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.
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.
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
This is where it can all go downhill quickly. In the pressure to make as many pennies out of a nickel, a lot of research corporations will not just sell your answers but the data associated with it. Details that you provide when taking paid surveys such as your name, address, age range can all be attached together quickly to fulfill a lot of larger companies' requests for information (RFI).
Survey Junkie uses a point system for their rewards. For every survey you complete, you’ll get anywhere from 50 – 450 points. 100 points equals $1. Unlike some of the other competition, Survey Junkie is very honest about how much you’ll make. They clearly say on their website, “You Will Not Get Rich” taking surveys. This is refreshing to see after so many websites claim you’ll be able to quit your day job and sit at home taking surveys all day.
Ipsos i-Say: A reputable, global survey-based market research company that gives its community members a chance to provide opinions in exchange for survey points that earn you money. Earn towards gift cards to spend at your favorite places such as Starbucks, Amazon, Target, and more. Or just trade in for cash through prepaid VISA gift cards or Pay Pal funds! Go here to see if you qualify. (Spots fill up quickly and reset each month, so if you aren’t accepted, try back around the 1st of the next month!)
It’s a very well-known scam. You cash the check, then they ask you to either wire some of that money back to them as some sort of fee or buy something for them and send the item to them. So, you deposit the check, then wire some cash to them thinking that the check you just deposited will cover that. A few days later, after you already send them the money, the check will bounce and the money you send to them will come out of your own account.