Like many survey sites, Toluna rewards you with points, which you can then cash out for vouchers for the usual suspects like Amazon and iTunes, or money through PayPal. A slightly novel element of the site’s payment plan is to offer the chance to take your points out early if you gamble them for prizes. While you have to store up a grand total of 60,000 points before you can claim vouchers for around $12 – something some people find to be a downside of the site – if you are willing to settle for a prize, you can play with just 500 points. You can decide to try your luck with a “giftie”, a kind of scratch card game. By gambling some points, you can see if you have won the gift or lost your points – so it is not one for the faint hearted!
The biggest draw of taking online surveys is that you can take these surveys whenever it’s convenient to you. You decide when and where you take these surveys. All you need is a laptop or mobile device that can connect to the Internet. So relax and take some surveys while enjoying your favourite café or in front of the tv when the kids are asleep, it’s up to you! And best of all - you’ll get paid for it.
Swagbucks: The best part of this site is how easy it is to cash out. Save up your points if you want, or redeem for a $1, $3 or $5 Amazon Gift Card right away! Get paid $0.50 to $50 per survey, depending on how long it takes you, plus a $3 bonus for signing up. Swagbucks will also pay you to watch videos, try products, shop online, and even search the web. Go here to sign up.
What I like about them is they also run focus groups in the San Diego area. I signed up to receive phone calls and get them. I have little ones at home so it doesn’t quite work out for me to attend right now, but they do pay well. They were looking for adult men once to attend a focus group about food, and I shared the info with a friend’s husband who was out of work and made $80 in 2 hours with them at the focus group.
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.
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Now, don’t get me wrong. There are people who do make a few thousand dollars or more a year with paid surveys. But that’s not the norm. If you do want to increase your earnings substantially, your best bet is to also join focus groups (we have a big list of ’em. Just do a quick search on Google for “moneypantry.com focus groups”). They pay much more between $50 to $400 or more per focus group secession.
First, thank you for providing this extensive list. I wanted to offer a quick follow up. After reading your post I decided to give Survey Junkie a try and I’ve already closed the account. Yes, I can tell it’s well organized and it is definitely a user-friendly platform. The problems I experienced were first that not one of the surveys they emailed me about were available. I did, however, complete several surveys from the site itself and I found them to be lengthy – in itself, not a problem but 3 out of 5 told me I didn’t qualify after I’d already invested 10 – 12 minutes filling out the forms. They got more than enough information from me to be useful which is an old and highly unethical trick in market research – which happens to be my background. All in all a LOT of wasted time.
In the middle of all of this is a new breed of research corporation that relies on you – the survey taker – to determine this information. For your time? Many survey companies will pay you to take surveys for money or for other cash alternatives like gift cards or physical prizes and rewards. It depends upon the company as to whether they'll offer money or other offers and special deals.