What It Is
InboxDollars is a website that ‘rewards’ you for doing everyday things on the Internet like watching videos, signing up for offers and online shopping. Apart from this, the website also lets you earn cash by completing surveys, playing games and responding to emails. Essentially a loyalty program, the website’s tagline is ‘the online rewards club that pays!’ The brainchild of Internet entrepreneur Darren Cotter, InboxDollars launched in the year 2000 and now has a team of over forty team-members with millions of active users in 2016. The loyalty marketing company’s goal is to connect consumers and advertisers in a mutually beneficial way. Consumers get to earn money by doing the things they would do anyway, and advertisers get access to InboxDollars’ $2 million strong user database.
By 2014, according to InboxDollars’ website, the company had paid out over $35 million to its users. Recently, in 2016, Daren Cotter was honored as Technology CEO during the 2016 Titans of Technology awards. His company has a million fans on Facebook, and has expanded to Canada (as DailyRewards.com) and to the UK (as InboxPounds.co.uk).
So what is it about this rewards loyalty program that has got people buzzing? Is it a scam, or is it a legit way to make some extra cash?
There are multiple ways to earn money through InboxDollars. Here is a quick list of things you can do:
Reading and responding to emails.
Doing internet searches.
Logging in (yep, just logging in can get you up to 2 cents).
Signing up for offers.
Listening to the radio.
But Do They Actually Pay?
Although many bitter reviewers have said that InboxDollars should be called Inbox Pennies because of how badly they pay, the fact is that they do pay. That part is pretty legit. InboxDollars will send you a cheque after your balance hits $3o. However, getting to that $30 is a whole other ballgame, more on that below.
Here is a video of a YouTube user receiving a cheque from InboxDollars. In the comments section, he mentions that he gets a cheque from the company every three months. He also mentions that he earns money by shopping through the website and doing some surveys (he only does surveys if they pay more than $5).
Before we get into the pros, here is a much longer list of cons about the website:
You need to make $30 before making your first withdrawal, and because the site is time consuming and pays very little, it can seem like ages until you reach your first payout. One user mentioned that it took him over a month to earn just $20 on the website. This adds up if you think about how the site only pays 20 cents for a survey that can take 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
The offers are not updated regularly enough and most of the time you have to spend some money in order to make money back on an offer.
You have to watch out while taking surveys. One user mentioned that he was taking a survey, and after ten minutes of answering tedious questions was told that he hadn’t ‘qualified’ for that particular survey. Doing some quick research, I found that many other users had faced similar situations. In cases like this, your time is wasted and no money is credited into your account, even if you have already completed most of the survey.
Former users have warned others after having had personal details stolen (not by InboxDollars, but by third-party websites.) A lot of personal information has been stolen from InboxDollars users before, including credit and debit card details, bank account details, phone numbers, and home addresses.
Your account will be suspended if you are inactive for a few weeks. In order to keep your account active, you will be bombarded with emails from all of InboxDollars’ commercial partners. This can quickly feel like spam when it overtakes your regular emails.
Payments are never made on time. Even payments that are made on time can take a time period of up to two weeks. So if you are planning on using this website to make quick cash, it is not going to happen.
A few of the surveys can take a lot of time. I completed a survey that took me approximately 25 minutes and earned only 10 cents. Yep, 10 cents for 25 minutes of my life.
There is a limit to the number of tasks you can do in one day. And you will not be able to do more than a certain number of the same task per day, which means you will have to mix and match and not pick a favorite task.
It has not happened to me, but some users have said that InboxDollars deleted their accounts for apparently no reason, and later stated that those users had breached some of their terms of services. Members have also allegedly had their earnings deleted completely on strange grounds, such as trying to withdraw a large amount of their earnings at one time. I don’t see why this should be a problem if it is true, and it seems like a scam to me.
One of the ways you can make money on this website is by signing up to trial programs (like on Stamps.com), however, if you forget to cancel that trial, you will get billed for using whatever site you have signed up to ‘try’. Many users consider this a form of trickery, assuming that InboxDollars are hoping you will forget to cancel your subscription, and thus have to pay for a site you aren’t even using.
Another way to make money on this website is through sign-ups. But many users have noted that no money was credited into their account after some sign-ups.
InboxDollars has an unhelpful customer services team. Multiple users have mentioned incidents where they have played games for hours without being compensated. When they called customer support they were told that playing time is determined by InboxDollars’ partners, and did not take any responsibility. If InboxDollars refuses to be accountable for problems faced by their users, that is a deal breaker for me. It means they can’t be trusted to look after their users best interests. Whatever happened to “the customer is always right?”
