This post deserves a warning. If you’ve heard of and use Swagbucks regularly then you probably know by now how wonderfully awesome it is. If you’ve never heard of Swagbucks, you’ll probably say “that’s too good to be true”. And you’d be correct. And then you’d want to follow that up with “if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not”. And that’s where I’d have to disagree.
Let’s start with some basics.
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a search engine (similar to Google) that gives you “bucks” for searching. You don’t receive a “buck” for every search but randomly. The more you use it you will. As those bucks add up, you can exchange or cash them in for a variety of things, prizes or gift cards. They offer lots of prizes & gift cards – some that you can even use locally. But for example sake, one of the popular gift cards available through Swagbucks is Amazon. It takes 450 Swagbucks to “purchase” a $5 Amazon card. Now $5 certainly doesn’t sound like much but remember that’s not money out of your pocket. That’s money that you received simply for searching with the Swagbucks search engine (as opposed to the ever so popular Google). And again, $5 doesn’t sound like much but it adds up. Last year alone (January 2010 – December 2011), I cashed in enough Swagbucks to total $225 in Amazon gift cards. That was $225 that I used to purchase Christmas gifts for the kids!!
Sound too good to be true? Sure it does. It did to me too at first. For a number of reasons:
1. I was Skeptical – so you mean you just search like you would with google, you get points & eventually you can exchange those points for gift cards or prizes?
2. It was out of my Routine – I googled everything. I liked google. We had a good relationship – I asked & it provided! Why change a good thing? And actually, it was hard to remember to change too!
3. It seemed like Extra Work – just remembering to use it was the extra work!
For all of those reasons, I was skeptical. But I was also very curious. So in January of 2010, I set out with a goal to try Swagbucksfor one month. And after one month I had earned enough Swagbucks to “purchase” $20 worth of Amazon gift cards.
And now, one year later I continue to use Swagbucks every day. I’ve learned a few things over time too:
1. Refer Friends & Family– This definitely increases your points & the speed at which you get them. You can’t just refer though, you need to refer & then hope that your friends actually start using it. Email your friends & family and post your referral link on Facebook. Then be honest with them. I don’t mind answering all the skeptical questions that people have (and they will have them), because I was skeptical too!!
2. It’s Easy– Set Swagbucks as your home page and download the toolbar & then search everything! I always search my regular sites (even though I know the domain) just because I know the more I use it the great chance of earning more points. That may sound like extra work at first, but really it only takes a few extra seconds.
3. Shop Through Swagbucks– Swagbucks has partnered with a lot of online stores. If you start your purchase through the Swagbuckspartnership then you’ll earn Swagbucks for that purchase. It generally takes about one month before those Swagbucks are rewarded to your account, but you’ll eventually see them.
4. Tell your spouse to use it too– Guidelines state that you should only have one account per household, but it’s perfectly fine to have multiple users on one account. So make sure your spouse knows how to search using Swagbucks too!
A few things I can’t tell you:
1. I have no idea about the history of Swagbucks. I have no idea how long they’ve been around or how long they’ll be around. I don’t know what they get out of it (advertising, I guess). But I just haven’t cared enough to research. Like anything, I suppose they can stop the program at any time, so that’s why I choose to “purchase” a gift card or prize as soon as I reach the minimum.
2. I have no idea if it will be worth it to you! You may love it. You may hate it. You may not get it. Or you may never remember to use it. But just give it a try & see for yourself!