I recently did a presentation on the gig economy and it got me thinking about all of the different gig economy apps that are currently available. For years, I’ve been using gig economy apps to generate extra income – first, while holding a traditional and demanding 9-5 job, then as a side thing while I transitioned to self-employment. Over the years, I’ve regularly tracked this income in my monthly side hustle reports, the goal of which is to show people exactly what someone can make from side hustling using various gig economy apps.
For many people, these gig economy apps don’t seem very valuable. But a side hustle is worth a lot more than you think, and small amounts, when given enough time, really do add up. Indeed, over the past four years, I’ve been able to make over $100,000 from all of my various gig economy side hustles. Interestingly, these are side hustles that pretty much anyone can do. And if saved and invested over the long-term, it can add up to even more. In fact, these side hustles can literally make you a millionaire (see The Reverse Latte Factor for more information about how this is possible).
When you think about it, even just a few years ago, earning money like this wasn’t really possible. The gig economy and the rise of gig economy apps changed everything, making it possible for almost anyone to earn money on their own time, in small or large bursts. These days, basically everyone can use the gig economy to fit various side hustles into their day-to-day life. If you’re really clever, you might even figure out how to use these gig economy apps to get paid for the things you’re already doing (I call this monetizing your life).
The confusing thing about the gig economy is just how many different apps are available. I figured that having a single post listing every gig economy app I’ve used or know about might be helpful to readers looking for ideas on how to make extra money using the gig economy.
What follows is a post that lists every single gig economy app I’ve used or know about. Most are apps that I’ve personally used myself and continue to use today. Note that this will be an evolving list since new apps come and go all the time. I’ll do my best to keep this post updated on a regular basis with all of the best gig economy apps that I hear about.
How This Post Is Organized
When I think about gig economy apps, I think of three types of apps. Thus, I’ve divided this post into three sections, with each app in its respective section.
- Platform-Based Apps. These are apps where you create your own profile and set your own prices. You’re essentially creating your own small business and the platform acts as a middle man, taking a commission in exchange for providing a platform for you to list on. (Example: Airbnb)
- On-Demand Apps. These are gig economy apps where customers can request specific services and the app sends requests out to potential workers. The apps set the price in advance and you are able to accept or reject offers that come to you. Generally, the app will provide you with information so you can make an informed decision about whether to accept or reject an offer. (Example: Uber, DoorDash)
- Freelancer Apps. These are generally the same as platform-based apps but differ in that rather than selling a product (such as a short-term rental), you’re usually selling a niche, specialized skill. I think of these platforms more as built for freelancers. (Example: TaskRabbit)
In each section, I’ll also explain the general strategy I’ve used for each type of app and give you suggestions on how you can make each gig economy app work for you. Get ready. This is going to be a long post
- Platform-Based Apps
- Home Sharing
- VRBO and HomeAway
- Dog Sitting
- Car Sharing/Car Rentals
- Other Vehicle Rental Apps
- Selling/Flipping Items
- Facebook Marketplace
- Other Apps For Selling/Flipping
- On-Demand Apps
- Other Rideshare Apps
- Food Delivery
- Uber Eats
- Other Food Delivery Platforms
- Grocery Delivery
- Dog Walking
- Scooter Charging
- General Delivery
- Amazon Flex
- Spark Delivery
- Insurance Appraising
- Product Reviews
- Picture Taking/Auditing
- Field Agent
- Survey Merchandiser
- On-Demand Moving
- Vehicle Moving
- On-Demand Staffing
- Secret Shopping
- A Closer Look
- Presto Instashops
- Second to None
- Survey Apps
- Google Opinion Rewards
- Surveys On The Go
- Facebook Viewpoints
- Receipt Apps
- Receipt Hog
- Amazon Shopper Panel
- Market Research
- User Interviews
- L&E Research
- Laundry Services
- Freelancer Apps
- General Tasks
- Housework and Handyman Work
- Final Thoughts On The Gig Economy And Gig Economy Apps
Platform-based apps come in a variety of flavors. Most generally involve selling or renting something out (i.e. renting out your house, selling things online, etc). The common characteristic, as mentioned above, is that platform-based apps allow you to create your own profile and set your own price. The platform is simply the way you get your business out to the public.
Here are some of the platform-based apps you can look at.
For most of us, our home is our largest asset. If you have a spare room in your house or you travel regularly, you can use home-sharing platforms to generate significant income from your largest asset. Here are some of the primary apps you can use if you are looking to make money in the short-term rental game.
The obvious big dog in the home-sharing space is Airbnb, which most people reading this have likely used at some point. I’ve been an Airbnb host since 2016, either renting out a spare room in my house or renting out my entire house when I’m traveling. It’s allowed me to generate significant income from my primary residence, making it so that, in most years, I’m able to cover most of my housing expenses using just my Airbnb income.
Airbnb Strategies. There are two general ways that you can use Airbnb to generate income with your primary residence: (1) rent out a private room in your house on Airbnb; or (2) rent out your entire home on Airbnb when you aren’t there.
Here’s a breakdown of various ways you can do this:
- Private Room
- Rent out a spare room in your house (i.e. a guestroom)
- Rent out a separate space in your house (i.e. a basement, mother-in-law suite, or guesthouse)
- Entire Home
- Rent out your house when you’re traveling
- Rent out your house during special events (think sporting events, concerts, other local events, etc)
I’ve written in the past about the benefits of renting out a room on Airbnb, but even if you aren’t comfortable with sharing your space with a stranger, you can at least consider renting out your house on Airbnb when you travel. And if that’s too much work, you can even consider just renting out a private room in your house when you aren’t home. When you think about it, most people likely have their home sitting empty for several days to several weeks per year. Rather than having your house sit empty, you can use it to generate income for you while you are gone.
At a minimum, consider taking advantage of the Master’s Rule. This is a tax benefit where if you rent out your home for 14 days or less in a calendar year, you do not have to pay federal income tax on those earnings. It’s one of the few ways that the government allows you to earn tax-free income, so take advantage of it if you can.
You can sign up to be an Airbnb host here. And if you’ve never used Airbnb before, you can sign up to be an Airbnb guest for the next time you travel.
2. VRBO and HomeAway
VRBO and HomeAway are both owned by Expedia and are two short-term rental platforms that you can use for your house. The companies charge homeowners based on either a commission system or a subscription-based model. These two platforms are geared primarily towards vacation rentals, so whether it’ll work for you will depend on where you’re located.
If you have a vacation rental, it might make sense to list on multiple platforms in order to get the most exposure. Just make sure you stay organized to avoid getting double booked.
Rover is a platform connecting dog owners with dog sitters. To use Rover, you first create a profile for yourself, then set your prices and services. If someone needs their dog watched, they can go on the Rover app and see all of the available dog sitters in their area. The easiest way to describe Rover is as an Airbnb for dogs.
Essentially, what Rover sitters are doing is creating their own dog sitting business. I started watching dogs on Rover back in 2015 and over the years, I’ve hosted dozens of different dogs. It’s worked out pretty well, especially since I have a repeat base of clients that I often work with, which makes the entire dog sitting process predictable and fairly passive.
If you’re a dog lover, this is a pretty great way to generate extra income doing something you might already want to do. You can sign up to be a Rover dog sitter here.
Rover Strategies. One of the reasons Rover has worked for me is because I already own a dog, and as a result, I already have to do all of the tasks that come with owning a dog (such as walking my dog, feeding my dog, etc). Setting myself up as a dog sitter on Rover essentially allows me to monetize the dog care tasks that I’m already doing. The way I see it, if I already have to take care of my own dog, it’s not really much more work for me to add a second dog into the mix. When it comes to gig economy side hustles, Rover can almost act as passive income.
Car Sharing/Car Rentals
Turo is a platform that allows users to list cars for people to rent (think of it as an Airbnb for car rentals). Like other platform apps, you create your profile, set your price for your car, and wait for people to book it.
When you consider that most cars sit unused for the majority of the time, monetizing your vehicle by renting it out when you aren’t using it could be one way to generate some extra income. In addition, it can be fairly passive as well once you have some systems in place.
Of the major car-sharing apps, Turo is the biggest platform and is likely available in your city.
Getaround is another car-sharing platform that allows car owners to rent out their cars to people. The key differentiator with Getaround is that it acts more like an on-demand car-sharing app, allowing you to rent your car out on-demand for shorter periods (in contrast, Turo acts more like a traditional car rental service). Getaround is available in fewer cities, so it might not be available where you live.
