Monday
Jun242013

Mystery Shopping: Earn Extra Cash

You’ve probably seen the signs or ads which promise that you can make hundreds of dollars every month by shopping and going out to eat. And you’ve probably though it was too good to be true.

Well, those advertisements are likely a little over-the-top and just designed to get you to sign up for some overpriced list which you can find yourself with a little searching online. But mystery shopping is a very legitimate source of income and in many areas, the jobs are plentiful and the pay is decent.

What Skills Do You Need to Possess to Become a Mystery Shopper?

A good mystery shopper is someone who is attentive to detail and thorough in everything they do. In addition, it is very important that you keep accurate records and follow instructions carefully. Many shops will require you to look for very specific things, keep track of the time, and ask specific questions — all without seeming suspicious or giving yourself away as a mystery shopper.

How Do You Get Started Working as a Mystery Shopper?

When I first began mystery shopping, I signed up for all of the mystery shopping companies listed at Volition.com. I opened up a separate email account which was dedicated to mystery shopping emails and used that when I signed up. It took me hours to sign up with all of the companies and it was quite time-consuming, but the effort paid off as I ended up landing dozens of great mystery shopping jobs over the next two years.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You should never pay to sign up with a mystery shopping company. They may ask for a fairly extensive application process to make sure that you are thorough, detailed, and qualified. They will ask for your social security number and other personal information (always make sure the site is secure and the company is legit before giving out personal information).

But a legitimate mystery shopping company should never ask for money upfront. If they do, run far, far away and don’t turn back. They are a scam company and you do not want to get mixed up with the likes of them!

These are all real companies:

MSIS Shopper
ICCDS
Beyond Hello
Kern Scheduling
Market Force
National Shopping Service
Trend Source

How Do You Find Out About Job Opportunities?

If you’ll thoroughly fill out all the applications and have patience, you’ll likely begin to see quite a number of job opportunities sent to you. Many times, these jobs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so you’ll want to check your email for job openings a few times each day and be quick to respond to any which you are interested in. Some companies also have online job listings that you can apply for.

It typically takes a few months to build up a rapport with the companies. Don’t be discouraged if you get passed over for some of the better job opportunities in the beginning.

If you are patient and prove yourself, you’ll likely start to be offered better jobs. In fact, sometimes the company will start offering the job directly to you versus opening it up to others since they know you have done a great job in the past!

What Types of Jobs Are Available?

When I was mystery shopping, I did fast food shops, casual dining, high-end restaurants, gas stations, beauty supply stores, pet stores, and even a bowling alley, to name a few.

I found restaurant shops to be my favorite as they usually not only reimbursed for a meal for myself and my husband, but they also usually paid at least an extra $10 for the work involved. It was very worth it to me to get a nice free dinner date with my husband plus some cash, all for about 30 minutes of extra work!

How Much Will You Get Paid?

Most mystery shopping jobs pay between $7-$15 and include some sort of reimbursement as well. This is usually for an average of an hour’s worth of work, give or take. Once you’ve established yourself with a company, you may be offered jobs that pay $20 to $25 per hour, or more. These jobs are typically not offered to newbies.

Mystery shopping is a lot of work — especially in the beginning when you are first learning the ropes! If you stick with it, though, it can be a fun and rewarding experience that can also help supplement your income — or pay for some of your Christmas expenses!

Source: Moneysavingmom.com

Monday
Jun242013

Virtual Call Center Agent: Earn Cash From Home


What Is a Virtual Call Center Agent?

Working as a virtual call center agent requires answering incoming phone calls that are routed to your home phone. Many of the virtual call center companies assign you to one specific client in order for you to become comfortable with that specific script and product.

Calls are mostly customer service based calls and may include helping people with their accounts or orders. Clients range from pizza delivery stores to credit card companies.

Some clients are more sales focused, and a few virtual call center companies also conduct outgoing calls. Read as much as possible about the company and the job description before applying and then choose one that you know you will feel comfortable doing.

What Equipment is Required to Be a Virtual Call Center Agent?

To get a job as a virtual call center agent, you must own your own computer and each company has specific technical requirements that your computer must meet. In most cases, as long as your computer is not ancient and you have a decent amount of memory, you won’t have too much of a problem meeting these requirements.

Almost all companies also require that you have high speed internet and a land line phone. Cell phones are not usually acceptable, and a headset is usually required in order to type and talk at the same time. You’ll want to check out the individual requirements on each company’s website before applying to be sure that you can meet them.

Are You An Employee or an Independent Contractor?

