I used to have fun doing surveys while I watched TV. I was choosy about the companies I used and I never paid to sign up for any. I got about $25 in free BlockBuster movie coupons, cashed out about $25 from another site and did an in house project trial where a company sent me to full size body lotions to use and record information about. I had fun, felt like my input was improving the business world, but I wasn’t looking to get rich quick, just earn a little bit in time that typically wasted. Some survey companies pay very little, others pay better. Of course, it is not fair to the businesses conducting the research to lie in order to qualify for a survey and they certainly deserve honest and thoughtful answers to their questions. The companies I worked with told me how much the survey would pay and how long it would it would take. Research for the reputable companies.
Sell stuff online. If you have high-quality items to sell, there are a slew of online marketplaces you can use. Just make sure you understand the fees associated with your sale before you take the plunge. Where neighborhood Facebook pages and Craigslist ads are free, many online marketplaces or consignment shops charge for ads or require you to fork over a percentage when you make a sale.
I’m really torn here. As a writer, I sympathize with you. I’ve looked again and again into freelancing, and consistently find that the rates other people are willing to work for make it an insulting waste of my time. (Like, $10/hour is what a 15-year-old babysitter makes, not a professional writer.) On the other hand, you really can’t ask others to not compete with you. On the plus side, in my (limited) experience, you do get what you pay for most of the time. My sister had a less-expensive wedding photographer, and she was definitely less than happy with the results. So …
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