Tested Ways to Make Money in 2016

Struggling to make ends meet? Or just need beer money? This is a guide to help you use the internet to make more money.

Life is full of surprises. Despite our best efforts, we can still find ourselves in need of fast money. Thankfully, the internet has made it easier to sell, rent out, and hustle your way to bridging your income gap. From Turo to TaskRabbit, we’ll go over the multitude of ways to earn quick money. Some solutions can get you cash within a few days, while others will take a week to see results and require additional tweaking. Nonetheless, your current need for cash is an opportunity to create a safety net for yourself. In case you find yourself in a similar situation in the future, just like anything, practice makes perfect. Follow this quick start guide required to get you from zero to hero in no time.

Guide Overview

The guide is written for anyone at any stage of life. We recommended starting from the beginning and reading it once before skipping sections. However, feel free to jump straight to the sections most pertinent to you by using the links below. We’ve rated their difficulty, provided minimum requirements, and average setup time for each way to make money.

Ways to Make MoneyDifficultyRequirementsAverage Setup Time
1.Book odd jobsEasyCellphone w/data plan, good health, tools of the tradeUnder 30 minutes
2.Share your carMediumCar, cellphone w/data planDepends on state regulations
3.Share your home or apartmentMediumInternet access, home in major city, cellphone w/data plan2 hours for registration + 1 day or 2 to get space guest ready
4.Work remotely and freelanceMedium to hardInternet access, marketable skills, tools of the trade2 to 3 hours (if you already have a portfolio) plus site approval time
5.Participate in market researchEasyInternet access, computer5 minutes
6.Sell your stuffEasyInternet access, stuff worth sellingAverage 1 hour per item (depending on product knowledge)

1. Book odd jobs

Difficulty: Easy

Requirements: Cellphone w/data plan, good health, tools of the trade

Setup time: Under 30 minutes

The internet has made connecting people who are willing to pay for help and those looking to make some extra cash even easier. Whether all you have is a positive attitude or 10 years of experience, you can find gigs right for you.

Generally, you just register with a platform, create a profile, set your rates, and select the services you want to offer. You then can either start bidding for jobs or wait for requests, which could happen immediately. The key to success on these platforms is maintaining good reviews, setting competitive prices, and timing (being available when people need you).

Because of the ease of setup, demand for odd jobs, and quick payment, joining an odd jobs website could be the easiest and fastest way to get the money you need. There is certainly something that almost anyone in good health can do. Cleaning, delivery, handywork, building furniture, and personal shopping are just some of the jobs available. Especially if you already do some of these chores for free, why not make a business out of it?

Pros

  • Work when you want. You get to decide your work schedule, and this can happen on a day’s notice. Generally, you don’t have to accept jobs you don’t want to.
  • Location flexibility. Most of these website operate in all major cities. So if you moved, all you’d have to do is update your profile and do some research on the rates of your new city.
  • Quick setup. You don’t need to upload a portfolio or interview. After registration and onboarding, you’re good to go.
  • Focus on your work. After the preliminary setup, you can spend less time looking for clients and doing work instead.

Cons

  • Service fees. These job platforms have to make money, too. So they often take a percentage of your earnings from each job. Make sure to check the fine print.
  • Payment schedule. Some platforms pay within 24 hours, while some you’ll have to wait on clients.

Sign up with one of the online platforms below, create a profile, and start booking gigs.

  • TaskRabbit. One of the first in this space. TaskRabbit connects you with people who need task done–often that day. There’s everything from doing household chores to assembling furniture, from running errands to being a personal assistant can be found on this platform. It’s simple to set up, but you do need to attend an orientation physically in the city and TaskRabbit will conduct background check. This can slow you down if you need money now, but once you get approved, TaskRabbit users, or “taskers”, often boast that it’s a great way to bridge pay gaps. There’s also a mobile app that you can use to find out about jobs faster and accept. After you complete the job, the client has 24 hours to make a complaint about the completion of the service. Then funds are immediately deposited.
  • Handy. If you’re familiar with professional cleaning or handywork, Handy could be right for you. You apply by filling out your information, filling out a quiz, provide information for a background check, downloading their app, and getting your id verified. You then go through a virtual onboarding before your account is activated. Sounds like a lot of steps, but it can be completed in an hour or two. It’s simple to set up, but you do need to attend an orientation physically in the city and a background check is conducted. Cleaners make up to $22/hr and handyman up to $45/hr. Money is directly deposited into account once job is completed.
  • Instacart. This is platform allows you to become a grocery shopper and/ or deliverer. It’s relatively easy to join and choose what role you wish to play. If you do not have a car not to worry they do offer part time work as a shopper or a cashier but to be truly independent and get paid daily, you will need a vehicle.
  • Postmates. This is delivery marketplace that matches you with people who need things delivered. Potentially, it could be anything. The best part is you don’t have to drive (although you can). Get paid to exercise and use your bike or just walk.