HyreCar is a car-sharing platform that works a little differently when compared to Turo and Getaround. Instead of renting to the general public, HyreCar rentals are car rentals for rideshare drivers and food delivery couriers. In other words, someone without a car can rent your car through HyreCar and then use your car to do rideshare or food deliveries. HyreCar provides the renter with rideshare insurance, which they can use while working.
4. Other Vehicle Rental Apps
In addition to the traditional car rental apps, there are also marketplaces for listing up niche vehicles that you might own – things like RVs, boats, and other non-traditional vehicle rentals. One advantage of listing a niche vehicle is that the daily earnings will typically be more than what you could get with a traditional car rental. The market for these types of vehicles obviously isn’t as big, but if you have a vehicle like this, it’s worth listing it to see what happens.
Below are a few options you could consider:
- RVshare. If you own an RV and are looking to make extra income with it, you could consider listing it up on RVshare. RVs appear to rent for a lot of money, so there could be money to be made here. RVshare provides insurance for the rental, so you should be covered in case of damage.
- Boatsetter. Another niche market could be renting boats to people. Like other niche vehicles, the earnings here can be lucrative. As with all other vehicle rental platforms, insurance is included when you list your boat rental.
- GetMyBoat. GetMyBoat is another platform-based app that allows you to rent out boats, kayaks, paddleboards, and anything else that you can use on the water. You can think of it as an Airbnb or Turo for boats. If you have a boat sitting unused, consider listing it here so it can generate some extra income.
Car Sharing/Car Rental Strategies. Your car likely sits unused for the vast majority of the day. Depending on how often you use your car, renting it out on a carsharing platform like Turo or Getaround could be a viable option to generate essentially passive income from what would otherwise be an idle asset. Of course, you have to factor in the real costs of operating your vehicle, so do the math to make sure that this makes sense for your situation.
The great thing about the internet is that it’s made it possible for all of us to start up our own little retail stores with millions of customers. Most of us have done this at some point, selling something in our house when we’re spring cleaning. Other times, you might get more creative and buy things at thrift stores or garage sales and then resell them for profit. It’s basically business 101 – find something at a lower price, sell it at a higher price.
Here are the apps you can use if you’re looking to make extra money selling or flipping items for profit:
Everyone reading this knows what eBay is. If you need to sell something online, eBay is the natural place to start if you’re looking to put your product in front of the most potential buyers. Whether you list on eBay will depend on whether the item you’re selling is something that you can ship. I typically use eBay to sell smaller items and things that are easily shipped – think clothes, books, etc.
2. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is the major platform I would recommend when selling locally, mainly because almost everyone has Facebook, and as a result, almost everyone has Facebook Marketplace.
I usually use Facebook Marketplace when I’m selling furniture or other large items, or if I’m selling something that I know has a lot of demand and I want to avoid paying fees associated with selling on eBay.
OfferUp is another app that allows you to sell locally. They also have a feature that allows you to list items nationally (in this scenario, the buyer pays for the item via the OfferUp app and then OfferUp takes a small commission). I usually use OfferUp for local sales. In 2020, OfferUp bought LetGo, which was a similar app.
4. Other Apps For Selling/Flipping
There are some other apps that you might want to look at as well. These include the following:
- Poshmark. This is an app you can use for selling clothes. I find that it’s geared primarily towards women’s clothes, so I haven’t really used it much since most of the clothes I sell are men’s clothes. I know that a lot of people have had success selling used clothing on Poshmark, so if you have the right items, it may be worth listing here.
- Mercari. Mercari is another app that you can use to sell your stuff online. Buyers pay via the app and you then ship the item with the provided shipping label. Mercari takes a small percentage fee from each sale you make through the app.
Neighbor is a platform that allows you to list extra storage space in your house for people to rent. If you have a basement, attic, or spare closet, you could monetize that extra space by finding listing it up on Neighbor for people to rent. You could also list your garage for people to store their cars in.
Neighbor claims you can make a couple of thousand dollars per year by listing up your extra storage space. The demand for it isn’t very high in my area, but if you can make this work, it’s a very passive way to bring in some extra income each month. You can list your storage space on Neighbor here.
If you have an extra parking space in a high-demand area, you could make some extra and fairly passive income by renting it out on an app like SpotHero. Whether this will work for you will, of course, depend on where you live, but if you live in a downtown area and have a parking space that you can make accessible to the public, this can be a good way to turn monetize that unused space.
When you think about the gig economy and gig economy apps, most people think of on-demand services where customers request specific services and the app sends out requests to potential gig workers. Prices are set in advance, and as a gig economy worker, you generally are provided some information and can choose to accept or reject the offer.
There are a lot of different on-demand gig economy apps covering numerous areas. Here are the major on-demand gig economy apps you can use:
Rideshare is the major on-demand gig economy app that most people were first introduced to years ago. The two major players are Uber and Lyft, with some smaller regional or more niche rideshare options available in some cities.
I personally have always avoided rideshare simply because I don’t drive often and don’t find it particularly fun to do, but depending on your personality and interests, it could be something you could pick up.
I don’t need to spend much time explaining how Uber works. To sign up, you simply need to pass a background check and have a car that meets Uber’s requirements. Uber is available in almost every city in the United States, so if rideshare is something you want to do, you can probably do it with Uber.
Lyft is the other major rideshare app and it works pretty much the same as Uber. Like Uber, Lyft is available in pretty much every city in the United States. If you sign up for Uber, you should sign up for Lyft as well.
3. Other Rideshare Apps
In addition to Uber and Lyft, there are also smaller, regional rideshare apps that you can use, as well as more niche apps that are specific to certain situations. These include the following:
- Hitch. Hitch is a city-to-city carpool app. If drivers are traveling between cities, they can list their route and pick up people along the way, helping to subsidize or potentially cover the cost of their trip. It’s essentially a carpool app that, in the past, would have been done on Craigslist or on college bulletin boards. At the moment, Hitch is limited to Texas only.
- Wingz. Wingz is a peer-to-peer marketplace, where customers can pick specific drivers to drive for them. Rides are scheduled in advance and have a flat rate. Generally, Wingz is used for airport drop-offs and special events.
- Via. Via is a rideshare service limited to New York, Washington DC, and Chicago. It acts the same as Uber Pool or Lyft Line, where drivers pick up multiple riders going in the same directions.
- HopSkipDrive. HopSkipDrive is a rideshare service designed for driving kids. Parents can book rides in advance for their children, which can be very helpful for busy parents that need someone to drive their kids from place to place. The vetting process for HopSkipDrive is much more intense since you’re driving children, but as a result, you can generally expect to make more, with the app touting earnings as high as $32 per hour.
Of all the gig economy side hustles that I do, food delivery is probably my favorite because of how well it fits into my day-to-day life.
Food delivery apps all work in essentially the same manner – you get pinged for an order, the app provides some information about the order, and you can then decide whether to accept or reject the order based on that information.
It’s important to remember that when you’re using gig economy apps, you are your own business. So, think like a business owner. You’ll want to think about the following things when using any food delivery app:
- Does the app tell you how much you’ll make upfront? Some apps will give you the total amount you’ll earn (including tip) before you accept the order. Other apps won’t tell you the tip until after you complete the order. In general, the apps that give you more information upfront are better.
- Does the app tell you where the delivery is going? Having this information in advance is extremely important because it’ll allow you to make more educated decisions with your orders. This was more of a problem a few years ago, but at this point, all of the major apps tell you where the order is going before you accept an order.
The great thing about food deliveries – and the primary reason why I do them – is because you don’t need to use a car. I’ve delivered food on my bike exclusively for years, allowing me to save significantly on vehicle costs, and importantly, allowing me to essentially get paid to exercise.
With all that said, here are the primary food delivery apps that you can use if you are interested in doing food delivery.
Of the big four delivery apps, Postmates is the lowest paying in my experience and the one I rank at the bottom when thinking about the four main food delivery apps. The only real advantage with Postmates is that it’s probably the easiest one to get signed up with. Switching between different vehicle modes is also really easy, and I believe in every market, you can use any vehicle that you want when doing deliveries.
Important things to know about Postmates:
- In my experience, it’s the lowest paying, with pay for most deliveries starting in the $3 range. My tip rate percentage is also really low compared to the other food delivery apps.
