Illegitimate companies and scammers have a simple objective. They're after your information in order to get your money. It's much more common for internet scammers to target hundreds of people for small sums rather than a single person for thousands. This is because demanding large sums for a product that is somewhat unclear is an obvious red flag to most.
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.
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.
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.
Toluna – Been a member for maybe 7 years. They probably send 5-10 emails every day! I usually pick and choose 1-2 only because of decent rewards. For them, 3000 points is $1 so you have to be smart about they surveys. Getting 1,500 points for 20 mins seems ok until you realize it’s only 67 cents! Payout is $20 checks that come 1-2 weeks after you request them. It also takes weeks to get credited for a survey.
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They include sites that seem to be their competitors because they earn referral fees when you buy memberships. A couple mentioned in scam forums even try to dupe you into buying the same list at other membership sites they own under different names. Naturally, these sites also have an incentive to exaggerate how much you'll earn from online paid surveys.
After joining a survey site, you provide some personal and demographic information, which legitimate survey sites will keep private. That information will be used in choosing participants to take surveys on certain goods and services. If you get selected to take part in a survey, you will be notified through mail to take a short survey to see if your profile suits that survey. When you are deemed qualified, you will be requested to take a longer survey.
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!
Something very important to note before signing up at any site claiming to pay you cash to take surveys is that all legitimate sites offering online surveys that pay do not charge registration fees – they are free to join. Some sites may even offer you bonus as you sign in, to show you they are happy you have become a part of their team and helping them increase their revenue.
My favorites are my survey and my points. Time consuming yes but if you can some how multitask the work a bit. I use to like doing them while sitting next to the hubby while he was watching his favorite sci-fi shows. Or if I was having a energy low in the afternoon I would put my feet up and do a few surveys. I still do the click thru emails for my points but have stopped doing survey’s this year due to being in a different season of life right now than I once was.
I tried one survey company (don’t remember now which) they sent a reasonable amount of them my way, but I never qualified to take the entire survey…either I had to answer that someone in the household was gluten free or that I didn’t have senior pets or some other random question, and it would kick me out and tell me thanks, but you don’t qualify….got discouraged and gave up 🙁
Of course, it’s not always easy to increase your income. Your employer might hate giving raises, for example, or maybe overtime at work has become scarce. If that’s the case, you might need to pick up a part-time job, start a side hustle from home, or look for unorthodox ways to earn money in your spare time. Check out our post on how to become an Uber driver, this is a great side hustle because you can make your own schedule and pick up extra cash when its convenient for you.