Christmas AFO

8 tech gifts every man needs on his Christmas list

Tech is truly taking over the world – and, subsequently, our Christmas stockings! If you or someone you know is a gadget-lover but you don’t quite know what you’re after this year, we’ve picked out some really cool gadgets for Christmas that we’ve had our own eyes on to help you narrow down your search. Plus, at Angelfish we are always on the lookout for people to test new products and get paid, so read on and sign up if you fancy getting your hands on new tech.

This fabulous smart flask is perfect for those who don’t quite have enough time to make and drink their first brew of the day before dashing off to the office. With the ability to keep your drink the exact temperature you like (anywhere between 50°C and 62.5°C), and the ability to control the temperature, customise presets, receive notifications and more with your phone, the days of lukewarm brews are behind us. They also have a mug version, so you can keep your beverage of choice nice and warm at your desk throughout the day, too – so you’ll never have to waste another cup or resort to reheating your drink in the microwave again!

1. Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug

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(Price: £134.95)

Get it here.

2. Heated Razor Starter Kit by GilletteLabs

Gillette’s nifty new razor promises “the pleasure of a hot towel shave in every stroke,” activating and delivering instant warmth in less than a second at the push of a button! It boasts 5 of Gillette’s best blades, a waterproof design, adjustable heat, wireless magnetic charging, and more. What better gadget could a chap ask for?

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(Price: £175.00)

Get it here.

3. Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset

For those of you who love to fully immerse in their games, TOculus’ very first VR Gaming Headset is set to take it to the next level! It currently stands out from other VR headsets with an easy, all-in-one set up (no PC or wires required), positional audio built directly into the headset, and the ability to play wherever you are – standing or sitting, in a big space or small, there really are no limits with this cool gadget – definitely one for Christmas fun! Oculus Touch controllers take the experience even further by allowing you to transport your hands and gestures directly into your game.

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(Price: 64GB £399, 128GB, £499)

Get it here.

4. 55″/65″/77″ 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV

Smart TVs really don’t get much smarter than this! Not only are LG TVs the first to integrate both the Google Assistant and Alexa so you can ask questions while watching TV and see the answers on the screen and control other smart devices around your home, but it also offers stunning picture and a sleek design that’ll look amazing anywhere in your home. You could
test new products and get paid as part of our panel – keep reading to find out how.

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(Price: Starting at approx. £1,200)

Get it here.

5. Master & Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones

If you’re someone who cannot live without your daily dose of music, then Master & Dynamic’s “most technically sophisticated headphones” are definitely worth a look (…well, listen!). Not only are they lightweight and made with fine leathers for maximum over-ear comfort, their noise-cancelling technology means you’ll get clear, expansive sound in any environment. What’s more, their in-built microphones filter out all external noise so you can receive crisp and clear phone calls. Overall, the perfect accompaniment (see what we did there?) to your daily commute!

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(Price: £449.00)

Get them here.

6. Kindle Paperwhite

As an avid reader, there’s nothing worse than trying to read a book while relaxing by the pool or in the bath and dropping said book in the water. With the new Kindle Paperwhite’s IPX8 waterproofing, however, those days are long gone! Amazon’s latest, thinnest and lightest eBook reader comes in both black and twilight blue, can hold up to 32GB in storage, a battery that lasts for weeks with a single charge, and a built-in adjustable light that lets you read indoors and outdoors, day and night. The perfect gift for reading enthusiasts!

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(Price: £129.99)

Get it here.

7. Nordstrom’s Ring Fitness and Sleep Tracker

Move over, smartwatches and FitBits – Nordstrom’s Ring is here and ready to track the sleep, heart rate and activity of the greatest fitness gurus 24/7—without them sacrificing style. Waterproof up to 165 feet, compatible with most mobile devices and storing three days battery life after just a 90-minute charge, fitness has never been so fashionable. And all this at the weight of less than a 1p coin – you won’t find a cooler gadget for Christmas than this!

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(Price: £164.16)

Get it here.

8. (Quite possibly the Angelfish favourite!) Whistle Go Health & Location Tracker for Pets

“The best pet tracker just got smarter” for 2019 – Whistle’s smart little device is ready to track your furry bestie’s health and location! So for those of you who have that frequent anxiety about where your cat or dog may have disappeared off to, fret no more. Even better, it boasts an up-to-20-Day battery life, IPX8 waterproofing, and a 3-mode built-in night light so you can spot them easily in the dark. An absolute must for man and his best friend this Christmas! 

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(Price: £94.57)

Get it here.

We’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty to try as part of our paid market research opportunities!

If you know a total tech whizz (or are one yourself), we’re sure you’ll want to get your hands on some of these cool gadgets for Christmas! If you need to save up some money first, why not take part in one of our paid market research opportunities here at Angelfish? You might get to test new products and get paid to have a go with gadgets like the above as part of a focus group or UX testing study, or you may even get to see them during an accompanied shop! You can sign up to be on our panel via the button below, or find out more about our current projects here.

New Year

Top tips for taking care of your mental health this season

It is, unquestionably, that time of year again. As soon as the pumpkins and cobwebs are removed from shop windows, they’re almost instantly replaced with baubles and tinsel. Christmas really isn’t that far away, and needless to say, the team here at Angelfish are super-excited for the festive season, and getting people who need extra money for their Christmas shopping on board with our variety of paid market research opportunities!

