Remember when phones were a convenient way to talk with friends and family from your home? If you’re not that old, maybe you can recall when you used your cell phone just to talk to people from any place you happened to have service. No? Well, it really doesn’t matter; if you’re like most people (but not all), you use your smart phone for everything from time management, to navigation, to entertainment. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use it to make a few extra bucks? Here’s a list of apps that can help you do just that.
This popular app utilizes crowdsourcing to gather data for businesses who register as clients. The “agents” use their phones to provide photos, scan barcodes, verify locations, complete surveys, mystery shop, and perform other useful services. Agents generally earn from $3 to $12 per job and funds can be withdrawn from the agent’s account directly to PayPal. Unfortunately, this app appears to be available only for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, with no word as to when an Android version might be available. Check it out at FieldAgent.
Another crowdsourcing application, this one allows members to choose from “gigs” of all kinds, from photographing business locations for search engines to testing new mobile apps. Most basic tasks pay about 4 bucks, but these simple jobs allow Gigwalkers to build their reputations through a feedback system. As a user’s reputation grows, opportunities for higher paying gigs become available and some can earn almost $100 per instance. It’s currently only available for iPhone, but Android users can sign up to beta test it at GigWalk. I should probably mention that I signed up for beta testing, but didn’t receive the confirmation email, so I can’t vouch for its validity.
While this app doesn’t pay directly in cash, it does give you the chance to earn gift cards, free merchandise, game points or credits and airline miles. You can also opt to make a contribution to one of several charities. Members earn points by “checking in” at their favorite stores, which presents them with a list of products. Additional points can be earned by using the phone camera to scan the barcode of products on the list. If you’re into playing phone games, scanning some products will earn you virtual coins that allow you to play games and earn additional points. Accumulated points are redeemed for the rewards mentioned above. CheckPoints is available for iPhone and Android.
Also available for Android and iPhone, this is sort of the hybrid of the apps listed above. WeReward pays for check-ins and tasks. The most common task involves taking a photo of yourself with a product at a participating business. As of this writing, this app claims to have over 15 million businesses involved. Each business has a profile page outlining the tasks and their value. Points can be exchanged directly for cash at $.01 per point, and users can “cash out” when they’ve reached the $10.00 level. Visit WeReward for details.
Similar to Checkpoints, this app for iPhone and Android app pays you in “kicks” that can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards or discounts. Kicks are awarded for checking in at shopping locations, scanning items and for making purchases. You can also collect extra kicks by referring friends via the phone app and you can connect it to your Facebook account to share your activities. Retailers that participate in the Shopkick program send out periodic discount offers for app users. For information and signup, visit ShopKick.
There’s still a lot of money to be made by selling on eBay, whether you buy lots online and resell the individual items, resell items you buy locally, or sell goods you manufacture. Today, you don’t even need a computer to be an eBay “Power Seller”. Apps are available for iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7, Android and Blackberry to give you full access to account management. Using a smart phone app may even be more efficient in many ways; for instance, you can simply take a picture of an item and jump right to the listing function. You can also set notifications and research buying trends. There are a number of associated apps available, too, depending on the platform. Go to eBay Mobile or visit the app store on your phone to check out what’s available for your device.
Yet another app that’s only available for iOS, this one pays you points for reviewing other apps. Points can be redeemed for cash in your PayPal account or for gift cards from online and storefront retailers. An added bonus is the opportunity to get paid apps for free. More information is available from MyAppRewards
Think how much easier it would be to sell anything, even at your next garage sale, if you could accept credit cards. Intuit’s GoPayment app is free, includes a free card reader and charges a small fee per swipe. You can pay an optional monthly fee to lower the transaction fees. It works with iOS and Android devices.
If you make your money in the stock market, why not use your smart phone to alert you when it’s time to buy or sell? This app tracks both stocks and currencies and sends messages when a preset price is reached. Though there are some similar apps for iPhone, this one is for Android users. Search for it in your Google Play apps.
Paid surveys aren’t going to make anyone rich, but it’s a simple way to make a few extra dollars and make your opinion count. iPinion pays reward points for each survey and can redeem them for cash or gift cards. You can learn more and download the app for your Android, iPhone or Blackberry at iPinionRewards.
I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few apps in this list, but hopefully these will get you started in the right direction to make your smart phone work for you.
(Photo courtesy of Johan Larsson)