Newest Review: ... they want to perform. Once a hit is accepted, you have a time limit to complete it, after which if the hit is not finished it will be retur... more
Fun, but not fiscally rewarding
Member Name: tirial
Advantages: easy to use, quick, earn a bit of extra cash, huge range of tasks
Disadvantages: Payment system is poor, reduces value of earnings a lot.
Mturk is a site set up by Amazon where users can perform basic tasks in return for a small payment. It is named after the "Mechanical Turk" chessplaying machine from the eighteenth century.
Mturk pays users to perform "hits", which range basic routine tasks e.g. assessing search results to checking database records and entering data, to more complicated things like surveys and writing articles.
Task providers sign up, detail the task they are offering and the pay per "hit". A hit will be an isolated piece of work within the task: writing one article, checking a few results etc. Users can view the hits on the website, and choose which ones they want to perform. Once a hit is accepted, you have a time limit to complete it, after which if the hit is not finished it will be returned to the pool for another user to accept.
Pay rates usually vary between $0.01 and $5 for each hit, with more complex tasks being worth more. The vasy majority are at the lower end. You can get bonuses or qualifications that allow you to access better paying tasks. Once you have completed a hit and submitted it, the task provider checks it and if your work is up to standard the funds are usually added to your mturk balance within a few days.
The big downside for me is the payment system, which is why this gets 3 stars. Users with a US address and bank account can get it transfered to that account and users in India can get cheques in rupees.
In the UK they only pay by adding directly to Amazon.com gift balance, which is non-transferable to other accounts, not valid on Amazon.co.uk, and cannot be used to buy other gift certificates. This makes it difficult to buy electronic items like Kindle books or MP3s (not available to customers outside the US), or region-affected products like DVDs, and means that whatever you do buy P&P will take a huge chunk of your earnings. There may also be customs duties to pay. As a UK-based user I find the payment system immediately halves (or worse) the effective value of my earnings due to the huge overheads.
As a single income source this would be low: you aren't going to make a full-time living at this, particularly not in the UK where you are hampered by the payment system. On the other hand, a few minutes a day can slowly add up to a nice gift card balance for christmas - useful if you have relatives or friends in the US who you need to send gifts.
I love the tasks, the range offered, and the variation. If you want to practice skills like data entry and transcription with an eye to a career, it is a useful place to start. It is easy to use and very simple, but with a payment system like this it is not something worth doing for the money. If they'd fix the payment system to allow Amazon.co.uk vouchers or even Amazon.com gift certificates that could be transfered or sold on, I'd give this five stars.
Overall I'd say its fun, but not financially rewarding.
Summary: A good way to gain skills and minor income, but not a full time earner