Ask for a raise. If you’re unhappy with your compensation at your 9-5 job, asking for a raise is one way to beef up your bank account. Most employers offer an annual review of your work – which could be the perfect time to negotiate a higher salary or ask for better perks. If your employer doesn’t offer such an opportunity, it might be time to initiate a review yourself.
This is a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents since shops can be done at any time during business hours and background noise isn’t an issue. So, if you have kids in your care or a noisy pet — no problem! As a phone mystery shopper you need to act like a real consumer, not a paid caller. And nothing sounds more real than a busy household in the background.
Rescue battered wood. Pallets and pallet stock are cheap (or free) and easy to come by. Look for untreated specimens at construction sites, community colleges, buildings under renovation, or shipping warehouses and plane them down and/or kiln-dry them in a homemade kiln-dryer to uncover their hidden beauty. You can then resell the wood as is or even turn it into beautiful furniture. (Be sure to advertise that the wood is “reclaimed,” as people are often willing to pay much more for this.)
Sell hair, plasma, or other body parts/fluids. Long, healthy, untreated hair can be sold for a variety of purposes (including high-end wig- and extension-making) and earn you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on color, health, and length. Plasma can be “donated” (for compensation) provided that you are old, healthy, and heavy enough to qualify. Sperm can be donated, but you usually have to know (and be able to document) a fair amount of information about your parents as well as your medical history to be eligible. But be wary; for example, donating eggs is often touted as a fast, high-profit medical procedure, but the process is actually requires that the participant undergo hormonal and medical treatment, receive regular checkups and ultrasounds, and abstain from sex and intoxicants, all of which take weeks or even months before the eggs are even eligible for removal. The removal process itself is invasive and lasts about 30 minutes. Consider your options very carefully before taking on anything like this.
To help you out with some ideas, the lists that our readers love the most (and the ones we will most likely pay for) are lists that are offbeat and novel—lists that are looking at something normal in an unexpected way (ways college makes you dumb, for example), unsolved mysteries, hidden knowledge (things most people don’t know), misconceptions, and just really astonishing general knowledge about anything—science, for example. What we don’t want to see are lists on sports, self-help, personal stories, or gaming. We don’t publish opinion lists.
Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include American Consumer Opinion, Survey Junkie, ProOpinion, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, National Consumer Panel, VIP Voice, Earning Station, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
As an Instacart personal grocery shopper, you will actually be doing the grocery shopping yourself (so don’t crush anyone’s avocados!). Your compensation depends on several factors, like the average size of your orders and average number of miles driven per trip. You can also get tips in addition to the pay that comes directly from Instacart (most people report an average earnings rate of $15 per hour).