Money-making, Product Testing, and Free Sampling


Sometimes, a person doesn’t feel like doing anything. I’m certainly no exception to this reality, though it’s not often that I feel all together lackluster and unmotivated. When these situations do arise, however, I find it’s best to hunker down and ride them out. The results of this are usually mixed, though generally not negative.

During one of these recent occasions, I found myself browsing the interweb for easy ways to make money. Yes, I know easy money usually comes with strings, but I was feeling incredibly lazy and easy sounded terribly appealing. I wasn’t expecting to find much, and I didn’t really find reliable ways to make a living, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I did find.

This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclaimer here.

Dig a Little Deeper

I’m sure many of you have either heard of or checked out for yourself some of the many online panels and survey sites. These sites promise you’ll get all sorts of rewards and brag about all the people who have made 1,000s of dollars a month through them. What they don’t mention is how much of a commitment it would take to get to that point.Survey

I spent some time looking through sites such as these, but it didn’t take long for me to lose interest. I’ve done the whole survey thing before, and it’s incredibly boring, so I decided to look for more unique ways to make money. I also searched for ways to save money and get free stuff because why wouldn’t I?

There weren’t any get rich quick schemes (not that I expected any), but I did find a few ways to make some pocket change and save money. Some of them have already paid out, while others seem promising but have yet to prove themselves. I thought I’d lay out my results for you and let you decide if any of them are worth your time.

Genuinely Positive Results

Many of the programs I found not only offer ways to make cash but also ways to earn prizes and free products. This is simultaneously awesome and frustrating, depending on what you’re looking for. I’ll try to make clear what each one offers.


I started using Ibotta about three weeks ago and have managed to cash out over $20. This might not sound like much, but it is considering how little shopping I do. That’s how you earn money, by the way; you buy everyday items (milk, bread, eggs) and upload your receipt to the app. IbottaThe app also offers rebates for shopping at online retailers, which is awesome for those who don’t like to leave the house.

You can cash out when you have $20 in your Ibotta wallet. The app offers both cash and gift cards, though the only way to get cash is through PayPal or Venmo. The gift card selection is decent and includes restaurants, clothing stores, grocery stores, and mass merchandisers.

What I like most about Ibotta, however, are all the bonuses it offers. I got an extra $10 simply by buying an item I needed anyway within the first week of having the app. Considering the item cost less than that, I’d say it was a pretty good deal.

If you’d like to try Ibotta, click here.


Before I talk about Influenster, I’d like to point out that it’s is a product-testing company, not a way to make money. Now, I’m going to be honest, I had almost no faith it would work when I first started using it.Mane Magic VoxBoxYou can imagine my surprise, then, when I got an email saying my Oasis VoxBox was in the mail. I was even more surprised when it actually arrived.

Several goodies were inside my VoxBox, including a full-size bottle of foundation from CoverGirl, fruit roll-ups from Welch’s, and a bottle of Mane Magic hair primer from Eva NYC. The products weren’t life-changing or anything, but they were free, so who cares?

You’re not guaranteed to get anything through Influenster, but the more active you are on their platform, the more likely you are to be selected. For me, it was simply a matter of filling out the short “snaps” they have. Snaps are simply little surveys that help match you with the products they’ll be sending out. As much as I dislike surveys, these are worthwhile.

If you’d like to try Influenster, click here.


Crowdtap is another product testing company, but it also offers ways to earn gift cards. Thus far, I’ve received two $5 Amazon gift cards (with another on the way) and a package of Twizzlers. As with Influenster, you aren’t guaranteed to receive any products, but applying is straightforward and simple to do.Twizzlers

Earning gift cards is as simple as answering questions, uploading photos, and commenting on products. The idea behind Crowdtap is to connect consumers with companies, so if you stay engaged, you should be able to earn a large amount of points. Then, each time you pass a certain threshold, you earn a gift card. It’s simple, and it works.

If you’d like to try Crowdtap, click here.


I’ve had a Swagbucks account for almost a year, but I forgot about it for quite some time. Much to my surprise and delight, my account still existed and had points in it when I logged back in. I liked this program when I first signed up with it, and I like it even more now.Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a multi-faceted program that offers a plethora of ways to earn points, which can be redeemed for gift cards or cash. Depending on your level of commitment, you could easily make a lot of money through Swagbucks. I’ve gotten around $20 worth of gift cards in the short amount of time I’ve spent on it, and I don’t participate in a lot of the activities it offers.

The reason I choose not to participate is because a lot of the activities involve signing up for free trials, which would require cancelling them at a later date. I’m not always great at remembering to do so, and I don’t want to end up paying for something I don’t need or want. However, if you’re capable of remembering, these would most likely be worth your time.

If you’d like to try Swagbucks, click here.


I know I said earlier that I don’t like survey sites, and I generally don’t. Yet, not all of them are created equal, and not all of them force you to rely solely on surveys in order to make money. Many of them know the importance of offering other ways for you to make money. They also realize that surveys need to be worthwhile if they want anyone to bother with them.

Qmee is one such site. Yes, you can take surveys if you choose, but you can easily make money in other ways. I’ve made a few dollars by going about my usual business online. You earn money through searching, clicking on the suggestions Qmee gives you, and shopping on sites that have partnered with their program.


A quick word about the surveys Qmee offers. They’re generally short and they offer a decent amount of money for each one. When it comes to survey sites, this is one of the few I have been able to handle without getting fed up completely. However, this still isn’t my favorite way to make money with them.

Speaking of money, Qmee is the best when it comes to cashing out. You could have as little as $0.01 and you’d be able to cash out. This is essentially unheard of when it comes to survey sites and the like. It’s also why I I’m such a big fan of it.

If you’d like to try Qmee, click here.

Free Samples are the Best KindFree Stuff

If you’re less interested in making money and more interested in getting free stuff, then you’re in luck. It’s surprisingly easy to get free samples sent to you in the mail. All you do is search for them. The amount of results is overwhelming, to say the least.

Your best bet when it comes to free samples is to look for specific sites, such as Freeflys. These sites do the hard part for you and compile lists of what free samples are currently available. They connect you to the available options, so all you must do is request the items.

Odds and Ends

I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to money-making, product testing, and free sampling. I will certainly have more. For now, however, I’d like to talk about some important things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, be smart about what personal information you give out and who you give it out to. For instance, if you’re requesting a free sample, you shouldn’t have to include a credit card number. You also shouldn’t need to include a phone number in most cases, unless you choose to do so.

You should also pay attention to how much time you’re spending on any of these things. If you’re spending hour after hour working on them, you’re losing value instead of gaining it. One way to save time is by using an automatic form filler.

Overall, remember that none of these are going to make you rich. They’re not a substitute for actual work, and you shouldn’t try to make a living through these things. It’s up to you how much time and dedication you put into them, but try not to waste your life sitting in front of a computer. There’s a big, beautiful world waiting for you.

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