As you well know by now, the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons has been out for some time now. There are essentially two versions of the game – the Basic version and a paid version.
You can totally make do with the Basic version of D&D and not have to bother with the Core Rulebooks at all, which is handy for those who need to watch what they spend.
But what if you could get the Dungeons and Dragons books for free?
There are websites you can join that allow you to earn a little bit of side income in your spare time for doing some of the things you might already be doing.
You can either get paid by gift card or Paypal cash in most cases.
I use these websites regularly myself, mostly using them to search the internet (I do a lot of surfing) and saved a bit of money on my D&D shopping in the process.
I’ve listed a few examples below and all of them are free to join.
Many of the outgoing links below are referral links, which means I get paid 10% of whatever you earn on these websites, should you choose to join.
This website is currently open to any user located in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland. The FAQs also mention India, but there appears to be some inconsistencies within the information found on the website.
Swagbucks has become a firm favourite of mine and has given me a steady supply of Amazon gift cards – usually at a rate of one £5 gift card per month.
These gift cards are earned by accruing a certain number of points called ‘Swagbucks’.
You may also earn Paypal cash, but they take a little longer to earn than Amazon gift cards.
In either case, Amazon gift cards and Paypal cash in USD are worth fewer points than the same cards in GBP, so if you live in the US, you can potentially earn a $10 Amazon gift card in a month.
Here’s a rough breakdown:
If you live in the US:
100 Swag Bucks =~ $1.
450 Swag Bucks = $5 Amazon gift card.
If you want actual cash:-
700 Swag Bucks = $5 Paypal credit.
If you live in the UK:
200 Swag Bucks =~ £1
999 Swag Bucks = £5 Paypal credit.
849 Swag Bucks = £5 Amazon Gift Card.
Generally, I avoid all these things and use Swagbucks to search the internet.
Depending on how often you search, you can earn around 10 – 30 Swagbucks per day just for searching the internet.
When you use the search feature for the first time, it seems like the awarding of Swagbucks is randomised, but as a rule of thumb, you can earn three lots of Swagbucks per day.
It usually follows a pattern of one award in the morning, one in the afternoon and one during the evening – so base your searches around these three time zones.
It doesn’t always follow this exact formula as you might be awarded twice in the afternoon and not at all in the morning, but generally you can stop searching once you’ve been awarded Swagbucks three times in a day.
You can speed up the earning process by signing up for the various offers on the website, particularly the free ones, but make sure you read the T&Cs for each offer carefully as you might end up spending more than you earn.
I would advise you to avoid them like the plague and concentrate your earning efforts on searching instead. You never know what strings are attached (Swagbucks makes its income mainly through advertising and there can be some dodgy deals around).
Other ways of earning include playing games, watching videos and even entering a ‘Swagstakes’, where you deposit a number of swagbucks in order to enter a prize draw and win even more swagbucks or gift cards.
At first glance, Gifthulk is very similar to Swagbucks and it works similarly in that you can earn points (called Hulk Coins) that can be redeemed for Amazon (or other) gift cards or Paypal cash.
Gifthulk also allows you to earn points by searching and surfing the internet and again, it is powered by ‘Bing/Yahoo’. This is my least favourite website for this purpose because the search engine appears to be relatively slow compared to the other websites I use.
Once you type in a search term, it appears to wait for around 5 seconds before it displays your search results.
That said, there is a very distinct pattern in how this website’s awards you for your searches: 4 hulk coins per hour.
So all you need to do is log into the website once per hour and type in a search term.
The drawback is that it will take you forever to earn enough Hulk Coins to earn a gift card purely through searching alone.
At best, you can earn around 52 Hulk Coins per day through searches alone, but that’s only if you are on the website all day.
Generally, you need 5000 Hulk Coins to redeem one Paypal gift card of $5. This means it will take you just over 3 months to earn enough Hulk Coins for you to cash out, so you can imagine how inefficient this is compared to Swagbucks.
Another thing to remember is that Gifthulk bans you for ‘unnatural searching’, which is searching for the sole purpose of earning Hulk Coins.
What this means is that if you consistently search without clicking on the search result, you are banned from any earning activity for 3 hours. To get around this, all you really need to do is click on a search result when it is displayed.
Be careful and make sure you click on the search results afterwards, though. If you don’t, then Gifthulk will deem it as ‘unnatural searching’ and sandbox you, meaning you are banned from searching for a certain period of time.
