How to Make Money with Your Smartphone?

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The number of smartphone users is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2019 — that means over a third of the world’s population will be using a smartphone very soon. Compare this to 2011, when just this figure stood at just around 10%; smartphone penetration has come a long way.

Hardly anyone will contest the fact that the smartphone technology has had the most far-reaching consequences over the last decade. The explosive growth, rapid adoption and surmounting sales indicate that the trend is not going to slow down anytime soon. And there is no reason for it to slow down; a smartphone connects an individual to a world of opportunities and simplifies life to a large extent.

As the smartphone inches closer to replacing the laptop and the tablet, it is also providing individuals with a unique opportunity — making small sums of money by doing odd tasks online. Although very few people take it seriously and are skeptical of how it works, there exist legitimate and easy ways to earn money from a smartphone. Let’s find out how.

How Do People Make Money with a Smartphone?

While it might sound unbelievable that someone is willing to pay you for using your smartphone, it is true. With the emergence of a new device and different mechanisms of communication, organizations are leveraging it creatively. Many are choosing to get to new customers using the networks of individuals instead of having huge marketing budgets. This has given individuals an opportunity to earn a little something along the way. By doing activities like playing games, answering survey questions, watching advertisement videos, clicking photos, doing mini-tasks or simply browsing the web, you can earn money through your smartphone in a variety of ways.

Now, don’t go in thinking that you will replace your job with your smartphone because, despite your best efforts, there are limitations on how much you can earn this way. But, with time and experience, you will definitely be able to save and earn enough to help you with utilities and daily expenses.

Also, just to be clear, not every company offers hard cash — some might give you credit redeemable for products, gift cards or discounts – but nonetheless end up benefiting you in some way or the other.


Different Ways to Make Money with a Smartphone

If you want to start making money with your smartphone seriously and dedicatedly, there are ample options, to begin with. While some might take just 15 minutes of your day, others might take longer. Here is a list of some ways in which you can start making some money using your smartphone:

Answering Survey Questions

Many companies sanction surveys and market research to design products and marketing campaigns and willing respondents who participate in the same are paid to respond to questions. Dedicated applications and platforms that facilitate this are slowly gaining immense popularity. While the payout per survey or question might not seem a lot, but by answering a few questions every day, you can accumulate credit/points and encash them together. Special apps for retail, restaurants, technology and other industries are also appealing to individuals with free products and irresistible discounts and offers.

Some of the more popular apps that pay you for participating in surveys are:

Swagbucks: Having paid nearly $100 million to its users in the last 10 years, Swagbucks is the most popular application of its kind. In exchange for answering daily questions, watching videos, surfing the internet and answering high-paid surveys, Swagbucks offers PayPal cash and several retail gift vouchers.

SurveyOnTheGo: If you are looking for quick and easy surveys to participate in, SurveyOnTheGo is the app you should be looking at. By answering questions regarding videos, consumer goods, advertisements and various current issues, SurveyOnTheGo allows for an instant PayPal cashout as soon as you cross the threshold of $10.


Playing Games and Watching Videos

If you spend a lot of time playing games and looking up videos on your smartphone, why not get paid to do it? Several applications offer individuals redeemable points in exchange for playing trivia games, watching videos (usually advertisements) and engaging with marketing materials. Usually, such tasks do not require a lot of active thinking and can be done on the sidelines as well. Payouts depend on the task and the duration and are usually in the form of points or credit amounts.

Some famous applications that allow you to make money by playing games and watching videos are:

Perk: Perks offers redeemable points in exchange for playing trivia games and watching videos. It rewards ‘Perk Points’ for other activities like going to the store, the gas station or getting a meal at a restaurant. Furthermore, you can also earn while watching the videos of movie trailers, app trailers and other popular videos available on Perk TV. Perk has tied up with Groupon, Uber and GoDaddy to offer unique discounts to their users as well.

CashPirate: On CashPirate, you can earn points for watching videos, playing games, taking surveys and installing free apps. You are paid in ‘coins’ that are redeemable for PayPal cash after a certain number of coins are collected.


Performing Mini-Tasks

You can earn money by doing small tasks in your neighborhood like delivering items, taking a picture, checking a price, scanning a barcode and so much more! Individuals and business owners in your area who want a task done are able to ‘hire’ you temporarily for undertaking the said tasks. If you have ample time on your hands, want to move about, or try something new every day, getting on such apps might be the best bet.

