Amanda Page had serious student debt—$48,000, to be exact. She was working as an adjunct professor at a couple of different colleges, trying to piece together a full time teaching career, and she wasn’t making enough to tackle what she owed. So she started supplementing her income with side hustles like freelance writing, working as a temporary receptionist, and grading math exams online. As she dove into debt and frugality blogs, she came across a new gig: taking paid surveys online.
One example would be that a brand like Coke or Pepsi wants to know more about what kind of people are buying their beverages. They might want to learn more about the age, gender, income, or location of the people who like or dislike their products. They might use this for marketing purposes or to make decisions about their future products. Brands like this spend a lot of time and money investing market research to get your feedback. You just get money for doing them a favor – it’s a total win-win!
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.
The only way to make this work would to be a serious survey junkie who can dedicate hours to the work, which defeats the purpose of a side hustle entirely. What’s worse is the idea that you can’t adequately plan your time—a survey might take twice as long as it says or five times as long. That kind of unpredictability means this isn’t a side hustle you can rely on.
MySurvey is actually an adaptation of a program that was started back in 1946. It began as the National Family Opinion organization that used to send out surveys through the mail. In 2001, they joined the digital age, and now they are one of the best survey sites around. According to the website, they have issued out more than $15,000,000 rewards to members.
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].
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.

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.


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.
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.
No matter the site, the earnings from taking surveys can be meager compared with other work opportunities. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, for example, and our hourly earnings ranged from 41 cents to $2.03. Most survey sites also required a minimum amount of points before we could redeem them for rewards. On many of the sites, we didn’t reach that minimum amount after five hours of work.
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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.
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.
Just like the other survey sites, every time you complete one of the surveys, you’ll receive anywhere from 35-250 points, which equals about $1.50 to $1.75 per a survey. Once you rack up enough cash to payout (which you’ll have to accumulate at least $50), you’ll have several different options to receive your money. You can get your money through a check, through your PayPal account, or redeem it for gift cards.

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.

Pros: CashKarma operates within an app, which makes for a simple, self-contained user experience. You can also watch videos, complete sign-up offers and earn bonus achievement badges. Plus, you’ll still earn points even if you don’t qualify for a survey — based on the amount of time you spend in a survey you’re screened out of — and you’ll earn an easy five points a day when you check in.
If you run the numbers, Page says, online surveys simply aren’t worth the time. “If you’re spending 20 minutes to make $3 on a survey, do the math. That’s $9 an hour—maybe—if you qualify for the $3 survey every time,” she says. According to Page, “the survey side gig is just not sustainable. There are wiser ways to spend your time that will earn you more money in the long run.”

With over 20 million active members, Swagbucks is the premier destination for paid survey takers looking to earn money for giving their opinion online. Swagbucks provides access to tens of thousands of paid survey-taking opportunities every day. With every online survey, you are affecting key decisions from major companies and organizations. More survey opportunities means more chances to make your opinion count - and more earning potential for you! Unlike most other online survey sites, Swagbucks will even give you a bonus when you don’t qualify for a survey, meaning you never miss out on getting paid.
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