A handful of companies, including Teletech and Alpine Access, will hire you as an employee, but many take you on as an independent contractor. These two options lead to a lot of variables between companies.

How Many Hours a Week Do You Have to Work?

Being an independent contractor typically means less commitment as far as how much you are expected to work. Most allow you to log on and schedule yourself for shifts with only a very minimum number of hours required to stay on – sometimes as little as a shift a month.

Because of this, they usually have a lot of contractors employed in order to ensure they are always staffed, and this can make getting enough shifts more difficult depending on how much you want to work. Independent contractors are usually allowed to work for more than one virtual call center, so you may need to sign up for multiple companies in order to get steady work.

Conversely, companies that hire you as an employee will usually have a non-compete agreement and will not allow you to work with another virtual call center while employed with them. They may require you to commit to certain shifts each day of the week and work a minimum number of hours depending on if you are part-time or full-time.

This guarantees you plenty of work but may not have the flexibility some people — moms especially — may need. Evaluate what you really want out of this before applying. Can you commit to working full-time? Or do you just want some extra pocket money?

How Much Will You Get Paid Per Hour?

Another variable between companies is how the pay is calculated. Some call centers pay by the hour. These are usually the ones that hire you as an employee.

It is not uncommon, however, for some to pay by the minute of talk time – so if you happen to get a slow shift you may not make as much money as you were hoping. During the holidays this is usually not a problem, and most companies that pay by the minute make an attempt to not overschedule in order to keep everyone busy. You just want to be fully aware of all of these variables before you accept a position.

What Companies Are Hiring Virtual Call Center Agents Right Now?

VIP Desk is currently hiring for a number of positions with November training classes. They are filling both part-time and full-time home-based concierge positions, as well as what they call “brand ambassador” seasonal positions.

Convergys is filling multiple positions for both full-time and part-time customer service agents for multiple clients.

Teletech is hiring for their part time customer service and season customer service positions.

LiveOps is hiring for their emergency roadside assistance call center team.

Transcom, West, Alpine Access and Working Solutions are all currently accepting applications.

Another option is applying directly with some of the companies who are now hiring their own virtual call center agents including 1-800-Flowers and U-Haul.

 

Source: Alaina Forbes from Telecommuting Mommies

Friday
Apr122013

Online Tutoring: Earn Cash From Home

Working as an online tutor is a great way to make extra cash in your free time, and it doesn’t take much to get started. Check out the different options available and you may be able to start earning in time for the holidays.

What Is an Online Tutor?

Local tutoring centers have been around for many years, offering a place for children of all ages to be tutored in a variety of subjects either after school or in the evening. Many families are now turning to a more flexible alternative for their children by using online tutors.

This has opened up another telecommuting option, especially for those with a background in education or tutoring. The position can include everything from helping a child with their homework to tutoring college-level subjects.

What Equipment and Experience is Required to Be an Online Tutor?

All of the online tutoring companies require you to own your own computer and have high-speed internet. A select few may have more specific computer requirements, including how much computer memory you must have available.

Experience required for the job varies greatly from company to company depending on what subjects and grades you will be tutoring. Companies may be looking for anything from having “strong knowledge” in a subject, all the way up to holding a PhD.

Most companies do require a college degree but it does not have to be in any specific subject. Some companies ask for prior teaching or tutoring experience.

I Have No Teaching Experience, Where Should I Start?

If tutoring online sounds interesting to you but you have no prior teaching or tutoring experience, evaluate what your experience is. Do you have a bachelor’s degree or even just a few years of college? That alone can make you eligible for some of the positions. For instance, for most subjects, Tutor.com requires that you have surpassed your second year in a college education, while other subjects it requires a college degree.

Do you have a special talent or an area that you excel in? For example, Kaplan hires tutors for all the major standardized tests like SAT, ACT, GRE, etc. They do not require a teaching degree or any teaching experience but you must have scored in the 90th percentile for the test that you would be applying to tutor for.

If you are fluent in another language, there are companies like Open English, eTeacher, or Verbal Planet that will hire you as an online language instructor. Some companies, like Limu, even hire tutors for different hobbies.

Teaching “practical” adult classes at Nimblemind is another way to tutor a subject you feel qualified in. Once you have tutoring experience at some of these companies then it will be easier for you to get hired with the others that do require tutoring experience.

How Many Hours a Week Do You Have to Work?

Some of these companies will hire you as an employee, but most consider you an independent contractor. Once you are hired, you would specify what hours you are available and how many hours a week you can work. Then, specific tutoring jobs would be assigned to you.

