Amazon mTurk Review

I recently signed up for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Marketplace. mTurk is a marketplace where workers can complete online tasks to earn income.

How Mechanical Turk Works

Amazon mTurk
I recently signed up for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program. Now, before I ever try out or sign up for anything – I always do my own background research (Google searches) on this stuff. I don’t enjoy unexpected surprises and if there is any, I can blame myself.

This is a legitimate marketplace that brings workers and employers together. If I had to compare it to anything – I would say it’s like freelance websites (freelancer.com) where people post jobs they need done and how much they will pay upon completion.

 

How Mechanical Turk Works

 

What exactly is mTurk?

The easiest way to explain mTurk – Simple tasks that need to be done by humans but can be done online. These tasks, also called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), can be anything from Google searches to transcribing. Once a task is complete, it will be checked and you will be compensated if completed correctly. The compensation for each task varies depending (usually) on the difficulty. To find out more about mTurk, check out the FAQs.

 

What’s great

You can start immediately after signing up.

No training necessary.

All HITs are completely optional and you can view them before accepting.

You can return HITs – Meaning there’s no hard feelings if you decide you don’t want the task afterall.

Most HITs are (dare I say) fun.

 

What’s not so great

There are levels of qualifications – I understand this of course but it gets annoying when you can’t accept certain HITs because you aren’t qualified for them.

My account got suspended within the first few hours of use. Apparently this is pretty common. Being in no rush, I sent them a friendly email saying I was suspended and asking what I can do to fix it. I got an email back basically saying I couldn’t be helped (ouch). The problem lies within Amazon Payments. They integrated mTurk with their payment system so the problem is that Amazon Payments locks because it can’t verify you, which then locks your mTurk account. Apparently the only way to fix all of this is to call customer support.

mTurk Suspended Account

You are forced to use Amazon Payments and it was the reason I was locked out of mTurk. Having the choice to use PayPal would be an ideal option but since there is rivalry – that will likely never happen.

 

End result

Since the Mechanical Turk marketplace is still in it’s beta, problems are inevitable. The only real issue that has taken place is getting suspended. Other than this issue, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk marketplace is a great place to look into… if you are in the mood to make some extra money. If you’re searching for other micro job websites, I recently signed up with Clickworker and will hopefully have a review soon. Also, you can check out my review of MicroWorkers.



  • I signed up for mTurk yesterday and got a message it will take about 48 hours to be reviewed and either approved or rejected.

    From what you wrote, it sounds like you were able to sign up and do work right away — perhaps something changed since then.

    • Must have, I don’t remember having to wait. Maybe if my account had gone through a review process I wouldn’t have been suspended later on.

  • Rolo

    Do you know if people who live in the UK can join mTurk?

    I read that in 2012 mTurk stopped allowing international users to work for them. Is that still the case now? The website doesn’t seem to mention which countries can join.

    • I’m not really sure. I have seen where others have stated that mTurk doesn’t accept International workers or they aren’t accepting any newcomers. I live in the U.S. and when I signed up I got locked out shortly after because they couldn’t verify me. I have read where this is a common problem and I wonder if others just assume this means they don’t want new people. The only thing I can suggest is to try it out but don’t get your hopes up.