I’m writing this review from an employee’s perspective. You’ve come to this Amazon Mechanical Turk review because you want to know if it’s legit? If they pay? And I must answer that they do pay. In fact, I bought a smartphone on Amazon with the money I earned at Amazon Mechanical Turk.

There is always work you can get paid for on their site doing minor tasks. But payment per task is very little (it ranges from pennies to a dollar, there could be higher paying tasks but they’re rare). With these amounts, your hourly earnings will be less then minimum wages.

 

Why is it called Mechanical Turk?

Amazon created this web-based software application that coordinates programming tasks with human intelligence. It was partly inspired by Kempelen’s Mechanical Turk.

In 1769 Kempelen, a Hungarian engineer, designed a machine that apparently could play chess. It was a robot like machine with assumingly some type of artificial intelligence that played chess against humans and almost always won (even though it was brought, in occasions, before strong challengers). It was evidently a hoax but it became very popular at the time and only around 80 years later was the truth discovered.

Some famous people defeated by the Mechanical Turk include: Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon Bonapart, and the Russian Tsar Paul I.

People would gather to see the chess matches take place. A showman would introduce the Turk. It was actually a very good mannequin looking like a stereotypical Turk that could move his eyes, head, hands and other humanlike actions. The showman before each match started would convince the audience there was no human inside the machine by opening all the compartment doors that conformed the mechanism. But there was actually a human being inside and he would be a chess-master.

 

Amazon launches this additional platform

Amazon built this platform over the idea that there still are many things that human beings can do much more efficiently than computers, such as identifying objects in a photo or video, performing data de-duplication, transcribing audio recordings, or researching data details. Amazon states that traditionally, tasks like this have been accomplished by hiring a large temporary workforce (which is time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale) or have gone undone.

So seeing this need they launched this platform were a company or an individual (requester) submits to them these tasks, and Amazon’s platform returns results in a very short time.

A requester uploads the task on to his computer. And once he receives results, it may seem that artificial intelligence is providing them. But, in contrast with Kempelen, Amazon has been upfront stating that human beings are on the other end completing these tasks.

Due to this resemblance, Amazon’s executives decided to name their platform after Kempelen’s machine, Mechanical Turk.

 

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk legit?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is not a scam. We all know and trust Amazon. It’s a colossal giant and they’re really good at what they do. So, Mechanical Turk should be treated with the same respect.

They pay those that complete tasks at their platform. And they’re upfront with their conditions.

Besides, Amazon Mechanical Turk itself has been around for quite a long time, since 2005. So that all by itself proves they mean business. Scams never survive that long.

 

What does Mechanical Turk pay?

In 2018, Kotaro Hara from Carnegie Mellon University and other researchers recorded 2,676 workers performing 3.8 million tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

This study revealed that workers earned a median hourly wage of only $2/h approximately, and only 4% earned more than $7.25/h.

This gives you a very accurate idea of what you could expect once you join the platform. Although, average requester pays more than $11/h, yet lower-paying requesters post much more work.

If these stats have discouraged you a bit and you’re looking for a full time income, I’d suggest you check out this platform by clicking here.

 

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk worth it?

Amazon Mechanical Turk suits many because it always has tasks available. But there is one thing you should bear in mind before joining and it’s that highest paying tasks tends to come through during normal working hours on weekdays.

Some of us only have time to work on this platform at nights or on weekends. So, with that schedule, you’ll still find tasks available but not as much good ones.

 

How do I withdraw money from MTurk?

If you live in the United States, you have two options:

1.) You can transfer to Amazon Payments (and from there transfer to your Bank account).

2.) You can transfer to Amazon.com in the form of a Gift Card.

For those who live outside the United States, only option #2 is available.

Once the earnings have been submitted, it will take up to 24 hours to appear in your Gift Card balance or in your Amazon Payments account.

If you decide to receive payment through a Gift Card, you can simply go to Amazon and use your Gift Card balance at check out. You must remember that in this case there are some restrictions that apply: you can’t purchase digital items, nor Gift Cards, etc.

If you decide to receive your earning through your Amazon Payments account, you could still pay for purchases inside Amazon.com and obviously you’ll be enabled to transfer those funds into your Bank account.

 

Can I transfer money from MTurk to PayPal?

Unluckily, moving directly from Amazon to PayPal is not permitted. Why? Well, it turns out that these two payment methods are in direct competition.

But is there a way around? Yes, but you’ll need an indirect solution to get your money from your Amazon Pay account into your PayPal account.

 

Mechanical Turk Pros

1.) You can work on your own pace. Tasks are usually quick to complete. And each task has a set amount of time allowed for being completed (it’s always more than necessary). But besides that, there is no pressure to complete any given amount of tasks, no deadlines to meet. You’re on your own schedule.