Other companies will simply verify your credentials and certify you before posting your contact information on their website in order to connect you with those looking for a tutor. In this case, you are technically running your own online tutoring business. Those in need of a tutor will contact you and it’s up to you to set up times and decide how many clients to take on at once.

You would essentially be self-employed, the website would just be more of a way to facilitate tutors and students finding one another. In the long run, this option probably has the potential to make more money but may also include more prep work as far as finding clients and marketing yourself.

How Much Will You Get Paid Per Hour?

Pay varies based on the level and subject you are tutoring. College-level classes are going to pay more than elementary level. Contractors with a PhD will make more than those with a bachelor’s degree.

Pay can range from $9 for an hour up to $30. Some sites let you set your own price and that may determine how many people contact you..

What Companies Are Hiring Online Tutors Right Now?

Revolution Prep is currently hiring tutors for SAT/ACT prep so if you scored really high on either of those tests you may qualify.

Connections Academy is hiring an elementary online tutor, requirements are a bachelors degree.

HomeworkHelp.com is hiring tutors and only requires a two year or four year college degree.

Eduwizards is hiring K-12 Math, Science and Reading Tutors. Bachelors degree required.

Tutor.com is hiring tutors who “Possess strong content knowledge in English, math, science, or social studies at the level you wish to tutor”

Aim4A and Brainfuse are also currently accepting applications for online tutors.

What Other Educational Based Work-At-Home Jobs Are Out There?

Besides tutoring online, there are other teaching jobs that can be done online. Several companies and colleges out there will hire online teachers for college-level classes if qualified. And did you know there are companies like Connections Academy, a virtual K-12 public school, that hire teachers for every subject (including P.E.) to work from home?

Also, remember all those standardized tests you had to take throughout school? The majority of the test gets graded by a computer but any written portions, such as the essays, have to be graded by a person… and that person can be you. Companies like Pearson and ETS Scoring hire people to score these online.

For several of the tests you need only a bachelor’s degree in any subject to qualify, for others you need a teaching degree. The scoring is done seasonally after the tests are given so it is not year-round work but it is a great flexible job that usually pays pretty well, usually between $15-$20 an hour.

Source: Telecommuting Mommies

 

Friday
Apr122013

33 Web Sites That Save You Money

Photo credit: All You

This is a must check-out! All You magazine shares the top 33 money-saving websites, see the list here.

Tuesday
Apr022013

10 Best Summer Jobs for Teens

Here are 10 great summer job ideas!

  1. Babysitter – Helping your teen connect with parents in the neighborhood or family members with small children can give them a line on babysitting jobs, which tend to be flexible in scheduling and very part-time.
  2. Server – By working as a server, your child will gain a new appreciation for how hard the wait staff at their favorite restaurant works.
  3. Busser or Dishwasher – If you have a less than gregarious teen on your hands, bussing tables or entry-level back-of-the-house positions like dishwashing may be ideal.
  4. Camp Counselor – Outdoorsy teens may balk at the idea of spending the nicest months of the year cooped up in a restaurant or shopping mall, but those who have an affinity for dealing with younger kids may thrive as a camp counselor.
  5. Tutor – Tutoring is also a great way for your teen to stay sharp over summer break, while other kids are losing the skills they learned last semester.
  6. Movie Theater Attendant – During the summer months, Hollywood releases a slew of films that are projected to be box-office hits. As a result, your local movie theater will almost certainly be hiring additional staff members to deal with the influx.
  7. Lifeguard – Athletic teens who are loath to give up their poolside time over summer vacation may actually be eager to work as a lifeguard, especially if they’re particularly proud of their swimming skills. Just be sure that your teen is certified in CPR and other life-saving skills to give him a bit of an advantage over other applicants for this highly desirable position.
  8. Pet Sitter – Summer is the season of the family vacation, and most resort locations frown on an entourage that includes Rover or FiFi. An enterprising teen can capitalize on the situation, offering her services as a dog walker and pet sitter. Most teenagers will only be able to break into the business by working for people they already know, but word of mouth advertising can actually be quite popular. Before you know it, your high-schooler may have a booming little business on her hands!
  9. Retail Work – Though the winter holidays tend to be the busiest time for retail outlets, there’s also a relatively steady rate of turnover that creates openings year-round in some stores. Encouraging your teenage gamer to look for work in a video game store, a fashionista to seek employment in a clothing store or a bookworm to apply at your local book store will allow them to work within an area of interest while still earning money and gaining life experience.
  10. Internships – Many teenagers don’t have a clear idea of what they’d like to do professionally when they reach adulthood, but others are set on a career path from a young age. Internships are generally unpaid, so your teen may be earning experience, rather than money for her time spent. Still, internships look great on college applications and will provide her with some real-life work experience within a field that interests her.

