What Users Do: earn a Sideline Income Testing Websites

What Users Do: Earn a Sideline Income Testing Websites!

A few weeks ago in this post I discussed People for Research, a website that pays people to take part in consumer research.

Today I want to share with you another website that pays people to help companies with their research. What Users Do has some similarities with People for Research. Unlike PfR, though, it is entirely focused on website testing.

What Users Do recruits people to visit and test websites from home, and pays them £5 per test for doing so. Tests typically take around 15 minutes, so it’s not a bad rate of pay. A few longer tests pay more, up to £25 in certain cases.

To work for What Users Do you will need a microphone (or headset) to record your commentary. Some tests have to be done on a desktop computer, others a mobile phone, so ideally you should have both. There is no need for any particular technical skills, though.

How to Apply

The application procedure for What Users Do is quite straightforward. You start by filling in an application on this page of the WUD website.

You then have to download their proprietary screen-recording software and complete a short test with it. This involves visiting a sample website and recording a commentary mentioning any issues you can see with the site and how you think it could be improved. My own attempt at this was pretty stumbling, but I was still accepted without quibble.

Once you are on the panel, you will be notified by email any time a new website test is available for you. You can then click through the link in the email, answer the screening questions and – if you are accepted – proceed to the test itself.

Payment for all completed tests is made via the online payment platform PayPal. You are paid on the 25th of each month for tests completed the previous month.

What Will You Be Testing?

You won’t be surprised to hear that the sites concerned are wide-ranging. They include some well-known brands such as Channel 4, Virgin Atlantic and Asos, and others you probably won’t have heard of.

In each case you will be given detailed instructions by What Users Do about what they want you to do in your test. This may involve finding certain information or products on the website, checking the menu navigation, and so on. Clearly, whatever instructions they provide, you should follow them to the letter.

More Top Tips

Here are a few more tips on making the most of What Users Do.

  • You are likely to get screened out of quite a lot of tests with What Users Do. Often they have very specific requirements, e.g. if it’s a website about caravans they might only want caravan-owners to comment. This can be frustrating, but if you are patient and persistent you will definitely find tests you can do.
  • Tests fill up quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on your email. If an invitation pops up, click through to it as quickly as possible.
  • Depending on the quality of the tests you complete, you can expect to receive more and better-paying opportunities. So it really is important to give them your full concentration. This is definitely not something to do while watching the telly!
  • Speak slowly and clearly during the tests and try not to lapse into long periods of silence. Aim to describe exactly what you are doing step by step as you are doing it.
  • What Users Do run easy monthly competitions for panelists with cash prizes, and these are well worth entering as well.
  • Another way you can make money from WUD is by referring friends or colleagues. You will get a small cash payment once they have completed their first website test.

In my view What Users Do is another opportunity well worth adding to your sideline-earning portfolio.

If you have any comments or questions about What Users Do, as always, please do leave them below.



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Earn Extra Cash as a Mystery Shopper

Earn Extra Cash as a Mystery Shopper

If you enjoy going shopping, here’s a great opportunity to get paid for doing it!

In today’s competitive business environment, retailers are desperate to ensure that their shops and other outlets provide the best possible service to consumers.

To check this is the case, many now use mystery shoppers. These people visit stores anonymously – as ordinary customers, in other words – and report back on what they find. As well as physical stores, mystery shoppers evaluate websites and telephone services too.

Mystery shoppers are generally hired by specialist agencies rather than companies themselves. As a mystery shopper you will work for the agency on a self-employed basis and report back to them. The agency will pay you and (in most cases) reimburse the cost of any purchases.

This is a great opportunity for retired and semi-retired people who have some time available during the day. The work is generally interesting and enjoyable, and as well as being paid you will get a bit of fresh air and exercise as well!

Typical Tasks

Mystery shopping tasks are incredibly varied, but here are some typical assignments you may be asked to perform.

  • Visit a fast-food restaurant and order a meal. Time how long your order takes to arrive, check that the condiments area is well stocked, and visit the toilets to check for cleanliness.
  • Visit an electrical store and see how long it takes for a staff member to acknowledge you. Ask them about the different types of appliance they sell, rating their helpfulness and product knowledge.
  • Phone up a hotel and book an overnight stay, noting how easy the process is and how well the receptionist answers your queries. At the hotel evaluate the service you receive, how clean and comfortable your room is, the quality of meals, and so on.

Getting Paid

Payment rates vary, but you shouldn’t expect to earn a fortune. Although a few people do this as a full-time job, mystery shopping is best regarded as an enjoyable money-making sideline.

For a basic mystery shopping job that takes maybe 20 minutes to complete, you could expect to earn in the region of £8 to £12. Travel expenses may be paid on top of this (although by no means always).

  • One thing to bear in mind is that mystery shopping assignments often require you to make a purchase. This will normally be reimbursed, but the money may take several weeks to arrive. So if you can’t afford to be out of pocket during this time, this opportunity may not be for you.

In some cases, rather than a fee you may be offered a free or discounted product or service – a meal at a restaurant, for example. It’s up to you whether to accept such assignments. Obviously, a free meal at a nice restaurant is appealing, but you won’t make any money doing this type of job.

Where to Find Work

Mystery shopping is huge nowadays, and there are hundreds of mystery shopping agencies in the UK alone.

One leading company that works on behalf of many high street stores is Market Force. My fellow money blogger Emma Drew, a highly experienced mystery shopper, recommends Market Force as the first agency people starting out in this field should join.

