Get paid to take online surveys for money.
Sounds like everybody’s dream job!
Try YouGov, a survey panel that rewards you for participating in their market research studies. If you join now, you will get 2000 free signup bonus!
No wonder it’s so popular. When it comes to making money online and work from home jobs, paid surveys are usually one of the first opportunities most of us consider.
Unfortunately, for a lot of people, that dream turns into a nightmare!
Paid survey scams!
Market research is a huge industry ($44.35 billion to be exact) and while there are legit market research companies that conduct online surveys and actually pay panelists for their participation, there are also scammers out there who don’t mind ripping you off.
Sadly, a lot of people do fall for these get-rich-quick scams.
To help you avoid becoming one of those people, we’ve gathered a list of 57 (which will grow as we update the list periodically) of the best trusted paid survey panels that you can join for free.
Be sure to read the entire post as we also explain in detail how paid surveys work, how you can spot and avoid scams and find the ones that do pay.
Top 21 paid surveys at home companies
But first, here is the list of our favorite 21 legitimate survey companies you can earn extra money with.
Note: Most survey companies only accept members from a few western countries. Thus this list is only good for Americans and residents of a few western countries. However, I have published a list of international survey sites recently that I am sure those of you not living in the U.S. will find more useful.
- Official website: Mindswarms.com
- Minimum to cash out: None (they send a $50 PayPal payment within 24 hours of survey completion.)
- Pay via: PayPal
Usually, when people talk about high paying surveys, they are talking about surveys that pay $5, $10 or perhaps $20 per survey.
But when we talk about high paying surveys as it relates to MindSwarms, we’re talking about $50!
Try Swagbucks, the famous rewards program that pays you for watching videos, taking surveys, shopping and more.
That’s right, they pay $50 for every single survey that contains 7 questions!
But there is a catch…
These are not your usual questionnaire you fill out, these are video surveys!
Here is how it works:
- First, you need to signup. You’ll have to record a profile video and answer a few questions to establish your demographic which they use to match you with surveys looking for your demographic.
- Available surveys appear on your dashboard which you can apply for by answering a few multiple choice questions.
- A researcher will review your responses and invite you to take the survey.
- You’ll then start the survey which will have only 7 questions that you can answer using the video function on your smartphone, tablet or webcam.
This whole process takes less than 15-20 minutes on average.
Hey for $50, I wouldn’t care even if it took a full hour!
They do, however, sometimes, have 1 questions surveys. Fro the one question surveys you get paid $10, which is still pretty awesome.
But the best part is yet to come…
There is no minimum requirement for cashing out.
There is no requesting payment.
There is no waiting around.
Every time you complete a survey, they pay you $50 via PayPal within 24 hours.
Now that’s just awesome!
Unfortunately, sites like MindSwarms are rare. However, there are similar sites (kind of) that pay you for recording videos of yourself visiting various sites and talking over it about the experience. It’s called “User Testing” and websites and app companies use it to improve the user friendliness of their sites and apps. We have a list of sites that pay you to test websites here.
- Official website: SurveySavvy.com
- Minimum to cash out: None
- Pay via: Check
SurveySavvy is a panel from Luth Research, another industry giant.
The best, and by far, the most talked about thing about SS is that they have some of the highest paying surveys.
Studies typically pay between $1 to $20, again, depending on length and topic of the survey. I have had a lot of $5 and $10 surveys with them. So this one is a must use site.
You know the best part about SurveySavvy?
They pay good money for referrals.
For every survey your referrals complete, you earn $1 to $2. And that’s not the end. You also earn $0.50 to $1 from indirect referrals (the people who your own referrals referred to the site).
Here is the fun part…
Even though these days I don’t have the time to do a lot of surveys, I still get a few checks a year ($50 -$100) from SurveySavvy thanks to the dozen or so people who I had referred back in my early days.
So once you join the site be sure to click the “Referral” tab (top right side of your user dashboard,) get your unique referral link and invite your friends and family to signup using that link. Even if you refer 10 people and 5 out of those 10 refer a few people, your can easily earn an extra $10-$20 a month without even taking a single survey.
The pay out
We almost forgot to talk about the most important part.
You guessed it, SurveySavvy has another great thing going for it…
There is no minimum payment requirement!
That’s right, you can request a check even if you have $1 in your account.
