In the middle of all of this is a new breed of research corporation that relies on you – the survey taker – to determine this information.  For your time?  Many survey companies will pay you to take surveys for money or for other cash alternatives like gift cards or physical prizes and rewards. It depends upon the company as to whether they'll offer money or other offers and special deals.
You’ll be able to cash out your points either through PayPal or with a gift card. Survey Junkie claims you can get your cash out instantly, but this isn’t necessarily true. In most cases, if you request a payout through PayPal and it can take up to 24 hours, but in most cases it is immediate. Compared to other sites out there, this is a huge advantage. Some companies and sites can make you wait several days or even weeks. Sign up for Survey Junkie HERE. 
They used to be cash-only, but in 2013 they switched over to a points system. Panelists can share their opinions in surveys and complete other various offers in exchange for points. 100 points is equal to $1, and most of their surveys pay up to $3. Survey topics are diverse and cover a variety of different topics. Pinecone Research is unique in that they emphasize consumption related surveys more than other panels.
Illegitimate companies and scammers have a simple objective. They're after your information in order to get your money. It's much more common for internet scammers to target hundreds of people for small sums rather than a single person for thousands. This is because demanding large sums for a product that is somewhat unclear is an obvious red flag to most.
The only problem with rewarding consumers for taking online surveys is that it gives them the incentive to cheat. The more surveys you fill out, the more points you get. So people get creative: They randomly answer survey questions as quickly as possible, establish multiple e-mail addresses to answer the same survey five or six times, or lie about their demographic (a white male says he's a black female, for example) to participate in surveys for which they otherwise wouldn't qualify [source: Frost & Sullivan].
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.
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.
As a member, you’ll receive regular invitations to participate in our paid surveys – so keep an eye on your inbox. Once a month you will receive a statement from us, outlining how many points you have accrued. The more opinions you share, the more points you will accumulate! And if you’re keen to build up your points balance and earn cash online, you’re welcome to login at any time to fill out any extra online survey that might interest you.

Survey Junkie makes it quick and easy to jump into the survey game. According to their websites, they say they are the most popular spot online to earn cash and rewards for sharing your thoughts, while that might not be technically true, they are one of the largest survey sites out there. They were launched all the way back in 2005 (which is pretty old for a survey site) and they have over 4,000,000 members. 
As the technological and cultural landscapes change in the coming years, getting paid to complete online surveys may be one of the easiest and most rewarding opportunities presented to you, a consumer, in the digital age. If you want to get cash for taking surveys that will help your favourite brands meet your needs better, register at OpinionWorld and get started right away - there is nothing to lose.

Don’t overshare. If you’re asked to give your Social Security number, bank account number or driver’s license number, leave the survey. Velasquez recommends being “intentional” with sharing other private information with survey sites. Answering questions about a TV commercial probably is fine, but giving medical information may not be worth the risk.
The site will even allow you to monetise your internet searches, if you swap from Google or Safari to their own search engine. The Swagbucks search engine, which is actually running Yahoo, will pay you Swagbucks every time you search. For games, there are options like Scrabble and Wheel of Fortune, which won’t pay you much, but could be worth a go if you fancied playing a game anyway! Swagbucks TV allows you to watch advertising videos on a range of topics, including news, fitness and entertainment. There’s a snag – your earnings are capped at 150 Swagbucks, but it is worth a look if you’re prone to wasting time watching viral clips.

Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – As a sister company to Swagbucks, MyPoints is governed by the same privacy policy, which is detailed and very reasonable. In our experience, MyPoints has never sent us spam. As is typical, MyPoints does link to other sites that have different privacy policies, but to be fair, our 5 star rating is based on the MyPoints privacy policy.  You can view the MyPoints privacy policy for yourself here.
How It Works: Pinecone Research is owned and operated by Nielsen, the billion dollar data and measurement company responsible for TV Nielsen Ratings. With Pinecone Research you earn $3 per survey, which typically take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The downside to Pinecone Research is that they are strict with their demographics. So, you may not qualify depending on your age, education, or race. Sign up to see if you’re eligible.
To save time and money, many companies are turning to online market research. Surveys, in particular, can easily be conducted online or over e-mail. The cost of a 200-person, e-mail survey is $2,500 to $5,000. To get the same number of responses from a snail mail survey would cost between $5,000 and $7,000, and phone surveys can run as high as $15,000 [source; Yahoo! Small Business].

Send Earnings may have to be satisfied with the twentieth and final spot in our table, but that’s still an achievement to be proud of in such a competitive market. There’s a good selection of surveys to choose from, which I always welcome, and you can grab your money and run once you hit the thirty dollar threshold. There are lots of other money earning options as well, but watch out for the ‘play games’ pitfall as it could end up costing you more than you actually earn.

While surveys vary widely in how they are conducted and used, there are a number of components that are common across nearly all surveys. Many of these common features have been studied in extensive detail by survey methodologists, psychologists, statisticians, and many other fields of research. The general process of survey research is outlined in the figure below.
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