However, we know that there are those who find this time of year particularly hard, and for a great many reasons. For a start, the evenings are getting darker quicker, and the weather is increasingly drizzly and cold. This is unpleasant at the best of times, but for those with conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, late autumn and winter can be a real downer. In fact, whether you have a diagnosed mental health condition or not, this time of year can put a lot of strain on a lot of people’s wellbeing; so we’ve put our heads together and come up with some ways you can look after your mental health this season!

Eat, drink, and be… well!

A healthy body equals a healthy mind, and there’s a lot you can do to stay on top this autumn/winter!

As a result of the cold, we all tend to eat quite a lot more this time of year – and we know all too well the kinds of indulgent treats we can find ourselves digging into during the festive season! So make sure you balance out the chocolates, cheeses and Christmas puds with some wholesome and hearty meals. All those vegetables will be a great boost for your immune system, too! And while you’re out shopping, bring along any in-date food that you don’t want to eat for the food bank; knowing that you’re making a contribution to those who might be less fortunate than you is a sure-fire way to lift your spirits, as well as somebody else’s!

The festivities also bring a lot of opportunities for celebratory drinks, whether with friends, family, or at your work’s Christmas party. Annoyingly, alcohol has actually been found to increase anxiety and stress rather than reduce them. Alcohol is also not great on the immune system, so make sure you stay well within your units to keep your mind happy and your body healthy. We have a fab blog on mocktails here to help you get through!

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Get plenty of exercise

Exercise has been found to have amazing positive effects on people’s moods, so ensure you take the time to brave the cold and go to the gym whenever you can. If you need the extra money though, go for a quick jog or take a leisurely winter stroll instead – it’s free, and just as good for you! Just make sure you wear a high-vis jacket and take a torch if it’s dark.

Catch all the ZZZs

We all love a good party or night out, and they’re certainly in abundance at this time of year! The downside, however, is that you might not get home until late at night and miss out on sleep which – surprise surprise – is super-important for positive mental wellbeing! So perhaps trade in a party or two with a quieter daytime catch-up with friends and colleagues.

Relax and do the things you love

Research has found over and over again that people who engage in their hobbies and get creative have better or improved mental health, so when you have some time for yourself, fill it with doing the things you love! And if you don’t have a hobby? Find one! There are usually plenty of group activities, such as crafting, walking, book clubs and more that you can take part in. It’s a great way to meet new people too – and it doesn’t have to be expensive! Alternatively, if you prefer your own company, there are lots of things you can do by yourself.

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Stay in touch with people

For many, this time of year is especially tough as they might not have family members to spend it with. Loneliness can have a hugely negative impact on people’s mental health; however, there are lots of different ways you can keep in contact with people over the season; for example, finding group hobbies as we talked about above, or arranging meet-ups. Perhaps you could even organise some nice things to do at lunchtime with your colleagues!

And never be afraid to reach out to people when you’re in need. You never know, someone else may be in the same boat as you!

Don’t feel the need to spend a fortune – and find ways to make extra money!

There’s an enormous amount of pressure on people to spend as much money as possible this time of year. Money worries can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing – but you really don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time! The ideas of things to do we mentioned above aren’t exhaustive – we have plenty more in the blogs on our website! On the flip side, if you do need extra money to cater for your needs at this time of year, taking part in paid market research is a great way to do it. It’s also a great way to meet new people, and contribute your thoughts on the brands you like shopping during the festive season! We have a number of different projects going on at the moment with cash and vouchers on offer as a thank you for taking part, so make sure you take a look!

Sign Up Here.

want to make extra money

What would a “cashless” society be like?

Money.* From its earliest form circa 9000BC – i.e. cows and wheat – all the way through to the modern-day bitcoin, money and monetary transactions have taken on a variety of different forms throughout the ages (here’s a really cool infographic for the history buffs in the crowd!). It appears that now, however, it might just be taking one of it’s most society-altering turns yet – by becoming entirely cashless! 

What do we mean by a “cashless” society?

Quite simply, a cashless society is one where we no longer make purchases using tangible coins and notes. Instead, all transactions are carried out electronically, from the more traditional bank transfer through to debit and credit card transactions (including chip and pin and contactless), apps such as ApplePay, and so on.

Is the UK a cashless society?

Almost! In fact, we’re currently the third most cashless society in the world, following Canada in second place, and Sweden, who are currently topping the leaderboard. 

And it’s not been a slow process; just a decade ago, 63% transactions in the UK were made with cash, but today, we only use cash for 34%  transactions. So probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that the UK is predicted to no longer be using coins and banknotes within the next 15 years.

So if we were to fast forward to our anticipated cashless society of 2034-ish, what could we expect to find?

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The good stuff

Less chance of theft

With people no longer carrying cash around with them and shop/restaurant tills/safes and banks no longer containing physical cash, the chances of physical robberies taking place will be significantly lower. Of course, you could argue that people will still be carrying their debit and credit cards around, but with banks now having websites and apps close to hand, cards can be cancelled in mere seconds. 