3. Savvy Connect
- Official website: SavvyConnect
- Minimum to cash out: None
- Pay via: Check
One more feature of this already awesome panel is their new exclusive panel called SavvyConnect.
It works a lot like the Nielsen program. You install the free app (on your phone, PC or other devices you use to access the internet), it works quietly in the background gathering usage data anonymously.
But it’s better than Nielsen because instead of just earning entries to sweepstakes you actually get paid in cash.
You earn $5 per device for each month SavvyConnect is installed, up to $180 per year!
That’s an extra $180 a year just for installing a free app!
And yes, you can also earn for referring friends and family.
And here is where things get a lot more interesting….
For every person who you refer that installs the app, you earn anywhere from $5 to $15. And just like the normal panel, you also earn from indirect referrals (the people who your own referrals referred). You earn $2 to $6 for every indirect referral.
This is one site you must join if you are serious about making money with surveys.
4. PineCone Research
- Official website: PineConeResearch.com
- Minimum to cash out: $3
- Pay via: Check, Direct deposit to Visa gift cards
One of the most exclusive online survey panels is PineCone. It is exclusive because you can only join if you’re invited. If you visit pineconeresearch.com you won’t find any registration link or form. There is only a “login” tab!
They only accept members through invite links that they provide to some of their affiliates, and even then it’s not 365 days a year. They have specific quotas and as soon as they reach that number, the stop accepting new members until the next time.
Fortunately, MoneyPantry is one of those affiliates, so whenever they open the doors we get the invite links and share it with our readers.
Note: if you click the link above and the registration is closed, be sure to bookmark this page and check back every so often as we will update the link.
This is one site you definitely want to join, not just because of their exclusivity, but because they also do pay decently for their surveys.
They used to pay a flat $3 check for every single survey you took. You didn’t even have to wait or request payment. There was no minimum cash out requirement. They would automatically send you a $3 check every time you completed a survey. As far as I know, this is the only paid survey site that had this feature.
But they have recently changed that to a point system, but they’ve also introduced a new feature that most people would prefer (more on that later.)
You earn points for surveys. The value of each point is approximately $0.01. So 300 points gets you $3.
You can redeem your points for prizes, or you can request a check in denominations of $3, $5 or $15.
It is important to note that your first 300 points are automatically redeemed for a $3 check. PineCone does that to “establish your profile and account.”
The new feature that I mentioned earlier is their prepaid Visa Card feature. Basically, you can load this card with your survey earnings. So it’s like getting cash that you can also use online anywhere Visa cards are accepted.
5. Parent Speak: Survey site for Parents
- Official website: Parentspeak.com
- Minimum to cash out: $10
- Pay via: Check
This is a rather new and very specific survey panel that targets parents. Since a lot of our readers are parents, I thought it would be helpful to mention it.
The company behind the panel is C+R Research, a Chicago-based marketing research company.
This is more than just a survey site. It’s an online community where parents can connect with each other and discuss things.
Of course, for us, the draw is their unique survey panel. As you can imagine their surveys (usually) revolve around topics and products related to parenting (which covers just about any category of products – food, entertainment, clothing, electronics, etc.)
Almost all surveys here pay a flat payment of $1.
But it doesn’t end there…
A lot of their surveys have follow-up questions which can pay $20-$50. So there is potential for making some serious money here.
6. KidzEyes: Survey site for kids 6 to 12
- Official website: Kidzeyes.com
- Minimum to cash out: $10
- Pay via: PayPal, Check
We talked about a parents exclusive survey panel, it’s only fair to mention one for kids as well.
KidzEyes’ parent company is also the Chicago-based marketing research company C+R Research.
As you can imagine, their surveys are geared towards products that kids use – toys, electronics, games, TV shows, music, clothing, etc.
To get in you must be 6-12 years old and live in the United States.
They conduct surveys for major manufacturers and companies in order to help them gather feedback from kids to help them develop better and improved products. Although, sometimes you (as a parent) may be asked to participate in a survey as well.
The reward system
All surveys earn you points known as KidzPoints (how original!).
Each point equals about one cent. So 100 points = $1.
Once you have $10 in your account, you can request a cash out via either PayPal or check.
There is also a monthly KidzEyes SuperPoll survey that kids are invited to. If you participate, you earn an entry for a chance to win $100 instantly.
Overall this is a fun site that not only allows your kids to earn a little pocket money, but they also get to share their opinion about things they use every day in their life and help shape the future developments of those products.
