During the month of February, I discovered a sub-Reddit titled “Beer Money”. If you’ve never browsed around Reddit before, let me tell you – you can find basically ANYTHING you want on there, some of it funny, some useless but entertaining, things to make you think or wonder what’s wrong with people, or in this case – ways to make some extra cash. Plenty of bloggers and YouTube creators would call these “side hustles” – the Reddit crowd speaks of it as a way to get some extra cash to buy your beer for the month.
A side hustle can be pretty much whatever you find to make a few extra dollars every month. People drive for Uber or Lyft, sell items on EBay or Craigslist, do online surveys – you get the idea. While I was perusing the Beer Money sub-Reddit I came across an intriguing app called Field Agent. Some folks raved about it, some said they hated it but overall it sounded as if it was a good way to make a couple extra bucks. I decided to download it and give it a try.
Here’s my honest review of the app, and my results for the month of February. Just as a side note – there is no referral program for this app (as far as I’m aware), and I’m not endorsed/sponsored or affiliated with Field Agent whatsoever.
The company is described online as a “retail solutions firm” that “crowdsources shoppers’ smartphones to furnish consumer packaged goods, retailers, and agencies with in-store photos and video, retail information, and shopper insights.” Sign up is free, quick and easy. Once you’ve downloaded the app and created an account in which you’ll provide an email address and basic demographic information, you can view a map (and list) of “jobs” that are available in your area to be completed.
Each job will display a monetary value that you can receive for successfully completing and submitting all the info requested. If you find a job that is close by and of interest to you, all you have to do is reserve it and set off to complete the tasks assigned. Each job has a time limit however, and if you do not complete the job in the allotted time it counts against your “agent score”. Key point – do not reserve jobs that you won’t be able to complete in the time given.
There are several categories of jobs that you will be able to select from, and you can view as a list or as a map:
Examples of some of the jobs I’ve personally completed:
Walmart Customer Service Jobs: in this type job you will be walking a Walmart store and just observing how the store’s associates interact with you. You aren’t required to force the issue with employees, just note a few things: what department you’re in, did the associate acknowledge you and ask if you needed help or did they ignore you. You do need to be able to record the associate’s name, so pay attention to those name tags! A few additional questions may be asked, and you will need to provide a couple of photos of store sets, but overall very easy tasks.
Walmart In-Store Pickup Survey – Grocery: This type job is pretty straightforward – order groceries online (Walmart does have a $30 minimum for online grocery orders), provide a photo showing your order, then go to the stores and simply pick up! You will provide feedback on the order/pickup process and will need to take a few photos of the pickup location and another of your order after you’ve brought it home.
Note: Prior to trying Field Agent I had never ordered groceries online. Let me tell you – it is AWESOME! Simply click on what you need, pay online, and pick up at the store! It works great for budgeting – you see a running total of your bill as you add items to your order, so you know exactly what you’re spending. I’m sure that just like me, most everyone goes into the grocery store with a set list of items to buy, but invariably ends up grabbing “other” things that may not be necessities, which of course doesn’t help the Grocery line in your weekly budget.
Audits:– this is where I was able to find the most jobs to complete. Some of the most common that I see regularly are “Recycling” audits. All you have to do is drive around back of the store listed, find their large cardboard or plastic bales that they create and have picked up for recycling, count them and snap a couple of pictures. Simple as that. You’ll also find audits for particular sets inside a store – most recently I completed a “pre-paid wireless audit” that only asked if certain pre-paid phones were displayed and available on shelf, and for a photo of the set. Easy enough.
As you’ve probably noticed, a lot of jobs center on Walmart stores, so if you have several around your location you’re probably going to see plenty of jobs listed. One other tip – in many jobs you’ll see a line that says you can “Earn up to $X.XX more at this location” – this means there are multiple jobs available at that particular store, and if you can complete them all in one trip you can quickly stack your earnings.
