Amanda Page had serious student debt—$48,000, to be exact. She was working as an adjunct professor at a couple of different colleges, trying to piece together a full time teaching career, and she wasn’t making enough to tackle what she owed. So she started supplementing her income with side hustles like freelance writing, working as a temporary receptionist, and grading math exams online. As she dove into debt and frugality blogs, she came across a new gig: taking paid surveys online.
Like many survey sites, Toluna rewards you with points, which you can then cash out for vouchers for the usual suspects like Amazon and iTunes, or money through PayPal. A slightly novel element of the site’s payment plan is to offer the chance to take your points out early if you gamble them for prizes. While you have to store up a grand total of 60,000 points before you can claim vouchers for around $12 – something some people find to be a downside of the site – if you are willing to settle for a prize, you can play with just 500 points. You can decide to try your luck with a “giftie”, a kind of scratch card game. By gambling some points, you can see if you have won the gift or lost your points – so it is not one for the faint hearted!
Paid survey site companies invest billions of dollars into marketing research online.  They always want to find out more intricate details of a consumer's relationship with their product.  Whether it's a new television show or just an existing product line, companies like Disney, Samsung, and Sony go to great lengths to find out their ideal audiences.
The point of each survey is to present you with a topic you're interested in and qualified to discuss for the benefit of the researcher. Surveys range in time required, from very short to quite long. Because researchers are looking for opinions only from certain segments of people, you may find you have to try a few surveys before you're qualified to give your opinion on one. Keep at it, and you'll eventually find one that's right up your alley.
Mainly conducting polls for governments, public bodies and the business world, Opinion Outpost is a popular survey site as unlike some sites, which require you to accrue a significant amount before you can claim your money, it has one of the lowest payout thresholds. You only need to fill out five surveys, earning a couple of dollars, before being able to claim pay, so you can redeem your money more quickly.
Rewards vary based on the survey type and the company conducting the survey. You may get paid online through PayPal or a Visa gift card, or get free products so that you can try them and provide feedback. To get the best out of online surveys, it is recommended you join several websites (10 to 20) so as to give you sufficient invitations daily at the best time frame. Regularly check your email and be honest while giving your opinion. Don’t give up if you don’t get selected for a survey after the first screening process, as it will take a while before you get selected based on your demographic.
Some pay with points that are redeemable for cash or goods and typically you must rack up a bunch to redeem them for anything of significance. Others may give you a gift card, discount, or another token of appreciation for participating. Many others pay nothing or only offer sweepstakes entries for completing screening surveys to determine your eligibility for other, paid surveys. A few don't pay much of anything, unless you recruit others, as in a pyramid scheme.
Most reviewed paid survey sites effectively promise not to share personally identifiable information or not to share it without your consent. It's an industry standard by which legitimate marketing research firms are bound. But many membership sites reviewed don't make either promise or do so only in a limited or wishy-washy way. Unauthorized go-betweens don't have to honor marketing research privacy standards.
Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – Swagbucks' privacy policy for its own site is excellent; they always tell you exactly how your info will be used. We have not personally received any spam through Swagbucks. As with most other survey sites, Swagbucks does contain links to other sites which may have different privacy policies, so you should be careful when visiting other sites.  You can read Swagbucks' privacy policy yourself here.
Survey Junkie. This site is a smaller survey aggregator, but it stands out. The site has a clean, easy-to-use dashboard and offers a high point value for each survey you complete. The point system is direct and shows you how much your points are worth in dollars right on the dashboard. But you have to get to 1,000 points, equal to $10, before you can cash out. Check out our Survey Junkie review for more information.
Renowned for its short and sweet surveys, OnePoll is a great site for dipping in and out of, without having to dedicate loads of time to. As one of the earliest survey sites to be set up, OnePoll certainly has longevity. Founded in the UK, it is open to US users and those further afield and runs polls for the press and leading brands. This means the content is more engaging than it can be elsewhere and you can find yourself answering questions about celebrities or gossip. Many users praise their surveys for being quick, and even better – fun! Topics are not as dry as they can be on other websites, and by keeping the surveys brief, OnePoll is less likely to leave you bored or frustrated.
Hop onto the iPoll survey site, and you’ll see a cheerful cartoon of a man walking his dog while thinking about products. Their boast is that thanks to its web, iPhone and Android platforms, you can complete surveys at home, in the office, at the beach, or on a walk. I put that to the test. This is one of the easiest to use survey sites on a mobile phone, and that’s because the surveys offered are sharp and quick, and the site itself is easy to navigate and use, whatever platform you’re using it on. This is a good choice for people whose online time is mainly spent on their cell phone.
The concept of data mining and profiting off that data mining isn't anything new.  And while some companies engage in some rather disreputable practices to do this, Global Test Market seems to be doing just fine with the whole “consent to disclose” thing.  More importantly, in some cases this may help you as some companies will offer to do more specialized product testing once they've identified you as their target demographic.
If you can't find any information on other sites or forums, there are some things about the website you can check for yourself. The first thing we recommend is to look for a privacy policy. Having one on the site that is easily accessible to users is a clear sign of credibility. It shows that the company is at least making some promises as to how your information will be used. Lacking a privacy policy is a clear red flag and often signifies a scam.
Taking online surveys is a compelling offer. You can earn money—either in cash or frequently gift cards or rewards points—and all you have to do is have an opinion. You can earn that money from the comfort of your own home in sweatpants with a glass of wine, or knock out a few surveys during slow moments at the office, racking up money when you’d usually just be trolling Facebook. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity?
Alternatively, you might need to register with HMRC as newly self-employed, but if you're just doing a few for fun, you might not. It's worth giving them a ring on 0300 200 3500 to check if you're not sure. You need to register, so make sure you do so by the end of the third calendar month after you've started – or you could face an automatic £100 penalty.
Unlike some of the other sites, with Inbox Dollar, you essentially sign up to take advantage of whatever Inbox Dollar makes from their advertisers.  They will send you emails which they get paid per receipt of you reading them or clicking a link.  In turn, they give you a cut.  Not to ruin your day but it's a rather small cut.  The links that end up paying out the most usually have some stipulations attached – such as signing up for a service.  This can end up being a lot more hassle than its worth and we recommend you pay VERY close attention to the stipulations.

