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).
“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.
They don’t give a reason for this, but I assume it has to do with taxes. You see, if you pay someone $600 in any given year, you are required by law to report that earning and send them a tax form at the end of the year. And since 60,000 equals to $600, I assume they have that rule in place so they don’t have to deal with all that paperwork come tax time.
The site will even allow you to monetise your internet searches, if you swap from Google or Safari to their own search engine. The Swagbucks search engine, which is actually running Yahoo, will pay you Swagbucks every time you search. For games, there are options like Scrabble and Wheel of Fortune, which won’t pay you much, but could be worth a go if you fancied playing a game anyway! Swagbucks TV allows you to watch advertising videos on a range of topics, including news, fitness and entertainment. There’s a snag – your earnings are capped at 150 Swagbucks, but it is worth a look if you’re prone to wasting time watching viral clips.
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.
Rewards are paid out in cash and PayPal, but the catch of having short surveys is reflected in the pay, which can be miniscule per survey. As you need to earn $50 before you can withdraw anything, that’s a lot of low-paying surveys before you’ve made your money! Some people have complained online that once you get close to the withdrawal amount, the surveys dry up. One way around this is to refer a friend as you’ll receive a bonus when they sign up and you’ll hit your target to withdraw your funds. It’s a bit of a downside, but there are hundreds of very happy consumers who love the site, so it’s worth a shot, especially if you get fed up with the boring or repetitive nature of some of the quizzes elsewhere.
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.