Palfish Review — How to Become a Palfish Tutor

 

palish review

 

 

What is a Palfish? Is it some sort of exotic fish? Or is it something that will let you earn a few extra bucks? No, I am not talking about Palfish.com, where you can get seafood. I’m talking about the Palfish app (also at iPalfish.com), something I downloaded some time ago. Although I never got around to actually making money with it, I did sign up and had a nice look around for a couple of weeks.

palfish app reviewHow It Works

There are people around the world who know English as a second language. They have studied the English language, but since they live in a country where there are not a lot of English speakers, they do not get a lot of chances to actually practice speaking English. So, Palfish is an app that connects these people to you and other English speakers. You will get paid for chatting with these people and helping them master the English language by helping them out with pronunciation etc.

The app is based in China and most of the students are located there. You will be paid in Chinese Yuan. However, you can set your own prices. The exception to this rule is when you tutor new students. These students are on a free trial that gives them ten minutes of free tutoring. For each minute, you will get half a yuan. Otherwise, if your student is not new, they will pay according to the price you set. You can start off charging a lower price and then up it when you get good reviews from students.

How much should you charge? When starting out, you want to charge a low rate until you get some good reviews. But it will also depend on whether you actually have teaching experience and education or you are just a native speaker chatting with students. The ones who charge more have actual teaching degrees, while those who just help students out through chatting with them and correcting their mistakes charge less. 60 Yuan per hour is a standard rate, which is around eight or nine dollars.

How to Apply and Get Started

To apply, just go to iPalfish.com and enter your phone number, so that you can be sent the link for the app. Yo sign up using your mobile number, submit a short bio, upload a picture, and submit a short voice recording. You do not need any sort of degree or education to apply – they just want people who can speak English well. Of course, if you have a degree, fill that out in the title, though you will need to verify it.

If accepted, you can start accepting calls from students. To accept calls, simply click on Start Tutoring. All calls are made over the internet, though both voice and video calls are available. Just wait for students to call you. You can also set up appointments with students once they get to know you. If you want, you can create a lesson, which you can then sell at the price of your choosing. You will have to personally teach this lesson to each student you sell it to; it is not a pre-recorded thing you can keep on selling. You can also create short podcasts to show off your abilities, as well as groups that students can join. You can also add “moments,” which are a little like Facebook status updates.

So, Is Palfish Legit? Can It Really Be True?

Yes, Palfish is legit. I was a member of their teacher group, created by the owner, and I have found that the teachers seemed to be getting calls – and money! So it seems like they do pay. I personally did not take any calls. I don’t have a teaching degree, and right now I don’t want to do work for such a low rate, though I might mark my status as “online” just to experience it.

Most students don’t really want you to “teach” them; they just want a real English speaker that they can actually speak English to and who can help them out with questions they have, as well as with pronunciation. However, you will have to be the one initiating the conversation, as your students will likely feel shy or hesitant to start speaking English with you.

Palfish has become quite popular since I wrote this review, and has gone from 500 downloads to 10,000 downloads. It’s still pretty much the same though, so I haven’t changed this review much. Again, you can sign up by going to iPalfish.com and entering your phone number.

What are your thoughts? The world would like to know!

61 Comments

  1. Flip Simon

    Hi
    I have a few questions. 1) I have a windows phone and laptop-what can I do? 2) It seems as though my cell phone would run out of charge very quickly using the internet platform-should I plug it into the charger while teaching? 3) Since you get paid by the minute, you might teach for ten minutes and then have a gap of an hour, therefore only getting paid for ten minutes while being online for much longer. Am I correct about this? 4) It doesn’t seem that I can share written information with the students. Am I correct ? 6) Does Palfish have a website that gives information or just a download page?

    Cheers
    Flip

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi there!

      1) I don’t think it works on Windows phones. You can check the Windows app store, but I doubt they have an app for Windows. I’d recommend getting a cheap Android phone or tablet just for that.

      2) You can definitely plug it in while teaching. That would work perfectly well.

      3) Yes, you are correct about that. I recommend that you find something useful to do. Example: If you are a student and are studying, you can study your textbooks with the phone on and take a break from your studying when you get a call. Another example: If you are a writer, you can write an article and stop when you get a call. You can also just do this in your spare time while reading a book.

      4) I think you can share written information. You can post lessons, videos and podcasts on your profile page, and students can view them. I’m not entirely sure about written information, but I do think you can do that.

      5) I don’t think they have a website with more information. It’s possible they have a website in Chinese.

      Hope this helps!

