As with any opportunity, it is important to understand what is involved with completing paid surveys.
Most people just starting out with paid survey companies share the same questions and concerns about the process, including eligibility and how to apply.
It can also be tricky to find legitimate paid survey opportunities because scammers are common in this field of market research. However, participating in paid surveys can be an easy way to make some spending money in your free time. Review the questions and answers below to learn more about paid surveys.
Nearly all adults are eligible to participate in paid surveys. Qualifications are minimal. In most cases, you only need to be 18 years of age or older and have internet access. There may be other, very specific demographic qualifications to participate in certain surveys, but these will be outlined in advance.
Yes. Companies are very interested in finding out what motivates the shopping habits of young people, particularly teens and tweens. Most paid survey sites for kids require a minimum age of 13 to participate, while others require participants to be 16 years of age or older. Most require parental permission to participate. Instead of being paid in cash, most sites compensate teens with coupons, freebies or discounts on merchandise. Some kids’ surveys are unpaid, so make sure you check the terms before your child participates.
Individual location requirements are determined by each paid survey company. While most of the world’s online paid survey opportunities originate in the United States and are limited to U.S. residents, other countries are beginning to see the value in using paid surveys for market research. Current paid survey opportunities are available in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Each paid survey will include location requirements when applicable. Be sure to check these requirements before wasting time on registration.
Most paid survey companies need to collect relatively detailed information from you at registration and may ask you to provide additional information later. They do this to make sure you are a good demographic match for the surveys they send to you. The information required to complete a paid survey demographic profile may include:
Neglecting to provide requested information may limit the number of paid surveys you can complete. However, you may feel the trade-off is worth it if you do not feel comfortable providing detailed information about yourself and your family.
Generally speaking, no. Most survey companies do not limit the number of surveys you can take. If there are any limits, they will be clearly outlined on the company’s site. You must meet the demographic requirements for each survey you take, but as long as you fit the profile of the people they want to hear from, you can usually take as many paid surveys as you like. That said, you are also not guaranteed a minimum number of surveys each day or week. Sometimes, you will encounter days or weeks without being offered a paid survey. Signing up with several survey companies can help guarantee that you have paid survey opportunities each week.
Most paid surveys are relatively brief. Although your own reading and typing speed is a factor, you can usually answer all of a survey’s questions within 10 to 15 minutes. More complicated surveys can take up to 30 minutes to complete, but they also offer higher compensation. Ultimately, you may find that the rewards offered are not worth your time. In these cases, you may want to forego surveys for more traditional ways of saving money online.
Usually, even the free survey sites give you some type of reward. Although you may not build up an actual cash value for your time, you will probably receive a coupon, product discount or a free product mailed to you. There are some companies, however, that do not provide any type of incentive. You may wonder, “Why would anyone participate in a survey if nothing was in it for them?” Some people simply enjoy sharing their opinions and having the satisfaction of knowing that their personal preferences contributed to the improvement of existing products.
The harder a site promotes itself as not being a scam, the more likely it is to actually be a scam. Beware of “middlemen” who claim to have access to private lists of survey companies. They charge you a fee to access their allegedly secret list, but they only provide information that you can find online yourself, for free. Usually, these scammer sites have outrageous headlines, such as “Make $2,000 Every Month Working from Home!” Therefore, you should trust your gut. If a company sounds like it is trying too hard to convince you to buy something, it may be a scam.
Besides following the tips in the question above, make sure to conduct a bit of research on every paid survey company you want to join. Carefully read the privacy statement and any disclaimers on the company’s website. Also search for websites dedicated to exposing all types of internet scams and rip-offs. Most of the scam survey sites will be listed on these informative pages. You can also search for reviews of specific companies. If a survey company has good reviews, its privacy statement and disclosures sound legitimate, and the company’s name does not appear on any scam reports online, you are probably safe to sign up.
If you are dealing with one of the well-known, legitimate market research companies, your personal information will not be sold to another company unless you specifically grant the company permission to do so. The privacy statement should detail the company’s policies and give you the opportunity to opt-out if you disagree with their policies. Note that opting out may mean that you cannot participate in their programs, but if it keeps your personal information safe, that is a valid trade-off.
You may be able to participate in online focus groups or other in-depth surveys that pay significantly more than average. Some companies may offer up to $250 to participate in a video conference or other detailed interview. However, these opportunities are few and far between, and they usually have stricter demographic requirements than standard paid surveys.