Reduction in cash-based criminal activity

Most criminal transactions – such as the buying and selling of illegal drugs – are completed using cash, as this means there’s no electronic trail that can be traced back. So with physical cash-in-hand opportunities unavailable and the increased monitoring of online transactional activity, these kinds of crimes are less likely to take place in the future as they’ll be significantly more difficult to carry out undetected.

More time-efficient processes

Handling paper money, as well as storing and depositing it, is a lot more time consuming than many people realise. As with many of the other increasingly digital processes going on in the world, handling money electronically is a significant time-saver. For example, cashless transactions in shops will eventually mean we have less queues to deal with, as shoppers won’t have to spend time counting out cash and coins to make their purchases. 

Easier to monitor your income and spending 

With the multitude of banking apps now available – and most of them incorporating budgeting tools – it’s already easier than ever to monitor your incomings and outgoings. And the more cashless we become as a society, the easier this will be (though of course it’s worth bearing in mind that it might end up being too easy to just keep spending when we’re not seeing cash physically leave our hands)!

Physical health

As strange as this may sound, living in a cashless society may make us physically healthier, too! Think about it; how many different pairs of hands will your cash and coins have been held in before they reached yours? Probably thousands! One study found that there can be as many as 19 different kinds of bacteria living on cash, among other nasties. So with no cash being passed around, it’s likely that our cashless society of the future is likely to be a healthier one as well!

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The potential downsides…

Lack of privacy

Although the monitoring of electronic transactions is helpful for avoiding criminal activity, it’s not so great when you think that your payment information could turn up in unpredictable ways. Just a couple of years ago, Google planned to track billions of credit and debit card sales to compare online ad clicks with money spent offline!  It also puts us at greater risk of identity theft and information loss. Being able to use physical cash grants you much greater anonymity, so this opportunity will be lost in a cashless society.

Beware the hackers

Remember when we were talking about physical robberies earlier? Although this may not be such a problem anymore in our cashless society of the future, one smart hacker gaining access to your online bank account could leave you entirely penniless in mere seconds. And with no physical cash to hand to use as back-up, this could leave you in a debilitating situation. 

Loss of control

A lot of people currently use cash as a means of having control over their finances, and some receive it as payment for odd jobs when they want to make extra money. A cashless society would mean relinquishing that control to technology – which, for those unfamiliar with technology, would be potentially distressing. These people may also find themselves at greater risk of financial abuse, for example if  family members take control of their accounts.

Technical problems

Picture the scenario: You want to make extra money by taking part in a market research study, and when it comes to getting paid, the researcher’s banking app fails on them. Frustrating or what? Despite technology making new advancements by the day, there are always going to be times when it fails us. It hasn’t happened to us yet – fingers crossed! But power cuts, slow load speeds and timeouts, and other technical failures can leave us temporarily penniless or unable to complete transactions, which could lead to all sorts of problems.

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Will we be ready?

Despite the many advantages of living in a cashless society, it looks like we probably won’t be ready for it in fifteen years’ time. According to one report, nearly half of Britain – that is, 25 million people – would struggle without access to cash, and for some, they feel it would be impossible to function. 

In which case, it might be a good idea for us to look to Sweden for guidance. The apparent model for a modern cashless society, it’s not uncommon to see signs that say “No cash accepted” in Swedish shops, with some banks no longer handle cash at all and cash payments making up only 15% of their retail sales. What’s more, 59% of consumer transactions are completed through non-cash methods, and 47% of Swedish citizens are aware of the types of mobile payment services available to them.

Conclusion:

However money turns out in the future, we’re glad to say that there will always be opportunities for you to get involved in our market research projects if you want to make extra money! If you’d like to take part, simply visit the current projects page on our website and get in touch!

*Money money money… must be funny… come on, you were thinking it, too!

Sign Up Here.

get paid to shop

What is “fast fashion”?

And should we be paying more attention to it?

Of all the industries in the world, fashion has probably seen the biggest evolution over time. What started as a means of bodily protection from the elements and predators in prehistoric times gradually became a symbol of status and cultural identity throughout the ages, until its most recent development in the 1960s as a means of self-expression. As a result, fashion and trends are changing constantly, with current ones being snapped up like hotcakes before being almost instantly replaced by new ones. The rise of the internet has boosted this even further, due to its introduction to online shopping, increased exposure to new fashion trends online, and the opportunity for brands to research and replicate/reproduce popular looks and new technology allowing for faster, cheaper production. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the era of fast fashion – and with our own retail market research interests here, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to dig into it a bit further!

So, what is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is described by Google’s dictionary as “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” Essentially, it’s cheap, trendy clothing that jumps straight off the catwalk and into the shops – and very quickly out again to make way for the next ones. In fact, a lot of fashion retailers introduce new products multiple times a week just to stay on trend and keep up with the demand.

And why should we be paying attention to it?

For online fashion influencers, trend enthusiasts and shopaholics, this mass availability of cheap but fashionable clothing is a dream come true! But as it turns out, it’s also having a devastating effect on the world around us…

The impact of fast fashion on:

People:

The rise of fast fashion has seen an increase in sweatshops. These are factories and workshops where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions in order to produce fast fashion. They are primarily used due to keep up with the demands of fast fashion, as well as the added benefit of making additional profit through paying such minimal wages to workers. Sweatshops tend to be found in the poorer parts of countries across the globe, including Bangladesh and China.  As well as supplying these poor working conditions, some clothing companies have also faced allegations of physical and sexual abuse against their garment workers, particularly women.    