7. TeensEyes: Survey site for teens 13 to 18
- Official website: Teenseyes.com
- Minimum to cash out: $10
- Pay via: Check
Ok, we talked about parents, we talked about kids under 12, now it’s time to talk about a panel that caters to teens.
Not surprisingly, the same company that’s behind ParentSpeack and KidzEyes is behind TeensEyes.
They only accept teens between 13 and 18.
And as you can imagine, it is a panel that focuses on conducting studies for products and services that teens use – snack, video games, apps, TV shows, music, movies, clothing, etc.
For every single survey, you earn points – anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand.
Each point is worth 1¢ each. So every survey can earn you between $2 to $20. Of course, there are some that pay less or more.
To cash out, you need at least 1000 points ($10) which will be paid to you with a check.
There is one very weird thing about this panel and that is the fact that… I’ll let them explain:
No member may accumulate more than 60,000 points in any given calendar year.
They don’t give a reason for this, but I assume it has to do with taxes. You see, if you pay someone $600 in any given year, you are required by law to report that earning and send them a tax form at the end of the year. And since 60,000 equals to $600, I assume they have that rule in place so they don’t have to deal with all that paper work come tax time.
8. Nielsen Digital Voice Research Panel
- Official website: NielsenDigitalVoice
- Minimum to cash out: None
- Pay via: $10,000 monthly sweepstakes entry
When it comes to market research, perhaps nobody’s name is as recognizable as Nielsen. Nielsen has found it’s way to thousands of living rooms through its Nielsen Rating program.
The program was developed to gather data about the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States.
Now they have another program but this time the focus is on the Internet and our usage of it.
Here is how it works…
- You sign up for the site (free).
- Then you install a free app to your computer or other devices.
- The device works in the background gathering data anonymously about your internet usage.
- Every month you’re entered into the $10,000 monthly sweepstakes where 400 people win cash prizes every month (the top 2 get $1000.)
Normally I don’t like survey sites that don’t directly pay you. Sweepstakes entries are great, but if you are looking to earn extra money consistently, sweepstakes won’t do.
So why add Nielsen to this list?
Because it’s way too easy to get an entry for a $1,000 prize every month!
Once you install their app, you don’t have to do anything else. It works in the background, without affecting your device. You won’t even know it’s there.
And the data is gathered anonymously. So it’s not like your name gets attached to the kind of sites you visit. It’s just a demographic that gets attached to the data that is put together with data from thousands of other anonymous sources.
Sure, you may not win $1000 every month, but with 400 people winning something every month, you are bound to win some cash.
To join the program, visit Nielsen Digital Voice Research Panel.
- Official website: Mysurvey.com
- Minimum to cash out: $10
- Pay via: PayPal, Gift cards
MySurvey is a product of the famous market research company, LightspeedResearch that conducts studies for some of the world’s biggest brands.
With MySurvey you earn rewards for participating in online surveys, diaries and product tests. Yes, you get paid to test products!
They paid more than $32 million to their worldwide members just in 2014 alone!
I have personally been a member of this panel for over 7 years. During this time, a lot of things have changed, but one thing stayed the same and that’s they’re always on time with pay outs which is one reason why I have stayed with them for so long.
You earn points for surveys which can be redeemed for cash, prizes and gift cards.
10. Global Test Market
- Official website: Globaltestmarket.com
- Minimum to cash out: 1100 points ($50)
- Pay via: PayPal, Gift cards, Charity donations
When it comes to making consistent money with survey sites, one major issue is not having enough surveys available.
But that’s not the case with GTM. They are famous for having tons of surveys available each month. So it’s very easy to rack up points here and earn a few free gift cards every month or so.
For every survey you take, you earn what are known as MarketPoints. On average, you can earn anywhere from 10 to 100 or so MarketPoints.
To cash out, you need to have 1100 points ($50.)
You can redeem your points for a variety of prizes including Amazon, PayPal, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and UNICEF charity donation.
The best part about this one is that since there are so many surveys available, it’s very easy to reach the cashout minimum multiple times each month. I can’t even count the number of times I redeemed my points (I mostly redeemed for Amazon gift cards).
11. Valued Opinions
- Official website: ValuedOpinions.com
- Minimum to cash out: $20
- Pay via: Amazon gift cards (instant)
Valued Opinions is a panel by Research Now LLC, another big research company that partners with organizations like MRII (Market Research Institute International.)