Article Source: 274moms.com

Thursday
Mar142013

Ebates: Free $10 Gift Card- Walmart, Target, More

 

Ebates is a great way to save online + earn cash back at your favorite online stores.

They are also offering cash back at Amazon!

If you haven't already, sign up for Ebates first and score a $10 gift card, free! Choose from Target, Barnes and Noble, Magazines.com and more. Sign up here.

Tuesday
Feb192013

Amazon Trade in Program: Earn Gift Cards

 

Here’s how Amazon’s Trade-In Program works:

1. Gather Up Extra DVDs, Books, Video Games, and/or Electronics

Go through your home and find any DVDs, Books, Video Games, or electronics you no longer need or use.

2. Search For the Product on the Amazon Trade-In Store

Do a search on the Amazon Trade In Store to see how much Amazon will pay you for a Trade In. If the price seems fair, click through to verify the condition, title, and price.

3. Print Your Shipping Label

Follow the steps to print the postage-paid shipping label. You can choose to go with free UPS shipping (you’ll need to drop your package off at the nearest UPS location) or shipping via the U.S. Postal Service (you can give your package to your mail carrier or drop it off at the nearest post office).

4. Ship Your Item

Ship out the item in a timely manner. Once it has been received by Amazon, they will check it to verify that it is eligible and in the condition you promised. Items considered to be not acceptable will be returned. Return shipping is free, but you will not receive any Amazon.com Gift Card amount for the returned items.

5. Once Your Item is Approved, Get Your Amazon Credit!

After your item has been received and approved by Amazon.com, they will issue your Amazon credit. You can use this credit to purchase anything on Amazon.com.

Source: Moneysavingmom.com

Saturday
Nov242012

5 Companies That Will Pay You To Answer Questions Online

1. Just Answer

This website hires experts in certain areas including law, home improvement, health, tech support and others. Check out the list of categories and see if you are an expert in one of these areas. Then, fill out an application, have your credentials verified, and start getting paid to answer questions.

Questions are not answered in real time but users post a question along with a price they are willing to pay for that answer. Questions may be priced from $5 to around $20. You only get 25% of the price being offered when you first start, but you can move up from there to 50%.

Once your answer is accepted, the money goes in to your account. The minimum payout threshold is $20 and they pay via Paypal.

2. Student of Fortune

This site is a combination of online tutoring and a question/answer site. Users post an academic or technical problem they need help with and how much they are willing to pay for that help. A preview of your tutorial will appear along with your price. When it is chosen, you get paid around 80% of what the user pays.

The downside is that you could write something, not be picked and not make any money. The upside is that once your tutorial us uploaded to the site, they keep it there and will show it for future questions. You have the ability to continue earning for a long time off of one tutorial.

3. ChaCha

ChaCha is a mobile texting service where users can text a question and ChaCha guides answer them (also via text message.) Guides are paid for every answer that is given. If you are 18 or over and eligible to work in the U.S. then you can apply to be a guide.

The pay is very minimal and has dropped significantly since they first started. Some might say it’s not worth the time, but if you are sitting on the couch watching TV and surfing the net, you could a little bit of money by answering a few questions now and then. Answers are given in real time so you have to attempt to find the answer as quickly as possible.

4. WebAnswers

This website is set up a little differently. Anyone can sign up and there is no application process — so you can sign up and start answering questions right away. You must answer 50 questions, however, before you become eligible to start earning anything. After that you are required to sign up for a Google Adsense account.

You can earn money several different ways. When your answer is chosen as the “Best Answer” you start earning advertising royalties on that question/answer thread. WebAnswers is also temporarily running a trial where it pays for you to ask questions as well. Your advertising is also displayed on other pages, not just on your questions and answers, and you earn on that as well.

5. KGB

KGB stands for “knowledge” — and it’s also the number you need to text message your questions to (KGBKGB = 542542). This service is very similar to ChaCha, and is also a two-way mobile texting service where users ask questions and agents provide the answers in real time. They pay $0.10  for each response that you answer and $0.05 for each response that you give where their database automatically populates the answer and you send it along.

You must pass a test to show your abilities to find an answer quickly online. Also, some of the content coming in through the text messages may be crude or inappropriate. Agents are not required to answer these questions but it is something to be aware of.

 

Source: Moneysavingmom.com