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.
You're unlikely to "get rich quick" by taking paid online surveys. You will, however, likely earn or win some extra spending money, or free or discounted goods or services. Doing paid online surveys can be seen as a way to get a fairly steady flow of a decent amount of cash coming in each month. If you enjoy participating in online surveys (especially if you enjoy sharing your opinion for prizes, coupons, and other more typical non-monetary earnings), then paid online surveys is a good choice for you.
Most reviewed paid survey sites effectively promise not to share personally identifiable information or not to share it without your consent. It's an industry standard by which legitimate marketing research firms are bound. But many membership sites reviewed don't make either promise or do so only in a limited or wishy-washy way. Unauthorized go-betweens don't have to honor marketing research privacy standards.
They claim to also offer paid product testing opportunities. But it’s not really paid product testing, but more of getting cash back. Basically, besides surveys, you can purchase products and services through their portal and earn a certain amount of cash back for every dollar you spend. If you were going to buy something already, it’s a great way to get some of the cash back. But don’t just buy something because of the cashback.
I also have used Synovate Global Opinion Panels, which is now I-Say by Ipsos. They send you surveys pretty frequently and the points you accumulate can turn into actual money! You can receive an actual check from them, or choose to redeem for a gift card. I haven’t cashed out with them since they changed into the new system, just because I’ve really stopped taking the surveys because I’m lazy 🙂 Here’s the link: http://i-say.com/Rewards/RewardsProgram/tabid/203/language/en-US/Default.aspx
Pinecone asks for your address because your first payout is sent via check to your address. After a few surveys they offer you a paypal option. As far as sending products to test, these are related to the survey you take. I have been with them for a year and they have only sent a few things for me to try out. In the survey, they ask if you would mine trying the product and you can decline. Pinecone is a great company to do surveys with. I highly recommened them!
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.
IOCS is a not-for-profit research organization that conducts studies and experiments on shopping-related behavior – things like how we, as consumers, evaluate products, how we make the buying decisions, etc. Although the focus is mostly on shopping related behavior, some of their experiments and studies include broader areas of marketing, psychology, and economics.