Buy Try & Share: These jobs direct you to visit a particular store, purchase an item, and submit some photos and a brief review of the item being offered. Best news – you get paid for the job and in addition, you get reimbursed for what you spent on the item. Just make sure you SAVE YOUR RECEIPT because you do have to snap a photo and upload that as well to receive reimbursement. Some of the items I was able to buy:
- Downy Unstoppables In Wash Scent Booster
- Pillsbury Breakfast Waffle Sandwich
- Breakstone Cottage Cheese
- Burger King iced coffee Frappe
As you complete certain type jobs (Customer Service audits and pickup surveys) you can receive bonuses as well. Here’s the current bonus structure, per Field Agent’s website (I should be able to claim a free $10 by the end of this week):
- Approved for any 3 -$3 Bonus
- Approved for any 5 – $10 Bonus
- Approved for any 10 – $20 Bonus
- Approved for any 25 – $25 Bonus
- Approved for any 50 – $25 Bonus
- Approved for any 75 – $25 Bonus
- Approved for any 100 – $50 Bonus
In addition to the normal type jobs where you receive monetary rewards, there are “Ticket” jobs that are very quick and basic two or three question surveys for which you receive a ticket. Each ticket you build up in a month gains you an entry into a drawing at the end of the month for a monetary reward. The level of the reward depends on the number of tickets you have accumulated. For February, I had 8 tickets and the prize level was $500. I never expect to get that reward because odds are it will never happen, but why not take the chance? Maybe you’ll get lucky some day!
The biggest complaint that I have with Field Agent is the payout system. Most survey apps or other shopper apps like this can be linked to a PayPal account so your earnings are deposited there and can then be transferred to the account you choose. Field Agent (from what I have been able to find) does not offer PayPal as a cash out option. Once you are ready to cash out your earnings you will be required to enter banking information for funds to be direct deposited into an account. I’m not fond of giving my banking info out to random companies, but in this case it seems to be the only option. Good news – I submitted a cash out request and it was deposited! Nothing fishy going on in my bank account, so it does appear to be legit.
Results of my Month with Field Agent
So now the info you’ve been looking for – my earnings. Keep in mind that this is a total for the month of February, but I only downloaded the app on 2/14/19 and completed my first paying job on 2/17/19 so this in reality less than 2 full weeks of earnings.
23 jobs completed, 1 Failed (more detail below)
Total payment: $78.61
My one failed job was for an audit of the Oral Care section of a local Target store. The instructions stated that I needed to take photos of each section, from a straight on angle as well as answering several questions. I encountered a problem with this however, due to the fact that the aisle was so narrow that it was impossible to stand far enough back from straight on and take photos that showed the entire section from top to bottom. I instead took the photos at an angle and submitted them. I received an email from Field Agent saying my job was rejected for this one, because the photos were not in fact straight on as requested. At first I was a little miffed, but hey – I didn’t follow directions and it was rightfully rejected. I emailed back asking what should be done in cases such as this where the aisle was too narrow and did receive a quick response from support giving tips and suggestions, which was much appreciated. Instead of being upset about it I just decided to learn and move on to the next.
For complete transparency, here’s the complete breakdown, where you can see exact dates and job names that I completed:
Now looking at these totals, obviously don’t quit your day job to do this full time. But all totaled the above represents maybe a couple hours of “work”. If you’re shopping these stores already, why not try it out and get a little extra cash while you’re there? If your budget is tight, this might give a tiny bit of breathing room and sometimes that’s all it takes to start making a dent in a debt. Or hell, use this as “fun” money that doesn’t have to come out of your weekly/monthly budget. For my family, an extra $80 bucks might not go far, but certainly a couple of meals out that you don’t have to feel bad about, or a night at the movies can work wonders for morale.
Since discovering Field Agent, I’ve also found similar apps (Easy Shift and GigWalk) that operate on the same principle, although are much more involved and time consuming. But, payouts for those jobs is typically higher – right now I have one showing up near me on Easy Shift that pays $20-25 bucks, so those would really add up. Testing those out in March to see what I can earn and will report on them in a few weeks.
Have any of you out there found your successful “side hustle” yet? If so, I’d love to hear what you’re doing and how it works for you! We can trade ideas and who knows, maybe we can all pick up some extra dollars and keep busting that debt!
Hope you all have a great week, keep your head up and your debt DOWN!