Is Swagbucks legit or scam?


Price:   FREE

Owner:  subsidiary brand of Prodege Llc

My rating:  80 out of 100


When discussing different ways to make an income from home using the powerful online tools available on the market nowadays, I mentioned Swagbucks as one of the most successful and most popular sites.  But what is Swagbucks sll about?  And is Swagbucks legit or scam?  Let’s find out below.


What is Swagbucks all about?

Swagbucks is another PPC website working on the same lenghtwave as InboxPounds, or very similarly.

The principle behind Swagbucks, much like with InboxPounds, is that you get awarded SB points for activities you already perform daily online without realising.

Therefore, you will be awarded points for searching on the web when using Swagbucks as your search engine, or you will be awarded SB points when shopping with specific retailers that are in partnership with Swagbucks.  Equally, you are going to be awarded points when playing games available on the Swagbucks platform, or when you watch short videos, which can include trailers to new movies about to be launched.

Finally, you can earn points by answering the usual surveys – activity, this one, which seems to raise to common denominator to most of these PPC platforms.

The points you accrues will be converted to free gift cards which you can redeem with major retailers, such as Amazon or Walmart shops.

But when answering email inviting to shop with specific brands, you can equally be rewarded with cash back.  And the cash back can be paid into your PayPal account.


How does Swagbucks make money

If you check out the About Us page on Swagbucks website, you will find that Swagbucks was created as a subsidiary of Prodege Llc, an American company specialised in online marketing of leading brands and retailing companies.

Now, on researching for Prodege, it became clear to me that they specialise in e-commerce and e-marketing, but they also specialise in market research and consumer auditing – all activities aimed to discover the market latest tastes and trends when it comes to spending money on any categories of goods.

It makes quite sense to relay the activities you get rewarded for on Swagbucks with the type of business Prodege runs, as it is through surveys, as well as web browsing, and of course through the actual consumer shopping, that Swagbucks collects market flavoured data to work with to put together an action plan for their clients, the retailers themselves.

Retailing companies therefore, pay Prodege and Swagbucks for participate in the rewarding scheme offered by Swagbucks.


Is this form of PPC legit?

But of course it is.  Swagbucks, like all other PPC based platforms, is only the reflection of how market research companies work nowadays.

And if you are still stuck to the idea of employees stopping you when you come out of the train station, asking you to judge between two different brands of yogurt, you could not be further from the truth.

Doing market research online using a reward scheme for its participants is in fact more effective, as it encourages us to take part whilst we feel rewarded for giving our time to answer questions.

In fact, moving one step further, Swagbucks’ principle is that they reward us for doing daily online activities without us even realising that – they are activities we perform every day, such as web browsing, but with the additional perk that Swagbucks pays us for the bother.

Furthermore, any online activity you may be encouraged in participating, is of legal nature, and does not include content of racist, harassing, or sexual nature.


Who can take part in Swagbucks

One of the ways to redeem SB points is through its sweepstake.  This has elements of gambling attached to it, as it essentially asks you to use the points you have earned to purchase lottery numerical combinations or to attempt to win additional points or additional Amazon gift cards.

Due to the gambling nature of this type of rewards, age and geographical restrictions may apply in specific areas, where the local law will be applied.

Otherwise, with the exception of the above limitations, literally everybody can join and claim their earned points back.  All you need is access to a wi-fi connection, and a computer or phone to perform your daily online activities.

I use Swagbucks browser, alternating it to InboxPounds, for instance to do a lot of web searching.  It is normal browsing of websites I would perform anyway every day, but with the added bonus that I get rewarded for it.  But, when I have a minute to spare, I also like to go through their videos, which do not last longer than up a a couple of minutes.

And if you are into apps, you can easily download the Swagbucks one, and access it from your mobile when you are on the move.


User friendly Swagbucks platform

Finally, let me go through the Swagbucks platform with you.

It is a platform that I find most user friendly – and on this point, Swagbucks in my opinion beats InboxPounds.  Not only it allows you to navigate easily between one activity and the other, but it notifies you promptly about new offers and surveys which you may be interested in.

You also get notifications for online offers by a lot of high street brands.  And if you are into cash back rewards, that is an easy way to build up a bit of easy cash.

But the one element that I like is that, although the company was born in the States, and is based in Los Angeles, the platform converts everything to your own currency, from participating companies to the actual way of paying back on pound sterling rather than US dollards.

And likewise, when presented with retailers’ offers, it is the UK brands that are displayed to me as a UK resident, rather than the American ones, which I would make very little use of otherwise.

In this again, Swagbucks differst from InboxPounds, where you log and sign up for different websites, depending on whether you deal in pounds or dollars.  Swagbucks proves to be more user friendly in this respect too.


