5 Simple Ways to Make Money Christmas Shopping

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You can make money Christmas shopping if you know what you're doing. I share some 5 great ways to make some extra cash during the Holiday season and beyond.

I hate going Christmas shopping. Heck, I hate shopping altogether, but I’ve accepted that it’s a part of life. It’s just something about fighting the masses to find something of value that gets to me. However, I like to find ways to turn things on their head so I can find value. With that in mind, I like to find ways to make money Christmas shopping.

That’s right – making money Christmas shopping. Some of these ways might require a little more time than others, but if you do it right you can potentially come out of the Christmas season ahead as opposed to regretting the amount you spent.

Ways to Make Money Christmas Shopping


Do you hate to shop or make money doing something you’re already doing? Me too. Below are five simple ways to make money Christmas shopping and put a little extra money in your pocket this season.

1. Personal Shopping


I’ve not done personal shopping before, but have several family members who have done so. It’s an excellent way to make extra money, especially if you’re efficient with your shopping time. You can charge either per hour or by the gig, though I’d tend to go with the per gig option as it could allow you to make more money in the long run.

This can be a nice little way to make money Christmas shopping because I know there are plenty of people like me who hate shopping. There are a variety of ways to get gigs doing this but have found that word of mouth tends to work best.

Don’t want to shop, but have no problem driving people around as they shop or are traveling to visit family and friends? You can drive for Lyft and make extra money in your free time.

Postmates is a suitable option if you don’t prefer to drive people in your car. You deliver meals with Postmates and can earn up to $20 per hour, on a flexible schedule.

Lastly, don’t overlook Swagbucks or Ibotta when doing your own shopping online. Both work with hundreds of retailers to provide cash back on your shopping.

They also both offer a bonus after opening an account and making a purchase of over $25: Swagbucks will give you a $10 bonus and with Ibotta you can get $20.

2. Mystery Shopping


If you’ve not done mystery shopping before the basic gist is retailers pay money for you to go to a store undercover and report on your experience. The payout varies from just paying for the specific service to a significant amount so it’s pretty variable.

However, with the season approaching it can be a nice way to make extra money before Christmas. If you can combine it with where you were going to go anyway then even better as you can kill two birds with one stone.

Jobs2Shop is a service that helps you find local mystery shopping opportunities. Each opportunity typically has you do a number of tasks from taking pictures of an item to doing price checks. You can expect to make up to $85 per shop with Jobs2Shop!

Like the idea of shopping, but don’t want to deal with mystery shops? You can also make money Christmas shopping (and year-round) buying groceries for people. The holidays are a busy time for many, making it more difficult to go to the grocery store.

You can make up to $20 per hour buying groceries for people with Instacart Shopper. You need to be at least 18 years old, able to pick up at least 30 pounds, and have a newer smartphone (Android 4.4/iPhone 5 or newer).

To make money with Instacart Shopper you’ll work as an independent contractor and use your own car to pick up and deliver groceries. You also get to set your own schedule in this role.

Read our guide on working for Instacart here to learn more about this opportunity.

If you like working with others and don’t mind shopping, this can be a terrific way to make money year-round and not just during the holidays.

3. Sell Your Old Gift Cards


How many gift cards do you have that you haven’t used? That’s cash you’re literally sitting on if you’ve had them for some time. Instead of letting them sit there and collect dust you can sell them for cash.

Make Extra Money by Taking Short Surveys
Taking short surveys in your free time can be an awesome way to earn extra money fast! The instant you finish a survey, Survey Junkie pays you in cash via PayPal. 6 Million users and an 8.9/10 Trust Pilot rating prove you can trust them.

With Raise you can sell your old gift cards for cash. Raise also sells discounted gift cards, but we want to make extra money…not spend it. If you have old gift cards lying around, sell them to make a little extra money this Christmas.

4. Taking Surveys


Have you ever noticed that many stores give out receipts that are a mile long? I hate those and they’re just a waste of paper in nearly all cases.

However, buried at the bottom of many of those receipts is a survey they want you to take. In many of those cases they’ll put you in some sort of drawing to win cash or a gift card.

Another option for surveys is taking them online by giving feedback on a shopping experience. You won’t get rich quick on them, but it can be a nice way to make a little extra money during the holidays.

Below are some of the best paid survey sites online:

Survey Junkie: One of the top survey sites in the space and they pay cash directly to your PayPal account, or in the form of free Amazon gift cards.

Pinecone Research: They pay $3 per survey and they pay by Amazon Gift Card, virtual Mastercard, or you can select from a variety of gift cards. However, if you’ve joined Pinecone in the last 30 days, your first redemption must be by bank transfer to verify your rewards account.

InboxDollars: Earn money for taking surveys, watching TV or making purchases online. Get $5 just for signing up.

Don’t like surveys, but like to earn cash back online? You can use a cash-back shopping portal like Ibotta. You can use Ibotta at the grocery store to get cash back, and they also work at over 350 retailers to get cash rebates.

They offer a $10 bonus when you sign up for Ibotta and can cash out once you hit $20. Check out our Ibotta review to read an in-depth review of how the app works.

You can make money Christmas shopping if you know what you're doing. I share some 5 great ways to make some extra cash during the Holiday season and beyond.

5. Selling Items on Ebay


We’ve sold a handful of items on Ebay in the past and made a little money doing so. If you have the time and can spot some deals you can make money Christmas shopping by snapping up the deal and selling the item on Ebay to make a profit. Just remember you do risk not being able to sell such items.

You can also sell items on Amazon. In fact, you can even turn it into a quality side hustle to earn money throughout the year. If you have an eye for a deal, you can make money on Amazon by flipping items.

The Selling Family offers classes and other great resources to help you launch a shop on Amazon and make money.

Don’t Go Broke this Holiday Season


The best way to manage Christmas expenses is to plan for them. You may not be able to this year, but starting now for next year can be a great way to avoid debt.

We budget for our Christmas expenses throughout the year in a high yield savings account like the one at CIT Bank as they pay .40 percent on your cash (higher than the national average), when you deposit at least $100 per month and start with a $100 balance.

There are many ways to make extra money on the side, if you put your mind to it. If you need extra money to make ends meet, or simply want a new side hustle, you can make money Christmas shopping to put more money in the bank.


What are some other ways you can think of to make money Christmas shopping? Do you set a Christmas shopping budget? Would you ever pay someone to shop for you?


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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • Myles Money says:

    I can’t say I’m a big fan of shopping anyway, but being forced to listen to The Little Drummer Boy everytime I hit town from late September till the end of the year is a real turn-off. Is it me, or does Christmas get earlier every year?

  • Nicola says:

    I’ve never heard of personal shopping before – I’d love to do that for someone! I wonder how I’d go about doing that…. hmm, thanks for making me think about it! 🙂

  • Laurie says:

    Love the idea of making money while Christmas shopping – I’ve never thought of that before! I’ve been thinking more and more about the mystery shopping thing – it could work out well for us if we time it while we’re in town anyway so as to save on gas costs.

  • Lauren says:

    These are great tips! I finished most of my Xmas shopping back in July, and I used the Barclay card to earn miles. We’re thinking about selling some things on Ebay this year, too.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    I don’t know that I would want to spend enough time on Christmas shopping to make money from it – my instinct is to just buy everything online and call it a day, which is what I’ll be doing.

  • Thomas @ i need money ASAP! says:

    Need money for Christmas? Check out my donate plasma for money post! You can donate up to twice per week and they’ll pay anywhere from $20-$50 per donation! This is a great way to make a few hundred dollars for Christmas.

  • Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions says:

    Ooo… I’m tempted to turn some of my good deals into eBay flips! I’m all done with my shopping but still making some ornaments I’ll give as gifts. That’s another way to make some spending money — make something that costs $1 in supplies and sell on etsy or holiday craft fairs.

  • Amy says:

    Great ideas! I love the idea of turning an expense into a revenue stream! 🙂

  • Tom says:

    Sounds like some really creative ways to make some money to fund the Xmas budget … can’t believe that it is coming soon!

  • Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I have been using my credit card for Christmas shopping for the last three years. Just last year, we had a free two-day stay at Marionette Hotel at Sydney. Isn’t it amazing? I hope I’ll pull like that one off this year. 😀

  • Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I have been using my credit card for Christmas shopping for the last three years. Just last year, we had a free two-day stay at Marionette Hotel at Sydney. Isn’t it amazing? I hope I’ll pull like that one off this year.

  • Kathy says:

    Here’s a huge surprise….Christmas comes on the same date every year! Actually, it should never come as a surprise but people still get caught with no savings for planned Christmas shopping. Hubby and I plan how much we will spend, divide it by twelve and put that amount away every month so when our credit card bill comes, the money is sitting there waiting to be used for payment. Plus, we use our cash back credit card so we get a little reward for having spent the money via credit card.

  • Jayleen Zotti says:

    I don’t think I would ever pay someone to shop for me because I enjoy it way too much! I have done personal shopping for family before but would love to do it for pay! We do set a budget but don’t always stick to it. We save quite a bit at Christmas by joining the madness on Black Friday, watching for coupons on items we’re looking for, and by getting creative with home made items! It’s time it get busy and start listing on eBay!

  • Michelle says:

    I will spend time doing surveys if the reward can be justified for the time spent completing them.

  • Karen Smith says:

    Almost 56 and been without regular work for over a year. Don’t want to start all over again. During the summer I have yard sales selling items that I have purchased for a very good price in the stores here. I’ve had to have my phone and cable turned off. My internet is next. I just want an idea of something to do from home so that I can make another happy Christmas for my family.

    • Raylene Evans says:

      Take in babysitting, then be reliable as hell. Help them with their homework, that kind of thing. You’ll get word of mouth referrals and get more kids to babysit. Do that while you’re thinking about what else you can do.

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