The Smart Crowd (formerly known as Virtual Bee and Key For Cash) is one of the few online companies in existence offering a way to earn money doing data entry. You may already be familiar with this company if you’ve been in the work at home circles for a while.
International workers – this opportunity is open worldwide provided you meet certain requirements. More detail on that is below.
What kind of work do you do for The Smart Crowd?
The same data entry tasks that were available when the company was known as Key for Cash/Virtual Bee are still available. This involves looking at scanned images displaying numbers, dollars and cents, dates, or names and addresses and inputting them as they come across your screen. You may also be doing basic internet research (example – finding names and addresses for businesses online) and also making phone calls to gather information.
For the most part it is easy, mindless work that you don’t need a lot of special skills for.
How much does The Smart Crowd pay?
The amount you earn will vary per task. Some tasks pay more while others pay a lot less. For example, right now I am looking at my dashboard and I’m seeing data entry tasks that pay anywhere from .20 cents per 1000 keystrokes to .60 cents per 1000 keystrokes.
The Smart Crowd/Virtual Bee is unfortunately is not a good option for an actual online job because the pay is so low you likely won’t even be making minimum wage. This is why I tell people not to really bother with it for anything apart from just extra money and data entry experience. Honestly, if you look at this as your “job,” you are going to get really frustrated because of how little you are making. When I do it, I just think of it as something for a little extra money — kind of like I do when I’m taking surveys, etc.
How and when does The Smart Crowd pay?
In order to get paid by The Smart Crowd, you have to have a Dwolla account. They pay you using this monthly. It is possible to get a debit card through Dwolla that your funds can transfer to, making it more convenient to gain access to the money as soon as it’s been sent over.
Who can apply?
The Smart Crowd/Virtual Bee accepts workers from the US and other countries as well.
Do you need experience to get in?
No, you do not need any prior experience. However, you will have to take a test on the website to gauge your data entry skills. The percentile you are in will determine whether or not they invite you to join. Obviously the higher your percentile, the better.
Is there a schedule you must adhere to?
No, you are not bound by any schedule. You can log in and out and work whenever you want provided work is available.
Are you an independent contractor or an employee?
You work for The Smart Crowd as an independent contractor. Therefore, it will be your responsibility to keep track of your payments for tax purposes as they will not send you a W-2.
As you might have already guessed, this is far from a perfect work at home opportunity (and don’t forget there is no such thing as that anyway). The primary gripes I see online from people who actually do work for this company is the seriously low pay and the occasional lack of work. This is why you just can’t depend on it for income. Some people who apply also complain because they never hear back despite having a very high percentile score after taking the test.
There are some good things about The Smart Crowd. First off, the work is kind of fun to do, especially if you’re someone who occasionally enjoys little mindless tasks. It also will give you some data entry experience. This will be super helpful if you ever decide to pursue some more lucrative work at home data entry jobs. Although they’re hard to find, these do exist. Great American Opportunities is one that comes to mind here.
And, as stated above, the company is known for paying so you don’t have to worry about it being some shady data entry scam. If you wanted to spend a little bit of time on it each week, this could be some extra money for you every month.
I was able to get accepted by this company a few years ago when they were known as Key For Cash. I was excited to get in because I enjoy data entry. At the time I started, I was also doing a lot of freelance writing which paid considerably more so it just made sense for me to spend most of my time on that. However, I would often log into Virtual Bee here and there and do some keying just because it’s fun.
At the time I used the site, you had to have earned a minimum amount to make payout and I never worked enough to reach that threshold.
WAHM.com has an entire sub-forum devoted to Virtual Bee that stays pretty active. This is a good place to go read real user experiences and find out if anything new happens with the company. Work Place Like Home does not have a sub-forum for Virtual Bee, but people do discuss them pretty frequently on the transcription, coding, and data entry forum. You must be a registered member to view that forum, but registration is free.
If you want to go ahead and test for The Smart Crowd/Virtual Bee, you can begin the sign up process here. Good luck, and please comment below if you have experience with the company you would like to share.
Looking for other data entry options?
FlexJobs is a fee-based job search board, but they guarantee no scams are ever posted, and I’ve never seen any. Indeed is a free job search board, but you may occasionally find scams there. Just use “data entry” as your search term in the keyword box and keep an eye out for any postings that say they are work at home.