2. Share your car

Difficulty: Medium

Requirements: Car, cellphone w/data plan

Setup time: Depends on state regulations

If you own a car there’s a few possibilities to earn money. One of the most popular and easiest forms of making a quick buck is turning your car into a taxi. Somethings to keep in mind are the additional expenses that you as an “independent contractor” needs to account for. Gas, wear and tear on the car, cleanings, and possibly any licensing and fees depending on your state may apply. Still, unless you drive in state with licensing fees, signing up with most of these rideshare companies is free and so is deactivating it. May not hurt to try it out and see how much money you can make in your neighborhood during your available hours. You are also allowed to drive for multiple companies. So you can test which one is worth it for you. In addition to your city, time of day and day of the week can dramatically change your income as well. The following platforms connect potential riders with drivers.

  • Uber. Uber is to car share as Kleenex is to tissue. If you live in a major city, own a car, and have ever felt strapped for cash, driving an Uber has probably crossed your mind. Uber has claimed drivers make on average $25/hour. Again, that does not take into the additional expenses. However, Uber does offer a fuel card program that gives qualifying drivers discounts at the pump as well as up to 15% off at major auto shops, including Auto-Zone, Firestone, and Midas. You’ll get 15-18% off monthly phone bill if your provider is AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. Finally, through the Uber Driver App, you’ll get Pandora for free. In addition, you can also sign up for UberEats and UberRush
  • Lyft. With their bright pink logo, Lyft has been gunning for Uber’s business for years. They are currently offering a $300 bonus after drivers complete 100 rides within 30 days. They also let passengers tip drivers through their apps, unlike Uber. Lyft also emphasizes their community involvement advertising opportunities for nonprofits to partner with Lyft to raise funds.
  • Via. This is a lesser known rideshare operating only in New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC. They are upping the ante and offering $1000 signing bonus for New York City drivers. They claim to have the lowest commission in the industry, which means more money in your pocket. Via also offers guaranteed hourly earnings regardless of driver demand.

To start driving for one of these platforms you will need to meet a list of requirements both by the platform and by the regulations set by the local government. You will need to research:

  • License requirements
  • Age requirements
  • Driver’s plates requirements
  • Insurance requirements
  • Car requirements
  • Cost and fees to meet them

Other ways to make money from your car

  • Turo. Do you not have to use your car everyday? Well then try Turo. Turo is the Airbnb for car owners. You can list your car on this platform just like you would list your room on AirBnb. The application takes care of all the billing issues and it offers up to a million dollars in insurance coverage. However it’s not available in all states so check and see if it is.
  • Postmates. This was mentioned in odd jobs. But since many of live in cities where driving is a necessity, Postmates is worth mentioning here, too. Again, it is a delivery marketplace. If you don’t feel comfortable driving strangers in your car, you could make money making deliveries.

3. Share your home or apartment

Difficulty: Medium

Requirements: Internet access, home in major city, cellphone w/data plan

Setup time: Average 2 hours for registration + 1 day or 2 to get space guest ready

Rent out your room, apartment, or home online can result in great returns for minimal effort, especially if you focus on long stays. Of course you have to evaluate how much you can rent your space for per night. AirBnb has a calculator that can give you an estimate on how much you can earn to determine if it is worth it for you.

If you need money quick, you may have to rely on a friend or family to let you stay over as you rent your space. If you partake in the housework, don’t get in the way, and stay tidy, you’ll likely be invited back again. Alternatively, depending on how much you can make per night, you may even be able to find a cheaper hotel to stay at or find a sublet opportunity that a tourist would not know about.

Check out people’s reviews. Although it offers you’re a million-dollar insurance policy, if you have a lot of valuable furniture or equipment you might want to take a security deposit as well. You could also take the time to store those valuables.

You can even rent your room out if you have some cool friends or parents to crash at for a few days. Be careful with longer terms stays or doing it too often several cities now regulate it more tightly. Also take into account your landlord and your lease. Read it carefully as you might not only find yourself being evicted but potentially sued.

4. Work remotely and freelance

Difficulty: Medium to hard (depending on demand of skills and experience)

Requirements: Internet access, tools of the trade

Setup time: Average 2 to 3 hours (if you already have a portfolio) plus site approval time

Writers, designers, coders, and nearly any other profession can find online marketplaces for remote work. This route will take a little bit more time, especially if you don’t have a portfolio yet, but can be an excellent source of income once you’re set up.

