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.”
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.
One Poll is a company that was founded in the United Kingdom, but it’s also open to consumers in the United States and beyond. It claims to be recognized by Money Saving Expert, one of the largest consumer websites in that country, which is a reassuring recommendation. What I recognized about it is that the surveys are short and easy to complete, so ideal if you’ve had a hard day and don’t want to do anything too taxing. New surveys are added on a daily basis, and some are amusingly quirky.
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.
Scammers use a diverse variety of methods to allure and dupe unsuspecting victims. Some ads and offers look so real that even the most seasoned internet veterans can be tricked. However, many scams target people new to the market who may be more susceptible to “get rich quick” schemes because they're unaware of what you can reasonably make taking surveys. It is incredibly uncommon to be offered more than $10 to complete a 20 minute survey. Not that one offering that or more is definitely a scam, it's just important to be cautious. While some experienced and well credited survey takers receive legitimate offers paying that pay big money, if you're new to survey taking you should definitely steer clear of anyone offering you hundreds to complete a survey.
By filling out your user profile thoroughly, you’ll be able to make sure you get invites to surveys which are actually suitable for you. There are basic qualification questions at the start of each questionnaire too, to ensure you are suited to filling it out before you get going. And you can make the most of the huge Toluna community yourself too – if you want, you can create your own polls on the site to ask people about anything and everything! It’s a nice addition to be able to get involved and have in-depth conversations with fellow users.
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.
Survey Club has been offering online paid surveys since 2005, and in the fast paced every changing world of the web that’s a reassuringly long amount of time. They are a bit of an acquired taste, in that they specialise in long, detailed surveys for high end clients rather than the quick and cheerful consumer surveys that you may be more familiar with. Whilst this does mean that you may have to commit a bit more time, it does mean that if you have the patience to persevere with them they pay more money than most survey and reward sites. They also offer local taste tests (see what I said about ‘an acquired taste’?), and secret shopper opportunities.
A well known survey panel, Valued Opinions is owned by leading market research company ResearchNow and is open to people in more than 20 countries around the world, including the USA, UK and Australia. The site uses a range of different languages and has around three million members busily filling in surveys and questionnaires. Most surveys taken will reward you between $1 and $5 and take up to around 20 minutes to complete, asking you about marketing, brands and products and even news events. There is a steady rate of invites to surveys, but you won’t always be qualified for them, which can become tiresome.