- Postmates does not show you the delivery amount in advance (so when you accept an order, you have to make an educated guess as to whether it pays enough to be worth it).
- The app shows you where the delivery is going before accepting
- You can use any type of vehicle you want and can easily switch between vehicles.
You can sign up to deliver for Postmates here.
*Update: Uber Eats purchased Postmates and it has since been rolled into the Uber Eats app. If you try to sign up for Postmates, you’ll be directed to Uber Eats now.
In my opinion, DoorDash is one of the better food delivery apps and is the one that I tend to make the most money with. The base pay for each order varies, but I find it generally pays well when you factor in tips and bonuses. Importantly, DoorDash shows you what you’ll make before you accept the order, so you can use that information to decide if a delivery makes sense for you. DoorDash is also the biggest delivery platform, so it tends to have the most orders and highest demand.
Important things to know about DoorDash:
- Pay per order is generally strong, and especially so if there are bonuses and customers are tipping well.
- Shows you what you will make before you accept the order, including tip amount.
- You can see where the delivery is going in advance.
- In many zones, DoorDash requires you to use a car. Bikes are typically only allowed in dense zones (think downtowns and city centers).
Check out my more in-depth post on Doordash here.
You can sign up to deliver for DoorDash here.
3. Uber Eats
Uber Eats used to be one of the weaker delivery apps, but I think they’ve improved a lot over the past few years. The major change is that you can now see where the order is going before you accept it. In the past, the delivery location was kept hidden until after you picked up the order. This made Uber Eats essentially unusable for those of us that run multiple apps or that are trying to strategize our deliveries. I’ve found that demand on Uber Eats has also been steadily increasing, so it’s an app you need to have if you want to stay busy.
Important things to know about Uber Eats:
- Base pay can be low, but bonuses and tips usually make it more worthwhile.
- The app does not show you the tip amount in advance, so what you see is what the order pays before tips. I’ve found that almost everyone tips on Uber Eats because customers tip before they place their order.
- For a while, Uber Eats did not show where the delivery was going, but that has changed and the app now shows you where the delivery is going in advance.
- In most markets, you can use any vehicle, including bikes.
For more information, check out my in-depth post on what it’s like to be an Uber Eats Driver.
You can sign up to deliver for Uber Eats here.
Grubhub tends to pay the most per individual order, but in my area at least, the orders are fewer in number, so it’s difficult to rely solely on Grubhub. One of the annoying things with Grubhub is that they’ll often send you orders as soon as someone places an order, which means you can arrive at a restaurant and find that the restaurant just received the order as well. This can be extremely annoying if you’re forced to wait, but with a little experience, you’ll know which orders will be ready and which you need to wait for. Grubhub also has a scheduling system, which gives you preferential treatment when it comes to orders. This is in contrast to most of the other delivery apps, where scheduling either doesn’t exist or isn’t necessary.
Important things to know about Grubhub:
- In my experience, the pay per order tends to be the highest among the big four delivery apps.
- Grubhub shows you the total order payout before you accept it, including tip.
- The app shows you where the order is going before you accept it.
- In many areas, Grubhub requires you to use a car.
Check out my more in-depth post on Grubhub here.
You can sign up to deliver for Grubhub here.
5. Other Food Delivery Platforms
Outside of the big four delivery apps, you might also have access to a few smaller, more regional delivery apps. These include the following:
- Caviar. Caviar was actually the first delivery app that I started with way back in 2015. When was a Caviar courier, I found that the pay per order was very high, but demand was not that high. Unfortunately, Caviar left my city several years ago, so I haven’t been able to do Caviar deliveries in several years. It’s important to note that DoorDash bought Caviar in 2019. So far, DoorDash has left them both as separate apps and it remains to be seen what will happen to Caviar in the future.
- GoPuff. GoPuff works a little differently from other food delivery apps in that instead of picking up food from restaurants, you pick up your orders from a central delivery warehouse (the orders are packed in advance by employees). In essence, GoPuff works like an online convenience store. Personally, GoPuff has never worked for me because they require you to work shifts and you have to use a car. However, it could be worth trying to see if it makes sense for you.
- Favor. Favor is a food delivery app that used to have a larger presence but is now limited just to a few markets in Texas. I’ve never done deliveries for Favor before, but if you are in a market that has them, try them out and see if they fit with your delivery strategy.
Food Delivery Strategies.
- Think Like A Business. Most people don’t realize it, but when you’re doing food deliveries as an independent contractor, you are acting as a business. So make sure to act like one. Anything you do should be in terms of what makes sense as a business decision. Don’t let the apps control your decisions.
- Multi-App. One of the most important things about being an independent contractor is that you can work for as many different delivery platforms as you like. The absolute best way to increase your earnings is to run multiple delivery apps at once. Ideally, you want to stack orders going in similar directions. This will dramatically increase your earnings. It takes practice, but once you are comfortable, it becomes second nature.
- Be Picky. The mistake a lot of new delivery couriers make is accepting every order that they get. As an independent contractor, you have the right to accept or reject any orders you want. Avoid the scarcity mindset and remember that if you reject one order, there are always going to be more orders coming. I reject far more orders than I ever accept.
- Monetize Your Commute and/or Get Paid to Exercise. One of the lesser-known benefits of food delivery is that you can use it as part of a strategy I call monetizing your life. For example, whenever I leave the office, I always turn on my food delivery apps and try to snag orders heading towards my house. By doing this, I can essentially monetize my commute home. Similarly, if you use your bike, you can do deliveries and essentially get paid to exercise.
- Additional Resources. If you’re looking for more strategies on how to approach the delivery game, I’d recommend checking out Entrecourier and his great Deliver On Your Business Podcast. You should especially listen to the first 31 episodes of his podcast, which he calls the 31-Day Delivery MBA. It’ll give you a much better understanding of how to approach the delivery game and how to think of it with a business mindset. Definitely one of the better resources I’ve found when it comes to doing deliveries.
The pandemic gave a lot of people an introduction to grocery delivery, which means a lot more demand for grocery delivery services in the future. More demand for grocery delivery services also means there’s a lot of opportunity for gig workers in the grocery delivery space.
All of the grocery delivery apps work in the same general manner – you have orders that you can choose to accept (typically a pool of orders), you then shop for those orders, and deliver those orders to the customer.
Here are the main grocery delivery apps that you can use:
Shipt is the grocery delivery app that I have the most experience with since it’s the busiest delivery service in my market. Orders are sent to a central pool and Shipt shoppers can then pick and choose which orders they’d like to take.
Before accepting an order, you’ll receive the following information:
- Approximately how much the order pays. This number will vary based on how much the order actually costs (for example, if customers add more items or if items can’t be found and are left out).
- The number of items in the order. The exact items are revealed once you accept the order.
- The delivery location.
- The time the order needs to be delivered. Every order has to be delivered within a one hour block. Depending on the order, you may be able to deliver it early.
The major downside with Shipt is that shopping for items can be time-consuming, especially if you aren’t familiar with the store layout or if a lot of items are out of stock and you’re forced to ask the customer about substitutions. The other downside is that earnings can be fairly tip-dependent. That is, if you don’t get tips, I’ve found that your earnings can end up pretty low.
For a detailed look at my experience with Ship, check out my post: Shipt Shopper App: My Grocery Delivery Side Hustle.
You can sign up to be a Shipt shopper here.
Instacart is the other major grocery delivery app that you can work for. Similar to Shipt, orders generally go to a central pool and you can then snag orders that make sense for you. And like Shipt, Instacart provides you certain information before you accept an order, including how much the order pays (including tip), what items are in the order, the delivery location, and the delivery time.
One difference with Instacart is that, in addition to normal orders where you shop for the customer, Instacart also has delivery only orders, where you simply pick up and deliver orders that have already been shopped for by Instacart employees. I find these deliver only orders preferable compared to having to shop for and deliver orders.
You can sign up to be an Instacart shopper here.
Dumpling is an interesting grocery delivery app in that, unlike Shipt or Instacart, which act more like on-demand services (i.e. customers place orders with the app and shoppers then accept orders), Dumpling acts more like a platform app where shoppers create their own profile and set their own price and Dumpling customers can then request specific shoppers to complete their orders for them.
