get paid to take surveysMany people don’t realize how many opportunities there are for getting paid just to give your opinion. You don’t need any special training; all you need is your own computer.

How Do Online Surveys Work?

Companies of all types gauge public interest in their products/services by going directly to the purchasing public. They do this by creating customer surveys which are then made available via the Web.

They reach their audiences with their surveys by contracting with Internet survey companies, which act as “middle men” between the company and the buying public. The survey company recruits people to fill out the online surveys. They do this by offering a fee for each survey that is filled out.

Many of these survey companies have thousands of different surveys available. This means that it’s possible for someone to earn a good, regular side income or even a full-time income simply by filling out online surveys, depending on how much time they’re able to spend at the task.

The amount of money that you can receive for a single survey depends on a number of things. The length of the survey is usually the biggest determining factor: the longer the survey, the bigger the payout. It may also depend upon the company for whom the survey was created. Payouts typically range between five and 15 dollars per survey, though some may fetch much more than that.

How to Join and Get Paid for Taking Online Surveys

First, here is a list of just a few of a few popular ones:

Global Test Market:
Inbox Dollars:
Surveys Paid:
Survey Scout:
American Consumer Opinion:
My Survey:
Springboard America:

The sign-up process is fairly similar no matter which company you sign up with. Here’s how to do it:

1) Make sure that you meet initial qualifications to join a particular survey club. Some survey companies are location or country-specific. Sometimes you’ll be informed immediately that you are ineligible to apply because the server will recognize your IP address as being outside of the desired location. Other times you may have to read the fine print.

2) Go to the home page and find the link to the sign-up page. You’ll probably see a “Sign Up” or “Register” button somewhere along the top of the page. Click the link or button. You’ll be re-directed to the application form page.

3) Fill out the application form on this page. Usually you’ll be asked only for basic personal, biographical information such as name, address, age, etc. You’ll also need to supply a valid email address.

4) Follow all the instructions carefully for filling out the application form, including reading the rules and regulations and checking applicable boxes. When finished, click on the link that says “Submit” or “Done” or “Finished.” You’ll be re-directed to another page.

5) If the site is a paid membership company, you’ll be taken to the page where you’ll need to choose your payment method and pay your membership fee. (More about this topic in upcoming sections.)

That’s usually all there is to it! Next, your application will be sent off for review. This process may take anywhere from a day to a week or so. If it’s approved, you can begin filling out surveys immediately.

Free Membership vs. Paid Membership

If you research paid online survey companies, you’ll discover that some allow you to join for free while others charge you a membership fee. There are pros and cons with each type, so you’ll have to decide what’s best in your own case.

The ones that offer free membership are very popular, but the downside of many of the free ones is that the payout-per-survey is generally lower than those offered by the paid membership survey sites. They may also have stipulations attached to most of their surveys stating that the participant must meet certain criteria (i.e. be a particular gender or a specific age). You may discover that it’s difficult or impossible to find any paid surveys that you actually “qualify” to take. You’ll end up wasting hours searching for surveys you qualify for, and, of course, won’t be paid for that time.

The biggest “pro” with the free membership sites is that you don’t lose much by joining. Join several of these and try them out to find out which ones you end up making the most money for in the least amount of time. You can simply walk away from any that end up being a waste of your time.

How to Avoid Disappointment and Financial Loss

You don’t have much to lose if you join a survey panel that has no membership fee attached. There are lots of these on the Web: try out two or three of them by participating in a couple of surveys from each and discover which one pays the best and offers the most opportunities for you to make money.

There’s nothing wrong with joining a survey company that requires you to pay a membership fee to join. However, unless you know someone else who works with the same company, you don’t really have any way of knowing ahead of time whether you’ll actually be able to recoup your membership fee in a reasonable amount of time.

In a case like this, you should choose a company that offers these two things:

1) The ability to pay for your membership fee by credit card: Most major credit card companies will give you a credit for something that you pay for with their card but don’t receive. By paying for your membership with your credit card, you’ll be able to get your money back if the survey company you join turns out to be fraudulent or doesn’t provide you with what it promised.

2) A money-back guarantee: Many online survey companies offer this. They allow you to participate for a given amount of time (typically between four and eight weeks) so that you can decide whether or not your membership fee is paying for itself. If not, you can request a refund anytime within this specified time period.

If a particular online survey company does not offer these two things, you should probably avoid it.

It’s also important that you read the fine print:

Some surveys don’t payout in cash but in gift cards instead. Some online survey companies are notorious for advertising themselves as a company that “pays” for surveys, when in reality you may only be offered gift cards most of the time. If you prefer cash over gift cards, watch out for this.

Hope this helps,

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(1) comment

Barbara Thomson says:

October 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Thanks Scott..your article is very helpful. I will try what you said. I will share my tips afterwards. I hope to really earn from doing surveys.

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