Qmee: get paid to search online
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Qmee pays you cash rewards for your everyday online browsing. But is there a catch?
A new company called Qmee claims it can earn you extra money when you browse the web.
But unlike other online cashback tools you don’t actually have to buy anything to get paid…
How it works
At the moment Qmee is invite only.
But Qmee has kindly given us a special link just so Lovemoney readers can test it out.
To get started with Qmee you need to download its free app to your browser. You can get it on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
The app sits on your browser’s toolbar and works behind the scenes while you use the internet. It only pops up when it has relevant links worth cash available to click on.
Qmee results will appear alongside results from searches made in Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo or Bing. If you like the look of the result, you just need to click on it to bank the money.
Qmee says it only shows relevant results and it doesn’t affect the searches made in the engines it works alongside. The rewards on offer are worth just a few pence each but cover a range of companies in sectors like beauty, insurance, food and travel.
You can transfer the money you rack up on your searches fee-free to a PayPal account or choose to donate it to a charity.
The charity is picked by Qmee and changes monthly. This month it is donating money to Cancer Research UK, but you can suggest a charity you want to see benefit via Qmee’s Facebook page.
Getting paid to search
I decided to give Qmee a go to see how much I could earn over a week.
I downloaded the browser app to my work PC and my laptop at home, so I could fully take advantage of any potential money-making searches.
The first search that produced a cash result for me was “John Lewis bed”.
Google brought back the results in no time at all and the Qmee sidebar also appeared with a John Lewis link worth 8p. I decided to bank it by clicking through, only to end up in John Lewis Electricals. I found my way to the Home department on the site in a few more clicks. However, using the top Google search result would have avoided this inconvenient journey.
Another search that proved profitable was for a “40 inch TV”.
Typing this into Google brought up five cash results in a Qmee sidebar. Currys (7p), John Lewis (7p), Tesco Direct (7p), Asda Direct (7p) and Debenhams (7p) all appeared as possible links to click and get paid for.
Qmee doesn’t allow you to open each link in a new tab, the way you might normally browse for the best deal. and the links disappear after about a minute so you need to make a quick decision.
As they all had the same value my first instinct was to go with Tesco Direct to see if I could earn Clubcard points too. This time I was taken to a more relevant page for my search on the Home Electricals area of the Tesco Direct website.
But I wanted to explore what other sites had to offer too. I returned to Google and used the same search term to see if I could get paid for using the other links. My second try got the same results and I clicked on Asda Direct to compare. However, on the third try only Tesco, Asda, and John Lewis came up, but no cash value was available for clicking on the links.
I took my search for a TV to Amazon, which brought up Qmee results of John Lewis, Asda and Tesco Qmee again, but still with no cash values. I suppose I had reached the limit for my TV searches in one day! Making my search more specific on Amazon helped. I typed in “Panasonic TV” which brought up lots of results for wall brackets and TVs worth 6p.
I have to say that most searches I made didn’t bring up anything, which I think is a good thing as it would have been too distracting if I was bombarded by more. Google and Amazon were the most lucrative, but I failed to get anything from my searches on eBay. I can't comment on Yahoo or Bing as I never use them.
All in all I made £1.13 from a couple of hours of browsing over a week. Not a massive amount, but very easy to rack up.
What I liked most about Qmee was that the rewards were instant and you can cash out your Qmee piggy bank at any time without having to hit a minimum threshold. I was able to transfer as little as 5p to my PayPal account, which arrived almost instantly.
Another great thing about using Qmee was that you didn’t have to buy anything to get paid. It purely rewards your browsing and for engaging with a business by clicking through to its site.
Qmee says businesses get the chance to be seen more prominently when they might not have been considered otherwise and browsers get a cut of what they have paid to be there.
What’s also refreshing is that Qmee doesn’t require you to do anything different. In fact it is most rewarding when your searches are natural and not when you are trying to trick the app. The Qmee sidebar will only appear when it has relevant links and multiple searches for the same terms won’t get you very far as I found in my search for a "40 inch TV". However the links that lost value through multiple searches regained their value later on.
Another thing I was impressed by was how easy to use and accurate Qmee was. In my experience cash-generating tools like cashback websites can be a bit hit and miss as links sometimes don’t track. But with Qmee every single link I clicked was instantly credited.
The only real downside I can see about Qmee is that you can get a bit side tracked and it might slow you down when you're browsing.
For example I found it frustrating when I was looking for TVs that I was not able to open multiple tabs with the cash links. For me this goes against my style of browsing - I like to have a lot of tabs open to compare information and deals.
But apart from one instance when looking for a bed, the links were very relevant to what I was looking for. That said, I didn’t buy anything using the Qmee links, but I still banked some money.
My only other complaint about the app is that the sidebar only appears for under a minute, not really giving you enough time to decide which link to go for, which is hard when several appear.
I really enjoyed banking money on my searches with Qmee.
And although Qmee is unlikely to make you a millionaire, it does pay out cash for something most of us regularly do: browse the internet.
I made £1.13 in a week for about two and a half hours on the web and clicking on 17 links.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you think about how much time you spend online it is a pretty easy way to build up some extra cash. Imagine what you could have banked after a year!
The website has just come out of Beta so as it grows there is likely to be even more searches you can cash in on.
And remember you don’t have to limit yourself to just one way to make money online.
It won’t cost you anything to test so I think it’s worth giving Qmee a try. Let us know how you get on in the Comment box below.