The popularity of online paid surveys in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Many people consider them as a fast an easy way to make money online. The task of being involved in online surveys is not mentally or physically demanding. You can work from the comfort of your own home, offer your opinion and earn money for it! But isn’t it too good to be true? An online paid survey is a kind of statistical survey where the participant is rewarded for answering questions about a particular product or service. Most websites will pay you cash, but some offer gift certificates, goods, vouchers, discounts, or points that can be redeemed for cash or other items. You can also find websites that provide a certain amount of sweepstakes entries for each survey you complete.
The amount of payment for each online survey will vary depending on its length. Typically, you can receive from $1 to $10 per survey. The companies offering online surveys pay with checks, postal money orders or Paypal transfers. Paychecks are sent once or twice a month. Sometimes you may be able to withdraw money as soon as you accumulate a set amount of money, for example $25. The main aim of any online paid survey is to collect information about the participants' personal habits set against their demographic. You will need to answer numerous questions or give detailed opinion about a product or service. Sometimes you will need to test sample products and respond to questions about their qualities. The main advantage of online paid surveys is their convenience and flexibility. Special skills are not required. All you need is to have a computer with Internet connection. If you are reading this article, you already have it!
Why do companies conduct surveys?
Marketing is a vitally important component of any company's success in today's market place. To compete with each other, they are spending thousands of dollars each year on market researches and studies of consumers’ opinion.
Online surveys help them find out what their customers think about their products and services. It is a fast, effective and low cost way to establish necessary focus group and receive information.
How to participate in online paid surveys
In order to take part in online surveys, you need to register on a survey website and enter your age, education, profession, income and other personal data. This information is necessary for companies to determine your eligibility for a survey.
Surveys will be periodically delivered to your email addresses with a notice how long the survey should take and how much you will receive for completing the online form. Typically, a survey will take from 10 to 45 minutes. You can start receiving invitations the same day you join a website.
The more websites you register with, the more surveys you will receive. There is no limit to the number of surveys you can take daily as long as you qualify for them. It is important to respond quickly and regularly because it will increase your chances to participate in surveys. Some online paid surveys are general, so anyone can participate in them (for example, what Internet provider do you have or what type of shampoo do you use). Others are specific and require people from the targeted sex, age or occupation. That’s why it is not possible to qualify for all surveys you receive. For example, if you are a stay at home mom you will not qualify for a survey intended for people who work all day. If you don’t smoke, you will not quality for a survey about your favorite cigarettes.
How safe is your personal information?
Most paid survey websites promise not to share your personal information without your consent. It is a common standard which legit marketing research companies stick to. Vice versa, scam websites don't make such promise, or do so in a limited way.
Be careful what information you are going to enter online. Scammers often create copycat websites to make job seekers reveal their personal or financial information. Don’t tell any important data if you are not sure that the site is 100% safe.
When you register on a survey website, you will need to provide your e-mail address. However, in this case you may get overwhelmed with junk mail or get put on a mass market spam list. That’s why it makes sense to set up a free e-mail account dedicated just to your online surveys. Choose yahoo.com, gmail.com, hotmail.com or any other mail agents.
Similarly, don't disclose your credit card number. It is better to use PayPal to receive money rather than direct deposits. Be careful if you need to verify your account by entering your PIN – it can be a scam.
Online paid surveys scam
With so many marketing research companies out there, you should be careful to avoid scam websites. For example, you may be required to pay a fee for a list of marketing research companies that conduct online paid surveys. Don’t get fooled - you can find many of them for free by searching the Internet!
Typically, scammers attract potential victims with large amounts of cash they can earn by doing online paid surveys. “Subscribe now and get $150 per survey! You will receive 10 surveys per day!” Use your common sense and keep away from advertising gimmicks. If the hype for online paid surveys sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
How to understand that a survey website is a scam? First of all, it shouldn’t have any membership fees. Real paid survey websites pay you, not the other way around. Almost all survey companies that require membership fees are proven to be scams.
The second way is to use searching engines to find more information about them. Nowadays we can find all – all nearly all - online, including customer reviews. Just browse several forums or message boards that contain information about online scam surveys.
Thirdly, after verifying the company, check out what payout the company promises. If it seems impossible to get, don't opt for the paid survey.
Is it profitable to participate in paid surveys?
Online paid surveys have quickly become an easy way to earn a living online. The appeal of sitting at home in your pajamas, telling your opinion and watching how your bank account is growing has captured the minds of many people who are looking for a home-based job. However, you need to admit that if anybody is earning a living from doing online paid surveys, it is likely to be middleman-site owners rather than the participants.
The reasons are simple. First of all, you will not qualify for each survey that websites offer. This fact limits your earnings right off the bat, because you can't fit every demographic. Even if you are lucky enough to participate in 3 surveys a day, some of them will reward you with discounts or sweepstakes entries. Of course, some paid survey websites do pay in cash, but the sums are quite moderate.
That’s why it is unlikely that you will earn thousands of dollars from online paid surveys and marketing researches. However, you can earn or win some extra money, or receive free or discounted products and services.