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Unfortunately, sweatshop work is not just limited to adults. According to the International Labour Organisation, 170 million children below the minimum age limit around the world are making textiles and garments in detrimental conditions to satisfy the demand in Europe, the US, and beyond.

The planet:

The environment is also suffering at the hands of fast fashion. The multitude of highly toxic dyes used to colour clothing – over 800, in fact – alongside the production of different fabrics are polluting the world’s water supplies. Cotton production, for example, involves the heavy use of pesticides, and the microfibres from synthetic clothing are also commonly found in water supplies; the lower the fabric quality, the more microfibres that shed during washing. What’s more, alongside polluting water, fabric production consumes billions of cubic meters of it per year; approximately 80 billion in 2017, and a predicted 120 billion by 2030. When you think that the amount of water it takes to produce one cotton shirt could provide drinking water for one person for a whopping two and a half years, that’s pretty horrifying!

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Subsequently, animals and wildlife are also affected; and not just the animals that drink the water, but the marine life that lives in it. Not great for us humans either as fish eaters! Animal products such as leather, wool, fur and skin are also used in clothing production, and often these animals are subjected to poor conditions and mistreatment for these products to be created.

Because fast fashion-produced clothes are made so cheaply, they tend to be of poor quality. Consequently, they’re often unwearable after just a few uses, and disposed in landfills. In 2018, the UK based charity WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) estimated that £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfills each year. Not only that, but the nature of fast fashion means that retailers need to dispose of their “old” produce quickly to make way for new stock, much of which has been rumoured to be disposed of in environmentally damaging ways, such as incineration.

What can we do instead?

So, with all the evidence pointing to the detrimental impact of fast fashion, what can we be – and should we be – doing to reduce it?

Thankfully, there are a number of good habits we can get into:

1) Enjoy the clothes you already own!

As a lot of our own retail market research has found, there appears to be a trend of consumers worrying about being seen in the same outfit twice (another consequence of the fast fashion industry)! There are some great initiatives out there that encourage people to think more carefully about the clothes they buy, such as Livia Firth’s “Will I wear this a minimum of 30 times?” campaign. Also, in our increasingly environmentally aware society, surely, it’s way cooler to wear the same outfit more than once and tell people it’s to save the planet than to wear a different outfit every day!

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2) Clothes swaps and charity shops

If you’ve tried your best to love what you already own and simply can’t, clothes swaps and charity shops are your next port of call! Charity shops will take most items in good condition, and clothes swaps, such as the ones hosted by LUSH, mean you not only pass on the clothes you no longer want, but may find a gem unwanted by someone else!

3) When your clothes really are past their best, consider how you could possibly reuse them.

Old (cleaned!) underwear is considered one of the best dust cloth alternatives, and you should always save an old t-shirt or two and pair of jeans for decorating/messy work. Upcycling is also a fantastic alternative to throwing away – old pair of jeans? Get creative and turn them into a pair of shorts or a bag! The British Heart Foundation hold an exciting and fun competition called The Big Stitch to encourage upcycling of old garments and textiles every summer – but it’s something fun, creative and environmentally friendly to do all year around!

4) Recycle

If there really is nothing you can do with your old clothes, however, it’s time to get recycling! www.recyclenow.com has a great local recycling tool online so you can find your nearest textile recycling bank – a great way to avoid your clothes going to landfill!

5) If you really must buy…

Take a look around your local charity shops – it’s amazing what you can spot on the rails! And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, do a quick online check to see which brands are free of fast fashion – such as the ones in this list put together by Conscious Life & Style, plus these well-known high street brands

Fast fashion is just one of the issues consumers are raising with their favourite brands. The team here at Angelfish are just as hot on the topic too – we’re currently totally engrossed in the BBC series “Breaking Fashion,” and we’d definitely recommend you watch it, too! If you’d like your voice to be heard by the brands you love, and get paid for it, why not take a look at our latest retail market research opportunities that you can get involved in? If one of them takes your fancy, just register with us here – we’d love to hear from you!

Sign Up Here.

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The best travel tour companies for your gap year

This is it. You’ve waved your last goodbye to compulsory education, and you’re ready to embark upon your long-awaited, much-anticipated gap year! Whether you want to spend it in the comfort of your homeland or you’re looking to venture abroad, there’s a multitude of amazing travel tour companies out there just waiting to guide you along what will hopefully become one of the best years of your life. The question is… which company do you choose?

Ultimately, the most important factors this comes down to are:

  • Where you want to go
  • What you want to do when you get there
  • How much you’ve got in your budget

We’ve spent some time picking out some of the most reputable tour travel companies in the business for a variety of gap year dreams, and ways to make extra money to fund it!

To work

  1. Best Gap Year

Location: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, South America, UK

From activity instructors to chefs, teaching internships to Au Pair-ing and even ski resort hospitality, Best Gap Year has a plethora of working gap year opportunities on offer, ranging from ten weeks to several months.

      2. Australia Working Holiday

Location: Australia

Australia Inc. offers fantastic ways of making extra money during your gap year, and promises to help you develop essential career skills such as team building, working under pressure and relationship building – on top of getting to explore some of the most amazing places on earth, of course!

