Progam: Survey Money Machines
Ranking: 4/10 – Overall a free to access, basic online survey job board. Some recommended “survey companies” are not survey sites at all, or are scams. Use with caution.
Survey Money Machines may look like another paid survey scam site at first glance, but it’s actually an entirely free program to join. However, it’s really nothing special or different than any other survey site.
I’m quite familiar with online survey companies such as this one, so I’m going to do a quick Survey Money Machines review. I’ll go through the process of how it works, discuss the pros and cons, and help you decide if it’d be a good fit for you.
If not, I can provide an alternative solution for those looking to make extra cash online. (See my #1 recommendation here).
You won’t be taking surveys directly via the Survey Money Machines site; rather it’s simply a database that provides listings to a bunch of companies where you’ll be able to take surveys from. You’ll need to register seperately for each company you want to take surveys with, though, and you’ll end up giving out a lot of your personal information left and right if you aren’t careful.
Basically all these survey job board sites are all the same with only slight variations of listed companies.
SMM actually did provide a rather large database; when I signed up they gave me 45 different companies to choose from!
These are companies such as Swagbucks, Ipsos I-Say, YouGov, National Consumer Panel, Clearvoice Surveys, MintVine, Opinion Outpost, and Inbox Dollars, just to name a few. But a closer examination on my part revealed not everything listed within the database to be completely legit. Some of them weren’t even related to online surveys but were actually scams!
WARNING!!! Some of the websites listed are not survey sites at all. I ran into two completely irrelevant sites, Project Payday and Real Writing Jobs.
Project Payday is a CPA freebies site where you make money by completing CPA offers and referring others. It isn’t really a scam, but it is NOT an online survey site.
Real Writing Jobs is supposedly a membership site where inspiring writers can find legit freelance jobs, but I’ve previously joined and reviewed the program and it’s a total scam.
All of the suggested survey websites are not created equal. Some are very professional and strictly business, while others are overly promotional and spammy (or downright scams!!!).
The ones I liked best:
These all offer very clean, professional and easy to take surveys that don’t send you to the moon with additional offers. All of them work by earning you points to cash out for some type of gift card (such as Amazon or Walmart) or PayPal deposit.
I’d stay away from:
For example, you’re answering a survey regarding your tastes for restaurants. You come across a question like “Which is better – McDonald’s or Burger King?“; upon answering a new screen will pop up and take you to a form to fill that claims you’ll get a $50 gift card to your choice of McDonald’s or Burger King. After you select your choice and fill out your basic information (name, address, birth date, phone number) you’ll be redirected to a 3 step process you need to complete to get your gift card.
This is where it gets sneaky. Each of the offers you need to complete will require you to register for paid access to different services. For example, creating an account with freester.com; become a member of the disney book club; or sign up for a 30 day trial to Gamefly.
Within the terms and conditions you’re told that you must not cancel any more than 1 of the accounts before the first 30 days if you want to remain eligible to recieve the gift card. So you’ll have to stay a paying member of these sites to even qualify.
You need to be very careful when a survey redirects you to additional offers, because it happens all the time. Before you know it, you’re in over your head with accounts to 40 different companies you didn’t even want in the first place! And as for actually recieving the gift card rewards you’re promised for signing up for the offers, that’s another story…
They claim $50 an hour or $15 – $30 per survey, but that is a load of crap. Realistically you can expect probably around $2 – $3 for every hour you put in.
While they do make it quite clear it isn’t a get rich quick program, they go on to claim you can expect to make quite a bit per every survey. They tell you that all of the companies will pay you $15 – $30 per survey, but you’ll only be able to fill out a couple surveys per week from each company. Therefore, you must sign up to at least 10 companies to make sure you’re getting the most opportunities possible.
First of all, most of the surveys you encounter won’t pay anywhere near that amount. I’ve signed up with many different survey companies and taken lots of surveys, and the ones that do offer more are only with certain companies and usually it requires signing up for a service first to qualify (meaning you must invest some money).
It may be something like signing up for services to a particular insurance company or book club so you can provide a fair assessment. With this initial investment required, that bigger reward is much less worth it.
I spent about 2 hours the other day taking various surveys from I-Say and ended up with 500 points. Now, the way that I-Say operates (as well as several other survey companies) is each survey earns you a certain amount of points. When you accumulate a mimimum amount, say 1,000 points, you can cash out for prizes such as gift cards or Paypal deposits.
Cashing out 2,000 points from I-Say gets you $20 PayPal funds. Seeing as it took me 2 hours to earn 500 points, I can figure it’ll take about 8 hours to earn the 2,000. Earning 20 dollars for 8 hours of work is only $2.50 per hour!
And that wasn’t the first time I’ve ever taken online surveys, either. These companies are all very simliar and you do have to put in several hours of survey work just to get a few extra bucks.
Survey Money Machines is only a database that provides you with links to survey companies and nothing more. While some of the suggested survey sites are pretty cool and a fun way to earn some extra cash, other recommended companies are actually scams, which really makes this program lose a lot of credibility in my eyes.
Remember to be careful when it comes to giving out your personal information – create a new email address for online survey companies and try to avoid offers that require a phone number. Also, don’t go too crazy when it comes to signing up for these companies; be selective and only join the best ones. I-Say, YouGov, Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks are my personal recommendations.
If you genuinely enjoy taking online surveys, it’s a hobby that can pay a few bucks. But only you can be the judge of whether the little money is worth it or not.
If you are looking for a way to make consistent, reliable income online there’s really only one program I can truly recommend to beginners. It’ll teach you how to build a website around your passions, interests or hobbies and actually earn real money doing it.