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.
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.
OpinionWorld is an online survey panel maintained and operated by Survey Sampling International, LLC ("SSI"). SSI is a premier global provider of opinions and links companies with consumer views. Over 3,000 companies worldwide use SSI to gain insights to grow their business. SSI has 40 years of experience and 32,000,000 surveys are completed annually. SSI has several survey panels including Your Voice in India.
After joining a survey site, you provide some personal and demographic information, which legitimate survey sites will keep private. That information will be used in choosing participants to take surveys on certain goods and services. If you get selected to take part in a survey, you will be notified through mail to take a short survey to see if your profile suits that survey. When you are deemed qualified, you will be requested to take a longer survey.

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.
It requires patience, as it can take some time, but can often be a quick way of making some easy dollars whilst watching television or listening to music. Surveys are not a get rich scheme – hourly rates are never going to reach anything like a regular wage – but many people manage to turn idly filling in online forms into tidy sums to put towards holidays, home improvements or their new wardrobe!

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.

By taking part in online surveys with Valued Opinions US, you can  tell brands exactly what you think  about their products and services. You can even get the opportunity to test new products and packaging, as well as reviewing advertising campaigns. Every time you take one of our paid surveys you're driving real change to help companies know what they need to do to improve - and earning credit for gift cards .
Harris Poll has made a strong presence in the market research industry. They are a member of the National Council of Public Polls (NCPP), the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), and the European Society for Opinion & Marketing Research (ESOMAR). The firm abides by the  standards of these organizations, thus proving their reputability.
How It Works: Swagbucks is a favorite of mine,  as well as a favorite of many readers here. Not only do they offer a wide range of surveys that pay cash, but you can also earn points for the everyday things you do online like searching, shopping, and watching videos. In total, Swagbucks has paid out over $187 million in rewards. Even if you’re not interested in doing surveys, it’s still easy on the platform to earn decent money with what you’re already doing online today.
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.
As well as using your laptop, you can fill in MySurvey forms on the move by using their app available for both Apple and Android phones. This is perfect because surveys should really be about filling time, rather than dedicating particular time to them, so being able to pass time in queues or while commuting and simultaneously make money is very appealing.
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This site offers surveys for money, paying out cash rather than points and allowing immediate rewards. Crowdology is a pretty popular website with a decent reputation which works with big brands and television shows, so can have some interesting content to keep you interested while you’re filling in forms. You could be answering questions about everyday topics or issues, such as saving money or online shopping, as well as your opinions about various products.
By only sending you questionnaires you are already qualified for, Pinecone wastes far less of your time than many sites which require you to fill our qualifying questions before starting each survey. However some users have said they don’t receive very many surveys, which could be a consequence of their careful filtering. Equally the site retains the right to remove you from their panel if you no longer fit their desired demographic, so make the most of your membership while you have it!
One nice feature is the ability to shop through Vindale, as they often have offers available through affiliate links. Before buying something new, like an appliance, it is worth signing into their easy to use website and checking if you can get it for less through Vindale. There’s also a popular daily consumer survey paying $1.50 which you can complete every day, for an easy and reliable boost.
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.

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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