      3. BUNAC

Location: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan  

Experiencing totally new cultures whilst having an unforgettable experience with lots of new friends sits right at the heart of BUNAC’s work experience opportunities. If it’s a high wage or high waves your searching for, delicious foods and stunning beaches, or something equally exotic, read on! 

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To volunteer

  1. Pacific Discovery

Location: Central America, South America, Nepal & Tibet, Southeast Asia, New Zealand & Australia

Based on the concept of experiential education, Pacific Discovery’s volunteering programmes are designed to challenge, broaden horizons, and merge cultural insights and environmental sensitivity with fun and adventure. 

2. Frontier

Location: … Well, where not?

“You dream it and we will make it happen” – quite the promise, but as goabroad.com’s Top Volunteer Abroad Organization 2016, Frontier’s marine conservation, environmental science efforts, and medical endeavours do truly bring a whole new meaning to volunteering abroad.

        3. International Volunteer HQ

 Location: All over the globe!

As the world’s most trusted and experienced volunteer travel provider, IVHQ is definitely worth a look-in. With projects ranging from teaching and childcare to arts and music, women’s empowerment and special needs care, there’s something on offer for everyone. What’s more, they’re super budget-conscious!

For adventure

  1. Intrepid Travel

Location: Pretty much everywhere!

If you consider yourself an especially adventurous individual, Intrepid Travel has your name on it. Activities range from cycling to sailing, walking and trekking and much more, with the goal of building human connections, supporting local communities, respecting the environment and drawing everyone just that bit closer together.

       2. Trek America

Location: USA, Canada, Alaska and Central America.

If exploring America is your dream, Trek America has over 50 incredible gap year tours to choose from, ranging from 3-75 days. These guys know where all the great and unusual sites and activities are and how to give you an outstanding gap year travel experience in America that’s really fun – and fair on your budget!

       3. Exodus Travels

Location: Again pretty much everywhere, but their top destinations include Italy, Nepal, France, Africa, and Peru.

45 years of experience gives Exodus Travels the ultimate edge in adventure travel gap years; especially as they now offer an extraordinary 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries! The possibilities for action and adventure are equally as endless, such as walking and cycling tours, wildlife encounters, and more.

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So there you have it! We hope this has given you an appetising taster of the gap year opportunities available out there for you to choose from. We know travelling isn’t particularly cheap though; one of the ways you can make extra money to  bolster for your budget for the adventure ahead is by taking part in paid market research. If this is something you’d be interested in, do get in touch and we’ll help you get started!

legit market research companies

What to expect from a UX testing study

UX testing – otherwise known as user testing, usability testing and/or user experience testing – probably sounds a little tech-y to the non-tuned ear. However, it’s actually just a simple (though super-important) market research method researchers use to understand what consumers do, and why they do it.

This means researchers can really sink their teeth into how good or bad a user’s experience is of a website or app and find ways of making this experience as enjoyable as possible. This way, brands can be sure consumers will return to them time and time again, rather than diverting to their competitors.

Of course, none of this can happen without users to test the brand’s websites and apps out in the first place – which is where you come in! So without further ado, here’s the low-down on what you can expect once you’re set to take part in a UX testing study.

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What will happen on the day?

You’ll be asked to take on a few tasks on the app or website and be observed either by a researcher, or through a recording of your activity via specialist software. Don’t worry, it’s not a test of your ability – it’s just to see what your likes and dislikes are, how easy you find their site or app to use, and whether you stick around or end up looking at competitors websites/apps instead. 

This way, brands can work out what they need to do to make the experience more suitable and enjoyable for you! Due to our increased online presence and the significance of user satisfaction in business success, this process really is more important than ever before.

How long will the UX testing study last?

When using a website or app in an everyday setting, it usually doesn’t take the average consumer long to achieve their desired outcome(s) and move on – probably a few minutes tops. 

With a UX testing study however, businesses and researchers really want to explore how you behave on/interact with their website or app, so the tasks they set you mean you’ll be there significantly longer; typically, around 30-60 minutes.

In some cases, you may be asked to come to a specific location (though it’ll never be too far away), in which case you’ll want to factor in some extra time for travel. However, you might have the opportunity to take part remotely – who knows, you could be making a valuable contribution to businesses and brands without even needing to get out of your PJs! 

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What’s in it for me?

In our increasingly on-the-go world, businesses and brands know just how precious your time is, so they’re always grateful to you sharing for sharing it with them – in fact, you can make money from UX testing! As a thank you, you could earn between £10 and £50 for your contribution – depending on the length and complexity of the study – in the form of money, vouchers, a cheque, or a bank transfer. 

It’s not all about the money, however (thank you, Jessie J!); it’s also a great opportunity to potentially lend a hand to some of your favourite brands and businesses and help them grow. Got a favourite clothing line but struggle to use their website? You could help to change that for the better whilst getting the chance to have your voice heard!

So should I take part?

Absolutely! It’s a fun and educational opportunity to express your thoughts whilst helping businesses to grow – and as we’ve said, you can make money from UX testing! So it truly is an endeavour that leaves smiles all around. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, simply sign up below and we’ll get you started.

Sign Up Here.

