.
The first is www.globaltestmarket.com. This website offers surveys that earn you points. You first go through a series of screening questions to determine whether or not you are eligible for the survey. Don’t lose heart–even if you aren’t eligible, you get points for simply trying. I have found that survey opportunities are mailed quite often, even daily, allowing for points to build up fast. 1000 points are required to redeem, and the usual survey that you are eligible for and redeem will award anywhere from 50-150 points and take between 10-20 minutes. I have completed surveys that awarded up to 300 points. If you are screened out of the survey, you usually receive 3-5 points. In this way, I reach 1000 points and receive a $50 dollar check every 4 months or so. The majority of those points are from quickly being screened out.
The second is www.mysurvey.com. You also build up to 1000 points on this site, but that is only $10 dollars, instead of fifty. However, I reach 1000 points faster on this site than on Global Test Market. The surveys are generally shorter. The screeners are all 10 points at least and very quick. Sometimes, they send products to test or conduct month-long surveys tracking spending or makeup wearing habits, which award larger amounts of points at once.
My Points is not a survey website so much as a chance to earn points by clicking on advertisements. They send you advertisements by email, and you get 5 points just for clicking on the link. Of course, if you sign up for the offer, you get a great deal more points, but even just taking the one or two seconds it takes to click on the link and delete the email will build up over time. You cannot redeem points for a check; rather, you redeem points in the form of gift cards to practically anywhere. There are also opportunities to earn points by shopping at stores through the links on their site, taking small polls, etc. The URL is www.mypoints.com.
Lastly, I introduce www.inboxdollars.com. As the name implies, it is also an advertisement by email site, offering cents for clicking on the email ads. You can also earn money by shopping through links on their website, or signing up for trial offers from a multitude of companies. You redeem your earnings for a check once you reach $30, but they charge a ‘processing fee’, meaning you really only get a check of $27. Still, it is quick and easy.
Try these out; I have been using them for years and can assure you they work. I usually take the surveys while listening to music, checking email, chatting with friends, or waiting for dinner to cook. Or all of the above, even. See how much you can improve your multi-tasking skills and good luck!