Review: Is InboxDollars All It’s Cracked up to Be?

Many people would answer in the affirmative. InboxDollars is, after all, one of the oldest sites of its kind, having, according to its corporate website, been established all the way back in 2000. As for me, I would have to describe my experience with InboxDollars as being “meh.”

Surveys

The first thing they have going for them is very persuasive marketing copy. After I signed up (a very easy process), I immediately got the impression from my user homepage that I would be able to happily go about taking surveys when I had some free time, and make that $30 cash-out limit with ease. Not so.

Surveys of varying lengths and amounts were presented on said homepage at any given time, all of which required screener questionnaires. While it’s understandable that I wouldn’t be a match for every survey, I would have thought I’d qualify for at least one each day! In the end, I qualified for maybe 5, at most, after months of spending (too much) time on the process. None of the surveys I saw (qualified or not) paid much of anything for the time needed to complete them – less than $1 being common, for surveys up to about 45 minutes long.

TV

Another thing I initially liked was the TV watching option. Various playlists of things like entertainment news, food, and regular news were a fun way to earn a few cents each day. I particularly liked the food playlist for its recipes. Every so often, in between videos, there would be a scratch ticket option to win a few extra cents or “sweeps.” The sweeps could be redeemed as entries into sweepstakes contests to win even more sweeps or money. I didn’t actually win anything via the sweepstakes, but I was happy enough with the occasional 2 to 10 cents that I’d get from the scratch ticket option.

However, no more than a month into my membership, one day I went to watch TV and was met with a dark screen and an ominous notification stating, “InboxDollars TV has been disabled on your account due to advertiser targeting issues or suspicious activity. Please contact Support for additional information.” When I, crestfallen, attempted to do so, I found this ambiguous answer.

I hoped that perhaps, someday, it would be reinstated. Months passed, and no. Thus ended the main source of my InboxDollars earnings. It only amounted to about $0.50 per day, but still!

Search

Another feature I used here and there was the InboxDollars search engine, which I found amusing. It sort of reminded me of Ask Jeeves back in the day. At first, I earned a few cents for every few searches, but that changed to sweeps the longer I stayed with the site. Using the search feature for so many days each week generated a bonus. Again, in the beginning it was a few cents, then it went to sweeps.

Paid Emails

Each day I’d get 2 or so emails, which I had the option of having sent to my own email address, or just to a message center at my InboxDollars homepage. I found the latter more convenient. Once I clicked the appropriate link in said emails, I would be credited. I started neglecting that feature, however, and found that the longer I didn’t read the paid emails, the more emails I would get. This still wasn’t a lot, but I did find it more fulfilling to let them accrue before reading them.

Shopping

I didn’t choose to participate in this feature. I will admit that this probably was the way I could have actually made some money. I had no need to sign up for the offers and accounts they were advertising, though, and wasn’t going to sign up “just because.”

Walking Away

It was time to make a decision. I was halfway to the $30 payout option (and that included the $5 they give just for signing up). Would I still try to complete searches and surveys in an attempt to reach that amount? With 2 cents here and there, it would have taken a ridiculous amount of time. So, after agreeing to forfeit my earnings, it was all too easy to delete my account.

Could it be that InboxDollars, which states on its signup page that it has paid out over $50 million to its members, would rather not part with its money if it could help it? It’s understandable from a business point of view, but can be frustrating from a membership view. This site is probably best, then, for avid online shoppers.

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