People always just smile and nod when I mention that I do online surveys. I know there are tons of bogus survey websites out there but I take surveys only for legitimate companies. You can see my list here.
In the past I quit doing the surveys for companies that didn't pay in outright cash (i.e. check or Paypal). But I've learned something over the past few months - survey sites where you can trade your points for gift cards can sometimes be just as useful.
Like the time a few weeks ago when I bought a Barbie Jeep for $20 at a yard sale and was promised the battery worked and got home and it was totally dead and we had to buy a new battery and they are like 50 bucks!?!?! (Still better than the $250 price tag on a brand new Jeep!) Well thank goodness I had some points to trade in from Swagbucks. I traded some points for a $50 Amazon gift card and ended up just paying $9.99 for shipping costs. Totally worth $29.99 for that Barbie Jeep.
And in case you haven't noticed, it is really hard to buy groceries on a tight budget and have leftover money for "fun" groceries like chips, popcorn, etc. Or if you're like me you've needed shortening for three months and there is no coupon coming out for it but it's too expensive for me to buy! I traded in some points from one of my survey sites (I can't remember which one right now...), got a $25 gift card, and got a few of those "not quite necessary" grocery items.
So for several months I've been dying to get a new handheld vacuum. But since it's definitely not a necessity I was putting it off. A few weeks ago I got tired of seeing my car in the state it was in, and I got really tired of dragging our entire vacuum out to the garage just to vacuum the car out. I traded in some points from a survey site called Zoompanel and got a $25 gift card to Lowe's Home Improvement.
Problem solved! Now, they didn't have the exact one I wanted which was only $19.99 (and they couldn't order it for me), so I did spend $15 out of pocket for this one. But considering it would have cost me $43 without the gift card, I am a happy lady! My car looks happier as well!
So don't scoff at those of us who have to earn our money by doing weird little side jobs. Some of us have to take what we can get. :)