The affiliate program

A good PPC website would not be as such if it did not incentivise its promotions through an affiliate program.  And as it is custom, Swagbucks has its own too.

The initial button at the top of Swagbucks bar leads us to believe that we will earn 500 SB points for every referral – and that unfortunately is misleading.

But you still earn 10% in SB points on any earnings your referral may get for as long as they keep using the Swagbucks platform.  And when comparing the 10% commission scheme to other popular ones, such as Amazon, Swagbucks starts faring rather generously.

Swagbucks allows you to refer by direct emails, but you can equally use a selection of banners to add to your reviews.  Such as this one for instance:

Or Swagbucks gives you your unique link for you to use when promoting Swagbucks on your social media accounts.


My verdict

Do I like Swagbucks?  Yes, I most definitely do.  So, why am I only rating this platform with an 80 out of 100?


Firstly let me remind you that with PPC websites you do not make huge earnings.  And in this Swagbucks is no different from any other platform.  And it will take you time to build up to a decent number of SB points to be able to redeem them.  If you look at the reward page, the minimum required to claim a £5 Amazon gift card is 700 SB points.  Bearing in mind that it is unlikely that you will perform a lot of activities on SB every day, again it may take you up to a few months to qualify for a substantial reward.


Nevertheless, I rank Swagbucks slightly higher than InboxPounds for the fact that its platform is definitely more user friendly.

Also, and unless I am mistaken, I feel that Swagbucks offers a wider variety of activities to perform, hence enabling us to earn on a wider scale.  You may feel differently, in which case do let me know – share your experience below in the comment area.

And again, call me gullible, but with the point system, I do not feel like I am paid pittance for opening an email or watching a video.  Possibly it may be true that if you convert points into pennies, you will end up being rewarded for even less.  But the monetary aspect becomes secondary to the fact that you are accumulating points.  And that’s what matters when ‘messing around’ with Swagbucks.

Swagbucks also breaks down your achievements in daily goals, incentivising them by offering an additional 3 SB points when the daily target is met.

In such way you can ‘budget’ your activities or start working harder, based on how quickly you want to reach your target.

Yes, Swagbucks is what it is when it comes to monetising out of it.  But it is a relatively good contributor to ensuring that a small part of your earning is kept in the PPC basket (see one of my past articles ‘Keep Your Eggs In Many Baskets‘).



Price:   FREE

Owner:  subsidiary brand of Prodege Llc

My rating:  80 out of 100

Telecommuting could be the answer


On a site that is dedicated to finding different ways to earn working from home, I could not omit touching on the concept of telecommuting as potentially one of the best ways to make an income from home.  Let me take you through the actual definition of telecommuting, what telecommuting home jobs are, and why there is still much skepticism around the validity of telecommuting roles.


What is telecommuting

When you telecommute, you are employed by a company or organisation that enables you to work from home, or the local library or coffee shop, at least once a week.  So, instead of commuting from your home to an office based position, you actually ‘commute’ with other colleagues and with your team using telecommunication tools, such as phone, emails and internet based platforms.

This new solution has been adopted by more and more employers in the last few decades as a new way of offering additional flexibility to employees, in an effort help them strike a better balance between work and private or family life.

Telecommuting is more widely spread within certain types of business, such as sales environment, online software management companies and internet industries, customer services where firms are prepared to outsource, in creative roles, such as writing environments and designing, and any other business that can avail of the benefits offered by the internet where management systems are web based.


Benefits of telecommuting

The benefits of telecommuting are immeasurable for those people who struggle to keep up with the obligations of a family whilst having to sustain daily bills with a regular income.  If you wish, telecommuting is in fact the ideal situation for an employee, as unlike self employment, you have a regular salary and a contract of employment, but you can benefit from being home based.

I often mention the freedom that working from home gives you.  Unfairly and incorrectly working from home is often seen by many as a way to ‘skive off’, a way to pretend to work whilst you spend the day watching day telly or running around doing your errands.  This could not be further from the truth.  As a part time home worker myself – although I do not telecommute, as I work independently – I see the benefits of telecommuting in the fact that you could wake up at crack o’ down and start tackling your work load whilst the kids are still in bed; this would enable you fit in both your work related activities with the school run.

In fact, if you think about it, the day of a home worker are much longer and jam-packed than the ones of people working from an office, as home workers tend to family and home duties every day as well as working for their employer.


The drawbacks of telecommuting

These are similar to the disadvantages posed by working from home more generally.  You are part of a team, but will work mostly on your own.  If you like the comradery of working closely with colleagues, then telecommuting is definitely not for you, as you may end up feeling isolated and detached from the rest of the team.

