Friday, March 11, 2011

Why SwagBucks isn't worth it

If you're already familiar with SwagBucks, you may find that statement baffling; for those who are not familiar, let me explain.

Swagbucks is a search engine that you download to your internet toolbar. You register, and do searches that you would normally do, and occasionally get rewarded with "swagbucks." Those swagbucks accumulate, and you can redeem them for gift certificates. Sounds great, right? Well, there is one huge drawback:

Swagbucks is a terrible search engine.

It not only doesn't deliver the results you want, but even when you search for an exact web address, that address may be #7 on your results list. I may be extra picky because I'm a librarian, but because searching for information is what I do for a living, I can sniff out a shoddy product right quickly.

I stuck with swagbucks for a good six months, and in that time, I think I got a $10 amazon gift card. I mostly got that giftcard because you get bonus bucks for signing up. After I'd been with the service for a while, the points stopped coming with any regularity, and it took a long time to get any. This could be my fault though, because since swagbucks is such a crap search engine, I never wanted to use it.

Eventually, I just started typing in web address, just so I could potentially accrue some swagbucks. Like I said, sometimes those specific web addresses came up as far down as seventh in the results list. When that happened, I severed ties with swagbucks.

Plenty of people will say, it's not that bad and it's free, so who cares. I counter that with the age- old frugality argument--my time is worth something too. I don't mind spending 30 minutes a week clipping and organizing coupons--I actually kind of enjoy it, but what I don't have time for is a search engine that can't find anything. I see no need to scroll through five pages of results to find what I'm looking for, and I'm offended that there's a search engine out there that boasts "powered by google" yet seems to perform in a most un-google manner.

Swagbucks gets a huge thumbs down from me, but try it for yourself and see if you like it.

Anyone else have better luck with swagbucks?


  1. I've resisted trying SwagBucks for this very reason. Plus, I'm not sure that my time is best spent doing random searches to try and earn some gift cards.

    The only things I really ever buy from Amazon are books and movies and I would much rather support my local used bookstore and used movie store and buy them there. That is if I have to buy them all. I could just go to the library. :)

  2. I completely agree with you. Every now and then I'll search on Swagbucks simply to get the "points", but always use Google to find what I'm looking for.

  3. Go for the $5 Amazon cards for 450 SB. They're a much better deal than the higher $ Amazon cards. I've been Swagbucking about a month, got $25 at Amazon and used it to knock down the cost of a couple of higher power batteries for my cell phone and a tiny 4gig USB flash drive for my car stereo. Just got enough SB for another $5 Amazon card a couple of days ago and have built back up to 117 SB. I only have two referrals, one of which hasn't done squat and the other has only picked up 17 SB.

  4. There are more ways to earn Swagbucks than just by searching. I usually vote in the daily poll (1 point) and go through the NOSOs to the end so that I can earn some guaranteed points. I also use Swagbucks TV!