Although many mystery shoppers love the “get paid to shop” idea, most do secret shopping because it is a flexible way to make money. Something they can do on their own schedule, around their other obligations and activities.
In that spirit, I offer some additional ideas of ways you can earn money to supplement your income—or even quit your “real” job—in 2010.
Merchandising and demos. There are marketing activities closely related to mystery shopping. Many of the companies for which we shop also offer this type of work. Merchandising may involve stocking a display, reordering inventory, or other tasks related to retail sales. Working demos may mean demonstrating a product, handing out samples or coupons, or other in-store activities where you would interact with customers. For more information, see Retail World Alliance.
Writing online. You can set up your own website or blog, but an easier way to get started making money writing online is to write for one of the sites that will pay you to write. Some pay a flat fee for an article, but that is usually not the best deal. Instead of getting $5, $10 or $20 to write a few hundred words, you can make many times that in residuals. That means you write something once, and get paid again and again. There are writers making $500, $1000 or more every month, even in months they don’t write a word. I have done this and been pleasantly surprised at the results. Learn how to make money writing online.
Direct sales. There is a lot of money to be made in sales, and many people find working with a direct sales plan easy, even if they do not consider themselves to be sales persons. Direct sales companies include Mary Kay, Avon and Pampered Chef, but there are direct sales companies involved in just about every kind of product and service, from electricity to vitamins to golf equipment to lingerie. The best company to work with may be one that you already know as a customer. To be successful, you should be passionate about the products or services you sell.
Online surveys. You won’t make a lot of money with this, but if you want to make a bit of extra cash sitting at your computer, online surveys can work for you. Do not pay to register with anyone, and make sure you understand at the beginning what the rewards are. Some register you in a drawing for prizes, some give you points that may be redeemed for gift cards or other awards, and some pay good old fashioned cash. Learn more about paid online surveys.
What is your favorite way to make money?