Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Story of How I Earned My Most Recent $40, and How Maybe You Can Too!

I've been working hard on my wording for this entry since I feel like no matter what I say, it will sound like I'm being sponsored to promote one of those Internet "get rich quick" scams. I promise I'm not, and this isn't one of those. You won't get rich quickly or slowly by participating in this, but it's kind of fun if you have a little time on your hands each day. Moreover, I'm not being sponsored or thanked or compensated in any way to post this, I'm just posting it because I think it's pretty neat.

For years and years I've ignored any claims that people have made on any website or via email when they talk about getting money from the Internet. Obviously it's Internet 101 to know that 99% of the time these claims are false so I've learned to just ignore them. However, back in the fall of 2009 I got both curious and bored, so I decided to Google "paid survey sites that actually work," and I stumbled upon a page (that I now can't find) and on this page was a list of sites that supposedly were legit. At the top of this list was a site called Hotspex.  There were quite a few testimonials from people claiming the site was fantastic, so I decided to check it out.

What appealed to me right from the start was that the site was very clear on how you were compensated for your participation. Ultimately what sold the site to me was their relationship with, which is a reputable site and most importantly, meant I could trade my "BUX" from Hotspex for Starbucks cards. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I love Starbucks, and I especially love free Starbucks, so I decided to try my luck at Hotspex.

When you first sign up for Hotspex, they take your demographic information and then they use that to determine which surveys you are eligible for and then you can either click on them when they appear on your Hotspex homepage or have them sent to your email. I opted to have them all sent to my email and when one would arrive I would take it. I was pretty excited about earning enough points for free Starbucks, so I eagerly participated in every Hotspex survey I was eligible for over the course of the next few months. I was really racking up the points for a while.

One day after taking a survey I was poking around on the Hotspex site and I noticed that they didn't have involvement with any more, so I got pretty upset and just started ignoring the surveys. At this point I figured they weren't worth my time anymore since they would never result in free Starbucks. What I didn't do was block the emails; instead I would just ignore them. This was purely due to laziness on my part.

I didn't do any surveys at all in 2010, and until April of 2011 I continued to ignore the emails notifying me of new surveys. For some reason this past April I decided to check out the Hotspex site again, and I noticed they now had an option to trade "BUX" in for actual cash that could be sent to your PayPal account. I was only a few hundred points away from earning $40, so I took a few more surveys and BOOM, I had enough points to attempt getting my $40.

After filling out the necessary information to trade my BUX for the $40, I planned on writing this entry but only after I received the cash in my Paypal account. I also sent this email to Hotspex in hopes that I could use this entry to get some sort of extra BUX by virtue of referrals:

Subject : Question- General--Hey there,

I'm a Vancouver Mommy Blogger ( and I'm going to be doing a blog entry on how pleased I am with Hotspex. I was wondering if there is any way to get referrals aside from sending out emails? I think the entry will interest people in Hotspex and I want to make sure that if there's a way to reap the benefits of referring people, I'm able to do so.

Second, is there any way to update my initial survey about myself? My demographic has changed a bit since I signed up in January 2009.


Monika Whitney

The email I got back in response was:

Hi Monika,

We're happy to hear that you'd like to share your happy thoughts of Hotspex on your blog. Unfortunately we do not currently have any referral program to best work with this. We do plan to have one eventually in the long run.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Please keep me posted with your blog post, we'd love to check it out!

Best Regards,

So basically right now you can refer someone by email, and if they take their first survey, you get an extra 200 BUX credited to your account, but currently there is no way of getting a referral simply by linking, so that's kind of a bummer. However, if after reading this you want to try Hotspex for yourself, and you want to help me out a ton, you could always wait to create your account and post your email below or send it to and I can refer you and then I can get my 200 BUX for referring you. However, I digress. I will continue on with the story.

So I waited and waited for the money to enter my account (it said it could take up to two weeks) and then on the 18th I received a notification in my inbox that said I had been paid $40 from Hotspex. I checked my Paypal account and sure enough, I had my $40! Pretty awesome, right? I had my doubts but sure enough, Hotspex came through! $40 buys a lot of Starbucks, too!