In essence, with Dumpling, you are more acting as your own business, similar to when you create a listing on Airbnb or Rover and serve customers directly via those platforms. You’re basically creating your own grocery delivery business.
It costs $9.99 to start your grocery delivery business on Dumpling and then the app has different pricing plans depending on what makes more sense for you (either pay a commission per order or pay a monthly subscription fee).
The major downside, at least for side hustlers like myself, is that the terms say you have to do one delivery every 30 days in order to keep your account active. I’m not sure if that means you have to pay to reactivate your account each time, or if it just means you have to go through the reactivation process again, but it’s something to think about when deciding to create a profile on Dumpling.
Grocery Delivery Strategies.
- Speed Matters. Unlike food deliveries, grocery deliveries have the added variable in that you need to shop for the customer’s orders. As a result, speed is extremely important and is something that you can largely control. The faster you can shop for orders, the more you’ll ultimately make on a per hour basis. This is a skill that you’ll likely get better at as you do more deliveries and become familiar with different products and store layouts.
- Combine Multiple Orders At Once. If you’re comfortable with it, shopping for multiple orders at once is a great way to essentially double or triple your income. To do this, you need to be very organized and you’ll want to ideally snag orders going in similar directions.
- Do Deliveries While Shopping For Yourself. One thing that you can do with grocery delivery is to plan it out so that you’re shopping for orders during times when you need to shop for groceries yourself. By doing this, you’re able to essentially monetize your grocery shopping time, which would otherwise be wasted time.
If you like dogs and enjoy being outside, then on-demand dog walking is a gig that you might want to consider. There are two primary platforms that you can use:
In most markets, Wag is the primary on-demand dog walking app. The app works similar to Uber, where customers can request a dog walk and then walkers in the area can opt to accept the walk. Walks can either be scheduled in advance or can be immediate, on-demand walks.
If you’ve walked the dog before, you get priority, but otherwise, walks are generally available to anyone that wants to accept it. Walks are either 20, 30, or 60 minutes long, and prices are fixed by Wag. Customers can also opt to tip the walker (of which Wag walkers receive 100% of the tip).
Like other on-demand gig economy apps, walk prices are set by Wag, so whether Wag makes sense for you will depend on your own situation. Before accepting a walk, you’ll get information about the dog, where the dog is located, how long the walk is, and how much the walk pays.
When I worked a full-time job, Wag worked really well for me because I could walk dogs during my lunch hour at the apartments across the street. It was an easy way to generate some extra income while I was at work. Now that I’m self-employed and have a more flexible schedule, Wag walks are a little less convenient, but I’ll still do them if they’re nearby.
For a more detailed look into my experience with Wag, you can check out my post: Wag App Review – My Experience As An On-Demand Dog Walker.
Rover is the other primary gig economy dog walking app. As I discussed in the previous section on dog sitting, Rover is a platform-based app, which means you create a profile and set your own prices. Customers can then reach out to you if your profile matches their preferences. This is very different from Wag in that when you are walking dogs on Rover, you’re interacting with the customer. Rover takes a commission as the platform facilitating the transaction.
In my area, Rover walks are not in as high demand. However, if you’re going to do dog walking, you should be using both apps in order to maximize your chances of getting consistent walks.
Dog Walking Strategies.
- Walk Dogs During Your Lunch Break. One of the things that worked really well for me when I had a day job was walking dogs during my lunch break. My office was across the street from a bunch of luxury apartment buildings, which meant that there were a lot of dogs in those buildings that needed walking. I found that the majority of the time, people were looking for walks during the lunch hour, which worked perfectly for me. Instead of sitting at my desk, I would walk across the street, get some fresh air and exercise, and make some money while doing it. Importantly, since I was just walking, I could do my walk while in my work clothes without worrying about coming back to the office covered in sweat.
- Walk Dogs When You’re Traveling – And Get Paid To Explore. Another strategy I’ve used with dog walking is doing dog walks when I’m visiting another city. The beauty of most gig economy apps is that you can do them in any city. Dog walking is an activity that can work very well when you’re looking to explore a city – you can check out new neighborhoods, walk around like a local, and get paid to do something you might already be doing anything (walking and exploring a city).
- Use Dog Walking As Exercise. The nature of dog walking means that you’ll be getting outdoors and getting some exercise. We all need exercise, so if you can use dog walking to get into better shape and make some extra money too, that’s just a bonus.
I’ve written a detailed post about how I make money using Rover. You can check out that post here: Rover Pet Sitting – How To Make Money Dog Sitting With Rover.
One thing about the gig economy is that it’s moving so fast that it’s creating new gigs that few of us could have anticipated. Scooter charging is one of those new gigs that would have been hard for many of us to imagine just a few years ago.
For those of you unfamiliar with the world of shared scooters, here’s a little background. Companies place electric scooters in public places. Customers can then rent those scooters using their phones. Gig economy workers come into play because all of these scooters need to be charged when they run out of battery. Each of these companies will pay you a small bounty to grab scooters when they’re low on battery, charge them up in your home, then release them in designated spots once fully charged.
Depending on where you live, scooter charging can be an easy side hustle that you can use to bring in extra income each month. Note that many companies have opted to hire employees, rather than independent contractors, which makes it less suited for a side hustle. I’ve opted to not include those companies on this gig economy list.
If you want a more detailed look into the world of scooter charging, be sure to check out my post: Bird Charger and Lime Juicer: Side Hustling As An Electric Scooter Charger.
With that said, here are the primary scooter companies that you can work for as an independent contractor:
Lime is one of the larger players in the shared scooter space and is the one that I’ve earned the most money with since I started charging scooters back in 2018. Scooter chargers for Lime are called Lime Juicers and signing up is straightforward – you sign up via the Lime app and once approved, you’ll have access to the Lime Juicer mode, which will let you see which scooters in your area need charging.
Pay is on a per scooter basis and varies based on where you are located, with pay typically ranging between $2 and $5 per scooter. If you’re located in an area that has a lot of scooters and has nearby dropoff spots, then charging scooters for Lime can be very lucrative.
During most months in the summer, I’m able to grab 4-6 scooters in a few minutes, charge them up overnight in my house, then drop them off at spots down the street from me. I typically make about $20-$30 per day, which comes out to $600-$900 per month of extra income – perfect for a pretty passive and easy side hustle.
Here’s a post I wrote about my experience working as a Lime Juicer: Lime Juicer – How I’ve Made Over $5,000 Charging Electric Scooters for Lime
Bird is the other major scooter company that you can charge scooters with as an independent contractor. The Bird app works in the same manner as Lime – you sign up to be a Bird charger through the Bird app, then once approved, you’ll have access to charging mode, which will let you see all of the Bird scooters in your area that need charging.
As with Lime, Bird also pays on a per scooter basis, with similar pay. If you’re in an area that makes sense, charging Bird scooters can be easy and lucrative. The main issue is that in most markets, Bird has switched over to a “fleet manager” model. A fleet manager role is essentially a full-time position, so it’s not really a gig economy-type position anymore.
Scooter Charging Strategies.
- Charge Scooters And Ride For Free. The biggest benefit about charging scooters – and the reason why I recommend you sign up, even if you don’t really want to charge scooters – is that, for the most part, when you’re charging scooters, you’re able to ride them around for free. When you take a scooter with you to charge, the scooter will unlock. Once charged, it’s possible to use it yourself as a personal scooter until you need to drop it off. For the most part, I never pay for scooter rides, simply because I can ride them around just by finding low battery scooters, charging them up, then riding them around until I need to drop them off in the morning. Note that the scooter companies definitely do not want you doing this, but as long as you don’t abuse it too much, you’re unlikely to get into trouble. (One company that has addressed this is Bird, who now limits captured scooters to 5 mph. It’s a bummer, as it basically removes this option when charging Bird scooters).
- Charge Scooters And Monetize Your Commute. Building on the free scooter rides, charging scooters can mean that you can use scooters to ride to work for free. Here’s how you do it. First, you find a low batter scooter the night before. Then, you charge that scooter up overnight, In the morning, you ride the scooter to work and drop it off along the way. Whether you can do this will depend on where you live and which scooter companies are available in your area. If you’re in a dense neighborhood with a lot of scooters and scooter drop-off points, then it should be possible for you to charge up scooters during the evening, then ride the scooter to work and drop it off along the way in the morning.
