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.


There’s a decent rate of surveys pinged your way as you can expect two or three emails a day inviting you to fill in particular questionnaires. In addition to this, there are freely offered surveys on their cleanly designed website each day which you can look through and decide if they take your fancy. Surveys on CashCrate are often outsourced to third parties though, so you can make more money on the survey side from other websites. Similarly they are known for passing your information on to other people, so to avoid the irritations of endless spam, make sure you set up a dedicated email address for your CashCrate account.
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.
There are myriad ways in which individuals can make a little extra cash each week, but few compare to the speed, ease and consistency of paid online surveys. Making money online should always be a spare-time type of activity, and surveys might be the only ones which fulfill this requirement time and time again - no matter how long an individual chooses to participate in these programs - while the opportunities to have a little extra cash in your pocket should be savory.
After you sign up, you’ll receive surveys on various topics and products via email. Once you complete these surveys and build up a stash of points, you can redeem them for cash via PayPal, purchases made through Amazon.com, or gift cards to various retailers. As an alternate suggestion, you can even redeem your rewards as a donation to the Red Cross.
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.
There have been some reports of technical glitches on the site preventing users from receiving their earnings, but customers services are contactable and said to clear up most issues for workers. Valued Opinions has a unique “badge” program, allowing its most active members to work up five levels of achievement from bronze through silver, gold and platinum to the top tier of diamond, by carrying out extra mini tasks.
Each of their surveys you complete will be worth between 100-5,000 points depending on the length and subject. There are a variety of different topics to cover like consumer goods, healthcare and travel, just to name a few. Once you reach 3,000 points you can start redeeming rewards. You have to call and redeem points over the phone, and it typically takes a month for the rewards to reach you.
Hi, I live in South Africa and have made quite a few US dollars from various sites over the past few months. For me, Toluna is definitely the best, and they offer nearly daily surveys. You don’t always qualify, but when you do the survey reward is quite substantial. I have never had problems from them and at regular intervals receive money in my PayPal account. However, I cannot say the same of Panel Station. Even though I have sent various requests asking why I have not been paid they do not even have the courtesy, so far, to answer any of my mail – whether they were submitted on the site or sent via e-mail to their “South African” address. I must say that I am very disappointed with them, as they are recommended by quite a few other sites, as well as your own.
Toluna. Unlike many other sites, Toluna lets users pick the topics of their surveys, such as electronics or travel, which made the work more interesting. However, this perk didn’t make up for its low pay. Upon converting points to cash, we earned only 71 cents per hour — one of the lowest rates of all the sites we tested. Our five hours’ worth of points weren’t nearly enough to redeem the cheapest gift cards. Learn more in our Toluna review.
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!
Signing up with MyOpinions is super easy - simply complete our online registration form or register by connecting with your Facebook, LinkedIn or Google account. Once you provide this information, we will ask you a few simple questions and request that you accept our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions. All in all, the registration process takes less than 10 minutes. Once you are a fully-fledged Member of the MyOpinions community, you’re free to participate in a variety of paid surveys and start earning rewards.
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.
If longevity is a sign of quality, and let’s face it in the world of business it usually is, then there’s no doubt about Zoombucks deserving to be inside out 2018 paid survey sites top 20. This company has been carrying out paid survey panels since 1946, so just think how many consumers they’ve helped since then. Things have changed since the forties, so you won’t have to sit in a draughty hall, you can answer all the surveys over the internet. There’s lots of surveys to choose from as well, and they promise quick pay outs.
Once you’ve reached $30 or more in your InboxDollars account, you can request a payment, which will then be sent to you by mail. Keep in mind, in order for you to be qualified for a survey, you must be in the right candidate for that survey, that is why it is very important to take those four surveys in the beginning (qualifications, general, household, interest) – read more about these surveys here and how to qualify for future surveys.
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.
Cashback shopping: Who doesn’t love getting cash back? It's a great incentive for shopping because it feels like you're being paid to do so. It's usually best to use the offers only when you were already intending to buy the product. If you love saving money at discount stores or at places that offer cash back, there are a lot of survey sites out there that will open a lot more offers to you. Survey sites can offer cash back because they're paid a portion of the profit for referring you.
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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