Here are some screenshots:

In case anyone is wondering how many surveys it took, here is the breakdown of specifically what surveys I took and how many points each survey got me.  I think it would break the privacy rules and TOS of Hotspex to list the titles of the surveys so I blocked them out. You can get the idea by the dates and the point amounts, however.  You can also see the giant gap where I ignored all the emails.

So that's that.  Hotspex is pretty cool, and it's totally legit.  Now, a few other notes about Hotspex:

1.  The first survey you take is the "About You" survey, and you should make sure to answer correctly the first time because you can't retake it. The surveys that are sent to you are based on this survey, I believe.  I think it would be better if you could change your demographic more easily as your information changes. Right now my demographic information is dramatically different from what it was in January 2009, as I'm now a parent and make more money etc, but there's no easy way to change that information in Hotspex.  I'll let everyone know how to change it if I find a way.

2.  There are no referral links; I think this is key to successfully spreading word about the site but it looks like they will have them soon according to the email above.

3.  You can only trade in for a maximum of $50 per month, whether it's money on credit  or money on Paypal.  I think it's probably what makes it possible at all, otherwise people would take advantage.  $50 a month in free money is pretty awesome.

4.  I should mention that you don't need to trade your points in for money on Paypal or for credit.  You can also enter to win huge prizes (like iPads!) or you can donate your points to various charities.   

So that's my story about Hotspex.  Rest assured, there are tons of scams on the Internet, but Hotspex is not one of them.  It's just a really awesome market research company that has learned to use the Internet in a very innovative way.  As I said above, if after reading this you want to try Hotspex for yourself, and you want to help me out a ton, you could always wait to create your account and post your email below or send it to and I can refer you and then I can get my 200 BUX for referring you. 

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  1. Following you now from weekend blog hop!
    Would love if you'd consider returning the favor!
    Thanks, Heather

  2. New follower fron Super Stalker Sunday! Stalking you on facebook, twitter, networked blogs and gfc! Thanks so much for following me! I would love to sign up for this and will wait to have you refer me!! Can you use my personal email instead of mt blog email?

  3. Great blog! Following you back from the SSS blog hop.

  4. Yes, absolutely! You can email me at and I'll send the referral then =)

  5. Have you tried SwagBucks? I got a free Wii with my points there!
    Check this out:

    Thanks for linking up again this week with us. ; )

  6. Thanks for sharing! I'm always so cautious when it comes to things like this but I may just check it out myself!!

    Thanks for joining the Super Stalker Sunday hop again!! I hope you have fun stalking around and don't forget to come join us again next weekend!!

    Have a great Sunday,

  7. Following you from super stalker also..thanks for dropping by

  8. Hi! I'm a new follower of your lovely blog on GFC.
    Have a nice day!

  9. Your newest follower. Please stop by my blog when you can. Thanks!

  10. I'm already a GFC follower but now I'm following on FB and Twitter! Thanks so much for linking up to our Super Stalker Sunday hop! Hope to see you again next week! Have a great day!


  11. I love to find ways to earn money online! Have you tried eBates? You get cash back on online purchases.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, I am here returning the favor.

    Growing Up Geeky

  12. Wow! 200 BUX for a referral!? That is awesome! I need to do some referring. ;)

  13. Love the background ;)
    Thanks for stopping by and following. I'm now following back on both GFC and facebook.

    I've also followed you on twitter and Networked Blogs so I would love a follow back on those.

    Whirlwind of Surprises
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    Whirlwind of Surprises Networked Blogs
    Feel free to enter some contests while you're at it. Low entries and family friendly!
    Whirlwind of Surprises
    Award Winning Children's Book (US/CAN) 05/27
    Learn Spanish with Speekee TV giveaway (WW) -06/14
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I've adopted the same commenting policy as seen here at Off Beat Mama ( I won't post comments if they strike me as attacking, judgmental, rude, or unproductive. In general if you are willing to put your name to something, I'll post it, but remember to keep your words sweet, because someday you may have to eat them.