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
  2. Honey Grace

    Hi Ben,
    I just want to ask if how much would be salary of the teacher per month. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi and sorry for the delayed response!

      The truth is that this is a freelance job, so your salary will depend on how much you work. Remember that you can set your own prices per hour.

      So do the calculations: How much hours you plan on working X how much you’re charging per hour = your salary.

      So if you expect to work for two hours a day at $10 an hour five days a week, you’ll be making around $100 a week. This is just an example, you can work more and charge more 🙂

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  3. Margaret

    Hi Ben –
    Thank you for your informative review. My question is –
    do I have to have a phone number to apply or can I use my email address.
    I am currently moving and travelling through different countries and each new country requires a new sim card.
    If I cannot do this with Palfish, do you know of similar companies where I can use my email address.
    Hope you can help – Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hey Margeret,

      You do need a cell phone number to apply. I think they send a text message to confirm your number. However, once you create your account, I don’t think you need it anymore. So you can probably try signing up with any number, as long as the country code is supported. If you have one main number that you plan on keeping I’d recommend that you use that (for example, if you have a permanent US number you can sign up with that and continue using Palfish even if you’re out of the US). Otherwise, just use the number you have now.

      A popular Palfish alternative is NiceTalk. However, I think they have set rates and you can’t choose your own. You can try them out.

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
  4. Joy

    Hi Ben!

    Is there any circumstances that Palfish will still review or respond you when you filled up your requirements/information after 30 days? I had a very important matter attended and I finished my requirement almost a month. Do you think they will still consider my application or do I need to sign up again? Thank you. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Joy!

      If you can still log into your first account, I would say to try applying now with it. They’ll probably get a notification when your application is completed. I don’t see why it should be an issue.

      If they don’t respond after three to five days, then maybe you should try creating a new account.

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
  5. Jessica

    Hi Ben! I just downloaded the app and i have just created my profile. My question is, where can I link my bank account to the app? I don’t really know how because it’s just my first time.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      or should I wait my account to be verified first before linking my Paypal account?

      Reply
      1. Ben (Post author)

        Hi Jessica!

        In the app, click on the person icon, which should be on the bottom-right corner.

        Then, click on “My Wallet.” There, you should be able to enter your Paypal email address. Palfish can also pay you through Alipay, if you use that.

        I do think you should wait until your account is approved – I’m not sure if this option shows up beforehand.

        Let me know if this works!

        All the best,

        Ben

        Reply
  6. Megan

    Hi there,

    I know you said you never actually used the app which is a real bummer but I understand you have your reasons. If by any chance you know of someone that has used it properly, can you please ask them to answer my question? xx.

    I would like to know if its possible to make $100 dollars a month? Working 5 hours each week (excluding data costs)? Please if possible don’t tell me what you can deduce or just something you decided off the top of your head, but from beginner level till the end of the month (with persistance), can you make at least $100? I’m doing my best to try and earn money on the internet, I’ve only gotten a few dollars from surveys and unfortunately I have only gotten $5 over two months, and I have done a multitude of surveys, I just think I’m not in the required bio plus I’m not an American citizen. I have tutored in person, and I am TEFL certified but it’s such a bother to drive and internet jobs suit me better because I hate being a waitress (the stress is just too much) it just isn’t for me. Anyway sorry for the long post.

    Please look yourself,
    Megan

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Megan,

      I hope someone who tutored on Palfish sees this and answers you.

      What you can also do is join and apply, and then ask this question in the teacher’s group. I think they will send you an invitation to this group.

      Much success,

      Ben

      Reply
      1. marniel

        sr just wanna ask wat type of company are they? private? coz i stated private in my paypal

        Reply
        1. Ben (Post author)

          Hi Marniel!

          I do not know the answer to that question.

          Thanks for stopping by,

          Ben

          Reply
  7. patricia

    hello,

    i just downloaded the app and filled our everything that was rquired.
    but i’ve some problems with the paypal info. dont really know what to fill in there. my email addy?

    and: where can i change my status to ONLINE?

    I really want to get started 🙂

    thank you,

    patricia

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Patricia!

      For your Paypal information, just enter your Paypal email address and your first and last name.

      Is your account already approved? If it’s still pending, I think you won’t be able to change your status to “online” just yet. Hope this helps 🙂

      Let me know if you need any more help and thanks for stopping by!

      Ben

      Reply
  8. Jovana

    Hi Ben,

    I am begginer. What price should I set? And one more question: How many students call you per day?
    Thank you for your answer 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Jovana!

