Mystery shopping is a popular sport amongst savvy savers throughout the country.
This post will tell you a little about UK mystery shopping companies and help you to set yourself up as a mystery shopper.
I have a full time job and therefore do not try to earn significant income by mystery shopping, however I do enjoy free food and experiences. It is an added extra to my normal salary.
You must remember that mystery shopping is a taxable income, therefore it is best to check before your side income becomes expensive. If you are a standard rate tax payer in the UK, you can earn £1000 tax free alongside your normal income.
What is mystery shopping?
In short, is a way for businesses, particularly within the hospitality and retail sectors to check that they are providing the correct and adequate level of customer service and user experience expected.
As a shopper, you can sign up for jobs, and then must review or rate your experiences with that particular business. You might have to visit the shop or buy a product online.
There are lots of types of mystery shops, from eating at a restaurant, to shopping for clothes and even staying in hotels for overnight stays.
How do I sign up?
There are many different companies to sign up with. Visits and payment amounts do vary.
One thing to be aware of, is that you might need to set aside time to sign up as a shopper. Most companies require a sign up process. This may take the form of a draft mystery shop report, basic literacy or comprehension exercises.
Casino free spins: This blog post will touch one of the ways I use to earn some extra side-hustle money – with no associated risk*.
Now, you might be reading this thinking that gambling on casinos and slots is always a risk, which is what I believed, before I started using TeamCasino to earn some additional income.
In this post, I am not suggesting that you begin low risk casino offers (although if you wanted, you could try TeamCasino’s sign up offers, with 1 week access for £1). I will tackle this in another post.
Earning through free games
This blog post, however, is all about the free games that casinos offer their customers, and which you can also take advantage of, to earn a small side-hustle, completely risk-free.
Casinos often offer different free games, usually on a daily basis, which can earn money, free spins on other games, or entries into prize draws.
Which casinos offer these games?
This list of casinos offering free games was updated on 18th March 2021, it has been updated since the original post listing, but will undoubtedly be subject to change.
Some daily offers are only valid for specific periods of time, others run throughout the year with very little change, but these are the sites that I have found run regular free games.
What is the catch?
There isn’t one.
Earnings from free spins are tax free, as it is considered as gambling. So this is the perfect side hustle alongside others which might be taxable(remember when it comes to side earnings, below £1000 is tax free, anything above needs to be submitted via a self-assessment to HMRC).
Sometimes, earnings have to wagered – this means you must spend a certain amount of money in order to withdraw.
Always read the T&Cs of the offers. The majority of the below sites do not have wagering requirements on their free spins. Some do, however.
How much can you earn?
As you might imagine, because the games are free, it is tricky to say how much. Some games have a higher chance of winning (RTP).
I have personally earned £68 since the beginning of June (1st-19th). I have seen other people hit jackpots and win way above this.
For the 5 casinos above, you must have spent £10 on the site to play the game. This £10 will easily be made back because when you sign up there are bonus bonanza boxes to benefit from – you can find in the promotions section.
For these sites – do not opt in to marketing immediately. The website will ask you once you have signed up to opt in for marketing preferences, and in turn you will get a bonus bonanza (chance to win additional money).
MECCA Bingo(Sometimes you must play money for the free game. Right now the game is completely free. On this site, you might win a cash for bingo. You can cash this out immediately with no need to use it on bingo)
*Whilst I claim there is no associated risk, I would advise anyone reading this to think about their mental health when gambling, even if it is for free games. I would also encourage anybody applying for a mortgage to stop using gambling sites ahead of any mortgage applications – whether this be free spins, matched betting or low risk offers.
Time accuracy: Surveys tend to be longer than it states
User friendliness: Simple to use on both desktop and mobile (including the chrome extension)
Screening out: I feel like I always get screened out on the surveys!
Site support: Well broken down FAQs and easy to get into contact with the support team
Cash out: The cash out varies at different numbers of “Swagbucks”, but includes charities, Paypal, Amazon and Mastercard cash outs
Worst feature: The surveys are not the best, they tend to be long and they kick you out
Best feature: Far more extensive than surveys. Swagbucks includes offers for playing games, sign up deals, free trials, receipt scanning and more
My top tip for Swagbucks is to try out the discover offers for free gift cards (Complete steps 1 & 2, but not step 3). It often pays out instantly without having completed the offer. I can’t explain how or why but it’s brilliant.
I hope this post has given you a good idea about some of the different survey sites which are available, including their good and bad points, plus an idea of how to cash out and how long you might be using a site before you are able to get your money.
There are also many other survey sites which are not included in this post, which may be very lucrative. I have tried to give you an honest picture of the sites which I use regularly.
This post is based entirely upon my experiences using the different websites or applications. You might have different experiences which you wish to share in the comments.
