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.
This site pays highly – at least $3 a survey and up to $6 for testing products. If you stay with them, the pay even increases by a few dollars, taking the wage far above the standard survey rate. Owned by the renowned New York market research company Nielson, Pinecone offers a variety of content and emails surveys to members as and when they are suited to you.
Mainly conducting polls for governments, public bodies and the business world, Opinion Outpost is a popular survey site as unlike some sites, which require you to accrue a significant amount before you can claim your money, it has one of the lowest payout thresholds. You only need to fill out five surveys, earning a couple of dollars, before being able to claim pay, so you can redeem your money more quickly.
Return on Time – Is it an hour of your life for $2.00 or truly a fifteen minute survey? We find out if the Return on Time (similar to Return on Investment) pans out. Surely, some will be better than others for not wasting yours. Basically, we've evaluated not only how much you actually get paid to take surveys but also how long it takes to earn that cash
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.
Ultimately, it is very unlikely that participating in online surveys will provide you with a steady, livable wage. However, if you enjoy participating in online surveys (especially if you like the prizes, coupons, and other more typical non-monetary earnings), be sure to avoid questionable third-party sites. Look for real paid surveys online that don’t require you to invest money.
While it might be hard to believe at first, American Consumer Opinion will pay you real, actual money to share your opinions and complete online surveys. Once you join their online opinion panel, you’ll be asked to offer opinions on new products you have tried, test out new advertising campaigns, and tell companies what you think of their marketing techniques and slogans.
Convenience: 4.5/5.0 – While the sign up form is easy to fill out, you will have to enter more information about yourself up-front than other survey companies ask for. Typically, you just need to enter your email address and create a password to join, but Ipsos also requires your name and physical address. We only gave a slightly lower rating for this because the sign-up process is still very quick and painless.
They used to be cash-only, but in 2013 they switched over to a points system. Panelists can share their opinions in surveys and complete other various offers in exchange for points. 100 points is equal to $1, and most of their surveys pay up to $3. Survey topics are diverse and cover a variety of different topics. Pinecone Research is unique in that they emphasize consumption related surveys more than other panels.
One of the oldest and longest running survey sites, Vindale Research is a legitimate option for making some money from filling out surveys. Based in New York, the company offers both traditional surveys and evaluations, by testing products or online services. It’s free to sign up, and surveys pay between $1 and $5 each and product testing starts at $5 and moves up from there. The site claims significantly higher rates of pay, but as this involves slightly inflated pricing, for example discounting fees you may have to pay out to join subscription sites before receiving your end payout, they won’t be included here.
By only sending you questionnaires you are already qualified for, Pinecone wastes far less of your time than many sites which require you to fill our qualifying questions before starting each survey. However some users have said they don’t receive very many surveys, which could be a consequence of their careful filtering. Equally the site retains the right to remove you from their panel if you no longer fit their desired demographic, so make the most of your membership while you have it!
Summary: A real favourite, MySurvey is a popular panel allowing members to participate in market research surveys for money, covering topics like the media, tourism and products like electronics. It’s easy to set up an account on the site and begin earning points, which vary between 10 and 500 per survey, but are typically around the 100 mark for an average survey which would take 15 minutes to fill out.
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.
Like American Consumer Opinion, Harris Poll Online offers cash incentives to people who are willing to log in regularly and complete online surveys and questionnaires. Once you join, you’ll begin earning rewards for each survey you take. Once you earn enough reward “points”, you can turn them in for purchases made on websites like Amazon, iTunes, Home Depot and Walmart. Conversely, you can also turn in your points for movies, books, and home goods ordered straight from the Harris Poll website. Plus, you’ll be entered into a $10,000 sweepstakes each time you complete a survey.