If you're feeling the pinch, and are looking for ways to make some money, today's blog is for you.
You may even find that you can make a career out of this!
Before talking about the options, a word about security, and protecting yourself online. There's more in a previous blog, but if you want to make money online, then these are some ways to protect yourself, and create a virtual firewall:
- Have a separate bank account for all your online purchases and sales. Keep the balance low, and this lowers your risk. You don't have to go out to set up a new bank account. Banks like Transferwise and Tide (business account) allow you to set up your accounts online. If you choose to go with Tide, you can use this referral code (PENRIPQT) to earn yourself (and me) £50.00. We use both of these banks, but there are others - check them out before opening an account.
- Set up a paypal acccount (if you don't already have one) this will ensure you can receive and send payments without giving out your bank details.
- Have a separate email account, particularly if you are going to do online surveys and competitions.
- Use secure passwords! Read our previous blog.
The sites listed today include ones we have used, and others that are known to be trusted sites. As always though, with anything new, do your homework!
Now is a great time to have a clear out of stuff you don't want or need. They work with postal / courier deliveries. We like I-postparcels who will collect from your door.
If you're a crafty sort, you can also use these to sell your work.
Ebay is probably the biggest and best known. It's easy to list and sell items on the site. They have good systems in place for resolving issues, and a lot of help and guidance. Ebay does take a cut of your sales, and bills you monthly for this. Every successful transaction helps build your reputation as a seller. it is vitally important to be accurate in your product descriptions - list flaws in the item to prevent complaints. We have been selling and buying from Ebay for years, so have never sought out any alternatives. However, this blog lists other auction sites you could try. However, we cannot vouch for them, as we have not used any of them.
- Etsy is a sales site for crafters. This is not a site we have used, but a friend sells through them. There are fees for listings, which do vary depending on the route that is taken to the sale.
- Amazon Seller Account - if you can make or import stuff, you can set up an Amazon Seller account
- AbeBooks - if you have books, art or collectibles, then this is a forum for selling them. (Equally, if you're trying to find out of print books, Abe books is great for tracking them down.
- Facebook Marketplace - When the world is back to normal again, Facebook Marketplace is a great way to sell locally, with no fees. As the items are for collection only, this is not an option in lockdown.
Surveys, competitions and freebies
You can make money / earn vouchers / through filling in market research surveys and competitions. However, you will have to fill in a lot of surveys, and enter a lot of competitions to earn vouchers and goods. This is also an area wide open to exploitation, so be careful and only use ones posted on reputable sites.
The Money Saving Expert is a great site, and they have listings of competitions you can enter. Make sure you use a different email address for any entries, as you will receive a lot of emails as a result of entering competitions.
We've used Toluna for market research surveys, and have over the years received a number of vouchers. Each completed survey earns you points, and when you have enough points, (which takes a while!) you can exchange them for vouchers from places like Amazon; Paypal, M&S etc. You need 27000 points for a £5.00 Starbucks voucher, and surveys earn 500 to 3000 points. This blog from Money Saving Expert lists other sites you can try. They also list sites which give you freebies for product testing.
MSE also lists some other ways to earn money online.
While for many people, working online has been imposed by the virus, for others, it is a way of life. There are a range of companies that offer working from home options. The pay is often low, and there are many scams here too. But, these are some options we have used:
- Teaching online is one of the fastest growing careers. If you have a degree, speak English, and are willing to complete a teaching course online, then you could try teaching English. Denice has worked for I-tutor Group for years, and earns a reasonable income from teaching. Dada is another company that allows you to teach online. These companies do tend to have a base pay rate, topped up by a 'bonus' depending on client ratings. This site lists job adverts for teaching online.
- Transcription and tech work: isoftstone is a Chinese tech company. Denice did transcription work for them a few years ago, and they are a legitimate business. You can view their career opportunities here.
- Other online work: use regular job recruiting sites, and search for online work or work from home opportunities. There are a lot of scams, which is why we advise using a proper recruiting site - Reed, Indeed etc. This site also seems to have some good options.
if you are tech savy, then you can consider options like creating your own video content for Youtube. Youtube pays people, if their content generates enough views. More details on the earnings are here. You need a large audience though to earn cash. (This is why there is so much click bait / links to Youtube videos on the internet.
Someone has to write all the content for websites etc. There are a lot of ways to earn money doing this. You can read more here. Freelance Writing Jobs regularly lists adverts for online writing jobs.
Investing does carry significant risks, and you can lose money as well as make it. The stock markets are extremely volatile at the moment, but some see this as a good time to invest, when prices are low. Investing can make your money work for you. We like AJ Bell's platform, as it is easy to use, and provides a lot of information. But there are others out there.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but as always, we have focused on sites we have used, and tested. Hopefully you'll find something there that you can use, and earn some extra cash.