CashCrate is a great site pairing traditional surveys with a range of unique deals that can help you make money online. After signing up with a few details and filling in a brief survey for your profile, so CashCrate can identify some basic demographics, you’ll be awarded your first 25 cents and be on your way to greater riches! The best deals and offers are available for US users, and the minimum earnings to have a payout from CashCrate is $20 – which they pay you and their six million users as cash.
If you're looking to make money by completing surveys online – this site will not be very helpful for you.  Like the previous sites, they will take, retain, and sell your information to anyone that waves a dollar in their faces.  UNLIKE previous sites reviewed, they hide their consent for that information.  It's buried.  So not only do you make silly reward points that don't translate to cash but every third party service and product solicitor has your personal information.

This site pays highly – at least $3 a survey and up to $6 for testing products. If you stay with them, the pay even increases by a few dollars, taking the wage far above the standard survey rate. Owned by the renowned New York market research company Nielson, Pinecone offers a variety of content and emails surveys to members as and when they are suited to you.


Ultimately, it is very unlikely that participating in online surveys will provide you with a steady, livable wage. However, if you enjoy participating in online surveys (especially if you like the prizes, coupons, and other more typical non-monetary earnings), be sure to avoid questionable third-party sites. Look for real paid surveys online that don’t require you to invest money.


Return on Time – Is it an hour of your life for $2.00 or truly a fifteen minute survey?  We find out if the Return on Time (similar to Return on Investment) pans out.  Surely, some will be better than others for not wasting yours. Basically, we've evaluated not only how much you actually get paid to take surveys but also how long it takes to earn that cash

Unlike some of the other sites, with Inbox Dollar, you essentially sign up to take advantage of whatever Inbox Dollar makes from their advertisers.  They will send you emails which they get paid per receipt of you reading them or clicking a link.  In turn, they give you a cut.  Not to ruin your day but it's a rather small cut.  The links that end up paying out the most usually have some stipulations attached – such as signing up for a service.  This can end up being a lot more hassle than its worth and we recommend you pay VERY close attention to the stipulations.

Global Test Market is a decent standard of what you're getting yourself involved in.  Their practices are not any more or less shady or reputable than almost any online venue – survey or otherwise.  Just like Facebook, when you identify yourself accurately with Global Test Market, you can expect them to use that information in any way possible to make a penny.  The great news is they inform you and ask for consent first.
Define the research question: This is critically important to the success of a survey research project. Without a clearly defined question, it is difficult to determine the best approach for conducting the survey. For example, based on the research question, are the needed data exploratory, descriptive, or causal? The answer to this basic question has huge implications for the entire research process, yet it is often not directly addressed.
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