You probably already know what Swagbucks is. After all, even if you’re not using it, there’s a good chance that most of your friends are. It’s become quite popular, so I won’t spend a lot of time explaining what it is, but for those who are unsure, here’s a brief explanation.
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is essentially a search engine that pays you in the form of ”swag bucks” for using it. There are plenty of other ways to obtain swag bucks too, like taking surveys, playing games, and cutting coupons, but it’s a search engine at heart. So, the draw is that you register and use their search engine instead of Yahoo or Google and they reward you with swag bucks that can be redeemed for gift cards and merchandise. There’s no cost. Just download their search engine toolbar and get going.
Sounds pretty good, right? That’s what I thought, so recently I gave in and decided to check it out. I wanted to see what all the fuss is about. So, a couple months ago I did just that and started my journey to becoming a swag buck millionaire. Here’s what I found.
Is Swagbucks worth the time?
Wait…you wanted more than that? Oh, ok. Here’s what I mean by that.
There are two types of Swagbucks users. There’s the responsible user who simply uses it as a search engine when necessary, plays a few games like Fyoozd or Crazy Taxi here and there, and reaps the reward of a free Amazon gift card occasionally for their efforts – or lack thereof. For these people, I think Swagbucks is a fantastic program. I recently did just that and received $10 of free Amazon gift cards in about 2 months time. $5 a month isn’t going to allow me to retire early or anything, but I haven’t done anything extra to earn it. It was truly free. My life has gone on like normal, and Swagbucks has rewarded me with free money. I love when that happens.
However, there’s another Swagbucks user that seems to be popping up left and right. It’s the swag bucks chaser – the person who completes tasks, plays games, and takes surveys solely for the purpose of obtaining more swag bucks. This person is simply wasting their time. Let me explain.
The best deal as far as I can tell when redeeming swag bucks is the $5 Amazon gift card. It costs 450 swag bucks, which is much less than most of the other types of gift cards. Plus, you can buy anything on Amazon, making it much more versatile than the swagbucks guitar key chain/bottle opener that is currently on sale for the same price. (By the way, for some reason the larger denominations of Amazon gift cards are actually more expensive per dollar than the $5 version, so don’t save up for the $50 card)
Anyway, a $5 gift card that costs 450 swag bucks means that each swag buck is essentially worth 1.11 pennies. Let’s call it $.01 for convenience’s sake. There are MANY ways to earn swag bucks, but most of the simple and free tasks earn you between 1 and 15 buckaroos – or $0.01 to $0.15. While that is a great reward for doing nothing out of the ordinary, it’s certainly not worth actively seeking out more swag bucks.
The real question is…How much is your time worth?
For example, let’s say I decide to take a survey in order to earn more swag bucks. I just checked out my options and the worst option in terms of reward also happens to be the shortest survey. It is a 10 minute survey that will net me 10 swag bucks. That means I’ll be earning 1 penny per minute – or 60 cents per hour. Are you happy with that wage? If so, I’m sure your boss would love to pay you in swag bucks instead. The best option that I had available was a survey that would end up paying me $3 per hour. If you’re really bored, I suppose that’s one way to go, but I still feel like my time is worth more than that.
The same principal should be used when seeking swag bucks in any other fashion. If you’re actually seeking out how to earn more swag bucks, do the math before you continue. There’s a really excellent chance that you’re better off looking for a part-time job or another, more creative solution. The marketing brilliance of programs like Swagbucks is that they pay us in points, swag bucks, or other objects that are vague, yet make us feel accomplished when we receive them. What sounds better? “I’ll give you a nickel if you complete this survey”, or “I’ll give you 5 swag bucks?”
The final verdict of my Swagbucks review
I know it sounds like I’m dumping on Swagbucks, but I’m not. I plan on sticking with it. I’m simply trying to point out the fact that you shouldn’t quit your job to play games and take surveys all day. Going out of your way to earn swag bucks doesn’t make financial sense, but the program itself, when used responsibly, is actually pretty great. Like I said, my wife and I have earned about $10 in real Amazon gift cards and are close to getting another one. How? By simply using their search engine in place of Google or Yahoo. The quality of the searches is decent, I don’t feel like I’ve missed much, and we get rewarded fairly regularly when searching. 7 – 20 swag bucks ($0.07 – $0.20) seems to be the usual haul for a handful of searches. Not bad.
Even if you’re only getting $5 per month on average, that’s $5 more than you currently get for using a search engine. Not to mention, with Christmas coming up soon, every little bit helps, right?
If you’re not currently a Swagbucks user and are interested in checking it out, simply register here, download the search toolbar to make it easier, and use it as you usually would any other search engine. If you decide you’re not getting the results you were hoping for on a particular search, try one of the old standards instead. There’s no law against switching back and forth as needed. However, I’ve been very happy with everything so far. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
What’s been your experience with Swagbucks?
Top image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net