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If you’re looking for ways to try and earn some extra cash online, at some point you’ll have probably come across 20 Cogs. Marketed towards people who want to make money in their spare time, it offers a £5 joining bonus and a way to ‘earn money by completing competitions, offers, gaming and surveys.’
They say their average user earns just over £200, a not insignificant amount which would definitely come in useful for most of us!
So, is 20 Cogs legit or a scam?
I write a lot about how to make money in various ways, but I don’t recommend 20 Cogs. Here’s why.
I first signed up to 20 Cogs a couple of years ago and I STILL haven’t cashed out. My balance is now £94 and I have 2 cogs left to complete. I’m not saying this to suggest they don’t pay – I know plenty of people who’ve cashed out and received their money – but I am saying it is long winded and in my opinion, a bit of a faff.
How does 20 Cogs work?
The basic premise is pretty simple. You have 20 cogs which you need to ‘turn green’ by completing various offers. Once, and only once all your cogs are green, can you withdraw your earnings.
Things you can do to check off your cogs might be completing surveys, product trials, sign up offers, subscriptions and so on.
Each offer is worth varying amounts of money which you’ll be shown before clicking through to the offer. Once you’ve completed the offer and it’s been verified, that amount is added to your balance.
Remember, regardless of how many and which offers you complete, you cannot withdraw your earnings until all 20 cogs are green.
How do 20 Cogs make money?
It’s actually pretty simple. When you complete an offer via 20 Cogs, they get paid a commission by their advertisers, which they then share partly with you.
Here’s their video explaining how it all works:
On the surface, it actually sounds quite good, £200 odd for signing up to a few offers.
Here’s why I think it’s more complicated than that.
The downsides of 20 Cogs
Some of the offers, actually A LOT of the offers promoted on 20 Cogs require you to sign up and deposit on betting and casino sites. Whilst I’m aware this might not be a problem for everyone, I’m very wary of recommending anything that leads people towards any kind of gambling, or possibility of losing money. Since these offers often require wagering through your money, i.e gambling, I’m not comfortable suggesting this is a good idea.
Many of the 20 cogs offers involve signing up for free trials. This is fine on the surface, but signing up for a free trial often involves inputting your card details for future payments. If you then don’t cancel the subscription in time you end up paying for a service you may never have wanted in the first place. Again, you’re risking spending money while trying to make it.
If you do do this, it’s always worth setting a reminder to cancel well before you’ll be charged.
Signing up to all these marketing offers leaves you open to a lot of spam, you’re often required to put in your details and will almost definitely end up receiving spam emails and possibly even marketing calls.
If you do sign up to offers make sure to read the terms carefully and tick boxes to opt out of unwanted marketing.
Paid for offers
Some of the offers require paying for things. For example, one offer is to sign up to receive a Graze box for £1.99. You’ll earn £4 for this offer, but once you’ve paid you’ll actually only make £2.01, plus you’ll have to remember to cancel the ongoing subscription you’ll have been entered into when ordering that 1st £1.99 box.
It takes a LONG time
Whilst some of the cogs available are quick and easy to complete, such as completing a survey or signing up to a research panel, you cannot complete all 20 cogs with these type of offers. Plus, they pay out less than other offers. Sign up offers often require you to remain subscribed for the whole free trial period, often 30 days, so it can take a whole month for a cog to turn green.
You may never complete it!
Another problem I have with 20 cogs is you may never complete it – you might just run out of offers you’re willing to do! I have just 2 cogs left to complete, and all the offers available to me are either things I’ve previously had a subscription to so can’t join as a new customer, gambling offers which I’m unwilling to do, and a pet food subscription offer. I don’t have a pet.
I should say that if you leave it a while offers do change and update so you might get lucky and find things you can do to reach the end. 20 Cogs do also say that if you get stuck on the last cog you can email them and they will see what they can do to help.
Conclusion – Is 20 Cogs Legit?
In fairness, I don’t think 20 Cogs is a scam. I have friends that have cashed out with no problem so I don’t doubt they pay out. However, I also think it’s neither a quick nor a foolproof way to make money. It could just as easily end up that you waste a lot of time for no reward and that’s why I don’t recommend it as an easy way to make money.
If you do decide to sign up to 20 Cogs, I recommend caution when choosing which offers to complete and always being aware of what you’re signing up for.
Alternatives to 20 Cogs
Here are some 20 Cogs alternatives that I think are much better options for making some extra money online
- Prolific – A crowdsourced research platform that pays decent rates for you to complete online research studies and surveys
- Ysense – My favourite get-paid-to site that pays you to complete surveys and offers. Top tip – it pays in dollars, but if you choose to cash out for vouchers you can get a £10 amazon voucher for $10 (£7.29) so great value! Just choose Reward link when you redeem.
- Declutter – Do you have load of stuff laying around you don’t need? Selling clothes and clutter can give you a quick cash win.
- Populus Live – A survey site that pays £1 per 5 mins of your time taking surveys. Once you’ve accrued £50 they pay out to your bank account.
- UserTribe – A crowdsourced research community that pays you to take part in studies and research to help companies develop products and services
No, 20 Cogs is not a scam, however it can take a long time to complete and may not be worth the time and effort for everyone.
20 Cogs say their average user earns £200, but the amount varies from person to person
Whilst it can be completed faster depending on the offers, it can take weeks or even months to complete as you can wait 30 days for some offers to confirm.