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To take surveys, you need to qualify. This means answering a battery of questions up front—before the paid portion of the survey. Page attempted a variety of side hustles to pay off her debt, and says that taking online surveys was the “least helpful” side hustle she tried, mostly because she simply couldn’t even get to the surveys themselves. “You can spend almost 10 minutes just trying to qualify for a survey, and then [get] declined,” she says. “It takes way too long to determine if you’re eligible to take the survey, just to make $5,” she says. Short of magically being the right demographic for every survey, you’re looking at getting turned away more often than not, and wasting time answering questions that don’t come with a pay off.
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.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) who are eligible to participate on a Survey Sampling International Panel and meet the minimum age requirement for the respective Panel. Quarterly drawings; enter by June 30, 2017 to be included in next drawing. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, mail-in method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit www.opinionoutpost.com/en/policies/terms/prize-draw. Void where prohibited.
The free site screens you when you sign up, asking a range of questions so you can be sent the surveys which will be suitable for you. You can also join up with a social media account like Facebook or LinkedIn instead of using your email address. Filling out surveys for money with Opinion Outpost will first give you Opinion Points – with 10 points worth $1. Most surveys will take between 10 and 30 minutes and are worth anything from $1 to $5. Typical survey time is around 15 minutes, and participants are also entered into quarterly prize draws, touted to be for $10,000! However some people think their surveys don’t come around often enough, and completing some surveys will enter you into prize draws rather than paying out cash.
One of the most popular sites, and rightfully so, Swagbucks offers traditional surveys as well as a range of additional ways to make cash. Filling out surveys for money will reward you with points called Swagbucks which can be cashed out through PayPal, or redeemed as gift cards for shops including Amazon.com. As a sweetener, they’ll even give you $5 just for signing up.
Avoiding scams online is pretty easy once you’ve become familiar with how false ads work and have developed realistic expectation about how much money you can make for the time you spend. On the surface, making money taking paid online surveys may seem like a long shot, but it certainly is possible and many people enjoy the benefits of taking part in them. So don’t be afraid! If you want to try it, read some of our reviews and sign up for the ones that look interesting to you!
Amazon gift cards and PayPal are obviously popular choices, so naturally like most sites MySurvey had those. These guys did not stop there though. At the time of writing (I double checked) they also offer various sweepstakes, gift cards to restaurants, you can donate to charities like UNICEF through them, they have iTune gift cards, their very own merchandising products and also Starbucks, Walmart and Tango gift cards among many more options!
About that money: Survey companies typically don’t pay you for each and every survey—you have to meet a payout amount to earn your reward. Page says it took her months to reach the $30 payout on one survey site—time she could have easily spent on more lucrative side hustles. This presents a problem if you need money fast or if you decide to change course and try something else—you might end up answering tons of questions and never actually see that money.
Sometimes survey invitation links direct you to other survey companies, rather than keeping things in-house, which can feel a bit like spam. As is common in the industry, you can sometimes get stuck filling out lengthy qualifying questions which take up to 30 minutes just to see if you’re eligible for a survey. Needless to say if you find out you are not then this is extremely frustrating.
Referral program: Referral programs are a common aspect of thousands of websites as they are a great way to get new registered members. As you may already know, some of the biggest e-commerce giants as well as other companies offer rewards and bonuses to users for referring their website to their friends and family. All you have to do is subscribe to their referral program and share a link to your friends.
One of the great things about Survey Savvy is that they really do offer a great variety of surveys to choose from, so you won’t simply be talking about the consumer goods that you buy on a day to day basis. They have surveys on topical issues and about politics in general, but don’t worry you don’t have to be a political animal to be able to complete the survey – you just need to have an opinion. Another thing I really appreciated about survey savvy is that their surveys are short and snappy, and you can complete them within ten minutes or even less. That means you can quickly earn the points that can then be exchanged into folding cash.
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.
If you run the numbers, Page says, online surveys simply aren’t worth the time. “If you’re spending 20 minutes to make $3 on a survey, do the math. That’s $9 an hour—maybe—if you qualify for the $3 survey every time,” she says. According to Page, “the survey side gig is just not sustainable. There are wiser ways to spend your time that will earn you more money in the long run.”
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While product testing is offered, you’ll only get sent items if you qualify, and then it will only be a couple over the space of several months, so think of this as a bonus, rather than a regular part of your work. Some users get frustrated at the length of time they have to wait for vouchers to arrive after they order them – especially when somewhere like Opinion Outpost will pay out straight away. However it is unfortunately quite standard to have to wait weeks for payment from survey sites. Surveys range in duration from about 15 to 30 minutes and there are mini polls on the website which can help you tot up small amounts of extra points. Points do sometimes take days or even weeks to appear in Toluna accounts, which is worth noting.
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Swagbucks. This site offers a lot of opportunities for surveys, but disqualifications are frequent. Sometimes we got disqualified just from clicking on a link to a survey. Swagbucks aggregates third-party surveys, so some sites it sends you to are better than others. It takes a long time to earn points, but the site’s expansive rewards marketplace has hundreds of options to choose from, including gift cards, sweepstakes and PayPal payments. Check out our full Swagbucks review.
First, thank you for providing this extensive list. I wanted to offer a quick follow up. After reading your post I decided to give Survey Junkie a try and I’ve already closed the account. Yes, I can tell it’s well organized and it is definitely a user-friendly platform. The problems I experienced were first that not one of the surveys they emailed me about were available. I did, however, complete several surveys from the site itself and I found them to be lengthy – in itself, not a problem, but 3 out of 5 told me I didn’t qualify after I’d already invested 10 – 12 minutes filling out the forms. They got more than enough information from me to be useful which is an old and highly unethical trick in market research – which happens to be my background. All in all, it was a LOT of wasted time.
This is where it can all go downhill quickly. In the pressure to make as many pennies out of a nickel, a lot of research corporations will not just sell your answers but the data associated with it. Details that you provide when taking paid surveys such as your name, address, age range can all be attached together quickly to fulfill a lot of larger companies' requests for information (RFI).