What: Perksy pays a negligible amount to complete “gamified” surveys via cell phone

Expected pay: points worth pennies

Husl$core: $

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: A smart phone and no need for personal privacy

Review:

Like many survey sites, Perksy promises points to complete surveys. Those points can be turned into gift cards. The surveys are targetted to you, based on your personal and demographic information as well as your specific location. So realize that you are providing more personal information than just your opinion. The site’s location tracking is live on your phone at all times, even when you’re not taking surveys. So, too, are Perksy’s cookies, which track your web activity when on and off the site. They know who you are; where you go; what you buy.

The chance of earning more than a token amount with Perksy is slim. Reviews at the Apple store say that by the time users build up enough points to cash out (2,500 points), the site stops sending surveys. You earn the equivalent of one penny per survey, but will get $1 (100 points) if you refer friends.

The rotten pay is as much a problem with the business model as the site. Why? To conduct a valid survey, the company needs to gather a whole lot of respondents or get an exceptionally high response rate. (A nice primer on conducting valid surveys is linked here.) So, if Perksy wants to conduct a statistically accurate survey with just 500 respondents, it has to get more than 90% of you to answer. If fewer answer, it needs to boost the survey size.

Assuming you want to earn at least $10 an hour for your time, you’d need to earn 16.7 cents for each second you spend on the site. You’re going to waste a few seconds opening, reading and responding. So — if you’re lightning fast — you need at least 50 cents per survey to earn that $10. Consequently, a survey that involves 500 people would cost the company a minimum of $250 for respondents.

And that doesn’t take into account the staff that’s needed to sell the company’s survey services to paying clients, program its software, market to “influencers” to expand the reach of the app, send out press releases, buy paid advertising, pay the CEO and the in-house help center not to mention the attorneys, accountants and other support personnel. I can’t come up with a scenario rosy enough to project profitability, when everyone is paid fairly. You — the side hustler — are at the bottom of this food chain. So you are the least likely to get a decent wage.

If you like sharing your opinions, consider signing up for focus groups at FindFocusGroups.com, or FieldWork. Focus groups pay considerably more for three reasons: They’re usually done in person; they screen participants carefully for relevance; and they will ask you far more questions. Getting on a panel is reasonably rare but more likely when you live close to the focus group’s headquarters.

Another idea for a low-maintenance side hustle:  Charging electric scooters for Bird or Lime.

What their users say: (Apple store)

Why am I getting kicked off every time I try to open this app? Was impressed with it in the beginning, but after only attaining $25 once, it’s getting harder to use. It’s almost like they really only wanted to reel you in once and after they’ve used your usefulness they pretty much toss you aside which is typical..

It’s very fun to use and the interface makes taking surveys super fun and easy. I’ve had it for I’d say two months and have answered around 50 surveys. Every time I visit a restaurant or store, one will pop up and notify me that I have a certain time period to hop on the app and answer the questions. It’s probably taken a half hour total over the course of 2 months of taking surveys here and there to reach 2470 points. I can get a 25$ gift card at 2500 points, exciting right? Well I’ve been waiting now for 3 weeks and haven’t received a single survey :).

I think it’s unfair to rate this poorly just because it takes time to build up points. I get stacks at a very consistent rate, at least 3-5 a week, but sometimes I only get 1 or 2 a week. That doesn’t mean it’s a scam! If anything it’s a fun way to spend 2 minutes if you’re bored to work towards a gift card. You can also refer friends to get 100 points which is pretty awesome.

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