- Stacking Scooters. As with most of my gig economy side hustles, I never use a car. If you’re like me, you’ll need to learn how to stack scooters, which means propping up a bunch of scooters onto one base scooter, then riding the entire thing. This is something that you’ll have to practice, but once you get good at it, it’s possible to grab multiple scooters, all while on foot.
Beyond food delivery or grocery delivery, there are also various apps that you can use to simply deliver random things from stores or for people. Here are some of the apps you can use for this:
1. Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex is an app where you deliver packages for Amazon customers. There are basically two ways you can use it: (1) sign up for scheduled routes where you deliver multiple packages at once from a central Amazon warehouse; or (2) accept on-demand orders, where you do short deliveries and are paid a fixed sum for the delivery.
Currently, Amazon Flex only delivers packages, groceries from Whole Foods, or liquor store deliveries from certain liquor stores.
Roadie is an app that you can use to deliver items for people and companies. There are two types of deliveries you can do with Roadie. The first is delivering things long distances – typically furniture and other large items. The idea here is that a lot of people drive between cities, typically with empty cars. Roadie allows you to monetize those trips that you’re already taking. You won’t want to go out of your way to do these deliveries, but if you’re already planning a road trip, looking at potential Roadie deliveries on the way can make sense.
The second way to use Roadie is to deliver things locally. A number of companies now utilize Roadie drivers to deliver orders to customers. When a company needs a delivery, they’ll list the order on the Roadie app and drivers can accept the orders on a first-come, first-serve basis. I’ve delivered lost bags for airlines, orders from craft stores, and pharmacy orders. Depending on the situation, taking these orders can make sense.
With Dispatch, you can do local deliveries for businesses. When a business places a delivery order, the app notifies all available drivers nearby. Drivers can accept orders and then pick up and drop off orders. You’ll need to use a car to do these deliveries.
4. Spark Delivery
Spark Delivery is a delivery service that delivers orders from Walmart. The orders are all paid in advance. Walmart employees prepare the order for you, so all you have to do is pick up the order and drop it off. It’s not available in every market, but if it’s in your market, you might want to sign up for it. One interesting use case would be to combine Spark Delivery orders with your own shopping. If you happen to be going to Walmart, for example, it might make sense to see if you can pick up an order while you’re there.
Skipcart is another last-mile delivery service where you can get paid to deliver things from stores and restaurants. To do deliveries, you simply log into the app and you’ll then see available orders in your area. The order tells you what it pays and the pickup and delivery addresses. So far, I haven’t seen a ton of deliveries in this app, but it’s still worth downloading on your phone just in case there are any good orders that you can complete.
With the rise of smartphones, a lot of insurance companies have opted to send independent contractors to take pictures of things for insurance claims, rather than sending insurance agents to do this work. The primary platform that I’ve been using for this type of gig is WeGoLook.
When a “look” becomes available, it’ll appear on the app with general information about what the look entails and where the look is located. The looks I do typically involve taking pictures of cars, taking pictures of intersections, or taking exterior photos of specific properties. In my experience, doing these gigs is worth the time so long as you’re nearby or are planning to be in the area anyway.
There aren’t a ton of WeGoLook gigs, but it works out pretty well for a fun and easy side hustle if you get looks that are in your area.
ProductTube is one of the more underrated apps I’ve discovered in recent years. The app pays you to film yourself purchasing certain products at different stores – usually grocery stores, convenience stores, or big-box retailers like Target and Walmart. When you accept a task, you’ll receive instructions and a list of questions that you need to answer in your video.
What makes ProductTube really good is that the videos are always very short – 5 minutes at most usually. The app typically pays between $10 and $25 for each video, which makes it very lucrative for the amount of time that you have to spend filming. Payment is made via Amazon gift cards, which I basically consider as good as cash.
Note that while the tasks might ask you to purchase something, you never actually have to purchase anything since the videos are all made prior to purchase. In other words, you can just pretend like you’re going to buy something, answer all of the questions, and then put the item back on the shelf.
In terms of hourly earnings, ProductTube is definitely one of the higher-paying gig economy apps out there.
There are a number of apps out there where you can get paid small amounts to complete very minor tasks. I generally call these apps “picture taking” apps because they require you to go to certain stores and take photos of different sections of the store. The idea behind these apps is that companies want to make sure their products are being properly displayed in stores, so they’ll pay contractors to go out there and take photos for them.
Each task pays a small amount – usually $5 to $10 for each task. That might not seem like a lot, but most of the time, these tasks only take a few minutes, so if you do the math, it can be lucrative for the amount of time you spend on them. I wouldn’t go out of your way to do these gigs, but if you see a gig that’s nearby or at a store that you’re going to visit anyway, then it can make sense to snag some of these gigs.
Note that all of these apps are completed in stores and generally require you to do them surreptitiously. Most stores won’t notice you taking photos inside, but you’ll usually want to do your best to go unnoticed because you might get asked to leave if they see you taking photos inside.
With that said, below are the primary picture taking/auditing apps you can use:
GigWalk is an app where you complete short auditing tasks using your phone. I’ve found that the gigs on GigWalk are typically very short, only taking a few minutes to complete. All available gigs are shown on the app and you can select any gigs that work for you.
Typically, each gig requires taking 1 or 2 photos and answering a few questions. The downside with GigWalk is that there aren’t many gigs compared to the other apps, but if you happen to see one that’s nearby, they’re usually worth completing.
EasyShift is another app where you can get paid to complete short tasks, generally taking photos of products and aisles in grocery stores and convenience stores. Compared to the other apps in this section, EasyShift gigs typically require the most photos and take the longest to complete, so whether a gig is worth doing will be on a case-by-case basis.
My advice is to try a few of the EasyShift gigs and get a feel of which tasks are worth doing and which ones you should avoid. After a few years of doing this, I’m pretty good at avoiding certain tasks and only accepting the ones that make sense for me.
3. Field Agent
Field Agent is a task app similar to GigWalk and Easyshift. The gigs in this app are always easy to complete and do not take much time. Typically, you’ll need to take 1 or 2 photos and answer some questions. There’s usually a solid supply of Field Agent gigs that you can complete, so if you see any near you, they’re usually worth a quick trip.
Of the big three picture-taking apps (GigWalk, EasyShift, and Field Agent), I typically prioritize Field Agent gigs first, then GigWalk, then EasyShift.
4. Survey Merchandiser
Survey Merchandiser is slightly different from the other picture-taking apps on this list because the gigs usually take longer to complete and often require you to interact with a store manager. They typically have two types of gigs on this app. The first are reorganizing type gigs, where you’ll stock and reorganize a shelf for a specific product. Usually, these require you to identify yourself with a store manager.
The second type of gig works similarly to the picture-taking apps, where you take photos of a specific section or product int the store without notifying anyone.
Generally, I will do the Merchandiser gigs that don’t require me to interact with anyone. I always avoid the ones where I have to interact with a store manager since those don’t seem worth it to me and I don’t really want to interact with anyone.
Observa also has picture-taking gigs that work the same as all of the other apps in this section. These tasks are usually easy to complete and only require you to take a few pictures and answer a few questions. I would incorporate Observa into my side hustle repertoire more often, but I’ve found there typically aren’t very many Observa tasks in my area. For a more in-depth look at Observa, be sure to check out my Observa review.
iVueit is another app that you can use to earn money taking pictures of things. The “vues” typically require you to take a few photos of the exterior of a business. Each vue doesn’t take long to complete, so they can be worth doing if you’re in the area. I’ve taken photos of the exterior of churches, big box stores, and even did a vue that involved taking photos of the interior of a closed business. They’re straightforward, easy to do, and kind of fun. For more information, you can check out my IVueIt review.
Shopkick allows you to earn gift cards by scanning barcodes at convenience stores like CVS and Walgreens. It’s not particularly high paying, but if you’re in the store already, this is something you can incorporate into your store visits.
Pickl is an app that will pay you to take a few photos of specific products at convenience stores and grocery stores. The photos are easy enough to take and it should only take you a few minutes to complete each task. I’ve earned a few bucks using this app and it’s an easy enough app for you to use when you’re out running errands. I haven’t seen a lot of Pickl gigs in my area, but it’s still worth downloading and using when it makes sense for you. The customer service with this app is also excellent (I had some issues when I was cashing out my earnings, but my issues were resolved quickly).
