“Get paid to” programs (or GPTs as they are often called) are one of the many ways that freelancers can make money from home. If you’ve been looking for a work at home job, you’ve no doubt run across ads that claim that you can make money by reading e-mails, answering surveys and trying free samples. The good news is many freelancers make money doing those exact things. The bad news is that this particular industry is rife with scammers. If you are interested in getting involved with GPT programs, you’ll have to do your homework and take special precautions to protect yourself and your computer.
It should be noted that very few people make full time income from GPT programs. Like mystery shopping, GPT should be used as a supplemental income source at best. For many freelancers, the GPT programs are a fun and easy way to earn some extra money when they need it. People who have experience with the programs recommend that you never rely on GPT to pay your monthly bills. But they can be a perfect solution to earn money for a special occasion or holiday shopping.
Just what are GPT programs? They fall into three basic categories: get paid to read e-mail, get paid to fill out surveys and get paid to try products. Each type has its own pros and cons. Before you start any GPT program, you should take some steps to protect your personal information. You will be required to give your personal information for many of these programs and the less you actually say about yourself the better.
To start you should register a separate e-mail address for your GPT purposes. Many programs can result in a lot of spam mail, so you’ll want to keep your main e-mail address separate. You can also register with NetZero to get a free voicemail inbox and private phone number. This is helpful in keeping your home phone free of telemarketing calls.
Get paid to read e-mail programs will pay you a few cents for receiving e-mail and clicking on links. Normally these e-mails offer special deals on products or encourage you to sign up for programs. Sometimes, depending on the e-mail program, you will get more money or “points” if you try the offer. You are not obligated to try the offers, and will get paid a small amount just for clicking on the link inside of the e-mail. There are many popular paid e-mail companies. Do some research before you sign up for a program to make sure that people are actually getting paid. Try not to sign up for too many programs at once or your GPT e-mail address will be swamped.
Getting paid to fill out surveys works in a similar way. You will sign up for a survey program and then fill out some personal information. You will be matched to surveys that are looking for the opinions of people in your income bracket, of your age or one of several different qualification factors. Depending on the company, you will get paid per survey, or completing surveys will earn you points that can later be redeemed. Just as with get paid to read e-mail programs, do research on survey companies before you sign up. There are hundreds out there but only a handful are worth the time and effort.
Finally there are get paid to try products programs. These programs pay significantly more than the other GPT programs. However, you will be required to pay anywhere from $1 to $10 to try the products. When you use these kinds of programs, you have to be careful to take complete records of what you will be receiving and when you need to cancel service or return the item. Most of the time you will be registered for recurring billing for a monthly service, which can be cancelled within the initial 7 to 14 days. You can call the companies and cancel the service, yet still be paid for signing up for the GPT program.
Remember that GPT programs are a great way to supplement income but are not something to be relied on for monthly bills.