Woman with laptop
Step one - Become a man (or woman) of mystery. If you love shopping and like the thrill of being undercover, becoming a mystery shopper might be the part-time job you've been waiting for.
Agencies such as tnsglobal.com
can pay around £30 a day. However, some do pay in vouchers or in goods rather than in cash.
Step two - It pays to talk. OK, we all hate being phoned up on spec by market researchers, but there are ways to reap cash for your opinions.
Online surveys are generally quick and easy to fill in and can pay up to £4 for a few minutes of your time. See pureprofile.com, valuedopinions.com
Alternatively, market research groups are prepared to pay up to £50 to people who are willing to spend a couple of hours at a focus group session.
Check your local listings for an agency near you, or try sarosresearch.com
As a note of caution, do not pay middlemen ‘membership fees’ for access to market research firms that conduct paid surveys. You can find those yourself by surfing the web for free.
Step three - Cash for answers. If you are good at web-based research and have a feel for general knowledge, check out issuebits.com
These internet businesses make their cash out of customers texting them with random questions. Before you can sign up as a researcher to answer these questions you will have to take a test. Vacancies are not always available, so it is wise to keep an eye on the sites.
You will earn roughly 30p per question, but experienced researchers say many queries can be answered in a few minutes and it is possible to earn good money while only working the hours you chose.
Step four - Become a home-working tycoon. For the really big cash, why not put your previous corporate experience to good use and try solving problems for big businesses?
On offer are literally hundreds of thousands of pounds for aspiring tycoons or boffins who can solve problems from extracting silver from ore in an Argentinian mine or finding a viable site for a new hotel. See innocentive.com
for more details.