Make Money by Turning Clutter into Cash
Okay so let me start out by saying one of the EASIEST ways to make money online is by taking surveys.
There. I said it.
Will it be a lot of money? Will you get a quick payout? Will you make money on every survey that you try?
No, no and no.
The reality of it is — you could start a survey, get 5 minutes into it, and then get bumped out under some disqualification.
Nothing wrinkles my britches like time wasted.
I mean, I can procrastinate with the best of them, but that’s totally my doing.
On the other hand, if someone else is wasting my time, boy does that annoy the heck outta me.
So why bother with survey sites? I mean, really — do we have time for that?
Okay, so if you’re open to trying out some really good survey sites, then check out this article.
If not, then ignore that last sentence.
Because I’m with you. Side hustling is sometimes a struggle. I participate in a lot of online money-making forums, and the general consensus on taking online surveys is not good.
Lots of people submit posts looking for suggestions on how to work from home, or how to make money online from home. And they specifically say “no surveys!”
I feel that frustration. But let me tell you about one you might be overlooking.
And this is not some smarmy way of finagling you into taking online surveys.
You’re too smart for that.
This is a site that actually does have the word “survey” in the title. But it’s much more than that. Really.
Because I’ve been making money through this site. And it hasn’t been by taking surveys.
I make money each month by sending them my garbage.
Yes, you heard that right — my garbage.
Junk mail. Advertisements. Sweepstakes. Retail fliers. Coupons. Bank offers. Car sale promotions. All that stuff you get in the mail every day that goes directly into your trash can.
But if you’re not taking advantage of this program, you are essentially throwing money away.
It’s called SurveySavvy.
Have you heard of it? And have you automatically dismissed it, just for having that 6-letter word in the title?
Well, you might want to reconsider.
Why You Should Give SurveySavvy a Try
When SurveySavvy first approached me with this program, I admit I was wary.
Why in the world would anyone want my junk mail? I mean, I didn’t even want it …
What would be in it for them?
But since I was a site member for several years and already knew SurveySavvy was legit, I delved into it further.
Note: This page includes affiliate links — which means I may receive some sort of compensation (at no cost to you) if you sign up or make a purchase through these links.
SurveySavvy Direct Mail Program
The company behind SurveySavvy (Luth Research) is interested in reviewing your junk mail. They use this information for market research to influence the development of products and programs around the world.
This means they’re looking for sweepstakes, advertisements, special offers, promotions, new product offers and even account statements.
How it works:
- Once a month, SurveySavvy sends you a packet that contains a set of instructions and four postage paid envelopes
- Each week, you collect any junk mail you or your family members receive through the mail
- At the end of the week, you place all of the mail into an envelope to send back to SurveySavvy
- You get paid $10 for each monthof participation in the program
Super easy, right?
It’s important to note that SurveySavvy does not sell your information to third parties, nor does it infringe on any privacy concerns you might have.
In fact, they urge you to black out any personal information that you feel uncomfortable sharing.
(More on this below … )
Other things to know:
- In order to receive payment, you need to send back at least 3 out of 4 envelopes per month
- You should only send back mail that actually belongs to your household (don’t go digging through your neighbor’s garbage)
- Each month you’ll receive a “cheat sheet” showing what items you can send back, and a handy calendar showing preferred return dates
- If you are late or miss a return date, just drop your envelope in the mail as soon as possible
How to Get Started with SurveySavvy
Click this link to register on the SurveySavvy website. You’ll need to join as an active member in order to be recruited into the Direct Mail program.
One of the ways SurveySavvy is able to match users to the best possible opportunities is by examining the preferred demographic. You don’t want to waste time working on a study that isn’t even geared toward your personality, location or lifestyle.
How SurveySavvy Maintains your Privacy
How YOU can Further Secure your Privacy
SurveySavvy recommends you black out or strike through any personal data you don’t feel fully comfortable sharing. There are several different ways you can do this.
When I first started collecting mail for the SurveySavvy Direct Mail program, I used a black Sharpie marker to strike through my personal data. It was something I already had on hand, and it basically did the job.
What specific information you choose to cross out is entirely up to you.
I chose to nix the following data:
- Account number (even if just partially listed)
- Reference or invitation number
- Available balance or credit
I don’t send back bank statements or credit card statements — because they’re not advertisements, and I don’t believe that information is any of their business.
I do send back balance transfer ads, but use a heavy hand to cross out as much unique information as possible. Also, for solicitations that include those balance transfer checks, I write VOID all over the dollar amount and signature sections.
A tool I recently purchased that makes the above so much easier than using a Sharpie is the Miseyo Wide Roller Stamp.
This stamp works exactly as you see below. It’s a handheld device that you roll across any piece of paper to cover up information you don’t want anyone else to read. It’s about an inch and a half long, and already comes pre-inked.
Skimmed to the bottom of this post? Here’s a quick summary —
In a Nutshell
- Many people make extra money online by taking surveys
- But you don’t need to take surveys to make money on the side
- SurveySavvy is an example of a site that offers way more than just surveys. (Another site like that is Swagbucks, which you can read about here.)
- You can help influence the development of new products and services by volunteering for market research
- Market research companies like SurveySavvy pay you for your opinions and also for your junk mail!
- Sign up with SurveySavvy to find out more about their Direct Mail program
Back to you
Are you currently a member of SurveySavvy?
Do you participate in their surveys or any of their other programs?
What are your thoughts on sending your junk mail to companies for market research?
What other types of research have you participated in for profit?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Robin is a full-time business professional who has worked in the insurance industry for over 20 years. She is also a personal finance blogger who shares her first hand experience with the struggles of money and debt. On Mastering the Side Jam, she focuses on ways to maximize efficiencies to make & save money, pay off debt, and live your best life.
She has been been featured on The Money Mix, Rockstar Finance, The Financial Diet and Women’s Money Talk, and has been quoted in various online publications.