The panel was created in 2004 and it has slowly grown to become one of the top online survey panels.
Their surveys also cover a wide variety of topics – food, clothing, electronics, and even movies and TV shows.
You earn credits for every survey you take which you can redeem for gift vouchers from top brands such as Amazon.com, Macy’s, Target and others.
What I like about this sit is that their gift vouchers are sent to you instantly. As soon as you reach $20 in your account you can request a gift card and the code (for example Amazon gift certificate code) is sent to your email instantly. There is no waiting period.
12. VIP Voice (formerly NPDOR)
- Official website: Vipvoice.com
- Minimum to cash out: None
- Pay via: Sweepstakes (cash and other prizes)
Even if you are not familiar with market search industry, NPD Group is one company you probably have heard of. The company has been conducting studies since 1976.
Their online panel, VIP Voice (which used to be known as NPDOR) is one of the longest running survey panels out there.
They do have interesting surveys that make it much more fun to participate.
The downside of this one is that they don’t offer direct cash or gift cards. You earn points which can be used to win you cash or prizes in two ways:
- SweepLand which gives you the chance to win cash, electronics, and even vacations.
- BidLand enables you to use your points to bid on recent auctions for products and services.
But all hope is not lost when it comes to instantly winning cash.
They do have “instant win” opportunities that allow you to win cash and prizes instantly.
13. Survey site for Gamers: Microsoft Playtest
- Official website: Microsoft.com/playtest
- Minimum to cash out: none
- Pay via: free games and software
This one if is for the gamer in all of us. That’s right, Microsoft has an exclusive panel where members get to play and test new and unreleased games.
If you are a gamer, you will love this one. I mean, where else can you earn rewards for playing new and unreleased games (before anyone else even hears about them!) and shaping the development of these games?
As a reward you get free games as well as free software.
14. Ipsos I-Say
- Official website: iPsosisay
- Minimum to cash out: 500 points
- Pay via: PayPal, Visa gift card, Store gift cards
i-Say is powered by one of the leading global market research companies, Ipsos which was founded in 1975.
According to the company, they conduct over than 70 million interviews (surveys, focus groups, etc) every single year for more than 5,000 clients in over 100 countries.
That should tell you how big of a company this one is and how seriously they take their online survey panel.
Here you earn i-Say points. Just how many points depends on the survey (usually the longer a survey, the more points you earn.)
One good thing about this one is that unlike some sites where after you filled out the survey you have to wait for days or even weeks to get credited, your account gets credited immediately after you complete the survey.
Another thing they have going is their i-Say loyalty points program which earns you bonus points on top of the normal points you earn for participating in individual surveys.
For every certain number of completed surveys, you earn a certain number of Loyalty points.
For example, do 10 surveys and you’ll earn an extra 50 points.
That’s one thing that a lot of people like. That’s like getting free points for doing something that earns you points in the first place anyway.
Once you have 500 points you can redeem them for prizes like PayPal payments and Visa® Prepaid Cards, as well as gift cards for stores like:
- and more.
Another great thing that makes iPsos a favorite among most survey takers is that their gift cards prizes are delivered to your email instantly. And if you know anything about rewards sites and how they pay, you know that is fast!
- Official website: Toluna.com
- Minimum to cash out: 50 points
- Pay via: Gift cards, Prizes
Toluna is a part of Toluna Group, you guessed it, a giant global market research firm.
They also have a wide variety of surveys that earn you points. For every survey, you earn between 3000 to 6000 points.
You can redeem your points for cash and prizes when you have at least 30,000 points in your account.
Sure that seems very high, but when you consider that the average survey pays 3000 to 6000 points, that you get 500 points just for signing up, a few thousand points for completing different parts of your profile and hundreds of points for referring friends, you can see that it wouldn’t take long to reach the minimum requirement.
Currently, 30,000 points requirement is for getting gift vouchers and prizes.
If you don’t like/want that, there are also two other cash out options:
- Sweepstakes: You can use 500-1000 points to earn entries for their monthly $4500 sweepstakes or Big prize sweepstakes like the current iPhone 7 Sweepstakes.
- Gifties: Gifties are explained by Toluna as “virtual gifts that can become real” – things like magazine subscriptions, apps, virtual currencies that allow you to purchase stuff within apps, like lives for Candy Crush, etc. You need at least 50 points to redeem for stuff here.
