Post-recession, a lot of workers started looking for ways to earn extra cash. While most side gigs won’t supplant the steady cashflow of a regular job, they can pad a paycheck that hasn’t seen a significant boost in a few years. Paid surveys are often mentioned as one way to earn a few extra dollars fast. But are paid surveys a legitimate way to make money – or are they scams? The answer is that it depends on the survey and the company you are taking them for.

Joining isn’t as straightforward as merely signing up, because you need an invite. However it’s not as tough as it sounds, as there are plenty of links doing the rounds online if you look hard enough, and Pinecone also advertises on websites, so you might get lucky by keeping an eye on banner adverts. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be vetted to see if you qualify – based on whatever demographics their clients want at that point – and if so, the fun begins!
Allan Liwanag is a personal finance blogger who paid off at least $40K debt in 3 years by adopting simple and extreme saving techniques while ensuring his family's needs were taken care of. An analyst by day and dedicated blogger by night, he loves to share his thoughts - based on his research, personal knowledge, and experience - on topics related to family, life, and money. Allan lives with his family in Maryland, USA.

The rewards for the MySurvey surveys are on par (or better than some) with most other sites. They offer $0.50 to $1.25 for every survey that you complete, with the shorter surveys only taking around 5 minutes to finish. When you want to cash out, you’ll have to accumulate $10, which is less than some of the other sites, and you’ll be able to get your money through a check, PayPal, Amazon gift card, or the more than 60 other gift card options. Sign up for a free mysurvey account 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.
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.
There’s lots of additional ways to boost your income on Vindale, including rewards for opening adverts sent to your email account, or small payments for watching advertising videos online. The site pays out in plain and simple cash, and doesn’t mess around with rewards or gift cards, which many people familiar with the survey landscape find a welcome relief. However, as with OnePoll, you’ll have to earn $50 before you can remove you money from the site, which may not be as tempting as some companies where the threshold is much lower.
With one of the lowest cash limits in the industry, you can get $10 out when you have accrued just 100 points. If you want to take your earnings in the form of a giftcard, the threshold is even lower, as you just need 50 points, equivalent to $5. Many other survey sites will only pay out after you earn much more, like $50. As with all good survey sites, Opinion Outpost allows you to take your earnings away in vouchers for big firms like Amazon or iTunes, or if you prefer money, to do so through Paypal. As well as paying out early Opinion Outpost also pays extremely quickly, often the same day or in some cases, immediately.
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.
Design and pre-test questionnaires: Designing the questionnaire carefully and then pre-testing it before fielding it to your entire sample is crucial to getting data that are valid and reliable. For example, careful questionnaire design and pre-testing can help reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of questions differently. Future posts in this series will tackle these important steps in much greater detail.
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