2.) You’ll never run short of tasks. This sometimes occurs on other platforms, but not on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

3.) You can have your earnings transferred to your Bank Account or you can have them transferred to your Gift Card balance on Amazon.com

 

Mechanical Turk Cons

1.) In 96% of cases you’ll be earning less than minimum wages.

2.) Special qualifications needed for some higher-paying assignments.

3.) Because most of the tasks are very simple, some of them can be extremely boring.

 

Wrapping up

If you want some extra cash, then Mechanical Turk is for you. There are benefits having an account on Mechanical Turk and one is that you never know when you could have some spare time and take advantage of their easy tasks to earn some cash.

But if you’d like a full-time income or build your own business, then please check out this post by clicking here.

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26 Comments

Parameter · January 29, 2020 at 10:23 AM

Since MTurk is owned by the giant – Amazon, it will be legit and they will pay like you pointed out. But the challenge with minor tasks on this platform will be the small payment.

I had to click and see your alternative. I discovered it is another giant – Wealthy Affiliate. I have used the platform for some while and I will continue with them. The site is just the solution for anybody that wants a legit way of earning with a high income potential.

    Henry · January 29, 2020 at 5:52 PM

    Hi! You’re right. Thanks for putting it that way. Both are legit: Amazon’s MTurk and Wealthy Affiliate. But the former has low income potential and the latter high.

Michel · January 29, 2020 at 10:24 AM

I must say that even though I have been working with Amazon for a long time, this is the first time that I realised that Mechanical Turk was part of Amazon. I thought it was another random company jumping on Amazon’s back and using their famous name.

Even so, you say that the money that you make doing tasks is less than the minimum wage, and being in Africa, I would have to take the gift card. So, in this case, I will pass and carry on building my website, as I can probably earn more by selling items from Amazon.

I enjoyed the history lesson by the way.

    Henry · January 29, 2020 at 3:56 PM

    Hi! Yes, you may earn more on your site promoting products on Amazon than working with MTurk. MTurk is a legit site but earning potential is low. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

Rhain · January 29, 2020 at 10:33 AM

I definitely agree that the Amazon’s Mturk program is legitimate. As you pointed out, it is powered by Amazon after all. It does seem like a good way to spend some idle time and I also have to add that it does appear appealing to me. But the restrictions placed on the withdrawal does seem to raise serious concerns for aspirants living outside the US.

I’m glad you shared.

    Henry · January 29, 2020 at 4:06 PM

    Hi Rhain. MTurk is an interesting option for those searching a legit way to make money online in their spare time. I’m glad you found this platform useful.

Twack Romero · January 29, 2020 at 10:45 AM

One thing I am always on the look out for more opportunities to earn some extra cash, or credit if it’s useful credit. Hence, you article piqued my interest. After being summarily ‘dumped’ by Amazon, you might say that I would be reluctant to rekindle our relationship. Not so, I am happy to look at all possibilites with an unbiased eye.

As I am outside of the US, then payment would be in credit, which is fine by me. As an avid reader, I do buy a number of books from Amazon each year. Building up a small amount of funds in my account would be ideal. As I spend quite a lot of my time at a computer, it wouldn’t be difficult to put aside some time, every few days, to spend on the ‘Mechanical Turk’. The low hourly rate is inconsequential, as I would be earning instead of getting distracted by the internet itself.

Many of the schemes I have looked at, or read reviews on, have issues with payments. You have to reach a certain threshold before you can draw any of the payments out. It would seem that this isn’t the case with Amazon, which does give me some added confidence.

    Henry · January 29, 2020 at 4:14 PM

    Hi! You won’t have payment issues with Amazon Mechanical Turk. And you can withdraw to your Amazon balance as soon as you earn something. No threshold.

Linda · February 4, 2020 at 6:27 PM

Its very little money for the USA but may be a lot for the middle east. However, I have noticed many businesses initiate that way and once they grow, it pays big money. I remember working for outsource and leaving because I thought freelance wasn’t a big thing but now its called remote and boy was I wrong. 

    Henry · February 4, 2020 at 7:38 PM

    Hi Linda. Thanks for sharing your experience. There has been an increase in the number of freelancers world wide. And online market places online have everyday more people. And thus, income potential as a freelancer has also gone up.

    Concerning Mturk, it has been around since 2005 and it’s legit but it’s income potential seems to be meant to stay there. You have also said something I greatly agree with: it’s not much in the US but it’s certainly something in the middle East.

Martin · February 4, 2020 at 6:45 PM

Hi

Thank you for the review. Although the earnings of this program are not very high, I do feel it is a great way to pass time and making some cash while doing it. It is a much better time eater than playing games or being on Facebook. I am sure a lot can be learned as well from all the different jobs that are available. I will be signing up, and see how it works out.

    Henry · February 4, 2020 at 7:19 PM

    Hi Martin.