Best ways to make extra money on the side

Top 15 podcasts, recommended by the Angelfish team!

Everyone and their mum seem to have a podcast these days. When all you need is a smartphone, editing software and an interesting topic in mind, it’s very easy to get your own series up-and-running. But with so many podcasts out there, how do you pick the ones worth your time? Well, we’ve been discussing this here at Angelfish HQ, and the team have come up with their top recommendations for you.

So, whether you’re listening on a sunny beach, on the morning commute, or as you get ready for the day, here are our best picks. Each team member had different recommendations, giving a real insight into what they like doing in their spare time, their interests and their hobbies. Insights like these are so useful when recruiting for market research so that we can learn more about our respondents when going through the validation process. You can learn more about the best ways to make extra money on the side with market research here.

Project Manager Jade: 

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“I like listening to podcasts when I get ready for work in the morning, and sometimes on the commute in. They’re so interesting and I often learn something new, especially when listening to episodes about health and wellbeing.”

1. Fit & Fearless

Think all things fitness and health with this one. As part of the #GirlGains crew, Tally, Zanna and Vic offer inspiration to those wanting to increase their body confidence. Truly educational and utterly inspiring, this podcast is great for those looking for a bit of extra spring in their step!

2. Happy place

Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast series shares advice from famous faces and wellbeing experts on how to work through feeling blue to finding joy each and every day. It’s a great one to have playing in the background.

3. Deliciously Ella

Ella and Matthew Mills, founders and CEO of Deliciously Ella, interview experts in health and nutrition to bring a little inspiration to everyday diets. From making sustainable changes to dealing with stress, they cover a wide range of topics and give me inspiration for every-day meals.

Senior Project Manager Kelly:

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“For me, podcasts are just a bit of fun and make a nice change to the usual segments you hear on the radio. Most of the time, I listen to them as-and-when, either when cooking, commuting to work, or on a long car journey.

1. Jules & Sarah The Podcast

This is a bit of fun really. Jules Von Hep and Sarah Powell bring to you nonsense-driven podcasts that’ll leave you with a smile on your face. It feels like I’m hanging out with them – and they make pretty good company! 

2. Wobble

Jules and Sarah also have a podcast called ‘Wobble’ which is all about happiness and body confidence. Again, their chatty, laid-back style put a positive spin on the fact that, sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay. With so many pressures to look good and to take that ‘perfect insta shot’, it can be tricky to keep positive about the way you look. This podcast is a breath of fresh air.

3. The Fringe of It

Bloggers Liv Purvis and Charlotte Jacklin’s chatty podcast is literally just that – a chatty podcast! It’s as if you’re in on the conversation with them as they discuss millennial life, best shopping picks, and what they’ve been up to recently. A great one for easy listening.

Project Executive Molly:

Molly Ebdon Project Executive - Top 15 podcasts, recommended by the Angelfish team!

“I love to travel and, during long-haul flights or road trips, I like to listen to a few podcasts! A fan of true crime dramas, I had to recommend ‘My Favourite Murder’ – one I didn’t expect to laugh out loud to! I also like easy-going podcasts, too, which I can have on in the background on the commute into work.

1. My Favourite Murder

I love true crime dramas so this podcast is really up my street! Hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the ‘My Favourite Murder podcast’ puts a comedic spin on true crime stories. Whenever I listen in, I feel like they’re in the room with me and that I’m part of the conversation!

2. Is This Adulting?

The ‘Is This Adulting?’ podcast comes from the initiative to help those who don’t feel worthy of the title ‘adult’. They want to break the stigma of mental health while keeping things light-hearted. They talk about topics that so many find difficult to speak up about, which I feel is so important in this day and age.

3. The Wooden Spoon

This podcast is by a group of four university students who discuss what it means to be successful beyond the books and grades in school. They chat about the fact that, once you leave school, life is no longer defined by scores and deadlines, and instead is about defining success that’s unique to you.

Validator Sian:

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“Having just got back from my holiday abroad, I could recommend quite a few podcasts to those wanting to listen to something new sunbathing on the beach or travelling between locations, but these are definitely my favourite.”

1. Food Psych

In each episode of these podcasts, I learn something new about diet culture. Listening to Christy Harrison and her guests talk about body positivity and acceptance, I learn how they’ve made peace with food and how to break away from diet culture.

2. Casefile

The ultimate true-crime podcast! As they say themselves; fact is scarier than fiction – and this is certainly the case with these episodes. Each one takes you through a different case, really one to get your teeth into!

3. Off Menu

A bit more lighthearted, ‘Off Menu’ with James Acaster and Ed Gamble is definitely one for a good giggle. In each episode, they invite special guests into their imaginary restaurant, where they have to choose their favourite starter, main, dessert, and drink. Served with a side of comedy, this podcast really is one for a laugh.

Co-Founder Lisa:

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“I like to keep busy – if I’m not at work, I’m usually spending time with my little one, so when I have a spare moment I love to listen to a podcast or two! I like to stay creative and take inspiration from what other business owners do, so here are my top three recommendations for you!”

1. Make it Happen

Jen Carrington is a creative coach for business owners. Her podcast does exactly what it says on the tin: helping other creatives push their creativity in the right direction, overcome fears and produce the content they want to produce.

