Many companies, such as J. Crew, Express Jet, 1-800-flowers, and even the IRS, outsource customer-service operations to third-party companies who then hire home-based workers or "agents" to take calls and orders. When you call 1-800-flowers, you may be speaking with Rebecca Dooley, a retired police officer and employee of Alpine Access, a major call-center service. When you dialed the number, your call was automatically routed to Rebecca's spare bedroom in Colorado.
You'll have to leave your house for this one, but hospitality consulting firms like Coyle rely on secret shoppers to evaluate their clients' services. Sign up to be an evaluator and you could get paid to receive spa treatments, dine at restaurants or stay at a hotel. There are lots of opportunities in other fields, too, ranging from entertainment (hello, amusement parks!) to automobiles. However, watch out for scams; check the MSPA for a list of legitimate mystery shopping companies. Earning potential: About $10 per hour
If you’ve got some free time and don’t live in the middle of nowhere, becoming a Lyft driver can be a very lucrative side hustle that allows you make money fast. And right now, they’ve got a promotion going on where any new driver will instantly get a $300 bonus after completing their 100th ride. If you start now and hustle hard on the weekends, you can probably unlock that bonus within a few weeks of driving (and that’s in addition to your normal earnings).