While searching for ways to make money at home, you've probably come across something called “GPT sites.” This stands for “Get Paid To.” These sites are basically everywhere, and I'm constantly seeing people recommend them as viable ways to earn money at home. I think there are certainly better ways to earn money at home, but some people do have a little luck generating extra money with these kinds of sites, which is why I occasionally review them here.
What does GPT mean?
It means you can “get paid to” do lots of different things. Some examples include filling out offers, searching the internet, playing games, watching videos, answering surveys, and some of them even have cash back for shopping, printing off coupons, and completing short tasks, kind of like Amazon mTurk or Cloud Crowd. The cash bonuses for these things you do vary, but you'll see the largest numbers when you sign up for things that actually cost you money. For example, I see many of these sites offering up to as much as $10 just for signing up to get a free trial for Netflix or Gamefly, two programs that, after the trial, might cost you around $8 to $10 per month.
There are plenty of free offers too that don't cost you a dime. When I did this, I remember I tried to just stick with those. Most of the free ones didn't pay much more than .10 to 1.00 each though.
Why do GPT sites exist?
People create these sites because they can earn money by getting you to sign up for offers. These companies that are behind the offers usually have an affiliate program or are part of a large affiliate network. They are willing to pay people to recruit others to sign up for these things (generate leads). So a lot of the recruiters set up these sites so they can get tons of sign-ups, enough so that it would be worth it to them to only take a portion of the money and share the rest with the people who do the signing up.
The Fine Print
One thing I've noticed with these sites is that it's very, very important to thoroughly read the fine print if you're going to do this. For example, there are a few well known sites like this that will only let you redeem your earnings if a percentage of it came from filling out offers. This leads to a lot of upset people who didn't do much more than sign up and then refer more members to get the referral bonus. Either they didn't participate themselves or their referrals didn't, so they're not eligible to get their funds until that percentage has been met. Not all of these sites are set up this way, but many are. The people who set up these sites want to be sure that you and your referrals are filling out the offers because that's likely where the bulk of their site income comes from.
Some Other Negatives
- You will get tons of spam email as a result of signing up for offers
- You will get tons of telemarketing phone calls as a result of giving out your phone number when signing up for offers
- You will start running into offers that you've already signed up for and can't do again, especially if you're a member of more than one site like this (they all tend to have a lot of the same offers)
- Getting referrals is not easy at all
So all of the above sounds pretty terrible. Is this really worth it?
Honestly, that's something you'll have to determine for yourself. Some people think it still is, others don't. There are actually ways around a few of the common problems above. People who are very experienced and familiar with these sites know to set up a separate email (or two) just to use for filling out offers. This keeps the junk mail from coming to their personal inboxes. As far as the telemarketing calls go, these can also be warded off by creating a free phone number on a site like k7.net and using that in the phone number field. Then, the telemarketers will just get a voicemail when they call and you can log in to k7 and check your voicemail at your leisure. Some people never check it at all, they just give out the number when it's asked for and leave it be.
Even though I believe this is frowned on, I know there are some people who set up several different email addresses to use for signing up for the same offers again and again when they see repeaters.
Can these sites create an income?
I honestly don't see how. They may be OK for extra money here and there, but I really don't think that doing this could ever replace a full time job unless you miraculously got lucky and had thousands of (active) referrals.
I have used these sites in the past with some success, but this was back before I really knew of any other way to make a living from home. I dabbled with this stuff around the same time I was taking paid surveys. With Cash Crate, I was able to make about $50 in one month, but I never could get that much again because I had a hard time getting referrals and I had already signed up for most of the offers available and was finding it difficult to keep track of what I had already done, etc. After that first month, it was more trouble than it was worth for me to continue with.
I think that if you're going to sign up for a GPT site, you need to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the fine print, understand how you're going to get paid, when you're going to get paid, and if a portion of your earnings has to come from filling out offers. This could save you a lot of frustration when you reach that cash out threshold. Also, never ever start filling out offers unless you protect yourself by getting that second email and free phone number. I made the mistake of not doing those things to start and, needless to say, I got a ton of phone calls I didn't want and I also had to shut down my email and just start a new one.
What are your thoughts? Do you use these sites? Have you had any luck with them at all?