2. Food for thought

Simplifying wellness, Rhiannon Lambert is the UK’s leading Nutritionist, helping to live a healthy lifestyle. Cutting through the fads and offering evidence-based advice, she encourages you to live well through a balanced diet.

3. Bryony Gordon: If I Can Do It

Bryony Gordon is a journalist and author who talks about the obstacles people face throughout life on the road to success. From speaking to female refugees who’ve fled South Sudan’s deadly civil war, to discussing body positivity with those making waves in the industry, this is a truly inspiring podcast.

Gaining in-depth insights

Everyone’s selections and preferences are so different and we hope this gives you an insight into the team here at AFO! It’s insights like these that big brands find particularly useful when they’re conducting market research. If you’d like to take part in one of our market research studies, and are successful in meeting all of the criteria set out by our clients, then you’ll be entered into the validation process. This is where you’ll have a quick chat with a member of our team.

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You’ll often get asked a ‘random’ question during our initial phone interviews that are a bit of fun. This is so we can gain an insight into who you are as a person, your likes, and your dislikes. To discover one of the best ways to make extra money on the side, take part in market research with us! Just sign up to our panel. We’ll send you invitations to studies that are relevant to you, so you can pick and choose the ones you’d like to go for!

Sign Up Here.

get paid for shopping

Why ‘vanity sizing’ is driving shoppers mad

When shopping for new clothes, it can sometimes be a demoralising and frustrating experience. Going from shop to shop, the labels on clothes seem to hold no relevance to the actual measurements of the clothing, leaving many questioning their true size. The lack of standardisation across high street stores and online fashion retailers is causing confusion and upset amongst women. How is it possible to be a size 10 in one shop and a 16 in another? A ‘medium’ in one store and a ‘small’ elsewhere?

What is vanity sizing?

‘Vanity sizing’, a term coined to reflect the upset consumers are experiencing, describes clothing of a certain size becoming bigger over time, tapping into buyer mentality and encouraging shoppers to buy smaller sizes to feel good about themselves – we all know how great it feels to buy a top a size smaller than expected! Although a new term, vanity sizing is not a new phenomenon by any means; sizes have been gradually getting smaller over the years – for example, a size 14 in 1958 would now be considered a size 8 by today’s standards.

Walking into a shop and not knowing where to start is beginning to frustrate shoppers. There has been a lot of exposure of this issue on social media, with online influences sharing their sizing struggles in the dreaded fitting rooms. For example, motherhood, fashion and beauty blogger, Kerri Northcott, posted this photo on Instagram. She stated, “these [shorts] were a size 16 that I had no chance of doing up, followed by a different pair of shorts that were a size 16 that were a bit too big”. Many of her followers chipped in with their bugbears about brands and their sizing too.

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Standardisation of sizes

It’s interesting to consider the differences in the fashion world. Take shoes, for example. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying from Primark or Russell & Bromley: you’re pretty much guaranteed to be the same size. So why can’t clothes adopt the same philosophy?

Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement to enforce standard sizing, so manufacturers vary the measurements depending on store and demographic; astoundingly, Zara’s dress sizes even vary depending on where in the world the garment was manufactured. Another highstreet store, H&M, lowered their measurements only to receive a considerable amount of backlash on social media. As a result, they are now changing the way they size their clothes. So how can we make a real difference to the standardisation of clothing sizes? Well, taking part in market research could prove valuable to high street brands who want to improve the buyer experience. Getting involved in accompanied shops will allow you to feed back your thoughts and opinions to well-known brands. Not only this, but you’ll receive an incentive for your time – yes, really, you can get paid for shopping! The dream, right?

The future

Last year, Primark announced that they were changing the way they sized their womenswear, adopting an S, M and L approach to their clothing rather than number sizing in the hope this would provide a clearer guide to their ranges. And, with high-street store H&M already adjusting their clothing ranges to adhere to the correct measurements, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Now it’s time for the rest of the high street to get on board and make the changes.

At Angelfish Opinions, we conduct market research for brands who want to get valuable insights from their customers. To take part and start making waves with your opinions, sign up to our panel. You’ll get sent relevant invitations to studies to get involved with, including accompanied shops where you can get paid for shopping at your favourite stores!

Sign Up Here.

legit market research companies

How to check that you’re signed up to a legit market research company

We all get junk landing in our inboxes from time to time, spinning us stories about amazing deals that don’t really exist and trying to get us to reveal personal information in return for something that isn’t even real. It can be scary to receive these emails, especially when it’s so difficult to tell the difference between real, legitimate emails and fake ones, masquerading as real. And it’s not just via email anymore – scams and fake news are spreading everywhere on social media, too.

So, when it comes to taking part in market research, how can you spot the fact from the fiction? And how can you spot the legit market research companies from the fake? In this post, we’ll identify the ways in which you can assess the credibility of research agencies so that you can sign up to studies with confidence.

1. Look at reviews

When buying a new product or investing in a new service, how often do you check online reviews before parting with your hard earned money? You want reassurance that what you’re about to buy is going to be worth your time. You want back-up and reassurance from others who’ve previously purchased the item, who can give you information about their experience. Reviews, for the most part, give a good overview of a company. So, why act any differently before you sign up to market research? You won’t be parting with your money, but you will be signing over your contact information. So, have a browse for some online reviews from others who’ve taken part in research with that particular company before you go for it. Ensure you’re looking at reviews from people who have taken part in market research before and can give a well-rounded response.

