Who makes money on Amazon Mechanical Turk? How?

I am trying hard to make some cash, and in this thread, someone suggested AMT. It seems like if you really bust your butt you can make almost a dollar an hour! Barely enough to keep the lights on and pay for an internet connection! Are most of these answers coming from third worlders? If so, how do they posses the English skills to let them do it effectively? Are these the same types that are selling WoW gold? Or is there something I’m missing?

There’s like, a billion English speakers in India, where a dollar an hour goes a long way. (OK, all one billion of them don’t speak English, but a lot of them do.)

So, this is not a viable income source for those of us in the first world?

First of all, there’s more to be made than just the dollar-an-hour jobs. Some jobs pay upwards of $10-30 per HIT, but they’re hard to get. If you want one of those jobs, my advice is to do a few thousand easy jobs so you get a good acceptance rate, then start looking at the higher-paying jobs.

Secondly, some jobs do pay bonuses - I know of one that has a $300 weekly bonus for the worker who turns in the most/best work, with decreasing levels of bonuses for decreasing levels of work.

Third, for those of us in the first world, I wouldn’t consider it a means of paying bills. I look at it as a long-term side project. My personal goal is to have $1,000 by this time next year, which I intend to use as a down payment for a personal watercraft. I’ve made about $8 in two days, so if I’m consistent, by my math ($4 per day X 365 days) I should have upwards of $1400 by then. YMMV.

It’s taken me about a year to do so, but I’ve made $1,000.00 on AMT.

I do a lot of writing and rewriting, and I’m fast, so that helps. I’m also part time employed, with a lot of hours to spare.

Every once in a while, somebody will pay more than a dollar for a survey or a short article, so I do those when they come up.

I don’t do anything that requires me to sign up, log in, register, get a confirmation email, etc.

I looked at it, but the pay rate was a joke. I have some skill with transcription - I needed to transcribe a lot of interviews, so I learned how to “echo” text I was hearing into a voice recognition program. When I get rolling, I can do this at near real time. But 4 hours of material for $30? Even if I manage to do it perfectly in real time, that’s not even minimum wage.

Can I piggyback on this? Does anyone know how they handle taxes? Does Amazon send a 1099 or a W-2? Or is it up to the worker to track, because no single employer reaches the reporting threshold? It seems like this might border on the absurd in many cases, but then in other cases maybe not.

I made 50 dollars on Mechanical Turk a few years back (which involved jiggery-pokery with the assistance of an American doper, because I couldn’t withdraw it in GBP or spend it on the UK amazon site).

It seems to have become a lot harder to have any hope of earning money on there now - mainly because the jobs all require multiple actions, often also involving going away and looking up something on some other site too.

Most of the money I made there was when a big chunk of tasks would arrive where they maybe only paid 1 or 2 cents, but they consisted of a single decision - i.e. “is this product a book?” or “is this address the same as this other address?” - where it was possible to churn through the tasks at a rate of about one per 5 seconds, just abandoning any that required too much decision or analysis time.

Wiki sez:

So anyone else have more recent experiences of it? Stan did you ever end up using it?

From the Wiki article:

In addition, some requesters have taken advantage of workers by having them do the tasks, then rejecting their submissions in order to avoid paying.

Seems like a show-stopper to me. I wonder how often this happens.

(Bolding mine)

“First prize is a new Cadillac. Second prize is a set of steak knives.” :wink:

As with any employment relationship, the people posting the jobs are usually the ones making the serious money. They’re exploiting the cheap labour power of people on the Internet to add value to their products and services. If you want to make a lot of money on Amazon Mechanical Turk, establish an enterprise which is appropriate for the labour market AMT provides and start posting your own jobs.

I play around with Mechanical Turk. I mine in EVE Online with my corp, and it can be seriously boring, so I have MT up on my second monitor, and while I grind on the mining, I do the little jobs MT finds for me. I use the money to buy books to feed my addiction :smiley: I do maybe $100 a quarter year or so.

Third place is you’re working for sub-minimum wage? Sounds like that’s everyone’s prize in this game…nobody here’s getting a watch that costs more than your car.

Why not pay people on MT to mine for you?