In the middle of all of this is a new breed of research corporation that relies on you – the survey taker – to determine this information. For your time? Many survey companies will pay you to take surveys for money or for other cash alternatives like gift cards or physical prizes and rewards. It depends upon the company as to whether they'll offer money or other offers and special deals.
One of the most popular sites, and rightfully so, Swagbucks offers traditional surveys as well as a range of additional ways to make cash. Filling out surveys for money will reward you with points called Swagbucks which can be cashed out through PayPal, or redeemed as gift cards for shops including Amazon.com. As a sweetener, they’ll even give you $5 just for signing up.
Many paid survey panels offer rewards for referring your friends. Help your friends make money online and do paid surveys together. Another reason to refer a friend for paid surveys is because a lot of paid survey site have a set amount threshold that must be reached before you can make a withdrawal. If you are a few pounds away from reaching the withdrawal threshold you can refer a friend to bump you over the limit.
Ipsos is a funny name for one of the oldest and largest global market research companies. They were founded in 1975 and if you follow US politics, you'll recognize them partnering often with Reuters to produce approval surveys of Congress, the President, and other notable figures. They're headquartered in Paris, France and publicly traded on the Paris Stock Exchange. They have revenues of over a billion dollars – Ipsos i-Say is just a small piece of their business.
The concept of data mining and profiting off that data mining isn't anything new. And while some companies engage in some rather disreputable practices to do this, Global Test Market seems to be doing just fine with the whole “consent to disclose” thing. More importantly, in some cases this may help you as some companies will offer to do more specialized product testing once they've identified you as their target demographic.
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.
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.