How Can I Make Some Legitimate Money Online?

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By Amy Hannold, Frugal Living Editor

Money, gift cards or free products can be earned, legitimately, online if you’re willing to do a little work and give up a little bit of your time. The following are companies in good standing with consumers and the Better Business Bureau.  You will not earn a living wage. Think of these as “occasional extra cash” opportunities.  Some have additional rewards for shopping through their site, referring a friend, etc.

If you’re invited through email or an internet ad to participate in surveys, do your homework before handing them your personal information.  Check with friends, conduct a search with the BBB, and do a bit of research.  It should not cost you anything to earn with survey companies.  The rate at which you earn rewards may vary, depending on the surveys available and the demographics the studies are in search of.

When you sign up with one or more of these companies, you may want to devote a separate folder in your email program (and perhaps a separate email address), to help you manage what comes in without clogging up your day-to-day email correspondence.

Earn Points Perhaps Payment When You Share Your Opinion!

Register with them and you will receive invitations to take “screener” surveys.  Screener surveys will earn you points/dollars which you can exchange for cash or gift cards.  When you match the demographics that they want to survey, you will be invited to participate in a study.  You’ll be giving your opinion, experience and insight to companies – and be paid for your time.  From these, you could be selected for consumer panels from manufacturers who will thank you with some compensation. If you ever have problems with payments, then consider using b2b payment solutions.

Get paid for your opinions and participation in surveys and/or product testing.

I-Say (With Ipos/Global Market Research Company Opinion Panel)

Screener surveys will be sent to you which can lead to paid surveys and product testing.  Sweepstakes and other rewards are earned through your participation.

Opinion Outpost

Screener surveys are sent via email.  Exchange your earnings for cash, codes, gift certificates or donate to the Red Cross.

Cash for Your Books! 

Check Out

Type in the ISBN of the books you have.  If they are worth cash from, box ‘em up, print a free shipping label – and then, you’ll get cash!’s “Trade In” Program

Good condition books, electronics, video games, textbooks and movies may earn you an gift card.  You ship an accepted item, they pay the postage.  Once your items have been received, you’ll receive credit in your Amazon gift card account.

Got a Great Idea – wants to hear from you:

Your photos, “Frugal Life Essays” and/or entries in their Pet Contests, Recipe Contests, and Tip Contests could win you $25!

Tip Your Favorite Magazine – When you’re reading your favorite magazines, look for opportunities to send in your ideas, join reader panels, etc.  You just might be chosen – and wouldn’t it be cool to see your name in print, on the newsstand!

Write and Earn:

Become a “Publisher Mom” with

As a “Publisher Mom (or Dad), you will provide community-specific newsletters with family fun ideas, and keep the income you generate from advertising.  You do pay a monthly fee for the content support and advertising rights.  Publisher Moms do receive a whole lot of support, ready-made articles, and marketing materials – plus a nation-wide community of other “Publisher Moms” ready to assist you.

Apply to write on a topic for either a national perspective, or from your own community

Share A Good Deal with Friends – Earn Shopping Credit!

Sites such as,, the survey sites above and service/retail companies may offer you the opportunity to earn “referral” credits when those you refer sign up (and usually make a purchase).  Using social media and your social circles, (with etiquette) share good deals you’re finding with your friends!

Don’t Waste Your Time and Money!  If ever you read or receive an offer to make money that is unfamiliar or questionable to you, be sure to check it out with your local Better Business Bureau.  Here are their guidelines regarding work-from-home businesses:


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