Three Easy Ways to Make Extra $$$

Extra cash

In these tough times everyone is looking for ways to make some extra money. "GMA" financial contributor Mellody Hobson explains her three favorite simple ways to bank extra bucks.

ChaCha

There is this new service out there that is all the rage, ChaCha. In its first year of service (2008), it already had 3.5 million unique mobile users. I absolutely love it, and I have run into so many people that swear by it.

ChaCha is for people on the go who need answers to questions right away. You either text (242242) or call ChaCha (1-800-2ChaCha) with your question on just about any subject, and then ChaCha sends you back the answer almost instantly. This is remarkable considering that they get approximately 15 million questions a month.

The exciting money making opportunity here is that you can actually answer questions for money. ChaCha calls these people guides.

There are currently 55,000 guides in the ChaCha network. The process for becoming a guide is pretty straightforward. First, you must decide which type of guide role best suits your interest. There are four types of guides: generalist, specialist, transcriber, and expeditor. Then you have to pass a compatibility assessment for the role you choose. Next, ChaCha puts you through training, and finally you take a role readiness test.

Money in the Bank:
Guides are paid on a per transaction basis, with most guides making about $3-$9 per hour. The payment for each answer is based on the accuracy and category of the question, your role, and your productivity.

The best part about being a guide is that you can logon whenever you want and you can answer as many questions as you want. There are no minimum work requirements.

Special Equipment Needed:
You will obviously need a computer to logon and answer the questions, and it will need to have at least 512mb of memory, which is not uncommon for most computers sold today. You will also need a high-speed connection. Other than that all you need is your brain power and some time.

Mystery Shopper

Yes, you can actually be a mystery shopper. According to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, one of the largest professional trade organizations dedicated to mystery shopping, there are more than 1 million mystery shoppers in the U.S. Mystery shoppers are hired by third-party companies who have been contracted by retailers to critique their businesses.

These third-party companies hire people like you and me to go into restaurants and stores to evaluate the quality of the product and the quality and efficiency of the service. The specific retail location itself is not aware that you are a mystery shopper, so you can have an unbiased shopping experience.

How To Become a Mystery Shopper
There are literally hundreds of companies that do mystery shopping. The first thing that I would do is research mystery shopping companies and determine which companies appear to be legitimate. The MSPA is a good resource for finding legitimate mystery shopping companies. Some of the more reputable sites out there are marketforce.com, sinclaircustomermetrics.com, and trendsource.com, just to name a few.

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