ProxyPics is an app similar to IVueIt, where you’re tasked with taking photos of real estate. The assignments pay well and are easy to complete, so they’re worth doing if you don’t have to travel far to complete them. The only downside with this app – at least for me – is that there aren’t many assignments near me. However, when I see ProxyPics assignments near me, I always snatch them up.
The on-demand moving industry is another area where you can generate some extra income via gig economy apps. These moving apps all work in the same manner – customers that need movers can hire people through the app.
All of these apps have two roles you can sign up for: (1) sign up as a mover and help move things; or (2) if you have a truck, sign up to move and drive. You’ll generally make more if you have a truck.
Here are some of the major on-demand moving apps you can try out if this is something that interests you:
Draiver, formerly called DriverDo, is an interesting gig economy app that could work for you depending on your situation. The app helps car rental companies and moving truck companies move cars between different locations.
When a car needs to be sent to a different location, you’ll receive a notification letting you know that a moving gig is available. Once accepted, you then head to the car rental location, get the keys for the truck or car, then drive it to the new location. Depending on the gig, you’ll either have a second person (also an independent contractor) follow you to the new location and then drive you back, or you’ll take an Uber back and get reimbursed for it.
In my area, I’ve typically moved cars for Penske. The good thing about this app is that, depending on your location, you won’t have to use your own car. I have a Penske moving truck place that’s within biking distance of my house.
My brother recently told me about a new app he discovered called StreetCrowd. There are several cities that have carshare services where customers can rent a car by the minute, then park the car anywhere. Sometimes, this means cars are parked in low-demand areas and need to be moved back into higher-demand areas.
StreetCrowd addresses this problem by crowdsourcing people to move cars into higher-demand areas. When you sign up for StreetCrowd, the app will show you available cars near you that need to be moved, then show you different zones that the car can be moved to.
There is an interesting use case for this app because you could use it to get yourself a free car ride from one place to another. My brother recently did this when he had a doctor’s appointment. When he was done with his appointment, he opened the app, found a car that needed to be moved to a higher-demand area near his house, then drove the car there, getting a free ride in the process.
At the moment, StreetCrowd is only available in a limited number of cities (DC and Seattle as of writing this), so you most likely won’t be able to use it yet.
A number of companies have opted to use gig economy apps for on-demand staffing. If they have a job that they need filled for a day, they’ll list it up on these apps. You’re then paid an hourly rate for the number of hours you’re scheduled to work. In a way, these are basically just hourly jobs that you’re hired to work at for a day.
I personally prefer the freedom that comes with other gig economy apps, where I don’t need to work a set schedule, but there are some circumstances where these apps could make sense.
Anyway, here are some of the on-demand staffing apps that you could use:
Wonolo, which stands for Work Now Locally, is an on-demand staffing app where you can pick up odd jobs for companies that need to fill a staffing need for a day. Any available jobs will show the hourly pay for the work and tell you the hours that you’ll need to work. I’ve seen jobs on here for warehouse work, delivery gigs, and stocking gigs.
The pay often doesn’t seem too high for these gigs, typically $12 to $20 per hour. Depending on your interests and location, it could make sense for you. You can sign up for Wonolo using this link.
Jobble is another on-demand staffing app that essentially works like a job board. It has regular jobs on there, but it also usually has on-demand, daily jobs where a company needs temporary staffing for a day or two. The app will show you what the job pays and what hours and duties are required.
Instawork is another one of these on-demand staffing apps that allow you to pick up short shifts at different businesses. If you’re looking to try out different types of work or work on a temporary basis, this is an app worth trying out.
The basic idea behind secret shopping is simple – most businesses place a high premium on ensuring positive and consistent customer experiences, and in order to do this, businesses will contract with secret shopper companies to have customers go to those businesses, act like a customer, and secretly audit the business.
Accordingly, secret shopper companies contract with individuals like you and me to do secret shops, picking up different gigs as they become available. The secret shops I like to do are restaurant secret shops, which typically involve going to a restaurant, ordering a certain amount of food, and then filling out a survey afterward where I evaluate my experience at the restaurant.
A typical restaurant secret shop will reimburse you for your food order up to a certain amount – typically enough to cover your meal. Some restaurant secret shops will also pay you a small fee to complete the shop – I typically treat this fee as part of the amount I have to spend on food.
For an in-depth look into secret shopping, check out my post: Restaurant Secret Shopper Jobs – A Strategy To Eat For Free And Hack Your Food Expenses.
With that said, here are some of the best secret shopping apps and websites you can use.
Bestmark generally has a lot of different secret shops that pop up fairly regularly. They also pay you twice per month, so you don’t have to wait long to get your reimbursement (most secret shopping companies only pay you once per month). The Bestmark interface looks pretty good too (as you’ll learn when you start doing these secret shopping jobs, a lot of these websites look terrible).
Marketforce is a solid app with regular gigs. Note that most of the restaurant secret shops on this app tend to be fast-food and fast-casual restaurants that only reimburse you for one person (so no fancy dinners on this app). Still, it’s worth signing up for when you need to get yourself a little lunch or dinner.
3. A Closer Look
A Closer Look offers more high-end shops, but they also seem to be more intense with their reporting requirements. It has very good secret shop options, so you should definitely sign up for and use this site.
4. Presto Instashops
This website (and mobile app) is where you’ll find a ton of secret shops. Presto InstaShops acts as a sort of aggregator for a bunch of secret shop companies that all use the same underlying interface.
What you can do is use Presto to check out the shops that are near you, then you’ll need to sign up for each individual company that appears on the Presto website. As an example, I’ve been using the following companies that I found from Presto (the first two companies on this list account for the bulk of my restaurant secret shops):
- Reality Based Reports
- Ann Michael & Associates
- Customer Impact
ISecretShop is a secret shopping app that I’ve used very sparingly. I rarely see anything good on it, but I have done some restaurant secret shops through this app before. It might be better in your location.
6. Second to None
Second to None is a secret shop website that I’ve started to use as part of my regular secret shopping repertoire. In my area, they tend to have good restaurant secret shops, so I’ve been able to snag some free food via this website. They do seem to require you to take more photos compared to some secret shop websites, but this isn’t too big a deal. Overall, I think this is a good secret shop company that’s worth signing up with.
Completing surveys on your phone can be an easy way to generate a few extra bucks without a ton of work. I generally avoid websites that have long surveys that don’t pay very well, but these short survey apps that I use are worth the time because of how short the surveys are (usually 1 to 5 questions at most). You won’t get rich from doing these apps, but it can add a few bucks each month for basically no work.
Here are the survey apps I recommend:
1. Google Opinion Rewards
Google Opinion Rewards is a short survey app that asks you 1-5 questions, typically about something you searched for on Google or about a place that you recently visited. Each survey only takes a few seconds to complete, so even if you only make 10 to 50 cents for each survey, it’s worth the time. Once you hit $2, you automatically cash out to your PayPal account.
2. Surveys On The Go
Surveys On The Go is an app that is worth keeping on your phone. The surveys typically pay a decent amount (about $1 or so). There are also a lot of surveys, so you almost always be able to keep busy. The surveys can take a longer time to complete, but even the longer surveys are not much of a burden. If you don’t qualify for a survey, you still get 10 cents just for answering the qualification questions. That money surprisingly adds up. Once you hit $10, you can cash out either directly to your PayPal card or as a Visa gift card.
1Q is an interesting survey app in that each survey usually only asks 1 question. You get paid 25 cents per question answered, so it’s pretty lucrative for how little time it takes. I don’t usually get a ton of questions from 1Q, but I still keep it on my phone just because of how easy it is.
VoxPopMe is a survey app that is a little different from the other survey apps. When you receive a survey, the app will ask you a question and have you record a 15-second video answering the question. Each survey pays 50 cents to one dollar, so that’s worth it considering how little time it takes to make the video. The one downside with VoxPopMe is that you need to reach $15 before you can cash out. It can sometimes take a while to reach that point.
5. Facebook Viewpoints
Facebook Viewpoints is a newer app I’ve discovered that pays you to complete short tasks. These are machine learning-type tasks, similar to the types of tasks that you might do on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. I haven’t received a lot of tasks to complete, but the one I did complete was not too difficult and paid well for the time it took to complete.
