This post is an Amazon mechanical turk review of my experience with the website. Amazon mturk is one of the quickest ways to make money online that I am aware of. Amazon Mechanical Turks or Mturk is a crowd sourcing or micro jobbing website where you can make money doing tasks called HITS. They are Human Intelligence Tasks, which are performed by human beings and not automated software programs or robots. On the other side of the transaction is a requester, which is an institution or individual placing the request for the task to be completed. Most of the tasks are very easy to perform and take just a few seconds or minutes. Other tasks are a bit more involved and require more attention.
The average HIT pays anywhere from a few pennies, up to a few dollars. The pay widely varies according to the requester, the type of HIT and the amount of time it takes to complete the HIT.
It is free to register with Amazon Mturk and it is open to people residing both in and outside of the United States. Refer to the terms of service for a complete listing of countries allowed. The process of signing up to do work on Mturk is really easy and they assign an Mturk ID number to each worker. It can be found in the upper right hand corner from the “My Account” page, after registration.
When HITS are completed, the requester will either approve or reject the HIT. After HITS are approved, the Requester releases the funds to the Mturk account. Some requesters approve and pay HITS really quickly, sometimes within minutes of completion. Other requesters take several days or even a few weeks to pay HITS.
Turkers (workers on Mturk) are allowed to transfer funds to their Amazon payments account. From there, the turkers can withdraw the funds, as long as there is at least $1.00 in the Amazon Payments account.
Amazon Mturk pays their turkers (in the U.S.), either by direct deposit to a verified bank account or Amazon e-gift card which can be used to shop at Amazon.com. Funds are held for the first 10 days for new Turkers. Currency is paid according the country that the turker resides in.
The best thing is that you get access to your money really quickly. They say that direct deposits take between 5-7 business days to complete. In my experience, the deposit appears in my bank account within 1-2 business days of withdrawing. Amazon e-gift cards are sent to your Amazon.com account almost immediately.
These are examples of the types of requests or HITS available on Amazon Mturk:
Moderating, rating or tagging images
Simple data entry from receipts, invoices, or business cards
Writing product descriptions
Putting items into categories
Consumer surveys for products and services
Academic research surveys
Watching and rating movie trailers and other videos
Search engine keyword ratings and relevance
Pros of Doing HITS on Mturk:
There are thousands of HITS are available that don’t require any specialized skills or training to complete.
Mturk is up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is open to people in the United States and some other countries. Turkers can log on to the website and do a HIT at any time, provided that there is a HIT available, that you are eligible for. This allows for a great degree of flexibility, since you aren’t required to adhere to any set schedule. You could spend 10 minutes working on HITS or you could spend hours working on HITS. It’s up to you how much time you put into it. You can go days or weeks without doing HITS. The amount of money that you make is up to you.
You can work on most HITS from anywhere. In some cases HITS can be completed on a high-end smart phone or tablet, as long as you have access to high speed internet service. I frequently do HITS from my dining room table, or sofa while the TV is on in the background.
If you find a particular HIT unacceptable, then you may return it, in most instances, without a penalty. Try not to do this too often, though; It affects your ratings.
Cons of Doing HITS on Mturk:
Most of the HITS are extremely mind numbing, repetitive and tedious. You can quickly become bored with some of the non-stimulating tasks on Mturk. However, if you are willing to do some searching, there are some very interesting HITS available to participate in.
Most of the HITS are very low paying, and often below minimum wage. You will have to determine whether it is worth your time to do the low paying HITS. There is a filter in the HIT search to help workers to weed out the lower paying HITS. I’ve found some HITS where I was paid a couple of dollars for just a few minutes of work! Some requesters pay out small bonuses for turkers who are productive and accurate.
There are probably some people who understand what it takes to make a good living on Amazon Mturk. They are highly organized, efficient and have a thorough understanding of the systems. The vast majority of turkers will make just enough for some pocket change or supplemental income.
I did some of the low paying HITS in order to boost my ratings and scores. The more HITS you complete, the more opportunities will become available for you to do different types and higher paying HITS. Some turkers work so well that they are offered Master Turker qualification, which gives them special perks on Mturk.
Overall, Amazon mturk is one of the easiest, scam free ways to make money online. But, a word to the wise: There are a few dishonest and unscrupulous requesters on there, who have a high rejection rate. Unfortunately, they may benefit from the work that a turker does, without paying. They will justify the rejection by stating that the worker did poor quality work or that the worker didn’t follow instructions.
Try to avoid those requesters with a poor reputation. There is always an option to either contact the requester for any questions regarding a HITS. Turkers can file a complaint against requesters who violate Mturk’s terms of service agreement.
Avoid giving requesters any personally identifiable information or sensitive information, such address, phone number, social security number, etc.
Where the Real Money is on Amazon Mturk
The other way that you can make money on Amazon Mturk is to be a requester posting HITS. This is where the real high earnings opportunity exists. You would need to know a considerable amount about Web developing and API’s or at least have the wherewithal to pay someone to set things up for you. If you can come up with a system whereby you make money off of someone else’s work, then it could be a great way to make some good residual income. That’s what I call working smart.