We can all use a little extra cash.
And since many of us spend so much time scrolling anyway, you might as well leverage those fingertips and turn them into ways to make money from your phone.
There are tons of apps, tools, and resources to help, but it can be hard to figure out which ones are a good — and profitable — idea and which ones are a complete waste of time.
If you’re in this boat and struggling to breakeven, worry not.
We’re going to look at 11 of the best ways to get paid to use your phone, as well as some steps you can take to make it happen.
Let’s get into it.
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11 Best Ways to Make Money from Your Phone
1. Sell Your Old Stuff
Do you have some old clothing, furniture, or books you could do without? (Or anything, for that matter!)
There are plenty of mobile apps you can use to sell them and pocket some extra cash. Let’s look at a few.
Use this app to sell tech and media like cell phones, games, DVDs, CDs, and books. It offers free shipping on all orders and speedy next-day payments for the items you sell. A cool feature is the ability to scan an item’s barcode and get an instant estimate of its value.
List your items for sale and Poshmark will pay the postage. You can even host a party where you and your friends list similar items together. Keep in mind that listing is free, but you’ll need to pay a fee when you make a sale. For items less than $15, you’ll be charged $2.95. For items above $15, you’ll be charged 20%.
This app is part Craigslist, part thrift shop. This app is for local sales only and you can’t accept payment through the app, so you’ll need to arrange the actual sale with your buyer.
2. Trade-in Your Old Stuff on Amazon
Here’s another option for making money from your phone that involves selling belongings that you don’t need anymore. This option doesn’t earn you cash, but it can earn you gift cards.
Amazon has a great trade-in program that lets you send in tech items like Amazon Devices, video games, phones, accessories, and more.
If your item is eligible, you’ll receive an immediate offer for an Amazon gift card or a promotional credit toward the purchase of a new device.
There are no fees, and Amazon will cover the shipping costs and send you a free shipping label.
3. Use an Investment App
While you might be looking for some extra money right now, one of the best decisions you can make is to set yourself up for the future, too.
There are some awesome investment apps out there that can help you with making money from your phone today, while also growing your value as you get older.
Let’s look at a few of the top investment apps.
Built for people who want to take control of their finances, Betterment is a mix of investments and savings. You can use the app to set goals, then create a customized investment plan that will help you to reach those goals. If investments give you a headache, you can set up an automatic monthly deposit and forget about it.
This app is a great way to start investing without ever noticing the difference. It does this by automatically rounding your purchases up to the next dollar and depositing that amount into your investment account. You can also earn extra cash toward your account by shopping with Acorns’s select partners.
Robinhood has gotten a lot of media attention lately. This app is often used for more complex investments, like trading stocks and funds. You’ll get access to “fractional shares,” which means you can invest for as little as $1, as opposed to buying a full share of what you’d like to invest in.
4. Sell Your Data
For some people, the thought of installing an app on your phone and “selling” your data is a bit of an invasion of personal privacy. But if you don’t think so, this is one of the ideal ways to make money from your phone without having to do any extra work.
For example, Nielsen is one of the biggest market research firms in the world. That’s why they’d love to see what you do on your phone — and they’re willing to pay you for it.
With Nielsen’s Computer & Mobile Panel, all you need to do is download a secure mobile app. That’s it! The app will track and record how you use your phone, giving the company the valuable market research data they need.
When you sign up, you’ll earn up to $50 in points for gift cards.
5. Be a User Testing Participant
Brands want to know what people think about their products and services. And some of them will pay you to tell them your thoughts.
UserTesting is a company that helps brands get this valuable feedback so they can continue to make their offerings better.
According to the website, participants can earn $4 USD for a 5-minute user test and $10 for a 20-minute user test. For live interviews, you can earn anywhere from $30 to $120.
To sign up, you’ll need to answer some screening questions so that UserTesting can match you up with relevant products and services to test out.
uTest is another company to look into if you’re interested in user testing.