Some popular apps that pay you to perform simple tasks are:

Gigwalk: A ‘mobile work marketplace’, Gigwalk offers money for performing small and simple tasks like taking a picture, making a delivery, checking a price. Depending on the task and your experience, the payouts range between $3 to $90. You can check the app for ‘gigs’ only when you have the time or when you feel like it. Gigwalk is available in thousands of cities across the USA.

EasyShift: You can sign up for ‘shifts’ as short as a minute on EasyShift and earn small amounts of money wherever you go. In addition to small tasks, individuals in need of manpower and skilled personnel can also post shift-based and temporary requirements on the app. Payment range from $2 to $20 and are credited to PayPal within two days.


Submitting Shopping Receipts

Companies that deal in consumer goods want accurate and reliable information on what is being purchased in the market. What better way to accomplish the same than to actually encourage customers to willingly hand in their shopping sales receipt? You can share details of your grocery shopping or the trip to the mall in exchange for cashback offers, gift cards or actual cash.

Let’s take a look at some apps that will pay you to submit your shopping receipts:

Ibotta: Before you leave for a shopping spree, use the Ibotta app to finish small tasks relating to your preferred brands and companies. Once you have purchased the items, take a photo of your receipt and upload it to the app. On verification, you will get a cashback amount. The cashback amount, calculated on the basis of your total bill value, can be transferred through PayPal or be redeemed as gift cards. There is also the option of referring Ibotta to friends and earning extra.

Receipt Hog: Upon uploading a picture of your sales receipt and playing some games or answering surveys, Receipt Hog awards you ‘coins’ which are redeemable via PayPal or gift cards. The receipts can be from any grocery store, medical store, departmental store, beauty store or pet store. The number of coins earned per transaction will be dependent on the bill size.


Testing Websites and Apps

Companies are willing to pay individuals for testing their websites and apps in order to collect relevant user feedback before the commercial launch. Usually, the payment is made only when the entire procedure is followed and a review (in text or audio) is also provided. You need not have any technical knowledge or expertise in order to test the website or app and need to offer your unique insights only.

Several apps offer paid testing of websites and apps. A few of them are:

UserTesting: UserTesting gives away $10 for every website or app that you test and review for them. By simply following the tasks listed and recording an audio review, you are eligible for a payout.

FeaturePoints: FeaturePoints rewards you with points when you install an app and use it for a few seconds. Although the starting payout of $1 might not seem very lucrative, but with time and experience, you can get higher rates for reviews.


Selling Unused Items

What’s the best way to earn some extra cash without having to as much as lift a finger? Sell things you don’t use anymore! Thanks to hundreds of apps that allow you to post classified ads for free, you can get rid of items like clothes, jewelry, cars, bikes, electronics and just about anything that you have no use of. While you might have to interact with several prospective buyers and put some effort in negotiating the best deal, you will definitely come out richer on the other side.

Here are some apps you can use to sell things:

Poshmark: Poshmark is an easy and simple application for selling branded clothes you wish to sell to others. You post pictures of the clothes you want to sell on the app for buyers, and once the item is sold, all you need to do is send it over to the address of the buyer with a prepaid and pre-set shipping label. On confirmation of the receipt, you get 80% of the selling price in your account and 20% is kept by Poshmark.

Letgo: Letgo, or letgo, offers an in-person exchange and hence eliminates shipping fee and commission cuts on the buying and selling of used items. The app is easy to use and navigate and you can start selling products without much hassle right after you sign up. With over 200 million listings, the app is very popular with those wishing to get rid of unused items in their life.


Things to Remember

While it is very tempting to install multiple apps and get paid to kill time, a word of caution for those who are just getting started. In the garb of such applications and services, several fraudsters are also running legitimate-looking operations to fleece unsuspecting people. Do not make any payment, or give away sensitive information on such applications and websites. Very importantly, do not be swayed by offers and schemes that offer larger-than-average rewards in return for doing ‘nothing’. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, there is nothing called a free lunch and if you think that you can outsmart the system and bypass the rules, you are mistaken. Spend some time to understand how an app or a rewards process works, and what will be your role precisely, before signing up for a program.

Then, of course, using these apps will do you no favor if you are already struggling to reduce your addiction to and dependency on your phone. Games, surveys and apps like these are designed to be highly engaging, incentivizing and addictive. It would be advisable to test waters first and spend a limited time (say 15-30 minutes) every day in order to gauge if this is something you’d want to keep doing.

There are many simple and easy ways to make money using your smartphone, but the real question is whether you can use them effectively and moderately? As mentioned earlier, do not expect the payouts to be huge, and do not divulge sensitive information. Other than that, if you have time to kill, there are individuals and companies willing to pay you for the same – you might as well make the most of it.


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