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).
How does Survey Money Macines work?
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.
What survey companies should you sign up for?
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:
- Inbox Dollars
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:
- Big Bucks Survey – VERY spammy and slaps you with an overwhelming amount of promotions while you try and take the surveys.
- Media Insiders Panel – not really a survey site at all. They pay you to install an app on your tablets and/or smartphones which allows them to spy on you!
- Project Payday – CPA freebie offer site, not related to online surveys at all
- Real Writing Jobs – total scam
I noticed the trend with some of the survey companies is to sneakily incorporate CPA offers into their questionares…
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…
How much money can you make with Survey Money Machines?
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.
Let me give you a more realistic view of the type of income you’ll earn from online surveys…
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.
Here’s a glance at some surveys for Inbox Dollars:
- Some of the survey sites recommended are completely legit and provide you with clean, professional surveys.
- You can definitely earn some extra cash by taking surveys.
- It’s relatively easy and requires no particular skills.
- While you can earn extra money, it takes a lot of time and you end up working for just a few bucks an hour (way less than minimum wage)!
- It’s a waste of time if you don’t actually enjoy it.
- Every company has a minimum payment threshold. If you sign up for many different companies, it’ll take a lot more effort to reach the minimum payouts for each one.
- Some companies within the SMM databaseare overly promotional and really spammy. You’ll be up to your eyeballs in pop ups and offers before you can finish a simple questionnaire.
- Certain companies will make you sign up for services or buy products before you can complete a survey, which requires an initial investment.
- You’re giving out a lot of personal information, sometimes even your social security number is required
- They claim they don’t spam you, but your inbox will be filled with spam emails before you know it and your phone will be blowing up with telemarketer calls. Create a seperate email account speficially for online surveys if you want to get seriously into it. Try to avoid any offers that require a phone number as well.
My final opinion – Is it worth it?
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.