There is a better way to earn Hulk Coins, however – one that should speed up the process of earning a bit more – and that is to watch videos.
For every 5 videos you watch, you are credited with 25 Hulk Coins. It depends on the availability of videos at any given time. Sometimes you could have around 10 videos to watch and sometimes, you may have only a few (or none at all).
Some videos force you to subscribe through Youtube or share the video via Facebook before it awards you anything, so you can either click away from these videos or create a separate account in Facebook/Youtube.
Finally, you do not actually have to sit there and watch the videos if you don’t want to (most of them are ads or music videos that are quite forgetful). You could simply open the video, switch off the sound and open another tab and go about your daily business online.
You can acquire Paypal cash or gift cards once you’ve acquired 5000 hulk coins.
As a rule 1000 hulk coins = $1.
Available to residents of USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Ireland.
This is similar to the two websites mentioned above, only this time you earn actual cash instead of points for your activities within this website.
This is a UK only website (though I think there is a US version of the website), which means any currency paid out is in GBP.
Again, the only activity really worth doing is the search which, like the other two websites mentioned above, is powered by Bing/Yahoo.
For every two searches you do, you can earn £0.01 or 1p and the most you can earn in a day through searching is 15p, which works out as 30 searches per day.
There are also offers, both free and paid that you can sign up for – but like I say, I wouldn’t touch these unless you can be absolutely sure there are no strings attached – and even then, it’s likely you will be flooded with spam which might not be a problem if you create a separate email account just for that purpose.
You need to earn a minimum of £20 before you can cash out, though I think there is a sign up bonus and each time you cash out, you get £1 added to your account, meaning you only need to earn £19 to get your next payout.
When you cash out, you need to remain active on the website, either by simply logging back on to the website or perform some searches or other earning activity on Inboxpounds.
Payment is made via cheque, rather than Paypal or gift card.
Just so you know it pays, here’s proof:
- Search for something on Google, eBay, Yahoo/Bing or Amazon.
- Get paid.
- Cash out whenever you like.
That’s the idea behind Qmee, in a nutshell.
Here’s the long version: you sign up and download a free app for your mobile phone or as a Chrome extension.
You can then search on the aforementioned websites for stuff to buy and occasionally, a column might appear on the left side of your browser, displaying results which, when clicked, will award you with a small amount of cash.
A little disclaimer: you won’t earn money for every search you do. I’ve found that paid results are only displayed for searches related to shopping, which can either be a product name/model, a brand name or a type of product.
If you do a lot of shopping or shopping related searches online, then this can be a great way to get rewarded for simply using Google.
Please note that this app does not appear to be compatible with Swagbucks, Gift Hulk or other similar websites, so you cannot combine earning on Qmee with Swagbucks as well.
This is cheating a little, but there are some free offers to be had from this website, much like the other websites mentioned above.
Unlike the other websites, there are no activities where you can earn cash or points rewards and the only way to earn money from this is to trial one of the free offers available. You need to be careful again as these offers are only usually free for a month, after which you have to pay a monthly subscription if you do not cancel within the trial period.
Make sure you read the T&Cs carefully and if in doubt, avoid the offer.
As the website’s name suggests, though, this website specialises in cashback, which means a purchase must be made before you can really ‘earn’ anything useful.
But then again, if you are thinking of switching your internet provider or you shop regularly online, you could potentially earn enough cashback to go towards one or two books.
And There You Have It…
You can earn more by joining more than one of the websites mentioned here, but if I had to pick one to recommend, I would go for Swagbucks.
If history is anything to go by, it’s unlikely Wizards will stop releasing content for Dungeons & Dragons beyond the core rule books, so it can get pretty expensive. A new adventure based on the Temple of Elemental Evil is in the works already and due to be released on April 2015 – a fine case in point.
Hopefully, these websites can help you save a least a little on your shopping.
The downside is that these methods do take quite a bit of time to result in something that can cover the cost of an item and you almost have to be on these websites all day to earn regularly enough. This can be difficult for those who are employed in day jobs.
But then, no one ever said earning free stuff was easy .
One way to earn quicker is to join as many of these websites as you can, so whatever you earn from each website can add up.
Another way to boost your earnings is to refer as many friends as you can to these websites, which is particularly useful for those with a large social media following. The benefit is that you can generally earn 10% of whatever your referrals earn, depending on which website you join.
If you know of other ways to obtain Dungeons and Dragons books for free or if you have already used one or more of these websites, let me know in the comments below.