My Review of Inbox Dollars

By - September 6, 2014

Inbox Dollars calls itself "The online reward club that pays," but how well does it pay? That depends on how you use it. Here is a list of some of the ways you can make money with Inbox Dollars:

  • Take surveys
  • Click on e-mail ads
  • Play games online
  • Watch videos
  • Use their search engine
  • Complete "offers"
  • Refer others to Inbox Dollars

(Flickr photo by Rosenfeld Media)

Most of those sound like pretty easy ways to make money, right? And it's free to sign up.

I enrolled in May of this year and, as advertised, they immediately put a $5 bonus in my account. That was nice, although then I discovered that I would have to have $30 in the account before I could get a payment.

They don't make that clear before you sign up. If it's mentioned in the non-member parts of the website I sure can't find it. This bait-and-switch tactic, and deceptiveness in general, is common with online survey companies. I previously reported on this tendency in a post on my personal blog about making money with surveys.

But I did eventually receive a payment in my PayPal account. I might get another depending on how well this article works out -- more on that in a moment. But up front, I have to tell you this: Being a member of Inbox Dollars is probably a waste of time.

My Experience With Inbox Dollars

I did a few surveys to start. They pay very little for the time, but they have a few that you are automatically qualified for when you sign up. You might get 75 cents for one that takes ten minutes, and a dollar or two for longer ones.

Once I burned through those pre-qualified ones this was like other survey sites, meaning I qualified for about one in ten that I started. Typically you'll have offered up opinions and information for several minutes before being notified that you don't fit the profile or whatever the excuse is. Of course they could have you complete a more thorough profile so you either qualify or not before you start, but given the amount of information you have to offer up before being rejected, I suspect this is just a trick used to get you to do surveys without having to pay you.

Did I mention that all of these survey companies seem to use deception?

But Inbox Dollars is more than a survey site, so let's look closer. They will pay you for clicking on ads in emails, for example. These definitely pay out every time. If you check your account you'll see that you are credited the money within seconds of clicking the link in the email. But the pay is just 2 cents per email, and you'll get only a few daily. By the way, it's more efficient to delete the emails and just go to your account page at Inbox Dollars, where you can open and click them ten at a time every few days.

If you make their search page into your homepage you can start using their search engine in place of Google and get paid for each search. You get a half-cent for each valid search, up to fifteen cents daily. It isn't quite as good as Google, but it works well enough for most purposes.

You can print out coupons and when you use them at the store you'll be credited 10 cents when you use one. The selection is pretty limited, so I didn't see anything I could use.

The offers you get paid to complete are sometimes free, and with no credit card required. Other offers require a subscription using a credit card and are free only if you cancel within a certain amount of time.

How Much Can You Really Make?

If you learn to do surveys fast, click the paid emails several at a sitting, and generally do things as efficiently as possible, it might be possible to make $4 or $5 per hour -- but I doubt it. I would plan on about $2 for every hour of your time.

The surveys make this clear as day. For example, you'll see a 75-cent survey that will say "Estimated Time: 20 minutes." That would be a rate of $2.25 per hour, except that for every one you can actually complete you'll spend at least another twenty minutes starting and being disqualified from others, bringing your wage closer to $1 per hour.

After two months (yes, two months) I got to $30 in my account and went to cash out, only to learn that they charge a $3 fee for sending a check or a pre-paid Visa card.

Did I mention that all of these survey companies seem to use deception?

You can wait until your balance hits $40 to avoid the fee, by the way, but I wanted to see if I would actually get paid, and I was sick of surveys, so I took the check for $27. I was warned that it took a while to process a payment and that my account had to remain active for payment to be processed. Nice. I clicked a paid email once weekly until the check arrived a month later.

How You Really Make Money With Inbox Dollars

How do you actually make some decent money with this company? This is it right here:

Sign up for Free for Inbox Dollars and Get a $5 Bonus

You see, if I convince you to sign up through that link (how am I doing?), I get paid 10% of everything you make. Now you can waste your time doing surveys, playing games, and clicking email links, and I'll get paid $3 for every $30 you make.

I suspect that some of the big blogs actually get hundreds of members signed up. If 100 of these are active enough to generate $30 in income every month, the blog owner's share would be $3 times 100 or $300 per month, possibly for a long time. After all, some people do like playing games and doing surveys for sub-minimum wage. Referring a thousand active members could net a blog or website owner $3,000 per month in residual income.

And, of course, if you want to tap into that, you have to sign up for Inbox Dollars (now this is morphing from a crappy survey and paid-browsing plan into something like a pyramid scheme).

I made this sound like so much fun that I figure maybe a dozen of the 5,300 subscribers to my newsletter will sign up for Inbox Dollars (you got to keep slamming that referral link in their faces, you see). If half of them stick with it and make $30 in the next month I'll make $18 in affiliate income. That means, if I spend two hours creating and promoting this page, I'll have made a bit more than minimum wage. Yay!

By the way, did I mention that you should sign up for Inbox Dollars?

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Every Way to Make Money | Inbox Dollars Review