Category: Top up your income

How to do Matched Betting for free

I started Matched Betting in 2009 and have made myself a tidy sum over the years. It is the most profitable of my money making side-lines, but it is also the most complicated. It takes a little time to learn and is definitely not something than can be rushed into.

Matched Betting is a way of taking advantage of the sign up offers that bookies lure you in with when you register an account and place a bet. However, as you will soon find out, it is not limited to sign up offers as afterwards come re-load offers as well as casino bonuses which can also turn a profit. It is done by carefully calculating bets with the help of spreadsheets and placing them in order to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome of the event that the bet is being placed on.

There are many websites that explain matched betting, including Oddsmonkey and Profit Accumulator which will guide you through the process step by step, have their own dedicated forums and some useful spreadsheets. But there is a monthly charge (around £18) to use these sites after the initial trial period.

However, it is possible to access the same information for free with websites such as Freebets 4 all and Matched Betting Blog. In the same way as the paid websites both of these sites contain; up to date lists of sign up and reload offers, simple oddsmatching tools and basic matched betting calculators.

Admittedly, the information is not as comprehensively laid out as it is on the paid websites and there are some missing features – for instance, the more advanced calculators, but you really don’t need these at the start of your matched betting career. Also, beware that these websites are funded by affiliate links and you may not necessarily want the bookies to know that you are clicking through from a website that is dedicated to matched betting. It is worth considering sending a donation to the owners of these websites instead.

You can also do this completely independently, as I did, by perusing the free information on the Money Saving Expert forum. All you need to start off is a bit of time to read through the instructions, and if you are feeling a bit nervous there is a questions thread for newbies here. When you have learnt the basics you can find a lot of the more complex methods in the forum. There is also Ultimatcher, a free spreadsheet which I have found invaluable in order to calculate my bets and to keep track of where my cash is.

There is a lot of money to be made in matched betting and I would definitely recommend investing some time in learning it. I completed all the sign up offers many moons ago and still bring in a minimum of £250 a month from not much effort at all. I know from reading others’ experiences that it is possible to make a lot more than this if you have the spare time to commit to it!

Thanks for reading!

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Ipsos UNEX international postal survey

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about the TNS Postal Survey which generated a lot of interest, so today I have decided to share my experience of the Ipsos UNEX postal survey with you.

I signed up for this survey last November and completed a training period of 4 weeks before joining the live panel. I have found that it is very similar to the TNS Postal Survey in the sense that it involves sending, receiving and recording mail; it differs, however, in other respects which I will highlight in this post.

UNEX is an international postal survey and involves sending parcels rather than letters. Every week panelists receive a posting pack in the form of a large cardboard box which contains: a posting schedule; pre-stamped parcels to send to other panelists (in my case one for each day of the working week) and a pre-stamped envelope to return any transponders to UNEX. Transponders are small electronic devices that track parcels as they move through the system.

Ipsos UNEX international postal survey

The pre-stamped parcels to send to other panelists include a transponder, a scrunched up sheet of brown paper and a short generic letter explaining that the parcel is a test item. As a panelist you will also receive these parcels and they have to be logged onto UNEX’s website upon receipt. I find it quite exciting to receive these just to look at the foreign stamps – some of them are very unusual! The website is extremely efficient and user friendly, it takes about 10 seconds to log a sent or received parcel.

UNEX operate a points based rewards system whereby each letter earns you 10 points for each logged parcel and good performance is rewarded with an extra 30 points per month. The points can be redeemed for gifts or gift cards in a dedicated online shop. I usually wait until I have accumulated 260 points and claim a 20 Euro Amazon gift card.

Whilst I doubt that the rewards are sufficient to cover the costs/hassle if you have to go out of your way to post/receive the parcels, I am sure that anyone who visits (or at least passes by) the Post Office daily and is in a position where parcels can be left in a safe place if necessary, would benefit from this survey. Join here. You can also visit their Facebook page here. If you are a member of this panel already, I would love to hear your experiences of it.

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Earn some extra income with online surveys

Whilst you are unlikely to make a fortune out of completing online surveys, there is still the potential to earn some extra income each month with very little effort. You may have heard that survey websites pay you pennies for a lot of work – and even screen you out after you have answered most of the questions; this is certainly true of some of them but there are still good ones out there. The following websites are those that I have found worth doing:

Prolific Academic – This is one of the highest paying survey websites. The surveys pay a minimum of £5 per hour and you are provided with an estimated completion time. The surveys are compiled by academics, cover a wide variety of topics and are usually interesting to complete. The only downside is that you don’t get any notifications and have to log on frequently to check for available surveys. They pay via Paypal or Circle. The minimum payment threshold is £5 but beware, you will be charged a fee if you withdraw less than £20. Join here.

Pinecone Research – This is my second favourite paid survey website. All the surveys pay £3 and take 10 – 15 minutes to complete. Occasionally they will also send out a product to trial and you will receive another £3 for filling in the follow up survey. From time to time you will receive an unpaid survey entitled ‘household questions’ – this is a pre-screening survey that usually takes less than a minute to complete. Recruitment is done through banner advertisements that appear sporadically on websites and occasionally through a referral link. Payment is made via PayPal or Prepaid Virtual Visa. See here for more information.

