Swag Bucks is one of the newer online reward sites; comparable to MyPoints and FreeRide when both were still worth doing, it is a free-to-join portal. You can get referrals and make a percentage of what they earn but you have to stay on top of who signs up with you and if you are getting credited properly. There are a variety of things that you can do at the site to earn Swag Bucks, their form of cyber currency.
Swag Searches: Searching using their engine is one of the most popular ways but you are not going to get points each time you use it and the results are not always as reliable as Google. You are going to want to pay attention to the Swag Bucks that you earn from searches, most of them will automatically credit to your account but some will require that you enter in a three letter code. If you wait too long to enter the code it will tell you that it has expired. This happened to me once when I was searching for a non-stick pan and had to run to the basement to get the laundry. When I came back up I saw the Swag Buck on the screen and entered the code on it only to be told that I took too long to enter it.
Special Offers: From the Earn tab select “Special Offers” to see a variety of paid-to-complete listings from TrialPay, RadiumOne, Paymentwall, Super Rewards, Peanut Labs and SponsorPay. Each have their own customer service support section in case you do not receive credit for your completed offers. 90% of the time you are going to have to contact them with proof that you completed the activity. Save all emails you receive about signing up because you will need to cut and paste those in to the reply box when contacting them. You have to be careful about doing the offers, some of them say that they credit instantly and you might spend twenty minutes on it and get nothing. That really bites when you are trying to get to your daily goal and you realize that you are not going to get the credit amount that was listed with the offer.
How do you cut and paste information? Highlight the area you with to copy and use the right mouse button to cut or copy it, when you have the mouse cursor inside the area you wish to copy it to, use the right mouse button again to ‘paste’ it. An easier method is to use the CTRL+C keys to copy and the CRTL+V keys to paste.
Surveys: A lot of people swear that doing surveys at the site is the easiest and quickest way to earn points; most of them are complete garbage that string you along for pages and pages only to tell you that you do not qualify for the survey. The real kicker here is the ones that you are pre-qualified for; that’s when I stopped doing them almost completely. Why does this happen? In most cases it is a way for them to gather the information that they want or need to sell to another company. Coined as “pirate marketing” it’s an ingenious venture. One minute you are being asked about your home and if you are planning on remodeling it in the near future and then you are asked if you have any long term medical conditions. Seems odd doesn’t it? It isn’t. It’s a technique for gathering statistics and demographics. Most of the time when you are asked to fill out your name, address and zip code (and possibly a phone number) before you start a survey (under the guise that it is for direct payment) you are going to end up on mailing lists and having salesmen calling you about unrelated things.
Games: You used to be able to enter tournaments at the site and earn Swag Bucks but they did away with it. I used to like some of the games but they are bottom of the barrel for graphics and since it is now random as to if you will win a couple of SB, I don’t waste my time on them. There are people that earn 100 to 200 points from getting high scores but that’s really not of interest me to.
Trial Memberships: One of the biggest paying trial pay offer is for NetFlix; promising anywhere from 600 to 1,200 Swag Bucks “just for trying it” is one of the ways that you get suckered into a membership. There are usually string attached to any of the trial membership offers at the site; regardless you need to keep accurate records of when the membership starts and when you need to cancel it to avoid being charged if you decide to stop using it.
Swag Codes: If you have Twitter you can sign up for their feed; they release codes there from time to time but they are usually only active for two to three hours. You can also get codes from site activities or events but you have to have the time to wait for them to be released. Swag codes are not to be passed around, especially when there is a contest, if you post it to Twitter you could end up with your account cancelled so if you are going to be a Swag Angel and post codes, do not use the same account name for Twitter. Most of the offers are only for five to ten points but it burns you when you have to crack a code or look something up to get it and then when you enter it in the Gimme Box you are told that the code expired.
Watching Videos: Sadly this is one of the most abused sections of the site. You can earn Swag Bucks from watching videos from the Earn / Swagbucks TV portal. You have to watch ten videos to earn three SB; sometimes you have to enter a code to claim them and other times they are just added to your account. How do people scam this section? They open more than one window at a time or have a script that automatically starts another video when you have received credit on your progress bar. You can also get email offers to watch videos like the almost-daily 3 point offer. If your progress bar is at 90% and you watch a video offer via email you will not get credit for the three points for the progress bar. That’s why you need to check the bar before you watch a video offer by mail; if it is something that is coming from the Swagbucks TV portal it could end up canceling out the videos that you have already watched.
Social Media: You can find Swag Bucks on both Facebook and Twitter; they do release exclusive codes there as well as at their blog but these are time sensitive too so you need to enter them before they expire. If you sign up for their Twitter feed and elect to have messages sent to your phone you will get easily annoyed when they start posting about a contest or the weekly trivia. I opted to have their messages sent via text to stay on top of the random codes that are released but turned off that option when I got a blitz of about 40 messages when they were having the weekly trivia contest.
Keeping Accurate Records: You need to write down all offers that you do to make sure that you get credit for them. In addition to writing down the date and award amount you need to write down the name of the activity, who is sponsoring it, how long it will take for it to credit and when you received the confirmation email about it. Even that is not enough to guarantee that you are going to get your Swag Bucks. That is exactly what the companies are hoping for. They know that a percentage of people are not going to pursue some of the branded activities. You can check your Ledger from your Swag Backs member page; if you are having trouble with a certain company you can contact SB support and explain the situation.
Rewards: To date I have earned $95.00 from the site and most of that is from doing searches, the Daily Poll and NOSO. The points can be converted to online gift certificates or PalPal, that is the option I go with. Payment processing can take up to two weeks but if you opt for PayPal you will get an email from them when the funds are deposited. There are items that you can purchase as well as sweepstakes you can enter but I skip those all together. Be extremely careful with “how to earn” tips from people online. Some of them are suggesting using illegal methods to earn points and that could end up with an account termination. Likewise, the Photoshop images of people cashing out for 20 to 30 prizes a day is a joke; when I wanted to cash out for PayPal $5.00 vouchers I was limited to two per day so the person that claims he submitted for more than that living in an alternative universe.
Best Browsers For Swag Bucks: I have to use IE and FireFox for the site. Some of the video offers do not work on FireFox so if I want credit for them I have to open IE and deal with the slow loads. For some reason if you modify the Swag Bucks toolbar you will not get credit for the daily visit, that’s another reason why I have to use the IE browser.
Some people have said that Swag Bucks is a rip-off. They are not, they do pay but it’s the associate offers that give them a really bad reputation. If you have to chase around points that are owed to you eventually people are going to stop doing them. If I can make 50 points a day I am happy, I don’t go chasing around offers or trying to get higher amounts because it’s just not worth my time. If you are going to try an offer, scroll to the bottom of it to see if there are any comments from other users about it. If you see a ton that have “no credit” or anything similar to that, you are going to want to skip it no matter how enticing it sounds.