Make Extra Cash: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk


Unfortunately, like many, I’m unemployed right now. As I search for my next endeavor, I’m also trying to take advantage of whatever opportunities I have available to make a little extra cash.

I’ve yet to find anything I can live off of, but there are a few different ways available to make some extra money so I’m not constantly drawing on my savings account.

Previously I talked about making some money with Youdata. While your earnings there are dictated more by what advertisements are available, today I’m going to tell you about a site where you have more control over how much you earn.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, also know as MTurk, utilizes crowdsourcing by offering it’s members opportunities to complete HITs. Each HIT has a money value set by the Requester who needs the task completed, which the worker (that’s you!) earns for completing the hit.

These HITs–which stands for Human Intelligent Tasks–are defined as tasks that a computer can’t perform. They can very greatly from identifying an object in a picture to finding information on a website. I’ve also seen more complex HITs, like evaluating a site or product and writing a review or taking a survey for a university study.

The reward amounts range from a penny to the highest I’ve ever seen of $30. The great thing is you get to choose what HITs you accept, based on how much time and effort you want to give and how much money you want to make. You’ll soon develop a pattern that works best for you.

One of the suggestions I’ve picked up from the reading the forum Turker Nation, is to pick some of the lower paying hits that require little thinking and can be completed quickly. They can easily add up to be larger money with less effort.

When your HITs are approved and the money is deposited in your account, you can either have in transfered to your US bank account or to your Amazon Gift Card balance. Workers in India can receive a check in Indian Rupees.

What I love about Mturk, is there’s always something available to work on. I can do it during commercial breaks while I’m watching TV, while I’m waiting for my boyfriend to get ready to go out, or anytime I have a couple spare moments. Instead of just wasting time, I can earn some money!

Overall: Be smart. There’s no rules about how much the Requesters need to pay the Workers and often times there are HITs posted that require way more work than they’re worth. Just don’t do them.

Also, since Amazon does not regulate the HITs, occasionally there are things that pop-up that aren’t the most ethical of requests. In January, The Daily Background exposed a Belkin representative who was paying for positive Amazon reviews for Belkin products. Personally, I do not participate in those kinds of HITs, and I do not endorse anyone else doing them either. (You can report these HITs to Amazon as well)

But despite that, there are often a lot of great opportunities to make some extra cash. When your cash flow is zero, even a little bit can help.

Mechanical Turk Stats

Info Required to Sign Up: Nothing if you already have an account. Full Name, email. You must also register with Amazon Payments which requires your current address.
Sign up bonuses: None
How money is earned: Performing HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks_
Value of action: Varies depending on the HIT
Redemption options: Transfer money to a US bank account or gift card balance.
Fees or rules for redemption: Minimum $10 to transfer to a bank account. Minimum $1 for gift card.
Time redemption takes: Bank account: within in 5-7 day depending on bank processing times. Gift card: instant.
Cash value earnings: 1 to 1

See Also:
Make Extra Money With YouData
Earn Searching with Swagbucks
Make Some Extra Money: Opinion Outpost Surveys