      I think you should set whatever you feel comfortable with as a beginner. Is it $10 an hour? Is it $15? Do you feel that it’s not worth it unless you charge $25 an hour? Go with whatever you calculate to be worth it to you. If you see that you get no customers, you can always experiment lowering your fees until you get some reviews. Of course, you’ll need to set the price in Yen, so use Google to calculate that.

      As for how many students will call you, there is no answer that I can really say with certainty. I don’t know how their system algorithm that helps students find tutors work. I know some people had a few people a day, while others had much more than that and others had almost none. Also keep in mind that you’ll get calls based on the time zones in China. Try setting your status to “online” based on the morning and evening in China.

      You can always try getting more calls by putting up a great photo and putting up a good sample lesson or free podcast. I’m sure that will help.

      Hope this helps you out!

      Reply
  9. J.D

    Hi Ben,

    Please, Could you tell me which kind of paypal account I should have if I want to get money from the Palfish? Do I have to have a business account? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi JD,

      As far as I know, a regular Paypal account would be good enough. I do not have a business Paypal account and I use my regular Paypal account to get paid by many companies, so I’m sure it would work for Palfish as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  10. Prince

    Hello Ben, i have a quick question for you. I already downloaded the app and was able to launch it to create my profile. Lastly i have created my VOICE RECORDING as what the app instructed me to do. Im wondering if there should also be a DEMO needed like in other ESL? Or only a voice recording? Thanks in advanced for the help mate

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Prince!

      When I signed up, all you needed was a voice recording. There was no demo necessary. I think they require the recording in order to find out whether you actually speak fluent English, but unless something changed, that’s all you need.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  11. Omilla Jhugga

    Hi Ben

    Please help I downloaded the app a while ago and I uninstalled it but now I want to register again and I get a 4 digit pin to verify and after that it says user name exists…how do I continue…

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Omilla,

      I think you have two options.

      One, you can sign in using your old account. I don’t see why this would not be possible.

      Two, you can try uninstalling the app and creating a new account. This won’t work if you don’t have another cell phone number to sign up with. Perhaps you can use your friend’s phone number to get the PIN.

      Let me know if you need more help.

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
      1. chill

        Hi! Ben,

        Please help, I don’t know what to do, I Installed the app, received a verification #, I then put up a photo but when I put up my username, it always says “Registration err” I tried different kinds of usernames some already exists, they said. I keep trying until now and their response is the same thing, “registration err”
        What’s wrong, I mean do they have their own guidelines on how usernames should be, like a particular amount of letters? Thank you.

        Reply
        1. Ben (Post author)

          Hi Chill!

          Sorry for the late response. I’m not sure why that is happening.

          Perhaps delete the app and try installing it again? Or maybe try installing it on another device?

          Also, try contacting the app owners (you can find their contact information in the play store, by the app details on the bottom). You can also try leaving a review in the playstore and mention your problem; perhaps someone from their staff will reply to you with an answer.

          I hope you get this issue resolved soon!

          Reply
  12. AJ

    Hi! I’m making a lesson, What kind of files do I need to make? I trying the Microsoft powerpoint… Is that OK?

    Waiting for reply

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi AJ,

      I’m not entirely sure of the answer, because I never created a lesson myself. But the way I understand it, a lesson is not a file that you send to students. Instead, it is a lesson plan, a plan of study. For example, you might create a lesson plan where you explain the differences between their and they’re, your and you’re, its and it’s, etc. You then go through the entire lesson plan which each student separately. In other words, it’s not something that you create once and that’s it; you have to go through it which each student.

      However, I could be wrong. Again, I never actually created a lesson myself — I just looked at lessons other people created. You can ask Palfish support or something how to do it.

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
  13. Revai

    hello

    how long does it take for one to be verified,

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Revai,

      It shouldn’t take long. I think it took less than 24 hours by me. At most it should take a few days. Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
  14. Anya

    Hi! Thank you so much for the useful Info.
    I downloaded the app and am currently making my profile page. However, in the payment section it is stated that Palfish will pay you 80% of your income: “You will receive 80% of your overall income from Palfish Freetalk and Palfish Lesson.”
    Is that something new?
    Thank in advance!

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Anya,

      I don’t remember seeing that message. However, if I remember correctly, this is not something new. The way Palfish itself (meaning the owners of the Palfish app) makes money is by taking a 20% percent commission off your earnings. This is actually standard in the industry. Freelancer (which connects freelancers and customers), UpWork, Constant-Content, and many other companies, all take commissions, ranging from 10% to 35%.

      Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Hi! It’s me again. 🙂
        I got approved and had my first class of 25 min.with a rate ¥1.1/min. However, when the talk ended it said I earned ¥12. I don’t understand why, that is lower than 80%. They are not answering yet. It wasn’t a matter of trial student or anything similar.
        I could use some help if you know sth. Thanks!

        Reply
        1. Ben (Post author)

          Hi,

          That’s quite disturbing. I would definitely try to contact them again. It could be that because of the time difference, it takes longer to respond. If they still don’t respond, try contacting them by leaving a negative review (mentioning your issue) on Google Play Apps or the Apple App Store.

          You can also try asking the other teachers about this. If I remember correctly, there are “groups” on Palfish for students to chat together, and there is also a group for teachers. The other teachers may know the answer.

          Let me know how it goes 🙂

          All the best

          Ben

          Reply
  15. Nikki

    Hello Ben,

    How do they pay the teachers? Is it via paypal?

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Nikki,

      Yes, all teachers are paid via PayPal once a month.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  16. maelyn

    Hi Ben!

    Quick question for you, what if you decide that Palfish just isn’t for you because of other commitments in life or whatever the reason, is there a procedure that needs to be done before you stop tutoring with the app or can you just delete it?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Maelyn,

      As far as I know, you can just mark your status as offline, stop tutoring, and delete the app. That’s what I did. If you have some money owed you that hasn’t been paid yet, then I suggest keeping the app (you can still mark yourself as offline, so that you don’t get any calls) until you get paid.

      Much success!

      Reply
      1. Lorraine Gregg

        Hello Ben,
        Could I ask why you stopped tutoring?

        Reply
        1. Ben (Post author)

          Hi Lorraine!

          Good question. There’s no particular reason why I stopped. I just didn’t feel like it’s for me. I’d rather do writing work or work on my website; it’s easier for me that way. Though perhaps I should start doing it again.

          Thanks for stopping by!

          Reply
  17. Viviann

    I’m a little confused as to how to download the app. I have an Android and when I go to the Google app store, I found the icon that has the red fish and white background and assume that’s the one to download. Then it is in Chinese and I don’t know what button to click next.

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Viviann,

      There are actually two Palfish apps: One for students and one for teachers. If the app you downloaded is all in Chinese, it probably is the student app. Look for the other Palfish app and download it. If I remember correctly, it should say “Palfish Teacher.”

      Let me know how it goes 🙂

      All the best,

      Ben

      Reply
  18. Sher

    Hi Ben,

    I am wondering does the app cost for us to download it? Also can we get paid thru direct deposit?
    Do we incur any additional charges on our cell bill when doing this? One more thing do we have to have a web site?

    Sher

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Sher,

      The app is free to download; you do not have to pay anything. You get paid through PayPal, so you will need a Paypal account. And no, you do not need a website for this, all you need to do is download the app.

      As for your cell phone bill, you do need to chat via the internet, though you can choose only to do voice chats and not video chats. However, even voice chat will use up a lot of data. I would recommend you use Wi-FI. If you do not use Wi-Fi and you use your mobile internet plan, then you may have additional charges on your cell bill. If you have unlimited mobile internet, it’s not a problem. But if you don’t, then you may have an expensive cell bill to pay, depending on your plan.

      I hope this answers your questions! If you have any more questions, please let me know, and I will be happy to help you out 🙂

      Reply
  19. Djuka

    How much money can you make?
    If I’m a really good teacher. How much will I need to work to ask for the maximum amount of money and how much will that max amount be? Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    1. Djuka

      And by the way Ben, I have one more question. Is there a lot of students or will I start out really slow since I’m a new teacher? Thanks 😀

      Reply
    2. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Djuka,

      Thanks for stopping by. At first, it may be difficult, as a new teacher, to get a lot of students (when I downloaded the app, only 500 had downloaded it before me, now it has 5,000 downloads). As with all things, you start out slow and work your way up the ladder. Here are some tips: When a student “follows” you, say hello and try to create a relationship; create short free podcast lessons so that students are attracted to you; and when you do get students, encourage them to leave great reviews on you.

      As for how much money you can make: As I wrote, you can charge as much as you want per hour. At the beginning, however, you can’t charge too much. I would say around $8-10 an hour would be a good starting point. When you have a lot of students and lots of excellent reviews, you can start charging more. (Usually, the higher you charge, the less students will want to learn with you. That’s why I recommend first getting great reviews so that lots of students want to learn with you before charging higher.) Remember, you get paid in Yuan, so remember that one Yuan is around 15 cents.

