Last month I received my first check payment from Treasure Trooper for the previous month’s earnings:
Of course this is good news, not only because I have opened up another revenue stream, but also because I have now confirmed that the company is legitimate and not a scam, which means that I can promote the site in good faith and collect referrals.
Treasure Trooper is one of the largest GPT (Get Paid To) websites currently in existence and pays you for completing offers, filling out surveys, doing product trials, and signing up for various memberships and subscription services. They accept members from all countries, although there is a tendency for members based in the USA to receive more offers. The site is recognizable by its “Indiana Jones” theme where members try to collect treasure such as coins, gems, and pearls as shown at the bottom of this screenshot of my account:
Treasure Trooper - How to Make Money
The primary method of earning money is by completing various offers that fall into the category of “lead generation” where companies are hoping that you will try out their products or services and eventually become regular customers. Completing most offers is a simple and straightforward process - it usually involves filling out a form with basic information such as a name, email address, postal address, zip code, or geographic location. After you have finished filling out the offer, you just click the “Done” button and it will go into the “Pending Offers” category where it will remain until you either receive credit or the offer expires.
At this point, you will also have the chance to play a bonus game where you will have a 1 in 3 chance of collecting a pearl. The pearls are a unique feature to Treasure Trooper and are significant because for every eight of them you collect, you can trade them in for two free referrals. These referrals are members who have signed up to the site without a referrer and are automatically assigned to your account after you trade in the eight pearls. Referrals are a potential source of passive income and can make a significant amount of money for you in the long run. Some members have reported earnings of several hundred dollars per month just from the referral commissions.
In addition to the paid offers, there are also three daily surveys available that can net you up to $1.75 for each day that you manage to complete them. Other sources of earnings include special offers from their twice-monthly newsletter, forum contests, jackpot games, and treasure hunts. You can also receive certain kinds of merchandise by using the gold and platinum coins that you collect from completing the offers and redeeming them for prizes at the “Mabutu’s Trading Hut” page. Prizes include an iPod Nano, Xbox 360, Amazon gift certificates, Visa gift cards, mousepads, bumper stickers, and tickets for the treasure hunts.
Getting Paid - The Fun Part
You are eligible to be paid once you have at least $20 in your account. Payments are sent out between the 15th and 20th of each month for the previous month’s earnings. For example, if you manage to earn at least $20 during the current month of May, your payment will be sent during the middle of June. In the beginning, Treasure Trooper paid only by check, but as of October 2007, they will also pay by PayPal to US and UK members who have verified accounts. If you are eligible for PayPal payments and want to choose this option, you will need to enable this by going to your member profile and filling in your PayPal email address. Apparently I had forgotten to do this before they processed my payment, so I wound up receiving a check instead of PayPal funds.
Treasure Trooper Pros - Advantages
- Easy way of making money online without any up-front costs or excessive stress
- Generous 20% referral commissions - international members can build up a significant income this way
- Reliable payments, good track record, legitimate, non-scamming
- Very active forum - good for getting questions answered and making contacts with other members
- Many available offers, especially for U.S. residents - I have never had a problem with “running dry”
- Most of the simple, free, non-credit card offers credit instantly or within 24 hours
- Virtual coins and treasure can be traded for real merchandise
Treasure Trooper Cons - Disadvantages
- Completing the offers can become boring and repetitive after the “wow” factor wears off
- International members often receive fewer offers - you can make up for this by getting more referrals
- In practice, you will almost certainly want to use a dedicated email address as a “spam catcher”. I recommend a free Gmail account so that offers have a good chance of being credited and confirmed.
- If you sign up at multiple GPT sites, some offers may be duplicates and prevent you from receiving credit. Waiting for new offers and clearing cookies can help with this.
Overall, Treasure Trooper is worth doing if you need to make some extra money and do not have enough passive income streams built up yet. On the other hand, if you already have a sufficiently large income from your other endeavors, you may not find the paid-for-offer gig to be worth your time. In either case, however, it seems like a good idea to join anyway just for the possibility of collecting referrals. Referral income is totally passive and will not require you to spend time completing offers or filling out surveys in order to receive money.
UPDATE 4/16/09: Today I received a PayPal payment from Treasure Trooper for my March earnings:
Of course I have received several other payments by check before this one, but this time I finally got in there and changed my payment method to PayPal to verify that this works. The program seems to be running quite smoothly — you can easily earn an extra $20-30 per month just by logging in a running through a handful of offers every few days (takes less than 5 minutes per session if you have form fillers such as RoboForm to speed up the process).
The only frustrating part is that I am getting a lot of referrals who are signing up but then just sitting there and not doing anything. Apparently I need to remind people that the program does take some minimal amount of effort to earn money from, but this is very easy compared to most other jobs and can actually be quite fun once you learn how this works.