Simply put, nothing – Gener8 will replace traditional banner ads (the side of website adverts) with their own advertisements. Every time you view one of these on a site, you automatically earn tokens to your account.
How do I exchange tokens?
If you are in the UK, you can use the Gener8 marketplace to exchange your earned tokens into either gift cards, products or charity donations.
How many tokens do I need to get a voucher?
50 tokens = £5 Amazon gift card.
The amount of time taken to earn the tokens will vary depending on your internet use, especially because at the moment the extension is only available via a laptop or desktop, and cannot be used on mobiles.
That being said, according to Gener8, the average user can earn 5-10 tokens a day. Nothing to be sniffed at!
Is there a way to earn more tokens?
You can earn tokens from Gener8 faster if you refer your friends and family to use the extension too. Each referral that signs up will get 50 tokens (£5 equivalent), and in turn you will earn 10 tokens.
You can also earn more tokens by completing your preferences in your profile. Doing this will enable Gener8 to offer more personalised advertisements, and therefore charging a higher rate to the advertiser. This means you will see more adverts, and earn more tokens.
How many products / gift cards can I exchange?
You can only purchase 1 product per week (This is to allow all users to get their hands on the products).
Gift vouchers can be exchanged as often as you wish, but remember the more you save, the more you can exchange. For example 500 tokens will get you an Amazon Echo Dot.
What else can you tell me?
Gener8 also have other extensions that also help you to earn tokens.
Gener8 Tabs is a different browser extension that enables you to earn every time you open a new tab.
Did you know that the average person opens 25 tabs per day?
Every tab you open will have a background image on it, which includes an advert that’s tailored to your preferences.
There are many ways to subsidise your current income and earn extra money online. See below my top tips to earning some extra dosh…
You can earn some extra pennies from completing surveys online. Companies will pay you per survey completed, and most offer simple payment into your paypal account or a BACS transfer.
My favourite sites are Prolific (the site does not screen you out so there is generally more money to make for less time spent), Swagbucks (Not just a survey site, but offers well-paid surveys and points are exchanged into vouchers or paypal payments) and Voxpopme (Takes slightly longer to get high paying surveys, but once you have built up plenty of information into your profile, you can actually gain a lot from this site).
All of these sites are also available on the app store and google play store, so easy to use at home or on the morning commute.
Sell your old stuff online
What’s that old saying…one mans trash is another man’s treasure… Well that’s very true. If you are a little strapped for cash and want to earn some additional money, the best place to look is closest to home. Those old jeans from topshop that you never wear, those running trainers that you bought never to even use the gym membership, and old games and toys that your children used to play with before moving onto the next craze.
These items are all valuable to someone, and there are many ways to sell online which offer both ease and convenience. A few to try out…
Ebay – the king of the reseller is always a brilliant option because it is well-known and attracts lots of traffic. There is a higher chance of selling on ebay, than there would be other smaller websites. The process to sign up is stress-free and you can be selling in no time. Ebay also offers some great deals, such as maximum selling fees, so that you can avoid paying large fees back on the items that you have sold.
Facebook Marketplace -Most people will be aware of facebook marketplace, and I suspect many people will have browsed and bought items, but what could facebook do for your old things?
Well, the answer is a lot, because marketplace offers you the chance to sell to those in your local area, with the buyer either collecting directly from your house, or with a choice to drop off to them. The benefit of this is getting the cash in hand, meaning no fees paid on top like on many other online sites which you may sell with.
Depop – Describing itself as the creative community’s mobile marketplace, depop offers you with another platform to sell your pre-loved goods.
Typically more known for the sale of clothes, many people are able to style their golden oldies and sell them for a higher rate than you would do by selling them on other websites. Again, I found the sign up process as pretty easy, and it’s more accessible to share with your friends and your online community. I think a nice touch is to add the clothes as styled, to show others what they are purchasing and how it may look.
Some other useful places to sell your things online – Gumtree, Shpock, Musicmagpie, CEx.
I could, and probably will, write a whole blog post on Matched Betting, but for now, you may be asking yourself what is it, and why should I be using this as a method to subsidise my income?
Matched betting is a tax-free way of earning money, at low risk. What you say? Betting, low risk?
Yes, Matched betting is a method whereby a bet is put down against a particular game, race etc. An example here is that I put a bet down for a team to win a football game, I then use an exchange site to “lay” this bet, which essentially secure my money, by also betting for this same team “to not win”, covering the eventuality that team could both draw or lose.
There are many other bloggers and websites that explain matched betting at a detailed level, but my best advice would be to try it out using a free trial. Profit Accumulator is my favourite website to use, and you can take advantage of their brilliant sign up offers which guarantee you to earn at least £45 profit.
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