      Also, as I mentioned, at the beginning, each student gets a free trial of ten minutes. If you learn with a free trial student, you will only get paid 5 Yuan for those 10 minutes, even if you normally charge higher.

      So all in all, you can make a nice amount of money per hour; however, I don’t think it can be a full time job, and how much you can make depends on how many students you have.

      Let me know if you have any more questions or comments; I would be glad to hear them 🙂

      Reply
      1. Djuka

        Wow Ben,thank you very much for an awesome reply :). And I apologize if this question has already been answered but I got a little bit more curious over the night. What are the usual times when students book the lesson , and will they call me at random times? I want to know if it’s possible for me to do two jobs, and I won’t be able to do that if the students call while I’m at a meeting. 😀 And what happens If I don’t answer in time? That’s all 🙂 , Thank you so much!

        Reply
        1. Ben (Post author)

          Hi Djuka,

          No problem — I’m happy to help out 🙂

          In the app, you can set your status as “online” or “offline.” When you are “online,” random students can all at random times. Of course, you don’t have to pick up, but then you won’t get paid. However, once you meet a student, whether through a voice call or through chat, you can certainly schedule a lesson for a specific time. So if you are in a meeting, you can just keep your status as “offline.”

          Remember, most of the students are located in China (though there are some from other countries). There is a big time difference between China and the US, Europe, and other countries. For example, there is a 12-hour difference between China and New York. If you are located in the US, the time when most students will randomly call, and the best time to set up a lesson, would be in the night (when it’s morning in China), and in the morning (when it’s early in the night in China). Just figure out the time difference between your country and China to find out the best times.

          Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂 and good luck!

          Oh, and I forgot to mention — payments are made via PayPal once a month. However, I am not sure if there is a minimum payment requirement. I don’t remember anything mentioned about a minimum requirement 🙂

          Reply
  20. Deirdre

    I just want to be sure, you have to download the app to your computer and chat from your computer Not your phone?

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Deirdre,

      Thanks for stopping by. The app is actually downloaded to your smartphone, not your computer. You can find the app on Google Play or the Apple app store. Just make sure to download Palfish Teacher, not the Palfish student app.

      Good luck:)

      Reply
  21. Kats

    hi! I applied and I was denied. can I apply again?

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Kats,

      I really am not affiliated with the company in any way. I am just an independent blogger who explores various ways to make money online.

      As such, I don’t have a definite answer to your question. You could certainly try, but I don’t know if they will consider your application.

      Let me know if you have any other questions or issues; I will be glad to help out in any way that I can.

      All the best and good luck.

      Reply
  22. Toffer

    Hi, I just have a few questions

    1. How does the voice chat work, is it through the app or they will call you on your number?

    2. Does this app require internet connection to work?

    Thank you…

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Toffer,

      Voice chat is done through the app and over the internet, not via telephone (it’s the only way they can figure out how much to pay you). This means that you do need a reliable internet connection to use the app.

      All the best,

      🙂

      Reply
  23. Elaine

    App does not work. I have tried to upload it and sign up but it does not work properly. First, it does not give me the USA as an option to use number “1” and then I cannot sign up. Would love to try the app but cannot even get through applying without great difficulty.

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Elaine,

      Try this: When you click “Register,” the default country code will be +86. In order to change it to +1, the USA country code, just tap on the +86 on your smartphone screen. It will bring up a list of countries.

      Try it out and let me know if it works.

      Reply
      1. Edhel daos

        Hi ibtried to tap on the country code to change it but nothing changed… Not seeing option for my country code. Thanks

        Reply
        1. Ben (Post author)

          Hi Edhel!

          It seems to work for me. But I did notice that you have a .ph email address. Are you located in the Philippines? I also did not see any option for the Philippines. It can be that the only support some countries, and the Philippines isn’t included.

          Why not leave a review on Google Play and ask why the Philippines isn’t supported? Maybe they will respond with a way that will work for you.

          Thanks for stopping by!

          Reply
  24. Daniel Thorpe

    From Dr. Daniel Thorpe a retired attorney I am an American with a b.s.,m.s., and a doctorate.I worked as an English teacher in so. Korea and Mexico and now online to China , for the past year. I have good computer equipment. I have a midwest American accent.

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Daniel,

      I don’t own the company. To start tutoring, you must have a smartphone. Go to the Google Play Store or the Apple app store and search for “Palfish Teacher.” Download the app and create an account.

      Then, just upload an image and give them a 60 second recording of yourself and wait for them to approve you.

      You can then start earning money!

      Reply

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