Start by browsing the work offered by some of the following freelance online job sites and seeing if the work and rates sound appealing.

  • Upwork. Companies make a job posting and browse candidates. Candidates can also of course apply. Web developers, designers and creatives, writers, virtual assistants, customer service agents, sales & marketing experts, and accountants are just some of the jobs Upwork makes available. Although they have a highly active marketplace, this comes at a price that ranges from 5 to 20% depending on how long you freelance with Upwork. Upon signing up, you’ll need to determine how you’ll get paid, upload a portfolio, write a profile, and are encouraged to take related tests. Upwork will approve your portfolio before you can start applying to jobs.
  • Fiverr. Originally named Fiverr, because all gigs were $5. However, there is a range now. You package your services rather than get billed hourly like other services. This can take some research and experimentation, but once you figure out your secret sauce, it could be another consistent source of income.
  • PeoplePerHour. This is a hybrid of Upwork and Fiverr where you’ll find hourly jobs and packaged gigs with set prices. First you have to apply by telling PeoplePerHour about yourself, uploading your portfolio, and adding references. Upon approval you can set up packages and your rates, start applying to jobs, and receive offers.

Here are some additional tips to succeeding in earning extra online through freelance work.

  • Link to LinkedIn. You will need to find a way to prove to respective clients your level of proficiency. LinkedIn is a great place to start and has massive potential for networking. If you already have a profile update it to reflect your current situation. Make sure you link to any work you have done in the past and collect references.
  • Tell your friends. First and foremost, ask your friends if they know anyone or post a status update on your Facebook and other social media. You never know who might need the services you offer. There are various marketplaces that you can sell your skills.
  • Consider all factors into your rates. Be sure to take into account taxes, travel time and revisions into your price. If the client wants something really custom and ask a ton of questions, use your judgment and state the number of revisions / edits you will allow for that price. Also make sure any equipment needed is ready and working and if not how much it would cause to rent.

Go create a profile and start working. Build your reputation, get great reviews and earn more by charging more as you become more in demand.

5. Participate in market research

Difficulty: Easy

Requirements: Internet access, computer

Setup time: Average 5 minutes

Companies love to watch what you’re buying, who you’re interested in, when you use their services so that they can both improve their products and sell you more things. These practices are all part of market research. Websites often are already doing this whenever you sign into their homepage or subscribe to a mailing list, but they can learn even more from interacting directly with potential customers. For this reason, they’ll pay good money for you to answer surveys and test products.

Pros:

  • Ease of use. For the most part, participating in market research is self-explanatory. The exception is with some of the usertesting, which may take some getting used to.
  • Minimal resources. Most sites just require a broadband connection and either a computer, tablet, or mobile.
  • Cool cred. You may have access to products and services that aren’t on the market yet.
  • Get your voice heard. Your feedback will be used to make products and services better.

Cons:

  • Payments can be limited. Depending on your market, where you live, and which apps you use, the amount you can make really ranges. Most people will only make beermoney from market research, but if you live in a major metropolitan area, you may have the potential to make significant income.
  • Arguably creepy. Some may not be comfortable having their screen watched. Make sure to check privacy policies to make sure you’re in agreement.

So, how do you find out about these opportunities? There are various platforms and sites that connect survey takers with companies. They pay in either gift cards from popular retailers such as Amazon or Walmart or send funds via Paypal. Determining which sites are legit or not can be an ordeal. We’ve done the research for you. Let’s take a look.

Product and Usertesting

Get paid to test out websites and apps. You will need a Paypal account to receive payment, which means you’ll need to consider the 3-5 business days it takes to transfer the funds out of Paypal and into your bank account. Below are a few of the most popular platforms.

  • Usertest.io. Offers £8 every time you review a website. Signing up is relatively easy. You will have to install their software that records what you are doing on your screen. This is the video the client watches as you navigate their website or app. As part of the signup process you will need to make a 3min sample video. Make sure you have a working microphone for this. Each £8 site review takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
  • Usertesting.com. Offers $10 per test, which lasts about 20 minutes. Signing up is very similar to Usertest.io. You will have to download their software and complete a test video. Again make sure you have a working microphone.
  • Enroll. Pays less, but the test take less time. Good if you have a few minutes to spare. They have an app so you can test via your phone as well. Signing up does require you have a Paypal email so make sure you do that first.
  • ErliBird. Tests beta platforms. Similar to the ones above. It pays around $10-15 per review. However, you need to spend a bit of time to qualify for the paid reviews. To do this you have to join a focus group, which can be online or in person. Now this isn’t always the case but it does happen rather frequently.
  • SlicethePie. This is an interesting site for it includes a music category in which you review artist’s music and give them feedback. The more detailed and thorough your review the more you get paid. They pay out via PayPal. If you love music, fashion and want to give your eyes a rest check them out.

