Feeling strapped for holiday-shopping cash? 10 Ways Canadians can Make Extra Holiday Cash

Feeling strapped for holiday-shopping cash? 10 Ways Canadians can Make Extra Holiday Cash

We have almost completed our Christmas shopping (maybe a few little gifts to buy), but many of our readers have shopping to complete that I wanted to share ten ways Canadians can make some quick holiday cash:

1. Use cash-back websites for online shopping.

Ebates.com and Great Canadian Rebates give you back a percentage of your purchase and have many bonuses this holiday season when you buy from select online retailers, including Expedia,Indigo, Sears, Dell Canada, and The Source.

As an added bonus with EBates at the moment, new signups get a $10 gift card.


2. Sell your old books.

At Amazon Marketplace, just enter the ISBN number for each book you want to sell to see how much each is worth. Textbooks, non-fiction and business books are most in demand. Get a check or deposit to your PayPal account in about a week.

3. Start Your Own Cleaning Business

My friend, Eddie, from Finance Fox, has created a website called http://passivecleaningincome.ca. He shares his experiences and shows that this is one of the easiest businesses to start.

The overhead cost is virtually non existent, and you certainly don’t need thousands of dollars to get started. In his first two years of operating his cleaning business it has generated over $47,000 in side income.

4. Become a contractor on Odesk.

oDesk is a site that allows companies and individuals to post a job listing for something that can be done through telecommuting.

You can be a writer, a programmer, a desktop publisher, a graphic designer, or even voice talent.

5. Sell your old dated gadgets.

If you have an old MP3 player, cell phone or digital camera taking up space in your house, check out Sell Your Electronics.ca or Gazelle.com. You basically enter a few details about your gadgets and instantly learn trade-in values.

Gazelle.com pays for shipping and you’ll get your money in a week. To trade in your gadgets for Best Buy gift cards in Canada, visit the Best Buy Trade-In Center.

6. Cash in your change.

Many people have so many coins around the house and in their cushions. Have you heard of Coinstar.ca? There is a 11.9% processing fee in Canada. Some retailers or financial institutions may choose to subsidize this fee where the machines are located.

Did you know a number of select TD Canada Trust branches provide free coin counters, also known as coin counting machines, for customers? Check out Dan Matan’s blog post on a list of coin sorting machines across Canada (different branches). I recommend just taking this change and using the self-checkout at your store for payment (much easier)!

7. Sell your gift cards.

Gather up your used and unused gift cards  and sell them back at sites like CardSwap.ca or Craigslist.org or UsedEverywhere.com.

Most gift cards have phone numbers to check the balance so it is easier to get a better return on a sale.

8. Be a tester

Many companies are willing to pay money to have their websites tested so they can understand what improvements could be made.

Here is a list of several companies that are often recruiting for website testers:

  1. TryMyUI – This company pays $10 per test completed with each test taking around 10 minutes to do.
  2. User Testing – You can earn $10 per test at User Testing, (Paypal).
  3. Userlytics – Userlytics will pay you $10 per test. (Webcam and a microphone required)
  4. YouEye – YouEye pays $12 per test paid via Paypal. (Webcam and a microphone required)
9. Teach a skill online

Teaching an skill online is a great way to make extra cash in your free time, and it is easy to get started. Companies may be looking for anything from having strong knowledge in a subject, all the way to holding a Masters or PhD.

If you are fluent in another language, here are some companies that are looking for online language instructors:

10. ING Direct $50 bonus.

When you switch your payroll to your THRiVE Chequing Account, you get a $100 Apple Gift Card (great to resell or use).

From now until December 31, 2012, when you open an ING DIRECT Account with $100 or more,  we’ll start you off with a $50 Holiday Bonus! So whether you open an Investment Savings Account, THRiVE Chequing, RSP, Tax-Free Savings Account, or GIC with a $100 or more, you’ll get a $50 head start.

Here is how easy it is:

  1. Complete the online Enrollment Form. Don’t forget to include the Orange Key  33994459s1 into the enrollment form.
  2. If you’ve opened an Investment Savings Account, RSP or GIC, write a pre-printed personal cheque, payable to you, for $100 or more for your first deposit. The $50 Bonus will be added to your first deposit.

Questions for ING Direct? Please call them at 1-888-464-8787 and experience the high level of service and courtesy you’ll enjoy as a Client.

You can also open your account over the phone.

Remember the Orange Key to get the bonus: 33994459s1

Bonus: Mystery Shop

Thanks to reader and fellow blogger Jon from Grown Up and Stuff explains the Mystery Shopper positions.

Another very easy way to get paid a little bit of extra cash is as a mystery shopper. The role sounds simple – you are essentially paid to do something that you might ordinarily do as a consumer (such as go for a meal at a restaurant, inquire about memberships at a gym or open a new bank account) but you are tasked with reporting back on how satisfied you were with the company’s performance. This isn’t just a “rate your experience from 1-5” type thing, the questions are more in depth and require you to give specific answers about who you spoke to, how you were treated, did they use the phrase “X” or “Y” and how could they have improved?

Compensation can vary from $5/10 for a phone call to $50 for meeting with financial advisors. Some will reimburse your travel expense too. The restaurant ones are the best – you are reimbursed for most of your meal AND get paid! There are a few programs across Canada but they can be quite elusive to find and there is an application process.

This is essentially a part time job, so if your answers aren’t good then they won’t bother using you again. A friend of mine introduced me to Lanla, and is where I do all of my missions. Missions are limited, and are snapped up fast – so it’s a good idea to frequent their website if you are interested! Good luck and happy shopping!

Any other ideas to earn some extra holiday cash?

Steven Zussino

Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog, CanadianTravelHacking.com.