You also must be very well organised and self disciplined in order not to fall pray of the temptations offered by day tv programs, or by catching up with your house chores, or by whichever other excuse you may

Generally speaking, as you are still employed by and work for a company, you need to remain accountable to your boss.  You will be asked to attend meetings in the office – although nowadays more and more organisations do take advantage of phone conferencing through Skype or FaceTime technologies.  Which means, some industries require your presence in their offices, periodically or more regularly and frequently – and this, in turn, may unsettle your daily routine when it comes to having to arrange additional child care, or nursing care.

And ultimately, when you telecommute, you are still part of an organisation, which means you have a boss and are not your own boss.  When working on a self employed basis, you may have to put pressure on yourself in meeting earning targets, but you have only yourself to respond to.  Equally, you may take a number of different approaches to your work ethics – so long as they are legal, of course.  As an employee, you need to adhere to targets set up for you by your boss, and you still represent your company, hence must adhere to your company policies.  In other words, although your role and service delivery is made more flexible, you never have the freedom to operate as when working for yourself.

Then again, as mentioned, it is expected that you will have a secure salary.


Who is telecommuting for

Ideally, this type of arrangement is offered more willingly to newly mothers struggling with child care arrangements, or to parents more generally.

But companies are not strangers to consider this additional type of flexibility for those employees who can present a valid argument in favour of working from home.  I could ask my employer to work from home as I have caring obligations towards an older parent, or I could have started retraining with a college or university course, and may need the additional flexibility to fit in lectures.

The possibilities are infinite as to why your boss, and the company you work for, may surprise you by accepting your proposal to work from home.  Because the advantages to employees working from home extend to your employers too!


All around winning combination

For an organisation, and more so for a smaller company, there are too benefits to having your workforce practicing from home.

When an employee works from home, you save in office space and in running costs.  The office becomes more paper free, as communication is primarily via internet.  Less desks and working station are required, as it is often the case that when workers come into the office alternatively, they will do desk share.

But the greatest advantage to a company allowing telecommuting will be in increased productivity.

It has been proven that, as workers strike a happier balance between working and personal life, they will be happier in their working role, and will approach their work more proactively – to the point that sickness rates amongst home based workers are noticeably reduced.  And again, as workers are given the choice of when to work within the 24 hour day cycle, they may take advantage of their more productive hours in the day to make the most of their energy levels to give more in brain storming and in creativity.


Skepticism surrounding telecommuting

Given all these positive premises, it is still quite evident that some work environment are still looking at telecommuting with doubting eyes.  The figures for telecommuting are far higher in the States, for instance, than in UK.  And they go further down in Southern Europe.  But why?  Is the reluctance to offer telecommuting as a regular opportunity for workers dictated by cultural limitation?  Or are the higher figures of specific countries determined to by geographic requirements?

When relating to geographical factors, it is easily understandable why telecommuting (or remote working, as some address it) may be more widely employed by companies due to wider distances.  It would make it impractical and expensive, and sometimes physically impossible, for workers to commute as fast as in smaller countries, or within smaller district towns, where distances are noticeably reduced.

UK is renowned for its commuting culture, especially with workers living in suburbs of bigger cities.  And commuting is not only ingrained amongst the higher ranks of salaried positions.  Those on lower wages do not mind commuting either, in spite of the high train fares in this country.

The most recent figures I found for home working in UK relate to a survey taken by the Office for National Statistics and covering the period January-March 2015, where it appears that only 13.7% of workforce resulted as working from home.  But the figures do not clarify whether that percentage related to all home workers or solely telecommuting.  See the below picture:

Older, but more precise, figures are reported by BBC News in an article from 2011, where it was reported that in 2008 teleworking rose to 46% of employed workforce (BBC News 2011: ‘Home Working: Why can’t everyone telework?’).

But the same article outlines also why in certain specific sectors employers may see telecommuting with reticence.  Whilst for instance not all businesses can be adapted to telecommuting, my direct experience is that not all employers feel safe in entrusting the running of a business, and the working ethics of an organisation, to an employee working from home without supervision.

Some companies feel they would need to invest heavily in stronger firewall protecting softwares and in more powerful IT systems to enable safe exchange of data between home based internet connections and big head office servers.  But other employers still feel there must be a ‘hands on’ approach when supervising the productivity of their teams.  In other words, the mistrust that ‘when the mice are away, the cats will play’ is still at the core of the problem why telecommuting is not offered to employees to make their life, in one word, better.

Personally, if offered a telecommuting opportunity, I would grab it with both hands.  Provided I monitored myself and set standards and feasible targets as if I were at work, I am more than certain, Mr Boss, I would be well far off from skiving off!  But, the question is: would anyone else?  And, would you?

Leave your comment below, to share your telecommuting experience or how you feel about the possibility of working from home for your boss.