Everyone gets into the situation where they need money fast. You are behind on your rent, you need gas money, or you need a few extra bucks to take your girlfriend to the movies. Whatever the reason, there is always a reason for a little more money.
Many places claim to provide just that, while few actually deliver on the fast part. None of them give you money the same day or even the next day after completing jobs. Typically you have to wait at least a month. The company claims it is some sort of billing cycle.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk is only one of many sites on which you can earn money from small tasks. These tasks can be easy and quick or more lengthy, requiring some kind of test before being allowed to sign up for that task. The quicker the task, the lower the pay, on general. However, from time to time there are better priced tasks that are rather quick. Keep your eye open.
Here is what Amazon says about Mechanical Turk:
But that is only what they say for those wanting to work. In order to know what to expect from HITS, read the other half of the equation:
Notice that their list reads like the scams that used to populate the back of comic books and cheap magazines, not to mention the employment section of newspapers. On the flip side, Amazon promises requesters the Moon. On demand workforce does not translate to always standing by to complete your tasks. In fact, your task may sit for weeks without interest. It is similarly unlikely that you will ever have thousands of tasks completed in mere minutes. Finally, take heed as a worker that if the requester can refuse your work because they say they are dissatisfied, it means you could work hard and not get paid at all.
Many tasks require you pass some sort of qualification test prior to seeing the HIT. It could be a grammar test, a writing assignment, a transcription test, or even a video transcription. Whatever the test, you will be given a deadline to finish the test. Some qualifications can be re-taken and some cannot. Your score on the test will determine whether you can take the HIT or not. Another problem is that these tests can be used by the requester, without paying you. So you lose that hard work.
Some of the qualifications tests are inaccurate and grade your test inaccurately. It is all under the control of the person buying your service. Amazon Mechanical Turk has no say in it.
The Final Word
Seeing that requesters are so inaccurate with their qualifications tests, it is not impossible to imagine having superb or perfect work rejected on the grounds that the same person does not like it. Who is going to pay you for all of your hard work and especially for your fantastic product? Neither the requester, nor Amazon will give you a dime if the requester claims to be unhappy. Add to this the fact that the requester has already had access to your work and opportunity to copy it to their computer and use it without paying you, and you have the makings for scam after scam, courtesy of Amazon Mechanical Turk.
Some surveys are supposed to give you a code at the end to enter on Mechanical Turk, but do not. Contacting either the requester or Mechanical Turk will avail you of nothing. No one replies to the abuse caused by these scams. So in the end, Amazon Mechanical Turk is no safer a place to earn money just because it is attached to the name Amazon.