Premise is a mix of a picture-taking/auditing app and a short survey app. The surveys are quick and can be completed in less than a minute. The picture-taking assignments involve taking pictures of signs or houses in your neighborhood. I’ve found Premise to be a good app that works well with my lifestyle and I recommend downloading it and trying it out.
Receipt apps are a way you can earn a little bit of extra money for the spare receipts that you receive after most transactions. Here’s how they work. Whenever you get a receipt, you snap a photo of it using one of these receipt apps. The app uses that information to aggregate data about what people are buying and then presumably sells that data to market research companies.
There are a few types of receipt apps. Some of them require you to buy specific products. I tend to avoid those because I find it annoying having to tailor my shopping list to a specific app. Accordingly, I don’t include those apps in this list.
The other type of receipt apps – and the ones I talk about in this post – are the receipt apps where you can buy anything you want and you simply snap a picture of the receipt. Some of these receipt apps work for any store – including restaurants. Others only work for specific types of stores, such as grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, etc. I recommend having all of these apps on your phone. Then, when you get a receipt, you just snap a picture of it with all of your receipt apps.
It’s important to note that you will not get rich with these receipt apps. But because most of us are getting receipts anyway, simply adding it into your routine to snap a picture of the receipt before tossing it out is easy enough to do. In general, you’ll end up with around $50 to $100 each year from snapping pictures of your receipt – not a ton of money, but not bad either when you consider it’s a piece of paper that you were about to throw away anyway.
With that background out of the way, here are the receipt apps I recommend you download (and remember, when you get a receipt, snap a photo of that receipt with all of these apps at once):
ReceiptPal is a receipt app that allows you to earn points for receipts from anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a grocery store or convenience store. Basically, if you get a receipt, you should always snap a picture of it with ReceiptPal.
Every 4 receipts gets you 100 points and as of the time I write this, the points breakdown to the following:
- 2,000 points = $5
- 3,200 points = $10
- 7,500 points = $25
- 14,000 points = $50
- 26,000 points = $100
I generally save my points for the higher cashouts since those are most cost-effective. Generally, I end up with $50 to $100 from this app every year or so. That’s not bad since I’m just snapping pictures of every random receipt I get.
2. Receipt Hog
Receipt Hog is a receipt app that gives you coins for grocery store and convenience store receipts. Whenever I get a grocery store receipt, I always snap a picture of it with Receipt Hog. I generally save my coins until I hit 6,500 coins, at which point I then cash it out for $40. This generally takes me about a year or so to complete.
Fetch is another receipt app that works for all receipts, although you get the most points for snapping grocery store receipts. You can then cash out for Amazon gift cards, which I consider to be as good as cash. Again, it’ll take you about a year usually to earn a significant amount of points to cash out.
CoinOut is a receipt app that works for all receipts, so it isn’t limited to grocery stores or convenience stores. The app pays you a few cents for each receipt and you can cash out anytime you want. The advantage of CoinOut is that it pays you in actual cash instead of in points or some other currency that you then have to convert to cash. I like this because I can then see exactly how much the receipt was worth before I toss it.
Trunow is a receipt app that only awards points for gas station receipts. If you drive, you probably have to get gas, so you might as well snap a picture of that receipt before it goes into the trash. Points can then be converted into cash once you’ve built up enough points.
6. Amazon Shopper Panel
If you’re able to sign up for Amazon Shopper Panel, then definitely sign up for this app. The app gives you a $10 Amazon gift card each month when you submit 10 receipts. They accept almost any type of receipt, so that makes this app a very easy way to earn $10 a month. You can also earn a little extra money by completing short, one-question surveys via the app.
Amazon Shopper Panel is invitation-only at the moment and is limited to targeted Amazon customers. I happened to be lucky enough to be targeted, but if you aren’t targeted, you can sign up and get on the waitlist.
Market Research is a big thing for companies and they’re willing to pay people very decent rates in order to get good market research data. If you want to get market research opportunities, you’re going to want to sign up for as many market research websites as possible to give yourself the most chances.
1. User Interviews
User Interviews is a website that you can use to find market research opportunities. I’ve done market research gigs using this platform that paid very well for my time (for example, I had one market research opportunity that paid me $200 for 1.5 hours of my time). You won’t always get consistent opportunities and it can be difficult to qualify for many of the market research opportunities on this site, but it’s still worth signing up just to see if anything good ever comes your way.
2. L&E Research
L&E Research is another website that you should use if you’re looking for market research opportunities. The gigs pay well, but as with most market research sites, it can be hard to qualify for projects. Still, you should sign up and keep an eye out for any good opportunities.
Respondent.io is another market research site that is worth having in your repertoire. Most of the market research gigs are surveys that pay very well. It’s not consistent, but if you qualify for a market research study, it’s usually worth doing given how much they pay for the time they take to complete.
QualNow offers surveys that pay well for the time they take. Every once in a while, I’ll get an email that tells me I’m eligible for a new survey. These are not consistent by any means, but they pay enough that I always grab them when I can.
Wash and fold laundry services are a staple in many large cities. Sudshare is an interesting gig economy app that lets you get into this market. With this app, you pick up laundry from customers, wash and fold their clothes at your house, then return their laundry the next day.
Signing up is straightforward. You fill out your information, watch some instructional videos, and take a short quiz via the Sudshare app. Once you’re onboarded, you’ll be able to see the available jobs in your area, along with the estimated pay for the job. You’re paid for your work by the pound.
Depending on what you’re looking for, this could be an interesting gig economy app to try out. It seems particularly well-suited for people that are looking for work they can do from home.
Outside of the Platform Apps and the On-Demand Apps, there is also a third category of apps that I call the freelancer apps. These are apps that allow you to create a profile and set your own price and generally require you to have some sort of special skill. Here’s a look at those apps.
When it comes to general tasks, TaskRabbit is probably the most well-known app. When you sign up to be a Tasker, you can make yourself available for a variety of different tasks, from skilled tasks such as doing handyman or electrician work to completely random tasks such as standing in line for someone.
Over the years, I’ve completed a wide variety of different tasks, such as the following:
- Worked as a personal assistant for a day;
- Managed a coworking space;
- Delivered random stuff for people;
- Scanned pages of a book at a law library
Taskers set their own prices and customers communicate directly with the Tasker. You can also set a work area in your market so that you’ll only get requests close to you. After you complete a task, you send an invoice to the customer for the time you worked and any expenses that you need to be reimbursed for. Customers can also leave a tip.
For my own profile, I’ve opted to stick to simple tasks that do not require any skills – mainly delivery and random administrative-type tasks.
Housework and Handyman Work
Handy is an app for house cleaning and handyman services. If you have this skill and are looking to put yourself on more platforms, you might as well check out Handy to see if it makes sense for you.
Thumbtack is another app where you can list professional services such as handyman work or house cleaning. You can also list up other professional services, such as photography, DJing, etc. In the past, I’ve hired a photographer via Thumbtack when I needed someone to take pictures of my Airbnb at an affordable price. If you have a specialized skill that you need to get in front of people, it’s probably worth listing on Thumbtack.
Final Thoughts On The Gig Economy And Gig Economy Apps
We live in what I consider the golden age of side hustling, where it’s now possible to earn extra money on your own time, in as long or as short a time as you’d like. In the past, working like this simply wasn’t possible. But thanks to our phones and these gig economy apps, pretty much anyone can figure out a way to earn some extra income each month.
For myself, I’ve gone with the strategy of monetizing my life. That is, fitting these gig economy apps into the things I’m already doing. I have a spare room in my house and I travel a decent amount, so I can rent out my house on Airbnb. I have a dog, so watching another dog isn’t too much additional work. And I enjoy exercising, so doing things like delivering food or groceries on my bike or walking dogs fits perfectly into my life, allowing me to get paid for the things I’m already doing.
This money adds up too. And small amounts, over time, really do mean something.
So, go through this list and consider signing up for some or all of the things that might make sense for your situation. You might be surprised at how well the gig economy and these gig economy apps can work for you.
Do you have any gig economy apps that you would recommend? If so, let me know and I’ll add it to the list!
Antoinette Kunda says
Finally, one that is true to its advertising! It really is an ultimate list. I have kept up on gig work apps for many years. I am happy to learn there are more out there for me to check out! I was amazed at all the ones you listed & reviewed. So many just cover the “popular ones”.
Financial Panther says
Thanks! One thing about this list is that I side hustle with the majority of the apps on this list, so I have personal experience about what most of these apps are like.
