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.
While it might be hard to believe at first, American Consumer Opinion will pay you real, actual money to share your opinions and complete online surveys. Once you join their online opinion panel, you’ll be asked to offer opinions on new products you have tried, test out new advertising campaigns, and tell companies what you think of their marketing techniques and slogans.
Above all, thanks for that great article. I really enjoyed reading it all for the last 5 minutes with a mug of coffee! Despite this article being next to perfect, if I can, I’d like to add one of the best survey sites, in my mind, to this list. It would be, “ClixSense”. They’re a really old, and huge, presence in the research industry and have partnered with many of those listed in this very post. So, signing up on ClixSense lets you take paid survey invitations from multiple survey sites and research firms, like Opinion Outpost, Nielson Media Research, YouGov, I-Poll, MySurvey, Toluna and more. Almost half of all of those survey sites are listed here.

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!


Product testing can be a fun way to make some extra money and also get a chance to try something new before the general public. This should be treated as a bonus though, as you have no control over whether you’ll be chosen, as it is down to whether the company thinks you are the correct audience. The firm also runs lucky draws throughout the year, where you can win between $500 and $5,000, and you are entered into them as a reward each time you fill out a survey.
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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].
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.
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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