Samples, Surveys, Share Your Opinion, Etc.
Prologue: One of the fun things about having a blog is all the shopping around I do for what I think those who read my posts might be interested in (and of course I end up blowing my yarn budget half the time!) and posting affiliate links for you. That’s why you see more ads and posts from me for Craftsy: it’s where I buy most of my yarn, get patterns, sell patterns, shop for baking stuff, take classes, etc. I also love Amazon; I’ve been shopping there for well over 10 years and buy almost everything from there. When I post a flash sale from Craftsy, you can be absolutely positive that the very next thing I do after giving you the link is to get over there and do some shopping myself! I love to share good things, and I love to enjoy them myself.
As an affiliate with several companies, I often see programs that I haven’t tried but look “too good to be true,” some that I’ve tried myself and have found useful or not, and still others that I’ve only tested so that I could tell you about them. I was looking through my affiliate programs for some good products to integrate into my website and realized that I could earn $1-2 for each person who participates in some of these “samples,” “gift card,” etc. But how would I know (beforehand) that they’re any good?
I tried them myself. Scroll down to see what I learned…
I started out by setting up a Gmail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) just for catching all the junk email that I knew I’d get from these offers. I also have a Google Voice phone number that I give out rather than my private cell number. I’ll be able to see the junk email, mail, and unwanted phone calls that I expect will result from filling out all these offers, but they won’t interfere with my work or personal communications.
So here are the affiliate offers I’ve just tried along with descriptions of what I had to do to get what was promised and whether or not I received it. Let me know your favorites!
BY THE WAY – For those of you with websites, you can earn money as an affiliate for this and other programs. In a nutshell, I earn about $1-2 for everyone who provides an email address to one of these offers, which is a pretty cool situation. Go to MaxBounty and apply so that you can start earning on your website.
Here’s the “art” relevant to this link, and YES, I’m interested in getting samples of what they’re showing. Cool! I had to provide my email address, gender, birthdate, mailing address, and answer some more personal questions (ie do you or your spouse have diabetes? etc.).
It took less than a minute, so if we actually get good samples, I’ll be pleased. I gave this one a green light. It was a light survey and considering it came through MaxBounty, I expect I’ll probably receive something.
Whew! Ok, this program was more involved. There were lots of different phrases to link: the $100 Amazon (above), Get an Xbox One, Get $100 Starbucks card, etc., but they all use the same link: http://www.mb102.com/lnk.asp?o=6151&c=918271&a=279558&l=4863.
In checking out the sample page (it’s called a landing page) you’re supposed to get with this link, and the first couple of times, I got a page with a message that my Flash needed to be updated, but then after I’d checked out the actual link, the page was normal. Huh.
Regardless, pages that tell you your software is out of date and prompt you to “Download Now” are suspect; they’re often tricks to get you to install adware or malware.
Ever find your web browser’s home page or search engine has been set to something other than Google or whatever you wanted? Or get popups in your web browser? Chances are you’ve downloaded adware or malware and need to clean your computer. So NEVER, NEVER agree to install something on your computer unless you’ve specifically gone to a reputable site for that particular software (like Amazon, CNet, MacKeeper, etc.) But I digress…
Anyway, when I checked the actual link you click, it was fine. Here’s the screen I got:
Oooh, $1,000! Cool!
But notice the “*UPON COMPLETION OF PURCHASE REQUIREMENTS….” and read the fine print below, where it says (the usual): you must be a U.S. resident, provide accurate & complete info, complete the survey questions, view optional offers, AND (and here’s the kicker) complete the requisite number of Silver, Gold, and Platinum offers… blah blah…. blah.
So I completed the survey, got to the end, then got bopped over to other offers with MORE forms to fill out: one for fall samples, and another for Publisher’s Clearing House.
So I’m not sure what, if anything, I’ll receive from the $1,000 VISA Gift Card offer, but I’m betting it won’t be a $1,000 Visa Gift Card! If I DID by some miracle get $100 Amazon card, it would be well worth the small effort, but I’m not holding my breath. 😀
Another easy one with pretty much the same questions as the others… do you have diabetes? Back or joint pain? A mortgage? Debt? Do you have to pay out of pocket for prescriptions? Do you want to continue your education? And so on. My guess is that for each question, the company running the survey has one or more customer who’s buying “leads” (email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers, etc). Perhaps a pharmaceutical company wants leads specific to people who have diabetes, an online university like University of Phoenix might want the leads from those who answer “yes” regarding whether they’re interested in pursuing their educations, and so on.
All in all, it was simple and short. I won’t hold my breath on my chances of winning, but I might take another shot if I had it to do over again.
Ok, I’m starting to get the hang of this. Apparently, the goal is to rack up 100 “points” (which is tracked by the email address I input) in order to actually get the samples or a $100 gift card. So after this survey, which is just like #1, I’m at 60 points.
I’m not sure if it was the last survey or one prior, but I got a screen prompting me to go for the “Silver” level (with the idea that “Gold” level means $1,000 gift card) by accepting an offer. Well, I shop at Fingerhut, so why not pick up a card? So I filled out the credit app and – kaboom – now I’ve got a Fingerhut credit card that will be handy for Christmas shopping.
Thus far… nothing too involved or painful, so I shall mush on to the next offer…
This program had me caught up in endless loops surveys if I answered a prompt, like “Do you want samples?” to the positive. I learned that the trick was to click No or Skip. It was frustrating, though, and I don’t know that I’d pursue it again.
<<<Apple IOS users, follow this link to InboxDollars>>>
<<<Android users, follow this link to InboxDollars>>>
I’ve done InboxDollars before, so I feel pretty good recommending them. I also Googled “InboxDollars Reviews” and saw that most reviews run about average (3 stars). You have to take a lot of surveys to earn a decent amount of money, but it’s interesting and fun to a lot of people. Worth a look. According to the promo info, New users also receive $5 just for joining, so let me know how it goes!
Ipsos Surveys is another company I’ve signed up with in the past and had good experience with. Like most of these programs, though, it takes a good number of surveys, emails, or searches to earn a good amount of money. It helps to love surveys!
Survey Rewardz is another survey program like Nielsen, etc. I haven’t tried them myself, but reviews based on a quick Google search look to be mostly 3 stars out of 5.
I imagine the chances of winning $5,000 are fairly remote, but it’s possible there are goodies to be had. This one took me through the typical questions, finished with an offer to join Overstock, and actually took me to a finish screen – no loops! – when I clicked “skip.” Wohoo!
Obviously it’s too soon to tell you if I’ve received anything in the mail yet, so if you get something before I come back and update with what I’ve received, please comment which links you used and what you got! Meanwhile, I’ll give each link my personal green, yellow, or red light to indicate whether or not I would be willing to do it again or recommend it. Always, though – even when it comes to those things I think seem ok – use your own good judgment and research!
Ok, I just checked my “junk” email box, and I actually got some stuff! A phone wallet (I have no CLUE what that is, but it’s on its way), a 14-day sample of L’Oreal Revitalift, a razor, and one or two other things so far. Cool!