Interesting read, thanks for sharing. I suppose that online surveys may generate a few extra dollars on the side for some people, but it does require you to qualify for certain surveys online. In many cases you may not qualify, and will result in having to search for more surveys. This can be time consuming and in most cases not as profitable as may be expected.
Pinecone Research works a lot like other paid survey sites. Once you sign up, you’ll earn points for each survey you complete. As an added bonus, the responses you give during surveys will help you learn about new products before they hit the market and influence their respective marketing campaigns. And once you start racking up the points, you can redeem them for cash or prizes.
Survey Club has been offering online paid surveys since 2005, and in the fast paced every changing world of the web that’s a reassuringly long amount of time. They are a bit of an acquired taste, in that they specialise in long, detailed surveys for high end clients rather than the quick and cheerful consumer surveys that you may be more familiar with. Whilst this does mean that you may have to commit a bit more time, it does mean that if you have the patience to persevere with them they pay more money than most survey and reward sites. They also offer local taste tests (see what I said about ‘an acquired taste’?), and secret shopper opportunities.
“I participated in an in-home product trial study. A coffee machine company sent me one of the coffee makers along with about 200 coffee pods. I received $7 for completing 3 short surveys. Plus, after the study, the company said I could keep the coffee maker. So, I got like 4 mos of coffee for everyone in my household, a free coffee maker and $7!” - David W.
You can expect to earn $2-$5 for most of the surveys in general. For some special surveys you can earn up to $50 per survey but those are rare. Harris Poll also conducts paid focus group studies where you can earn $50-$100 per study. Usually these focus group studies are 1-2 hours long where you interact with other participants under a supervision of a focus group moderator.
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.
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.