This is a much smaller list than the list of cons, but there are some pros to using InboxDollars. The first being that you get a legit five dollar sign-up bonus for joining InboxDollars. It isn’t much, but it makes you feel good enough to get started. (Though this bonus only gets paid once you have hit $30 through the website, and nowhere does it mentioned this beforehand.)
The website is free to join, so if you want to give it a shot and don’t mind spending the time, you are not wasting any money by signing up.
InboxDollars has many corporate connections with high-profile companies like eBay, Stamps.com and Netflix. These connections can sometimes pay good money. eBay will pay upto $6 just to sign up and bid for stuff, and Stamps.com will pay upto $10 for just signing up too (though if you forget to cancel your free trials you will get billed, and hasn’t that happened to the best of us.)
The stuff you do on InboxDollars to make money is the stuff you would be doing on the Internet during a regular day anyway, including playing games, online shopping, watching videos, and reading emails. This is far more entertaining that just completing surveys all day long. And if you can get paid for time you would spend on the Internet anyway, why not just use the loyalty program?
One reviewer mentioned that she is a stay at home mom, and uses the site mainly when she is bored (when her baby is sleeping) and not for an income. If you are using the site with this attitude, you probably will not mind that most of your sign-ups are not getting credited, and will be happy with the small amount of extra cash made while entertaining yourself.
The referral program InboxDollars has means you can invite your friends onto the platform and then earn a little extra when they start using the site. Pretty easy if you have tonnes of friends who are willing to join under you!
My Personal Experience
After reading a bunch of reviews online – and most reviewers think that InboxDollars is a scam, I thought I would give it a shot myself (because I didn’t watch Lord of the Rings for years because my friends said it was bad, and then I watched it and LOVED it). Anyway, I signed up this year (2016), and made $11 in the first few days. On the sixth day using the website, I started feeling what other reviewers have felt, frustration and anger. I started filling out a survey, and after spending almost twenty minutes on a pre-qualification questionnaire, was told that I had not qualified for that survey. Fair enough. I tried again, but the same thing happened. Fair enough. I tried again. By my fourth survey try I was pretty much done with InboxDollars for good. I had spent my whole day filling out meaningless surveys and made zero money. If you count the yoga and meditation classes it will take to get over this kind of stress, I’ve probably in fact, lost money.
If you are like me and you are going to try something out regardless of all the bad reviews, you are probably already planning on trying InboxDollars out for yourself while reading this, to see if it works for you. Here are a few tips you could keep in mind while trying the platform.
Don’t rely on doing just the surveys (surveys seem to be causing users the most amount of grief). Look for the offers instead. There are ones that ask you to sign up to a certain website (if it is a trial sign up and you put your card details in, don’t forget to cancel the trial or you will later get charged). There are other offers that ask you to sign up to email newsletters, again quick and easy.
If you are planning on doing the surveys anyway, keep in mind that InboxDollars sends you surveys based on the information you provide while filling out your account details. Fill these in as accurately as possible, for better results with surveys.
You can join book clubs on InboxDollars and get up to $10 for every club you sign up for. However, you have to pay a certain amount of money in order to join the clubs. Once joined, if you cancel, most clubs will send that money back to you. With a refund from the book club, and $10 from InboxDollars, you will have made some money. This is a slightly complicated process though, and users reccomend it only after you have a hang of the website and how things work on it.
Do not use your personal email address (since users have said their account details have been stolen before), create and use a separate email address specifically for the site. With a Google address, you will also get a Google Voice number, use that whenever you are asked to submit your phone details. In this way, can bypass spam and theft efficiently.
The cons far outweigh the pros and it seems that the Internet has almost unanimously had negative opinions about the website. Advertisers pay InboxDollars to be able to reach their audience and so it seems more like a win -win for the advertisers and the company InboxDollars, rather than a win for the users, who are left with pennies and a lot of wasted time. InboxDollars is not the best website for you if you want to sporadically make some quick cash. It takes a long time to earn money, and then a long time to acquire that money. Using the website does not translate into cash immediately. If you are committed, and constantly vigilant (so you do not end up paying fees for sites you signed up to ‘try’ but are not actually using, like Stamps.com), you could make some money, but I doubt it would be a lot for the amount of time and effort that has to be put in.