    Yes, it’s a nice way to make some extra cash and at the same time learn a few things. I have been a member of Mturk since 2016 and up to this day, I still recommend the platform (for anybody that wants to make a side hustle).

Wayne · February 4, 2020 at 6:58 PM

Right off the top, I have to say that I haven’t heard of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk until now but it doesn’t sound a whole lot different than the option of doing “Surveys”. Both are low paying and both seem to require some special qualifications to do some of the tasks.

If one is just looking to fill some free time, I suppose this would be one way to make the time pay but I can’t help but think that your other option would be a better way. Yes, it will take some time before one starts to make money but in the long scheme of things the benefits are more sustainable and longer-lasting and you will get more bang for your time.

I’ve been the route of only making a few cents or a buck for 20 min of work doing this sort of thing. In the end, I had to stop because I found it to be discouraging mostly because certain tasks required special skills that I lacked (or a certain age bracket) and this was even though I knew something of the topic.

Anyway, I’ll stick with other options such as affiliate marketing because I know that it will pay bigger dividends in the end.

Wayne

    Henry · February 4, 2020 at 7:32 PM

    Hi Wayne.

    Yes, you’re right. Affiliate Marketing, even thought it requires effort to get started, it pays bigger dividends in the end. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

Mike Ramen · February 22, 2020 at 10:52 PM

I love trying out platforms myself. But before joining anything, I do a bit of research. Obviously, since this program is backed by Amazon, it’s totally legit, right?

I don’t like that in 96% of cases you’ll be earning less than minimum wage. But because Mechanical Turk seems to be a big platform backed by Amazon, I’ll still check them out and see.

    Henry · February 22, 2020 at 11:13 PM

    Hi Mike! I’m glad you stopped by my site. It’s always good to research before joining anything. I commend you for that.

    Now that you know what you’ll find inside the platform, I’d also suggest you give it a try.

Patrick · February 22, 2020 at 10:55 PM

This is a pretty nice review. Mechanical Turk is nice as you say. But it only brings benefits to those in India and USA alone. Other regions such as Africa are left out because you can’t withdraw your earnings to PayPal or Bank transfer. You can only spend them on Amazon gift cards. There’s no opportunity to earn money here from Africa. 

    Henry · February 22, 2020 at 11:19 PM

    Hi Patrick. I’m sorry to hear that.

    I still suggest you consider this option. I purchase quite a few things on Amazon and I live outside the US. I have the things purchased sent to my country and it’s still convenient. You may be in the same case as me if you sometimes purchase things on Amazon.

    But, you’re right, direct deposits into your bank account aren’t available in Africa.

BlueMoon UniqueFashion · February 22, 2020 at 11:03 PM

Thank you very much for this helpful article. You have described in great detail what Amazon Mechanical Turk is. I’ve read about this platform before, but many details remain unclear. I really thought the tasks were paying more. What I like is that I can work at my own pace. But in any case, I’ll also examine your other option for a full income opportunity. 

    Henry · February 22, 2020 at 11:21 PM

    Hi! I’m glad this post helped you learn a bit more about Amazon Mechanical Turk.

    I also think it’s a good idea to check out this full income opportunity.

Nate MC · February 22, 2020 at 11:04 PM

Turk isn’t bad for those who need extra cash, but it’s definitely not worth it if someone is trying to make full-time income. I think, if people are going to use Turk, they shouldn’t spend too much time on it. But let their earnings accumulate before they request a payout. Also, I don’t think requestors on Turk should be allowed to reject work for any reason. I may be wrong, but I think they can reject work. 

    Henry · February 22, 2020 at 11:27 PM

    Hi Nate. Yes, income potential is low in Mturk. But it may still suit some.

    Concerning work being rejected, yes it’s possible. But it’s not an issue if you take time to read the instructions and follow them. I can personally tell you that. The possibility of having submitted tasks rejected comes in response to some few users that just want to game the platform.

Audrey · February 22, 2020 at 11:13 PM

Hello!

Thanks for this post on Amazon Mechanical Turk. After reading your review, I can say it sounds like a great way to darn amazon payments and gift cards.

I am new to many of this online stuff but it sounds interesting and fun. I’ll check it out and see how much I can earn in my first week.

Best regard.

Audrey

    Henry · February 22, 2020 at 11:31 PM

    Hi Audrey.

    I’m glad to hear you have made up your mind to check out Mturk. All the best.

Brian · February 23, 2020 at 12:16 AM

Thanks for sharing your Amazon mechanical Turk review. I’m always looking for ways to earn some extra cash and seems like this is a nice little way to do that. I like that the tasks are generally pretty easy to do, but it is a little discouraging to hear that the overall pay can be less than minimum wage. I would like to give it a try, but I was wondering if you knew what the most anyone has earned from it each month? Does $25 to $75 seem realistic?

    Henry · February 23, 2020 at 12:50 AM

    Hi Brian! Yes, $25 to $75 a month is realistic.

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