(The Root) — You're out on Saturday running your weekly errands. Or maybe you're on your way to work and stopping by your local coffee shop. Since you're doing these things anyway, why not make a couple of bucks at the same time, doing tasks that only take a few extra minutes? That's the premise behind GigWalk, an app that pays you to shop.
Developed by three former Yahoo employees, GigWalk uses the idea of "mobile crowdsourcing" to complete simple research jobs for companies that would normally take weeks and cost a lot more money. Something as simple as taking a picture of a restaurant's chalkboard menu, completing a survey or doing an in-store audit could be listed as a gig on GigWalk.
Getting a gig is simple. After you download the app and sign up, GigWalk uses your smartphone's GPS location info to show you gigs in your area. Once you accept a gig, you have a limited amount of time (about 48 hours) to complete it. After the completed gig is approved, you get paid through PayPal. You can build your business profile on GigWalk to let companies know what you can do for them and also get feedback to boost your profile. Gigs typically pay anywhere from $2 to $15, but good ratings from clients can unlock access to gigs that pay as much as $50.
Right now most gigs are located in these eight cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle, with new cities being added regularly. GigWalk is free for the iPhone and Android.
I downloaded GigWalk, and there are currently two gigs in my area: mystery shopping at a Staples and a Wal-Mart, each paying $12. So I probably won't get rich doing gigs, but as with anything, your effort determines your reward. You're already out anyway, so why not make some extra cash?
Follow tech-life expert Stephanie Humphrey on Twitter.