What’s cheaper than money? Time!

So, I wanted 50 workers to complete a survey. I put an accurate description, and set the payment to $.20 cents. After a few hours, very few workers had undertaken my task. So, I did what seems natural—I raised the payment to $.40 cents.

This worked…. a little bit. A dozen or so workers completed my HIT in the first hour. But that wasn’t fast enough. I wanted more workers, NOW! But I didn’t want to spend any more money. What to do?

A-ha! I decreased my allotted time per assignment from 60 to 15 minutes. I know my survey will only take 10-ish minutes, so why would I leave so much allotted time there, to potentially scare away workers who are quickly scanning HITs and think mine might take too long? It worked. I finished my batch within the hour. I was so excited I ran another batch, this time with the original $.20 cent payment, and IT STILL FINISHED IN AN HOUR.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.11.11 PM  = 12 workers in 1 hour (w/ $.40 payment)

as opposed to

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.10.55 PM  = 50 workers in 1 hour (w/ $.40 & $.20 payment)

Lesson? If you can tighten up your allotted time for a HIT to something reasonable accurate (plus a few minutes for slower readers), then you will attract more workers.

One thought on “What’s cheaper than money? Time!

  1. Many turkers tend to prefer longer time limits, to allow for interruptions… stuff happens. The time you actually expect it to take can be clearly stated in title/description instead. (Although it really taking 10 minutes wouldn’t be a great ‘selling point’ at either price.)


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