Money apps: using your smartphone to make quick cash - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Money apps: using your smartphone to make quick cash

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(05/20/14) - It almost seems too good to be true - getting paid to go shopping.

But it is true - and anyone with a smart phone can do it.

Apps for your phone can help you put cash right in the palm of your hand.

It seems like everywhere you go, we all have our heads buried in our phones. Why not put the phone to work for you with different apps that can help you make money?

We put three of them to the test.

"I’m looking forward to what it does and what it can bring financially to my family and me," said Trevais Walker.

In between jobs and with four kids, Walker could use a few extra bucks.

"Once you get them out of diapers, they got an appetite or something, they eat you literally out of house and home, anything that will help," he said.

Walker is going to school to be a teacher, and was working as a substitute in Flint - until they closed the school, and he was out of a job. So when we asked if he'd be up to teh challenge of trying these money-making apps, he was all in.

We decided to look at three different money-making tools. The search engine Bing - and two apps, Gigwalk and Iconzoomer.

First, we sat down with Bing. They have a rewards program that can earn you gift cards to Amazon, restaurants and even Toys R Us. All you have to do - is click.

Every time you search and click, you get a point - which gets you close to a gift card.

"Some of these thing I like, but also the kids like, Toys R Us gift cards, flowers, especially the restaurants," Walker said. "This is really cool, this is definitely a winner."

So far so good in our quest for fast cash.

Up next - Gigwalk. Gigwalk isn't your typical smart phone app - big brands use it to check out their products, or the competition.

They lay out a list of tasks to complete - like take a picture of a certain display in a store. If you do it, you get paid.

But we ran into a problem. Walker was using an HTC Internet phone - and the closest task was nearly 30 miles away.

His HTC phone wasn't going to work, but there were more options available to iPhone users.

On an iPhone, they wanted pictures of the Venus Family Restaurant in Grand Blanc Township.

We still wanted to try it out, so we went to the restaurant. When we tried to complete the task - it told us we had to wait an hour to be approved.

"If you got kids in the car, I can hear it now - they’re ready to eat pizza, they’re not ready to sit here an hour and wait in the car for me to take a picture for $7," Walker said.

Gigwalk does have a two step process. First - you have to apply to be a user. Then - you apply to each “gig” that comes up in your area, which can sometimes takes more then an hour.

Walker was expecting to take pictures on the fly, but “gigs” change by the day.

To use it successfully, you have to plan ahead.

Gigwalk claims it’s top shoppers have made $12,000 in just eight months.

Now to our third app - Iconzoomer. It's the same principal as Gigwalk, except they want pictures of our surroundings - such as what we're wearing.

Their website says companies are looking for insight into consumer trends.

They wanted pictures of Walker's sneakers, but the app kept crashing on his HTC phone. We tried an iPhone, and it did work, however - we had to wait to see if his picture will be approved.

"It seemed like it was fun at first, but it’s the wait really," Walker said.

In the end, there are a few takeaways from our experiment.

Walker really liked bing rewards.

"The Bing is less time consuming and more helpful for you," he said.

He liked Gigwalk, but wishes there were more options in the area. Iconzoomer had fewer options than the other two - not as many opportunities for cash.

At the end of the day, it's still easy money if you're willing to put in a little bit of time.

"I like the idea. It’s something nice, it’s helping bring more money to you wallet," Walker said.

Something else we learned - your success with some of these apps is based on what type of phone you have.

Smartphones like iPhones and Androids seem to work the best.
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