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2. Assess the claims

Some claims out there are posted by people who don’t have any evidence to support their comments, some aren’t always true, and some are just plain funny! You just have to trust your instinct and make a judgement call as to whether you think these claims are true – are lots of people saying the same things, or is it just a one-off comment?

3. Check out their social media profiles

Every company has social media profiles nowadays, connecting with others in the same industry to chat and share ideas. Angelfish Opinions is our participant facing side of our market research business. Angelfish Fieldwork is our client facing side of the business and you can check out our LinkedIn social media profile – yep, we really do love market research! If you find that the market research agency in question is not on social media, then this would be a red flag; agencies use social networks as one of the top ways to find respondents for their research.

Another thing to consider is their following. Accounts with just one or two followers, who claim to be top research agencies, are probably fake! Look closely at what they post or tweet about; a good market research agency will post about their upcoming studies and share engaging content to interact with respondents. Checking social media for legit market research companies will give you a good idea of whether or not you should trust them.

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4. Check for a website and contact details

Does the company have a website? If not, it’s unlikely that they’re legitimate – are there any businesses out there that don’t have a website these days?! If they do have a website and their contact details available, assess their credibility. Are they local? Does the email address work? Another good tip is to look out for a FAQ page where you’ll be able to find answers to the most common queries the company gets, plus, it is a great place to learn more about what they do.

Open and honest research

At Angelfish Opinions, we take an open and honest approach to market research recruitment. If you ever have any questions about any of our studies, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team will be happy to answer your queries.

If you’d like to take part in market research and get your opinions heard by big brands, sign up to our panel. We’ll send you emails to the studies that are relevant to you. It’s a fantastic opportunity to express your thoughts, plus, you get to earn a bit of extra cash as you go!

Meet the Angelfish Opinions team…

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The Angelfish Opinions team!
From left to right: Molly, Jade, Sian, Kelly, Lisa

Sign Up Here.

ways to make extra money

The bank of mum and dad: why young adults are living at home for longer

With the rising cost of living, it’s no surprise that more and more young people are having to live with their parents in order to be able to save up enough money to eventually move out. House prices are skyrocketing, meaning it’s now more difficult than ever to buy, and renting isn’t cheap either – often people opt for houseshares to further save on costs. But what does all of this mean for you? And what can you do to raise extra funds?

The stats

  • Nearly one million more young adults are living with their parents compared to 20 years ago (2.4 million in 1997 to 3.4 million in 2017). 
  • In London, the number of young people living with parents grew by 41% between 1996-98 and 2014-15. 
  • The number of young people living alone in the UK has fallen from 1.8 million in 2002 to 1.3 million in 2017.

Housing

Why spend an absolute fortune on rent when you can continue living at home for free, or for a lot less? You may decide to stay at home because the cost of housing is just so high. Many believe that paying rent is just ‘money down the drain’ as you pay off someone else’s mortgage without getting anything of your own. And, with costs getting higher and higher, especially in cities, the more attractive living at home becomes. Renting just a one-bed flat in London eats up nearly half of the average salary, and the average cost of a one bedroom flat in Bristol is a huge £767 per month. And that’s before bills. 

It’s not just the cost of rent putting people off – house prices are also on the rise. The annual increase in the year to May 2019 was the fastest recorded since January 2017 and comes after a 5% rise in April. The average property will now set you back £237,837.

Millennials are moving significantly less often than earlier generations of young adults. Among 25- to 35-year-olds, who were living at home in 2016, 91% reported that they resided at the same address one-year earlier, much higher than the previous generation. Among Gen Xers living at home in 2000, 86% reported living at that address one year earlier, an indication that moving away from home is increasingly less common. 

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Cost of living

The general cost of living is getting more and more expensive. Costs of weekly food shops, travel and entertainment are all rising, making saving money very difficult. From council tax to TV licence, water bills to gas bills, general house bills are also on the rise, again deterring young people from finding their own place. Plus, what was once considered by many as ‘luxuries’ are now becoming necessities. Could you live without your Netflix or Spotify subscriptions in order to save money? The ‘fear of missing out’ or ‘FOMO’ haunts many! Plus, travelling is now more popular than ever. With youth travel representing more than 23% of the one billion tourists travelling internationally each year, it’s clear that saving for experiences such as this is now quite important for this age group.

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What you can do to make extra money

There are lots of ways to earn a bit of extra money, including selling old clothes on eBay or DePop, getting a weekend or part-time job, or even dog walking! To save money, decide on what is a luxury and what is a necessity. Could you go without catching up on a Netflix series this month? Could you make your coffee at home instead of buying it at your local coffee shop? Little things like this can really start to add up, so make sure you’re only spending where you have to.

Making more money doesn’t always have to be boring and a chore – taking part in market research is also a great opportunity to get some extra cash. You can work this around your day-to-day life and you get to communicate with big brands, telling them what you really think of their products or services. You’ll meet like-minded people and, if you’d rather, you could take part in the comfort of your own home (or your Mum & Dads!). So, to get started, join our panel and start receiving invitations to take part in studies that are relevant to you.

Sign Up Here.