6. Fill Out Surveys
You’ve probably heard about surveys before. While they may not be the absolute best use of your time, they might be a good idea if you’re stuck in the house, on your daily commute, or waiting in line at the DMV.
Let’s look at a couple of popular survey apps.
This app rewards you for taking surveys, as well as other activities like watching videos, playing video games, and reading emails. In addition to getting paid cash, members also receive perks in the form of coupons and cashback for online shopping.
In addition to answering survey questions, you can earn rewards by sharing your web browsing data. Whenever you fill out a survey or provide data, you’ll earn points that you can redeem for gift cards or cash.
7. Sell Your Photos
Love snapping photos with your selfie stick? Maybe you fancy yourself a bit of an amateur photographer with your new iPhone. Taking a few attractive pictures could be all it takes to earn some extra money through apps like FOAP.
FOAP is completely free to use, and you can sell and resell the same photo as often as you like.
Photos sell for $10, and you keep half the sale ($5). You can create your own portfolio of potential stock photos for companies or submit your snaps to “missions.”
A mission is a task set by a bigger company in search of specific images. If you win the attention of the mission poster with your content, you can earn a decent amount of cash.
8. Run a Shopify Store From Your Phone
Did you know you can manage an ecommerce store from the palm of your hand?
That’s right — Shopify offers a mobile app that lets you access everything required to manage your store from your phone.
You can use the Shopify app to add products, manage inventory, fulfill orders, compare sales channels, talk with customers, and even keep revenue levels in check.
Although you may need to set up your store on a desktop initially, once you've got your store up and running, you can use the Shopify mobile app to run your day-to-day store operations when you’re on the go.
Interested? Learn more about Shopify mobile commerce here.
9. Earn Rewards for Playing Games
There are thousands of games available on today’s smartphone app market. While most will just give you a way to spend your time, there are some apps out there to help you earn money while having fun too.
Mistplay, for instance, is an app that lets you earn rewards for playing games on your phone.
In Mistplay, you play and level up in games to earn Units (MistPlay’s in-app currency). Then you redeem Units for gift cards to companies like iTunes, Amazon, and Best Buy.
There’s a variety of genres on offer, including survival, card, puzzle, adventure, and strategy games.
10. Get Paid for Walking
Most of us walk a lot already – whether it’s taking a stroll with our dog or just commuting to the office.
Sweatcoin is a handy app capable of converting each step you take into “sweat coins.” While you can’t withdraw the coins to your bank account, you can save and convert them into goods and services. Rewards range from audiobooks and athletic wear to headphones and technology.
There are more than 300 brands connected to Sweatcoin right now, with new partners joining all the time. It’s a great way to save some cash while getting fit.
11. Earn While Protecting the Environment
Why not make your wallet and the world a little greener at the same time?
Cleanspace is a fantastic app that offers freebies and discounts to people who protect themselves and the environment.
The app works with the Cleanspace tag, a tool that links to your phone via Bluetooth and monitors the levels of carbon monoxide around you.
For every mile you run, cycle, walk (or avoid adding to pollution in any way), the app offers freebies and discounts. The app can intelligently figure out how you’re getting around just by checking the immediate environment around you. Neat stuff, right?
Summary: How to Make Money from Your Smartphone
Your smartphone offers a lot more than just opportunities to take photos and check in on friends.
With the right strategy and apps, you can make extra income with your phone doing a bunch of easy tasks. Most of these tasks are things you’re already doing in your daily routine. So, it’s easy to start making money and getting paid consistently.
In summary, here are 11 ways of the best ways to make money from your phone:
- Sell things you no longer use.
- Trade-in your old stuff on Amazon.
- Use an investment app.
- Get paid to share how you use mobile.
- Be a user testing participant.
- Fill out surveys to earn extra income.
- Sell your images.
- Run a Shopify store from your phone.
- Earn rewards for playing games.
- Get paid for walking.
- Earn while protecting the environment.
Know other ways to make money on a phone? Share them in the comments below and help others pocket some extra income.