Some pay with points that are redeemable for cash or goods and typically you must rack up a bunch to redeem them for anything of significance. Others may give you a gift card, discount, or another token of appreciation for participating. Many others pay nothing or only offer sweepstakes entries for completing screening surveys to determine your eligibility for other, paid surveys. A few don't pay much of anything, unless you recruit others, as in a pyramid scheme.
Harris Poll has made a strong presence in the market research industry. They are a member of the National Council of Public Polls (NCPP), the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), and the European Society for Opinion & Marketing Research (ESOMAR). The firm abides by the standards of these organizations, thus proving their reputability.
You can expect to earn $2-$5 for most of the surveys in general. For some special surveys you can earn up to $50 per survey but those are rare. Harris Poll also conducts paid focus group studies where you can earn $50-$100 per study. Usually these focus group studies are 1-2 hours long where you interact with other participants under a supervision of a focus group moderator.
Pinecone Research works a lot like other paid survey sites. Once you sign up, you’ll earn points for each survey you complete. As an added bonus, the responses you give during surveys will help you learn about new products before they hit the market and influence their respective marketing campaigns. And once you start racking up the points, you can redeem them for cash or prizes.
There are also many questionable "middleman" third-party paid survey sites that hype easy money for participating in online marketing research from home. Here, the old adage is true: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Further, it’s worth knowing that there’s a lot of competition among these companies for your participation – which means potential for exaggeration, at the very least, if not outright scams.
Renowned for its short and sweet surveys, OnePoll is a great site for dipping in and out of, without having to dedicate loads of time to. As one of the earliest survey sites to be set up, OnePoll certainly has longevity. Founded in the UK, it is open to US users and those further afield and runs polls for the press and leading brands. This means the content is more engaging than it can be elsewhere and you can find yourself answering questions about celebrities or gossip. Many users praise their surveys for being quick, and even better – fun! Topics are not as dry as they can be on other websites, and by keeping the surveys brief, OnePoll is less likely to leave you bored or frustrated.
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.