One of the main draws of Toluna (and what it is best known for) is its product testing opportunities.
This is where they send you a product for free, you use it for a few weeks, then you answer a few questions about it and get paid for your time.
Who wouldn’t want to get free stuff, right?
But to be realistic, you shouldn’t expect a lot of this. It happens every once in a while. Join for the surveys and if product testing opportunities come your way, then treat it as the icing on the cake.
16. Harris Poll Online
- Official website: HarrisPoll.com
- Minimum to cash out: 1250 points ($10)
- Pay via: e-Gift cards (instant)
HarrisPoll is another legitimate panel and one of the few that gets the Seal of Integrity from CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations).
This is another site that rewards you with points, known as “HIpoints” that can be redeemed for electronic gift cards.
On top of these points, you also earn a chance to win prizes from their biweekly and quarterly Harris Panel Sweepstakes!
Each survey can earn you between 75 to 200 points. To cash out you’ll need 1250 points (worth $10).
And since the rewards are e-gift cards, you’ll receive them instantly. No waiting around here either!
What I really like about HP is that it is one of the few sites that gives you something even if you don’t qualify for a survey – an entry to HarrisPoll Sweepstakes.
But that’s not all…
They also give you a 15 bonus HIpoints.
Not many points, but most sites don’t give you anything when you disqualify for a survey.
- Official website: ipoll.com
- Minimum to cash out: $25
- Pay via: PayPal, Amazon.com e-vouchers, iTunes gift cards
iPoll is one of the few panels on this list that operates online survey panels in more than just the U.S. and a few other western countries.
It has panels in India, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Vietnam, Pakistan, China, and many more.
iPoll was created back on 2008 as SurveyHead by the founders of one of the most recognizable panels, Gozing, that had reportedly paid over $5,000,000 to its members between 1999 and 2005 (Gozing was acquired for $30 million by Greenfield Online in 2005.)
The great thing about iPoll is that not only it’s free to join, but they also give you a free $5 sign up bonus just for becoming a member.
Here you have the chance to not only take surveys but occasionally they may have mystery shopping assignments and product testing as well. They also have a lot of teen surveys, hence their registration policy that allows anyone 17 and up to sign up.
As for the rewards, there is no point system here. It’s straight cash. The average survey earns you between $1 to $5.
There is a minimum requirement for cashing out set at $25. That’s rather high, but considering you get the first $5 for free and instantly, it’s not too bad.
Once you reach $25 you can cash out via a few different methods:
- PayPal payments
- Amazon.com e-vouchers
- iTunes gift cards
As a member, on top of earning cash for surveys, you also are entered to their quarterly sweepstakes draws of $10,000, which is pretty sweet since you get 4 chances every year to win.
The iPoll app
We can’t talk about iPoll without mentioning their awesome app.
The iPoll app is free and available for both Android and iOS devices.
App download links:
What makes this survey app special is that not only you have the chance for more surveys which you can take on the go, you also can earn cash for doing other small tasks – sort of like TaskRabbit or other short tasks sites and apps that pay you.
You get these “assignments” based on your location and demographic. These tasks include things like taking a picture of a product, visiting a specific store, making a reservation, etc.
The best part?
You get paid cash on the spot!
18. Opinion Outpost
- Official website: OpinionOutpost.com
- Minimum to cash out: 50 points ($5)
- Pay via: PayPal, Amazon gift cards, iTunes vouchers
Opinion Outpost is backed by another giant in the market research industry, SSI (Survey Sampling International, LLC.)
The reward system employed here is points based rewards, which you can redeem for PayPal, iTunes and Amazon gift cards and more.
What I particularly love about this panel is that on top of earning set rewards, you also get entries to win $10,000 in their quarterly prize draw. That’s just icing on the cake!
- Official website: Swagbucks.com
- Minimum to cash out: $1
- Pay via: PayPal, Gift Cards
Swagbucks, although not an online survey panel by definition, deserves a spot on this list because it is one of the best sites for earning extra money online.
I have reviewed Swagbucks and talked about it many times.
This is one site that does it all. You can earn rewards for doing almost anything you do online – from taking surveys and visiting websites to watching videos and even shopping (yes, you can earn cashback from 100’s of stores when you shop through Swagbucks.)