Global Test Market – These surveys pay an average of £1.20 and usually take about 20 minutes to complete. The payment threshold is approximately £30 and is paid via PayPal or in high street vouchers. By completing these surveys you are also automatically entered into their quarterly sweepstakes draw. Join here.

New Vista Live – The typical payment per survey is £1 and each survey takes around 15 minutes to complete. Payment is made by cheque and the payment threshold is £50. You are credited with £5 for signing up. Join here.

Populus Live – These surveys pay at least £1 each, the amount you receive at the end depending on how long you have spent completing it. The rate of pay is typically £1 for every 5 minutes spent. The payment threshold is £50 and payment is made by cheque, posted to you automatically. Join here.

One Poll – These surveys are short and sweet, typically paying between £0.10 to £0.30 each and taking 1-2 minutes to complete; you rarely get screened out. They credit you with £2.50 when you open an account and the payment threshold is £40 which is paid via BACS or PayPal. Join here.

Valued Opinions – reward you with up to £5 per survey. Occasionally there is an opportunity to join a focus group or trial a product. The payment threshold is £8 and you are paid in gift cards for Amazon or selected high street retailers. Join here.

Panelbase – pays between £0.25 to £10 per survey, each taking around 10 minutes. The payment threshold is £10 and you are paid via bank transfer or Love2Shop/Capital Bonds vouchers. You are credited with £3 when you sign up and occasionally there is an opportunity to join a focus group. Join here.

Ipsos – These surveys pay between 5p and £1.80, the higher paying ones taking around 15 minutes to complete. They pay via high street vouchers and the payment threshold is £10.  Join here.

Swagbucks – The surveys on this website tend to be quite low paying (approximately 40p for a 10 minute survey), so I don’t spend much time on them. However I find that it is worth logging in everyday to complete the daily poll, watch videos and earn points for using their search engines. Join here.

Branded Surveys – Like Swagbucks’ these surveys are very low paying, and not really worth doing, however it is worth having an account just to complete the daily poll and you can also earn points for clicking some of the links. Payout is 1,000 points ($10) and is done via PayPal. Join here.

All of these survey websites are free to join and the questions are usually very easy to answer – most of them can be completed whilst watching television or even whilst working in a role that permits personal internet access. The surveys come in handy to top up your cash and, whether you dedicate 20 minutes or 2 hours a day, you will soon see your earnings adding up. Many of the sites also reward you for referring a friend. It is worth keeping in mind, though, that these earnings are taxable.

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Kantar TNS Postal Survey – send and receive mail for free stamps.

Recent presentation pack and free monthly stamps.

This postal survey is conducted for Royal Mail by Kantar TNS; its objective is to independently monitor business and personal post that travels through the Royal Mail UK network and is rewarded with free monthly stamps.

The panellists tasks for the main survey are to:

  • Receive a weekly posting pack and prepare items, including letters and parcels, for posting.
  • Record items received from other panellists.
  • Post items to other panellists according to a weekly schedule.

This is rewarded with 12 x 1st class stamps and 4 x 1st class large letter stamps per month, as well as seasonal gifts including Easter chocolates, and diaries at Christmas. After completing the training period, and again after 6 months on the panel, panellists also receive a ‘presentation pack’ which includes approximately £10-12 worth of stamps.

It usually takes me 5 -10 minutes to prepare the items to send to other panellists, depending on how many there are. This varies a lot – some weeks I only have 3 letters to send; others I might have 10, including a cube for which it is necessary to purchase a label from the post office (the price of the label is reimbursed).

Aside from the main postal survey there are additional ways of earning income through the site, including the Unaddressed Mail Survey. This involves recording any junk mail received that has not been specifically addressed to you, including anything from takeaway flyers to catalogues. This pays £5 in Love2Shop vouchers for every three weeks completed.

There is also a Correctly Delivered survey that necessitates logging the number of items received on daily basis, plus reporting any ‘doorstepped’ items, for two weeks. This is rewarded with £5 in Love2Shop vouchers.

The latter two surveys are by invitation only, but I seem to be included in them fairly regularly. And in addition to all this there are prize draws; you could receive a randomly allocated ‘Golden Smart’ which will net you a cool £100 worth of vouchers.

As I live within 20 metres of a post box and visit the post office at least three times a week anyway, it is convenient for me to take part in the survey. I am not sure, though, that it would be worthwhile for anyone needing to travel to the post box and/or post office – the costs incurred would more than likely outweigh the benefits.

Out of the all the methods I use to top up my monthly income this is the one that pays the least. I continue with it, however, since it isn’t very time consuming and I don’t need to go out of my way to complete the tasks. I usually earn about £20-25 a month in stamps/vouchers if I do the main survey combined with the Unaddressed Mail and Correctly Delivered surveys.

You can apply to take part here. If you are responsible for receiving the post at work and your employers allow it, or you are a small business owner, please contact me at joraffe@daftgiraffe.co.uk. I will then send you a link which will earn us both £25 in Love2Shop vouchers providing you successfully complete the training period and become an active panellist. If you subsequently complete six months on the panel, you will receive a further £25 in vouchers.

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