Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All About Swagbucks!

I talk a lot about SwagBucks on my blog so I decided to create this detailed post to explain the wonderful world of Swagbucks!

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WHAT IS SWAGBUCKS?
Swagbucks is an awesome program where you can earn rewards in a number of ways.  The most common and easiest way to earn is by using Swagbucks as your search engine.  The rewards you win/earn are actually called SwagBucks...think of them like virtual Monopoly money.  When you rack up enough SwagBucks, you can cash them in for a real life reward.  I always cash them in for Amazon gift cards :)

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HOW TO JOIN
Please click here and use my referral link to join SwagBucks.  My referral links are what keeps South Suburban Savings alive...plus you'll get 30 SwagBucks for using my link :)   Don't forget to verify your account.  They'll send you the link after you register!  They just want to make sure you're a real person :)

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HOW TO EARN
HOW TO EARN - SEARCHING
The most common and easiest way to earn SwagBucks is to win them using SwagBucks as your search engine.  For instance, if you're wondering how tall is Anthony Hopkins, you would go to the SwagBucks homepage and enter "How tall is Anthony Hopkins" in the search engine box.


Just like Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine out there, you will be given a list of results.  There is one difference though.  Every so often when you do a search, you will randomly win a certain amount of Swagbucks.  You don't need to do anything special to win those Swagbucks...just search like you normally would.

In this example, I just earned 11 SwagBucks for searching my question!  On a typical weekday, I'll earn an average of 7-13 SwagBucks per search when I win.  It is possible to earn more than that, and your chances to earn more greatly increase on Fridays.  I'll write more about that further down.

There are things that SwagBucks does to make sure you're not trying to cheat the system so if you sit at your computer and type in a whole bunch of searches, don't expect to get awarded a whole bunch of times at one sitting.  I've found that I usually will win once (sometimes twice) every hour or two.  So, after I win one time, I already know I probably won't be winning in another search for a little bit.

When you win Swagbucks doing a search, they are automatically added to your account as long as you're signed in. 


HOW TO EARN - DOWNLOAD THE TOOLBAR
I HIGHLY recommend downloading the SwagBucks Toolbar.  Of course, it is not necessary, but it's been super helpful to me.  Having the toolbar makes searching on SwagBucks SUPER EASY.  There are also links to many SwagBucks features and you can customize certain options.  I have the weather, a Facebook icon that takes me straight to my Facebook, and an email notifier on there among other personalized options :)  As you can see, it's a whooping 18 degrees outside...lol


HOW TO EARN - EASY DAILY 3
You can get 5 Swagbucks every day in about 30 seconds...that's around 150 every month!
You can visit these pages by using my links above or access them from the SwagBucks Homepage...on the top "earn" tab:




HOW TO EARN - CODES
A few times per week (sometimes even multiple times per day), SwagBucks will post a code on their Facebook page, Twitter feed, Blog, Swidget (the black/gray box found on the right side of this website) or Toolbar.  Basically, it will be a long code that you copy and will paste in the code box on the SwagBucks homepage.


The good news is I post up "SwagBucks Code Alerts" as soon as I find out that a code is out.  I don't post the exact code (that would be cheating), but I post up a link to the code, which will make it super easy to find!  If it's a SwagBucks Code Hunt, I can't post the link the code, but I can give you the starting point :) 


HOW TO EARN - COUPONS
Swagbucks just added the coupons feature as a way to earn SwagBucks.  I haven't tried it out yet, but when you visit the coupon section, you can print out whichever coupons you need.  When you use them at the store, you'll be awarded 10 SwagBucks for every coupon you use.  It can take up to 12 weeks for your account to be credited.


HOW TO EARN - SURVEYS
Surveys are a relatively new way to earn SwagBucks.  You get 1 SwagBuck just for visiting the survey page every day, as mentioned above.  However, you will also be awarded SwagBucks when you complete surveys.  The tricky part is that you might not qualify for a survey.  SwagBucks shows you with a percentage how likely it is that you will be a fit.  I've only done a handful of surveys and haven't had a problem, but I have heard of other users having problems having problems with surveys...mostly because it's a new feature and they're still working out the kinks!


Also, there is a "profile" tab on the survey page.  When you fill out a profile survey (usually under a minute), you'll be awarded 5-10 Swagbucks for each category!

HOW TO EARN - REFERRALS
Make sure to tell your family and friends about Swagbucks and get them to sign up through your referral link.  You can find your link when you go to "Promote" at the top of the Swagbucks homepage and click on "Promote Banners."  Anytime someone signs up with your referral link and they earn Swagbucks during searches, you earn the same amount of Swagbucks they win (up to a grand total of 1,000 Swagbucks).  Sweet!


HOW TO EARN - OTHER WAYS
There are a few other ways to earn SwagBucks: SwagBucks TV, completing Special Offers, playing games online, buying daily deals, shopping online through Swagbucks, and trading in old books & electronics.

Honestly, aside from completing an occassional special offer, I haven't used any of these other ways to win/earn SwagBucks.  If you're intersted in learning more about any of those features, simply click on the links above or access them from the SwagBucks homepage!  You can also visit the "how it works" page for more info on those features!



HOW TO EARN - FRIDAY IS MEGASWAGBUCKS DAY!
Every Friday of the month is what is known as MegaSwagBucks Day!  You can win anywhere from 5-500 SwagBucks on just ONE search!  The increase your chances of winning SwagBucks and they increase the "average" amount they award you when you win on a search.  The most I've personally won was 62 Swagbucks, though I did have a friend that earned over 200!


REWARDS
When you start accumulating SwagBucks using the methods mentioned above, you should take a look at the Rewards section and see what you're interested in. 

THE SWAG STORE
Click here to check out the Swag Store.  There are lots of categories to choose from.  They offer everything from gift cards to video games...t-shirts to guitars...and so much more!


After careful consideration, I determined my favorite prize is the $5 Amazon e-gift card. You can get that when you cash in 450 SwagBucks.  I feel like that gets the biggest bang for my buck.  I can keep adding the gift cards to my Amazon account and not have to worry about them expiring.  Plus, I come across (and post) so many deals on Amazon that I can save up and buy a really awesome prize and usually get FREE S&H.

A side note about prizes is they do NOT post automatically to your account.  Once you choose your reward and cash in your SwagBucks for your prize, it'll take about a week to post to your account. Also, you can only redeem 5 prizes per month.  I had a few thousand SwagBucks saved up by November so in November I cashed in 2250 Swagbucks for 5 $5 Amazon gift cards and did the same again in December. 

I highly doubt anyone can make a living off SwagBucks (lol), but it can definitely give you a nice chunk of spending money for FREE.  My goal was to save up SwagBucks and cash them in for Christmas money, which is exactly what I did...in the amount of $50 in fact.  That's nothing to sneeze at considering all it took was a couple minutes each day doing stuff I'd normally be doing already! 

This year, I decide to splurge a little on myself and saved up my Amazon credits for a super deep discount on a Kinect and Xbox 360 bundle :)  I LOVE Swagbucks!