There are so many ways to earn here. They even pay you for searching. You can install their famous Swagbucks search bar for free on your browser. Then instead of going to Google, simply use it to do your daily searches and earn points.
Ad when it comes to cashing out, you also have tons of options. From gift cards from hundreds of brands like Amazon, Target, Macy’s and others to PayPal payments, charity donations and more.
There is really no minimum requirement for getting paid. You can cash out even if you have $1 in your account.
The best part is that right now they also give you a free $5 sign up bonus just for joining.
- Official website: Inboxdollars.com
- Minimum to cash out: $30
- Pay via: Check
InboxDollar is a lot like Swagbucks. It pays you to watch videos, play games, shop, take surveys and complete offer.
This one has been around for a long time. It has even been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America show.
They have paid over $43 million to their members to date. That has to tell you something about its legitimacy!
The only thing I don’t like about it is that they have a rather high minimum cash out requirement of $30. However, they do give you $5 bonus just for joining and you do earn a few more dollars for filling out your profile. So you probably can earn the first $10 in the first few days or so.
Once you have $30 you can request a check.
- Official website: SurveySpot.com
- Minimum to cash out: $5
- Pay via: PayPal, Amazon gift card, iTunes codes, Airline Miles
SurveySpot is another awesome online survey site backed by Survey Sampling International, LLC.
It is one of my personal favorites because I have had so much fun throughout the years participating in their rather interesting and very fun surveys, especially the interactive surveys about grocery shopping.
But the best part about this one is that they pay cash (as well as gift cards and other prizes).
But that’s not what sets SS apart from other panels!
What sets them apart is that you get something even if you don’t qualify for a survey (which can happen often). For every survey you take (whether you qualify or not,) you’ll earn an entry into their $10,000 quarterly prize draw.
And for the surveys that you do take, you earn cash – anywhere from $0.25 to $5. Though on occasion they have surveys that do pay up to $25 or more for a 20 minute survey. I did a dozen or so within the first year of joining.
You can redeem your earnings for PayPal payments, Amazon gift cards, iTunes gift cards and even Airline Miles.
Other Trustworthy Online Survey Sites
There are tons of legitimate and trustworthy survey sites out there. Listing the details of each one would probably take a few weeks. Instead we’re just going to list the names.
What you need to know is that they are all free to join.
They all work somewhat similarly. Take the survey, earn points or cash, get paid.
With that in mind, here are more legitimate survey sites you can use to make money online.
- Institute for Online Consumer Studies
- Datatelligence Online
- Resonance Research
- Hagen Sinclair
- Darwin’s Data
- Quest Mindshare
- Palm Research
- Knowledge Panel
- Center for the Decision Sciences
- CVS Advisor
- Small Business Knowledge Center
- Medical Advisory Board
- Scarborough Surveys
- Global Survey Group
- Consumer Village
- 20/20 Panel
- My View
- ACOP (American Consumer Opinion Panel)
- Permission Research
- Opinion Square
- Univox Community
- National Consumer Panel
- Test Spin
- Clear Voice Surveys
- MySoapBox (Previously ClickIQ)
- Springboard America
How Do Paid Surveys Work?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the industry, let me quickly explain how paid surveys work.
When companies want to find out what consumers think about their product and services so they can improve or develop new ones, they turn to market research companies.
Market research companies have online (as well as offline) panels where they pay a group of panelists to share their thoughts and experiences about these products and services.
You probably are familiar with focus groups. Well, online surveys are kind of like that, except you answer surveys via online forms and questionnaires .
What kind of questions do surveys ask?
Well, anything that can help the intended company fine-tune a product or develop a new, better version.
When it comes to business, data is important.
After all, if you don’t know what your customers want, how can you make things that they will buy?
Survey questions cover all kind of topics, but the end goal is usually the same – to understand the consumers and make products that want to buy.
They can be as detailed or as simple as a yes or no question.
To give you an idea, let’s assume we are conducting a survey about PayPal, the company/website that allows you to pay and get paid quickly and easily online.
Some of the questions you can expect could be:
- How easy is it to send money from your PayPal account?
- Do you prefer to login on your phone or on your computer?
- How many times a week/month do you use PayPal to pay or get paid?
- What new features would you like to see?
Now, of course this is an over simplified version, but you get the idea. The idea is to gather information and data from actual consumers and use that data to improve or create better products.
Why do they pay people to answer surveys?