To become a Market Force mystery shopper, visit their website and click on Register. You will be asked to enter some personal details and complete a short test of your spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Assuming you pass this – and it’s not exactly rocket science – you will be able to download their free app and start finding work near you. Then it’s just a matter of doing the jobs, filing your reports, and getting paid!

Some other mystery shopping agencies I have heard good reports about include Grassroots, Red Wigwam and Retail Maxim.

More Tips

Here are a few more tips for would-be mystery shoppers.

  • When you apply to mystery shopping agencies, they often ask you to write down why you think you would make a good mystery shopper. Saving this for your next application will save time in future.
  • Be sure to read any brief you receive carefully and fulfil the terms to the letter. This way you will avoid disasters, e.g. going to a shop on Monday and subsequently discovering you were required to visit at the weekend.
  • Try to schedule more than one assignment per day. If you’re making a trip across town for a mystery shop, check to see if there are any other shops nearby that also require visits.
  • Set aside time to make notes as soon as possible after completing an assignment, while the experience is still fresh in your mind. The more useful details you can provide, the better clients will rate you.
  • Don’t talk about your assignments. Most, if not all, mystery shopping agencies don’t allow you to mention their clients.

As mentioned earlier, for most people mystery shopping will be an enjoyable money-making sideline, but you can also save a lot of money on leisure activities by this means.

Mystery shoppers are also hired to assess hotels, restaurants, airlines, package holidays and even cruises – so if you enjoy travelling and eating out, you can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds on these activities. Naturally there’s a lot of competition for the most desirable assignments. Someone has to do them, though, and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be you!

If you have any comments or questions about this post or mystery shopping generally, as always, feel free to post them below.



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12 Great Sideline-Earning Opportunities for Over 50s from UK Money Bloggers

Twelve Great Sideline Earning Opportunities for Over-50s from UK Money Bloggers

Today I’m sharing a selection of posts from my fellow UK Money Bloggers. These are all sideline-earning opportunities that may appeal to older people. Of course, most are suitable for younger people as well!

1. Dog Boarding

This is a guest post by Francesca Mason on the Wiser Wealthier blog by Carl Lincoln. Dog boarding (and walking) is an unusual sideline, but getting started is easier than you think, and you will get plenty of healthy exercise too!

2. Mystery Shopping

This is a post by Pete Chatfield on his Household Money Saving blog. Mystery shopping is a popular sideline that may appeal especially to retired and semi-retired people with time available during the day. Pete’s post focuses on one of the better paying companies in this field called GFK.

3. Fiverr

This post by Kerry Marriott on her Money Saving Journeys blog reveals how you can make money offering ‘gigs’ on the popular Fiverr website. There are lots of possibilities for things you can do, and you can download a free Gig Planner worksheet via the blog.

4. Task Apps

Kaya La Roche wrote about this on her Earning by the Sea blog. The post describes a number of free apps you can download to your smartphone. Tasks are advertised via the apps – anything from photographing phone boxes to checking prices in a supermarket – and you receive a fee for each one you complete.

5. Get Paid to Shop

This post by Olly Cator on his Savvy Dad blog also features a smartphone app. It’s called Shopmium and can help you save money on groceries or even get them free. You get cashback on selected purchases, and can also make money introducing friends and family.

6. Ebay Buying and Selling

This post by Michelle Bailey on her Time and Pence blog provides a good overview of the various ways you can make money buying and selling on the world’s favourite online auction site. You can start off by selling things around your home that you no longer need.

7. Flower Arranging

This is another post by Michelle Bailey on Time and Pence. Flower arranging is an unusual sideline but it’s not a hard skill to learn and there are lots of potential outlets for your work. This could even become a full-time job if that’s what you want.

8. Blogging

And here’s a third post from Michelle Bailey on Time and Pence. Blogging can be a great home-based sideline for older people. It’s cheap and easy to get started, and you can easily fit it in around your other activities and commitments.

9. Prolific Academic

This is a post by Elle Finlay on her EL Feelgoods Vintage blog. Prolific Academic is a website that recruits people to take part in online academic studies and pays them for doing so. I am a big fan of Prolific Academic myself and have also written a blog post about them.

10. Selling Stories to Women’s Magazines

In this post on her Savvy in Somerset blog, Fiona Elizabeth Hawkes discusses a range of ways you may be able to make money from women’s magazines, from submitting true stories about dramatic things that have happened in your life to household hints!

11. Selling Items Around Your Home

This is another post by Fiona Elizabeth Hawkes on her Savvy in Somerset blog. In it she reveals some surprising items you may have lying around at home that could fetch a good price on online auction sites or local Facebook pages.

12. Working as an Extra

This is another post by Pete Chatfield on his Household Money Saving blog (see 2, above). It’s another one I have done myself (and posted about on Pounds and Sense). Working as a TV or movie extra can be a lot of fun, and while you won’t get rich the pay isn’t bad either. This is another good opportunity for people who are retired or semi-retired, or perhaps who are self-employed and can arrange their schedule around filming.

I will take the opportunity as well to mention my post on Pounds and Sense last year about Viewber. This company is still actively seeking people to assist local estate agents by conducting viewings when their own staff aren’t available. They pay at least £20 per viewing, plus travel expenses. Older people are especially welcome, and you don’t need to have any estate agency experience.

Thank you to my fellow UK Money Bloggers who submitted posts for inclusion in this round-up, and sorry I wasn’t able to use them all.

I do hope you enjoy exploring the links above and they inspire you to try out some new money-making sidelines in 2018!

If you have any comments or questions, as ever, please do leave them below.



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Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year from Nick at Pounds and Sense!

I do hope 2018 is a good year for you, and the year you achieve (or at least start to achieve) some of your financial and other ambitions.

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Once again, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.



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