The internet is a great place to spend time and money, but with a bit of creative thinking there are plenty of ways to make pennies and pounds online.
1. Auction sitesUnless you’ve been hiding under a desktop computer for the past 10 years you will have heard of eBay, the most popular auction site on the web, but there are others like eBid.co.uk out there as well. Top-selling items include CDs, DVDs and video games.
It’s a good idea to set up a PayPal account as this is the preferred method of payment, but you can read our tips, tricks and what to look out for to help you get set up. Alternatively sites like RentNotBuy.co.uk will let you advertise your stuff to hire out, rather than to sell it. In the process, you can make a bit of money without having to depart with your possessions.
2. Classified AdsIf you don’t like the risk of entering your items on an auction site then the traditional route of advertising at a fixed price is a better option.
The internet has taken over from newspapers and notice boards as the place to put classified ads. Gumtree and Preloved are two of the biggest sites where you can put up adverts of items you want to sell, complete with images and descriptions. Better yet, both are free to use. If it’s novels and CD’s you’re selling, try specialist retailers Greenmetropolis and Musicmagpie.
3. SurveysThere are few things more mundane than filling in a survey, but what if you got paid for it? There are a fair number of research agencies who pay a small amount to people who complete surveys online, all you have to do is answer the questions.
Do your research into the company first, some of the bigger ones are sites like Panelbase, Valued Opinions, and Toluna. You can expect to earn anywhere from £0.50 to £5 a survey.
4. Advertise yourselfIf you like to share your thoughts with the world on a blog site and you’ve got a few followers you could make money out of it.
Using Google Adwords you can put advertising on your site and make money every time people click on the ads. The more people click, the more you make.
5. Sell what you make onlineIt’s not just music and movies that can be sold online. Specialist sites like Etsy are designed for people with hidden talents like knitting and sewing.
This dedicated arts and crafts online store is US-based but operates internationally, and has a category for just about everything homemade. You can also sell things on eBay of course, or on Gumtree or Preloved.
6. Child’s playStyles may change but the one constant of children’s clothes is that they’re quickly outgrown. If you have lots of baby clothes and toys that you’re trying to get rid of, take a look at National Childbirth Trust sales.
Another good site is the community website Netmums, which has a classifeid section where you can advertise.
7. Photo salesBudding photographers can turn their hobby into a profit online. You can send digital photos to online agencies and, if they are used, you get paid.
There are lots of sites out there, many with tips on how to increase the chance your photo will be used. Search around for sites but you can start with Alamy.
8. Cashing inWhile many of us have moved from buying essentials in the high-street to buying online, not so many make money whilst doing it.
Cashback sites like Quidco and eCashback offer you money back by buying through them. Start with sites that give you instant cash just by signing up, such as Rpoints, which gives you £5. Better yet you can read our full guide to cashback sites and plan your shopping accordingly.
9. Staying mobileIf you haven’t heard about sites that buy your old mobile phones, then you’ve somehow managed to avoid their advertising. These sites offer anywhere from a few pounds to a few hundred for old phones, depending on the model and the condition.
The company will usually send you a pre-paid addressed envelope so that you can post the phone back to them, or you will be asked to send the phone in a jiffy bag to a freepost address. Popular sites include Envirofone and Mazuma, and remember to use registered post.
10. Switch your bankA lot of people may want to switch banks, but most consider it to be too difficult and time-consuming to be worthwhile, particularly with the paltry interest rates offered by most current accounts.
However, a number of banks including First Direct, a Which? recommended provider, offer you a cash incentive to switch, and you can do most of the work online. Easy money, and a better bank account - read our full guide to switching for more.