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Do the Math

Do the Math
by Gary Woods

The latest thing cluttering up my email inbox is something called InBox Dollars. The thrust of the promotion is that you get paid from 1 to 10 cents to read emails they send you. The emails are advertisements for various programs or products that would result in InBox Dollars making hefty revenue if you followed through and signed up for the programs being offered.

There is an added bonus however because aside from being paid to read emails, you can also "get paid" to play games, sign up for surveys, sign up for programs, shop and search the internet. So far all that sounds like my normal day.

What you aren't told is that you will need to start spending money first and you'll receive a rather small percentage back on what you've spent. For instance, after being a member for a couple of weeks I got 14 emails netting me a cool 40 cents or roughly just less than 3 cents per email. Added to that bonanza however is the $5.00 sign up bonus and the $1.00 introductory survey stipend.

Extrapolating those numbers out, at the rate of 1 email per day it'll take me about 2 years of reading email before I get my first $30 check. Now, I would hesitate to call this a scam because it really does what it says it does but if you run the numbers you see that something for nothing will take a long time. I think I'll scrounge around in the couch instead and see if I can get some extra money there.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc