These side jobs aren’t very complicated
If what you’re looking for in a side hustle is ease, you’re in luck: There are several options. But don’t expect them to pay you like a professional. Generally speaking, easy side hustles pay between a few bucks and $25 an hour. The easier the hustle, the less it pays.
The bright side of the easy, low-paying side hustles is that they can be done from your home, your car, an airport — anywhere you’ve got an internet connection and a few minutes to spare. Side hustles that pay more generously are still easy, but they do expect you to get off the couch.
Here’s where you can find these gigs and what they pay.
Out in the world
Work with pets: If you’re an animal lover and don’t mind a walk, you could make considerably more than minimum wage by signing on as a dog walker or pet-sitter. The pandemic pet-adoption craze is fueling huge demand for people willing to give homebound pets a potty break now that people are being called back into their offices.
Dog-walking and pet-sitting sites Rover and Wag enable freelancers to set their own rates and offer multiple animal-care services on their platforms. Pet sitters typically charge $15 to $25 for a 15- to 30-minute checkup or walk. Overnight pet-sitting, at your house or theirs, usually is billed at $25 to $50 per night. Even after paying a commission to the platform, these rates leave you with decent hourly wages.
Provide reviews: ProductTube is a consumer research firm that pays consumers to do two- to four-minute surveys and product reviews on video. The video is shot on your phone at home or in a store, depending on the assignment. Payments range from $5 to $35 per assignment and are made via Amazon gift card, usually within a few days of completing the assignment.
Check on buildings: Ivueit matches freelancers with businesses that want photos of their commercial property to check on maintenance or the status of repairs. Each assignment requires about 10 to 15 minutes to take photos and answer a short survey. Pay ranges from $5 to $32.
Charge scooters: The toughest part of charging scooters for Bird or Lime is picking up the scooters and dropping them off. Other than that, you plug the scooters into an electric outlet overnight. You get paid between $3 and $20 per scooter after you bring them back fully charged.
Opine: These jobs are few and far between, but if you happen to be picked for a focus group, you’ll generally get paid between $20 and $75 per hour. The best sites to find focus group work are Find Focus Groups and Fieldwork.
Wrap your car with ads: Several sites, including Wrapify and Carvertise, will pay you to wrap your car with advertising. Pay ranges from about $50 to $450 per month based on the advertiser and how much you drive. You bring your car to a designated shop to have it wrapped, then drive as normal.
Review books: The US Review of Books pays between $25 and $75 for book reviews. Because you’ve got to read the book before you review it, the hourly pay here is pretty low. But if you are an avid reader and would be doing that anyway, it’s a financial incentive for participating in your passion.
Answer questions: Most survey sites pay rotten wages, but some are better than others. Prolific, for example, works with major universities and research centers that study topics including politics and consumer behavior. Each study pays differently, but the pay and time commitment are disclosed upfront so you can choose the surveys you’re willing to do. Many surveys take only a few minutes, so you might only get 50 cents or a dollar per survey. Still, the pay range works out to roughly $6 to $12 per hour.
Prolific also does all eligibility screening upfront based on the profile you fill out when you join. That means you’ll never be disqualified from a survey after starting to answer questions, which is one of the main complaints with some other paid survey sites.
Surrender your privacy: A poorly paying side hustle that we do not recommend is Invisibly. This site acts as your agent, selling your private information to companies. The information they want to peddle ranges from your internet browsing history to where you bank.
Pay is estimated at $2 to $5 per month. All you have to do for that payment is allow the company to electronically spy on you. Of course, some companies are doing that already, often without the transparency that Invisibly offers. However, at these low payment levels, we don’t think it offers a good risk/reward trade-off.
Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.
The view from Sacramento
Sign up for the California Politics newsletter to get exclusive analysis from our reporters.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.