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Velasquez says our information could be used for questionable studies or sold to health insurers, for example. Or it could be stolen, which is a risk with any website that stores personal data. Most of the information we gave away seemed harmless — our shopping habits and travel plans, for example. But information like your birthdate could be used with other stolen data to take your identity. So keep that in mind as you’re answering questions.
The point of each survey is to present you with a topic you're interested in and qualified to discuss for the benefit of the researcher. Surveys range in time required, from very short to quite long. Because researchers are looking for opinions only from certain segments of people, you may find you have to try a few surveys before you're qualified to give your opinion on one. Keep at it, and you'll eventually find one that's right up your alley.
To take surveys, you need to qualify. This means answering a battery of questions up front—before the paid portion of the survey. Page attempted a variety of side hustles to pay off her debt, and says that taking online surveys was the “least helpful” side hustle she tried, mostly because she simply couldn’t even get to the surveys themselves. “You can spend almost 10 minutes just trying to qualify for a survey, and then [get] declined,” she says. “It takes way too long to determine if you’re eligible to take the survey, just to make $5,” she says. Short of magically being the right demographic for every survey, you’re looking at getting turned away more often than not, and wasting time answering questions that don’t come with a pay off.
The free site screens you when you sign up, asking a range of questions so you can be sent the surveys which will be suitable for you. You can also join up with a social media account like Facebook or LinkedIn instead of using your email address. Filling out surveys for money with Opinion Outpost will first give you Opinion Points – with 10 points worth $1. Most surveys will take between 10 and 30 minutes and are worth anything from $1 to $5. Typical survey time is around 15 minutes, and participants are also entered into quarterly prize draws, touted to be for $10,000! However some people think their surveys don’t come around often enough, and completing some surveys will enter you into prize draws rather than paying out cash.
Taking online surveys is a compelling offer. You can earn money—either in cash or frequently gift cards or rewards points—and all you have to do is have an opinion. You can earn that money from the comfort of your own home in sweatpants with a glass of wine, or knock out a few surveys during slow moments at the office, racking up money when you’d usually just be trolling Facebook. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity?
I reside in Jamaica. I am at a disadvantage in securing paid surveys because of my location as the so-called first world countries receive all the choice survey sites leaving the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table. The survey field needs to be leveled. Because of the advent of IT capability, the world is just one community. Everyone is aware of what goes on everywhere.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve had bad experiences with iPoll. I’ll answer the “screening” questions and am told I qualify to take the survey, then once the survey is around 90% complete, I’m told the survey is “closed”. My guess is this is how they’re getting their data without having to pay participants. I’ve also gotten “invalid website” in the middle of some of their surveys as well, of course, after answering 15 minutes of questions.
When offered a grand promise for a seemingly small price, many more are likely to fall for it. Being human, the idea of paying very little for great return is incredibly enticing. This is the leading idea behind offers like “Earn $200 every day! Just $10 for access to our exclusive list of high paying surveys.” When entering the arena of paid online surveys, it's important to be wary of any offer like this that seems too good to be true.
The number one reason why I liked MySurvey the best out of the 30-something sites I had the privilege or misfortune to try, was no doubt its versatility. This versatility is present not only in the reward system and the referral program – which are important aspects on their own – but clearly shows in their surveys too. Filling out boring surveys always feels like hard work, even though it’s really not if you think about it. With MySurvey, you will see a huge variety of different topics.