Survey Sites

Signing up for a survey site is generally straightforward and payment varie. Do keep in mind that depending on your demographic information you may or may not get many surveys. Watch out for sites that make you take lengthy pre-screening surveys. Pre-screening surveys are not paid however almost all do to make sure that you are the demographic they are looking for. Here are few sites that are very popular.

  • Toluna. A market research company that has a plethora of surveys. You earn points and those points are redeemable for gift cards or cash via Paypal. Surveys can range between 10-20mins and you do have to do a qualify survey for some.
  • SwagBucks. Mega site that offers multiple ways to earn points called SwagBucks. You then use these points to get gift cards or get paid through PayPal. One SwagBuck is equal to a penny. It’s a pretty nifty setup in which you can do surveys, watch content, sign up for deals and even shop to earn points. If you are already purchasing things online do it through their portal and earn points. It’s a very versatile platform.
  • InstaGC. is a lot like SwagBucks. Same concept however it’s geared more towards surveys and polls. Earn points by completing the tasks or “offer” as they call it. Redeem those points for giftcards or payout to Paypal.
  • P&K Research. is a much more traditional marketing research company so don’t expect to be making money right away. You do have to fill out a questioners and then they will send you surveys or focus groups that meet your demographics. However, you can make around $15-30 per hour when selected. The nice thing about them is that once you complete the opening questionnaire you will not have to spend time doing pre-screening or qualifying surveys. Just wait until a project matches you and they will email you.

6. Sell Your Stuff

Difficulty: Easy

Requirements: Internet access, stuff worth selling

Setup time: Average 1 hour per item (depending on product knowledge)

Making money is all about being resourceful. One of the quickest ways to make money is to go through all your stuff and sell what you are no longer using.

1. To start look at what you have. Go through the list below and take inventory of what could be of value.

  • Clothing
  • Video and Board games
  • Jewelry, watches and accessories
  • Kitchen gadgets, appliances and accessories
  • Shoes
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Books

2. Once you have a clear understanding of what you have it’s time to start selling it. Also make sure if you have a storage unit to go through it as well. If you find it hard to part with things perhaps having a close disciplined friend help you may help.

3. Depending on the items there are different marketplaces in which to sell your items. Here’s a list of them. Do consider placing an add on various marketplaces.

  • Craigslist. Furniture, books, textbooks, bikes, kitchen
  • Ebay. Great for rarer or higher valued items, shoes, vintage clothing, kitchen appliances Video games, and electronics
  • Etsy. Vintage clothing, jewelry, hand made crafts
  • Amazon. Books, kitchen gadgets, appliances, accessories, board and video games, electronics, jewelry
  • Local vintage, thrift, comic books and book stores

4. Go through each marketplace and Google your items to determine what the current marketplace value is on each and then place your ad where it would be most appropriate.

5. Post an ad, which is simple. What you will need:

  • Photos. Take photos of the items from a few different angles
  • Item description. If you are posting the item on various marketplaces type the description in a text editor and then simply copy and paste it. Clearly communicate the condition of the item, whether or not it is still under warranty, what accessories will be included, whether it is a final sale or if you will allow a refund. If posting on craigslist or Ebay letting potential buyers know why you are selling the item is also advised.
  • Pricing. What is the value for the item? Doing your homework here can lead to more cash in your pocket. Search the marketplaces for items that are similar to yours to gauge what the going price / marketplace value for your item currently is. Then price it accordingly based on your needs.  Be sure to take into account packaging, shipping and handling costs.

Risks

Be wary of scammers posing as buyers.  Here are some helpful tips and things to look out for:

  • Keep personal information safe. Don’t ever give out your personal address and if meeting them in person bring a friend and /or meet them in a public place. A little bit of common sense can save you a world of hurt here. I would also highly advise if you are meeting in person or doing a cash transaction that you store all communications and provide them with a receipt via email.
  • Stay clear of cheques and bank transfers. Both are not only arcane methods but can take time to process and are much easier exploited by would be scammers.
  • Communication is everything! Ebay, Paypal, and venmo all allow the customer to dispute charges, also commonly known as chargebacks. Just because you made the sell if the customer is unhappy they may cause you a headache later on. So make sure you communicate clearly, confirm that they understand all the variables of the items you are selling them and keep records of all your communications. Clear and concise communication can avoid disputes later. Disputes can not only lead to a negative review but also can affect when and even if you get paid.
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