Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Ranking: 4/10
What is Scribie?
When I look at ways to make money online, I’m always interested in sites that aren’t clear, particularly those that sound like they might be legitimate or may not be. Scribie is one of those, hence the question, is Scribie a scam?
Well, to start off with, the site itself is an audio transcription service.
It isn’t the first of its kind. In fact, I’ve reviewed a similar site in the past, called TranscribeMe. The general idea is that the site provides written transcriptions for pretty much anything.
Now, there is decent demand for this type of service. In theory, this also means that the site could be a good way to make money. The process that they use also shows that site does strongly rely on freelancers for much of the basic transcription work.
But, is Scribie a scam? Do you actually get paid and is the payment worth the time?
First of all, to actually join the site, you need to apply. If your application is accepted, you are put on a waiting list. Once you get to the top of that, you get to take a test. Some sites estimate that the waiting list can take up to a year, which is frustrating.
At the same time, the sign-up process is strange.
So, you need to actually log in with your PayPal account to even apply for Scribie. I have never seen that type of requirement before at it is extremely concerning. Now, I don’t care how secure their site is, I personally don’t like the idea of using your login for PayPal.
To make matters even more concerning, that PayPal account has to be verified. So, it has to be tied to an actual credit card or bank account. In fairness, the company does pay out to PayPal. But, lots of sites do the same thing and don’t ask you to log in with PayPal.
Honestly, because of this practice alone, I’d recommend TranscribeMe instead if you really want to do transcription work.
Making Money With Scribie
For the most part, the concept of Scribie is pretty simple and there is the potential to make money. But, how much money?
Well, on paper the pay rate looks pretty appealing.
Now, the lowest rate here is significantly below minimum wage, so it won’t appeal to everybody. Still, if you’re desperate for a form of income, being able to consistently earn $5 an hour isn’t too bad, especially given that you’re working from home.
But, the pay isn’t as good as it seems. Like TranscribeMe, the site pays per audio hour.
Precisely how long it would take you to transcribe one audio hour would vary. But, you’re probably looking at two or more hours. When I tried the process of transcription, I found that it took me close to 5 minutes to transcribe a 1-minute audio file.
Now, I’m sure that I would get faster with practice, as would anybody. Still, it would be tough to get fast enough to make the process worthwhile.
For example, if it did take you two hours to transcribe one audio hour, then you’d be earning from $2.50 to $10 an hour. Even with the bonuses the company offers, that isn’t great as a pay rate.
And honestly, you probably won’t be that efficient.
So, you could easily be earning $1 an hour, or less.
On a related note, transcription work is frustrating and it’s stressful, especially as you’re trying to be fast and accurate at the same time. I tried the process out when writing this review and the TranscribeMe review. Personally, I couldn’t imagine doing the work for even an hour.
Another thing to note is that you are transcribing audio and video. This means that you’ll often deal with strong accents, overlapping voices and garbled speaking.
Accurately transcribing bad audio is even more difficult and it is likely to slow you down considerably.
Reviews from actual users of Scribie also suggest that the site simply isn’t a good idea.
Some reviewers highlight the issue of time versus money, suggesting that it truly can take ages to transcribe even a simple piece of audio. There are also fees connected with cashing out, which further decreases how much you earn.
One review noted that punctuation can be an issue, as the specific approaches that users are meant to follow are fairly unusual.
These reviews just reinforce the idea that you probably won’t make much using Scribie.
Being Efficient at Transcription
I do want to note that transcription is a valid field and some people are good at it. There are various techniques you can use to speed up your effectiveness. For example, one commonly recommended approach is using a foot pedal, which allows you to control the audio without using your hands and can speed up work dramatically.
Likewise, there are some people who do make a decent wage in this field. However, they are extremely good at transcription and they don’t work for companies like Scribie.
Instead, they may be employees or have clients of their own, like the reviewer in the image below:
So, in theory, you can get to be efficient at transcription and then make money in the industry. But, to be honest, it’s an extremely tough field and probably not worth the effort.
Benefits and Advantages
The first thing to note is that Scribie is legitimate. So, you can earn money through the company. Additionally, one key advantage is that there is a way to progress. In theory, progressing through the company would mean more income over time.
Still, with the pay rate, you’re unlikely to be earning a lot, even at the higher levels.
Realistically, the biggest advantage of the site is the chance to learn.
If you’re wanting to get into the field of transcription seriously, then getting good at the process would be critical.
That’s true if you want to freelance or if you want to work for a company.
So, sites like Scribie can be a good place to hone your skills and get better. Even at your most efficient, you may never make a large amount of money but the site could potentially be a stepping stone.
Issues with Scribie
My biggest issue with Scribie and many other making money sites is the balance of time versus money.
At the end of the day, your time is valuable. Working at a site where you’re earning only a few dollars per hour is horrible, especially when the work is tough as well. This may work if you are desperate for income but that’s about it.
Even then, if you really do want to earn money fairly quickly, there are better options. Personally, I tend to recommend freelancing as the best way to earn money immediately. This is still a fairly tough business in the long-term but you have much more control over your income and more potential.
Beyond the income, my other main issue with Scribie is the work.
Transcription sounds easy but it is very different to actually do.
In fact, if you’re at all curious, Scribie has a practice option on their site. Trying this out can give you a clear idea about what expect. It will also show you how long it takes you to transcribe short audio files.
Is Scribie a Scam?
Honestly, I would say that Scribie isn’t a scam but it still isn’t a good idea.
For the most part, the site is accurate about what it claims and perspectives of reviewers suggest that they do pay out. Still, you’re spending a lot of time doing transcription work and getting paid very little for it.
In fact, most people will find that the transcription takes much longer than they assume. Plus, you have to get the punctuation right, along with everything else, which just adds to the complexity.
My Personal Scribie Review
There are so many sites like Scribie out there that promote relatively low skilled work like transcription, data entry or surveys. But, while this type of work might sound easy, it always tends to be low pay for the time you put in.
For most people, the trade-off simply isn’t worth it.
Realistically, your time is valuable and you’re better off spending it on something that is going to consistently earn you money and that you can grow. Specifically, it’s worth taking the time to develop your own online business.
The internet really has made it possible to develop your own business and make money from it, rather than having to work for another company or rely on other websites. Instead, you can create something that you have control over and that will get better over time.
There are many different business models that you can use but the one that I recommend to beginners is the process of affiliate marketing.
This is a strategy where you promote products from other companies – earning a commission when you make sales.
The strategy is incredibly easy to scale up because you don’t have any physical product to worry about. Plus, you can promote just about any type of product you can imagine, so there’s a ton of flexibility.
Getting started in affiliate marketing is easy. All you really need is good training and you can find that at Wealthy Affiliate, along with strong community support as well.