This is still a work in progress because there are so many gig economy apps out there, but it’ll be a fun project to keep this post updated and to continue adding to it.
Wondering if you’ve done any research or comparison with buyback sites for things like books, tech equipment, or DVDs? There’s so many out there with such wide ranges. Have a mountain of items to sell from quarantine clean out, but not enough energy to post each one on ebay or marketplace! Thanks in advance for any opinions!
Financial Panther says
You know, I haven’t really looked into that area. I usually just sell things myself in order to avoid the middle man, but you’re right, often it’s a real hassle to sell everything individually. I know of Decluttr, but I have no idea how good they are to be honest. I might look into this though.
Google rewards does not allow cashout
Financial Panther says
Not sure what you mean. Once you hit $2, you cash out automatically. Can you elaborate on what you mean?
I think Google Rewards depends on whether you have an iphone vs android. I ran into this myself. The iphone version automatically cashes out after accumulating $2. The android version collects some kind of Google points.
On Android, earnings can only be used for Google Play Store. Can’t speak to ios.
Financial Panther says
Ah, weird. I think someone mentioned that to me before but I forgot about it. I have an iPhone, so that’s why I can cash out normally.
Are you using a business setup when doing all these gig apps? Or doing them just under your name?
Financial Panther says
I just do them under my name as a sole prop. The important thing is to set up a separate bank account for your gig economy earnings so you can keep track of earnings and expenses.
Saayed Khan says
Thank you Kevin for sharing informative content and a huge article on apps list.
FP – Thx for sharing on Ivueit! I just did my first gig for them last night and it was approved for payment when I woke up this morning and will have cash to my PayPal account within 72 hours. That’s really good on the review and payment processes! I’m still trying to figure out their ways on how and when they post new jobs but that will come. In the spirit of giving back, I have also tried another similar photo app recently, VelocityREOS, and had a similar good experience on the review and payment side of things. VelocityREOS is a little persnickety on initial signup but easy after that. Both of these will have occasional jobs within my geographic area, like most photo apps, but glad to have more choices!
On the secret shopping side of things, I recently tried IShopForIpsos with good early results. They seem to have a good supply of jobs to choose from unlike some other secret shops sites that fell off during the pandemic.
I found an article on TaskRabbit. I was surprised to learn that they want $20 from you to put your name out there. It seems to get very poor reviews from this one user, and I’m hesitant to fork over $20, and then get 40% of the wages garnished by the app. Seems a bit steep.
I think I’m gonna pass on that one.
Financial Panther says
Yeah, you gotta decide whether that’s worth it to you or not. If they are charging any money, it’s probably for the background check, which typically costs $20 or so. I don’t remember paying 20 bucks, but I also signed up for Taskrabbit years ago, so that might be why.
How do you keep track of expenses, tax write-offs, etc.?
Do you use any kind of bookkeeping system?
Financial Panther says
I just keep track manually using spreadsheets. I save receipts in Evernote.
Well as a full time student I have to say that your article is very informative! Thanks. Besides that I would like to share some of my ideas like passive income app Honeygain :)So, it makes me around $30 per month just by leaving this app running on my devices background. Basically this is an app that lets you sell your unused internet traffic via it. Plus, you can always use extra $5 coupon secret5 to add some extra earnings
You know that offerup bought letgo. they are under offerup now.
Financial Panther says
Yeah, updated the list.
Just installed a few of the apps you suggested (Observa, iVueIt, Field Agent). Pet peeve – many of these force you to set up an account before you can even see if they are active in your area. I had to fill out a pretty extensive profile on Field Agent only to find there is one thing nearby. Similar for iVueit. Observa let me see a map before signing up which was great.
I just hate having all these random apps that now have my personal info, and I’ll probably never use half of them after the initial install.
On a more positive note, I’ve signed up for a few of the secret shopper sites and have already made about $70 (pending payout) in about a week. About half of that has been for online shopping, so didn’t even need to leave the house. A couple others were for fast food, and some other stuff. Several right now are “safety” audits to make sure stores are following social distancing, wiping down displays, etc.
Financial Panther says
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I’ve been killing it with those “safety” audits also. Super easy to do. I do them while I’m doing deliveries, so they fit in perfectly.
I haven’t seen the online shopping stuff, but I should keep an eye out. If you’re willing to share where those secret shops came from, let me know.
The online shops were through Ipsos. Once you get in their system (if you aren’t already) you get a lot of opportunities in email that don’t otherwise show up on the online job board, unless I am just not looking in the right place.
Which leads me to…
You weren’t kidding about the web UI for many of these shop companies being – shall we say – a bit behind the times. A lot of them share the Sassie platform from what I’ve seen, and it can be a bit confusing to get the hang of.
Since I wrote my last comment, I am over $200 in shops (some have paid already, but most still pending). Not bad for about two weeks of side-work. I work from home so if I can go out and get a free burger for lunch and maybe knock out another easy shop, why not?! I would imagine once things finally start improving with COVID, there will be a lot more opportunities for in-person dining and other things.
Financial Panther says
Yeah, before Covid, I was doing an unhealthy amount of free food at good restaurants. Literally 15-20 free meals a month.
Jason Waldrip says
You forgot GigSmart.
FYI, the Google Opinion App is evidently now just a store credit on the Google Play store so no more cash payments via paypal. Thanks for all the great info
Financial Panther says
Ah, that’s a bummer. I guess I must be grandfathered in on the old plan.
Citizen Upgrade says
I suggest you add http://www.upwork.com and http://www.fiverr.com to your list of freelancer apps. I’ve been dabbling with both over the past year or so with some success! Wide range of professional & creative services can be offered on both platforms.
Any of these side hustles that can be done in Japan? We’re in a smaller city an hour south of Tokyo.
the Weasel says
Great stuff, FP!
I was surprised to not see Freelancer, Fiverr, and UpWork on the list. Was there a reason you chose not to include them, or … ?
Financial Panther says
No reason. Just not that familiar with them, but I should probably add them to the list.
FP, thanks for putting together such an informative guide! I signed up with the marketing survey sites, focusing on User Interviews first. After going through the “screening” process for 9 surveys and being rejected for all, I have become suspicious of their model. The screening questions are actually gathering valuable information about my habits and preferences and tied to my demographic data. I’m a former marketing exec and this is information we used to pay to get about our target customers. I think UI is helping their customers collect marketing insights binder the pretense of screening potential respondents. Beware UI!
FP: just thought you should know that NCP-Recap was purchased by CoinOut in 2021 and is no longer functional.
Financial Panther says
Thanks. Yeah I noticed that NCP Recap wasn’t good for scanning receipts anymore, but thanks for reminding me. I’ll update the post.
Thanks Kevin for this. i have been reluctant on doing side giging but 2022, i have been very aggressive to do the very best i can. I used to do the bank bonus hustle until i took a break last year, but this yeah… i have 5 lined up so far. And i downloaded some of your apps for surveys. Branded Survey is on point and with their bonus system, im crushing it. My gf is doing instacart and i get to ride with her after my corp work and i do my premise tasks. Im looking to to sign up for Medical courier delivery as well. Appreciate you sharing all this. cheers!!
Thanks for this, quite helpful! You’ve done the research for me. It’s been trying researching apps installiing,, registering, uploading documents or onboarding just to find out it’s not the right fit for me. You’ve summed them up quite nicely! I’ve done thedoordash, instacart, uber eats for four years solid now …but recently wanted something different so I started venturing into more of the independent Courrior field. There are a few app based companies where you sign uo pass a background and then you can start accepting courrior jobs ( pick up at specified location drive it to specified drop off location) super easy upload a pic when finished and your paid out immeadialty into your bank account! They pay much better per run than a food delivery app does, ranging from( $30-$150 per delivery) of course I’m traveling further but I get better has mileage than the short stop and go, ive found it to be a nice change. Problem being I’ve really only found 2 apps for this , I use them daily and average anywhere from $80-300 in 6-8 hrs .I would really like to know of more options in this field. I could really be efficient, if i had a few of these types of apps and could find a delivery to take on the way back home each time as well therfore paying me for both ways traveled. Anyone know of any on demand courrior apps available? , there got to be more than the 2 I’m currently using. Thx!
Soggy P says
What are the two courier apps that you are using?
Elle Hella says
Does anybody have a referral code for DRAIVER?