Ever stop to count how many times you search per day? Try it. Then try this: getting paid for those searches.Sites like InboxDollars, Qmee.com and Swagbucks can turn casual research into cash money. The Bing search engine pays in points that you can trade for gift cards — which are as good as cash if you use them to buy things you were going to buy anyway.Understand: You won’t get rich. But if you’re out there searching, why not make it count?Qmee.com, the newest of the bunch, is actually an app rather than an engine. When you search via Amazon, Bing, eBay, Google or Yahoo, a Qmee.com panel may pop up to the left of the search results. It contains links that pay anywhere from 5 cents to $1, payable through PayPal.
Qmee results tend to appear when you’re searching for products or services (vs. queries like “What is the capital of Ecuador?”). Although I don’t often search for either category I’ve earned $3.25 in a few weeks.
“Clearly you’re not going to earn a living doing this,” says Qmee.com founder Jonathan Knight, who estimates most users will earn $10 or less per month. But he notes that “there are plenty of people who have to count every penny.”
The Swagbucks search engine randomly awards 7 to 59 points. These can be traded in for $25, $50 or $100 PayPal cards, which cost a point per penny, or for gift cards (more on that in a minute).
Doesn’t sound like much payback? Again: You’re online anyway.
“It’s not like it takes more time, and you’re adding incrementally to your bank account,” says Swagbucks co-founder Scott Dudelson.