Because nobody likes to do things for free!
Because people need an incentive to take the time from their busy lives to answer questions that will further benefit and enrich big companies and corporations.
In order to get people to take the time to answer these questions and fill out the surveys, MR companies have to incentive the efforts. So, they pay you!
Where does the money come from?
From businesses and companies that pay them to conduct these surveys.
In order to get the data that the companies and manufactures so desperately want and need, they have to pay MR companies to conduct surveys son their behalf.
“Why won’t companies do it themselves?”
The same reason why you pay somebody to fix your car when you could buy the tools and parts, learn the trade, then fix it yourself!
Because it’s expensive and time consuming.
Because it’s much easier and cheaper to pay an expert to do it correctly.
How do I get paid?
Now, not all survey sites operate or pay the same way.
Generally there are three ways you get paid:
- Cash – paid via PayPal or by Check
- Points – that you can redeem for gift cards and prizes.
- Sweepstakes Entries – that give you chances to win cash and prizes.
These days though, almost all survey sites have or are moving towards cash and gift card payments on top of giving sweepstakes entries.
How much money can I make taking surveys?
If you are serious about making some real cash through filling out online survey forms, at some point, the question of how much you could possibly make by doing so would have to enter your mind.
In all honesty, there is no straight answer!
There are many factors that determine how much an individual survey pays.
- The length of the survey.
- The product/topic the survey is about
- And things of that nature.
So subject to all these variable dynamics, you could find surveys that pay a paltry $0.25 to a generous $200 (this is the maximum I have heard of).
Before you get too excited, it is important to point out that the overwhelming majority of surveys should take no more than 15 minutes to fill out, and the average payout probably falls around $1 to $5.
As a rule of thumb, you can imagine that the payout is usually in direct proportion to the amount of time it takes to complete a survey.
I would say, an average panelist, who is a member of a few survey sites, can make make an extra few hundred dollars a year.
Granted, there will always be people who are going to make more than that because they sign up for more sites (thus increasing their chances of qualifying for more surveys) and spend more time doing surveys.
Why do I have to qualify to take a survey?
This is one of the most confusing parts of taking surveys for money for a lot of people.
Unfortunately, a lot of people think because they didn’t qualify for a survey, that the company conducting it is somehow scamming them.
That’s not true at all!
Remember how we said companies want to gather feedback from their target consumers?
If you don’t use PayPal at all, what good does asking you “how many times a month do you send money with PayPal” do for PayPal? Why would they waste money ask questions from people who don’t even use their product?
So that’s why all surveys have what are known as “pre screening” questions. These pre screening questions help research companies gather data only from people who belong to the demographic that the survey is intended for.
That’s why almost every survey panel asks you to complete your profile. Some even give you points for doing it. They use your profile information to match you with surveys that you are more likely to qualify for. But sometimes there may be a small criteria that you don’t meet, that’s where those pre screening questions come into play.
Paid survey scams: what’s up with that?
As I mentioned earlier, unfortunately, there are survey scams out there.
You see, because making money with paid surveys sounds so easy and awesome, scammers know that people are much likelier to fall for scams related to it.
They promise you the moon.
They tell you how you can make a full time income in your pajamas on your couch taking fun surveys!
Who wouldn’t want that?
Unfortunately, no body can make a living taking surveys. Ok, there may be a few people here and there that can make enough with surveys that they can say it’s their job, but for the majority it’s just a way to earn some extra cash.
So, how can you stay away from survey scams?
The best and easiest way to avoid scams is to remember that all legitimate survey sites backed by real market research companies, are free to join.
No real survey panel will charge you a registration fee. After all, they are supposed to pay you for your opinion, not you paying them to join their site!
Keep this in mind, though, a joining fee may not be enough indication that the site is up to no good. But with zero joining fees, there is no chance you can lose money unwittingly.
Another useful piece of advice is to do your research online before deciding on any survey websites. You can check out online forums and reviews, find out how they rate by the BBB, and whatever else that will help you gain as much insight as practical before joining any site.
Hopefully, this post and the list of survey sites is going to help you make a little extra cash with surveys while avoiding scams.
Be sure to bookmark this post. If I see enough interest, I’ll turn this page into a sort of directory where we continuously update and add new surveys to the list.
Remember, you will not get rich taking surveys, but you can make a little side money in your free time while helping to develop and improve products and services you use in your everyday life.