Many people like having something to do while they watch TV or drink their morning coffee. Some people will browse the Internet, some will set their fantasy football lineup, and some will catch up on the news. These are all great ways to pass a bit of time, but what if you could find a way to make a bit of money in your down time?
Paid surveys have emerged as one of the most popular ways that you can make easy money when you don’t have much else going on. The pay may not be amazing, but it is more than you’ll make just sitting around. If you start doing a survey whenever you find yourself with a bit of time to kill and nothing important to do, you may find that you are able to make a meaningful chunk of money without making any big commitments with your time and energy.
The best way to get started doing paid surveys is to find several websites offering them and sign up. No individual site is likely to be able to keep you constantly provided with new surveys to do, so it is good to build up a nice portfolio of sites that can send you opportunities. They are all free and easy to sign up for, so there is no reason to be hesitant when signing up for them.
However, not every opportunity that you find online is legitimate. Before we go over some of the best websites out there for paid surveys, it is important that you know how to avoid getting duped.
How to Avoid Survey Scams
People have been getting scammed by Internet tricksters since personal computers first became commonplace. By now, the scammers have gotten good at what they do and may be very difficult to spot. However, there are a few red flags that you can rely on when trying to determine whether or not an opportunity that you find online is legitimate.
The first and most obvious sign of a scammer is that they will ask you for money. The whole point of taking these surveys is so that they will pay you, so why would you pay them for the chance to do their surveys?
They will start innocently enough, requesting an up front fee with promises that you will be able to make your money back in no time. Needless to say, you won’t be able to make that money back. In fact, you will only be provided with opportunities that you could have found for yourself by using one of the many legitimate survey sites out there.
You should also be mindful of how you hear about survey opportunities. If you receive an unsolicited email or find them advertising on a website like Facebook or Craigslist, it is almost certainly a scam. The legitimate sites are easy to find and don’t tend to advertise in these ways, as they generally don’t need to.
One of the reasons that many people fall for these scams is because the offers they purport to have seem so incredible. Compared to the modest amount of money being offered by legitimate survey sites, it is hard to look away from the eye-popping figures that are offered by the scammers. A great way to see a scam coming is if the opportunity seems disproportionately good. In general, these survey sites tend to be competitive with one another. If somebody really were able to offer you ten times as much money as the competition, why would the competition even exist?
Some survey scams are very sneaky. They will ask you to fill out a pre-qualification form that seems to last forever, only to inform you that you aren’t qualified to do surveys for them. The joke is on you: you just did the survey for free. If the sign up process is fishy, then so are they.
Another sneaky trick that scammers will use is requiring a ridiculous minimum amount of earnings to cash out. If they need you to do hundreds of surveys before you can actually see your earnings for yourself, there is a very good chance that you will never be able to collect the money.
In general, these scams should be relatively easy to spot once you have signed up for a few legitimate survey sites, as the difference is often night and day. Still, the scammers are good enough at what they do to at least fool some people, so you should always keep an eye out for them. When all else fails, you can always Google a company’s name. You shouldn’t have too hard of a time finding real reviews of what they do, as people are often quick to call out scams on the Internet.
Now that you know how to avoid the scams out there, let’s take a look at some of the great online surveys that will actually help you earn money.
American Consumer Opinion
Perhaps you have heard of American Consumer Opinion, but you probably didn’t know that they actually pay respondents for their opinions. They will ask you to sign up for their panel to answer questions and offer opinions about new products, new advertising campaigns, and marketing techniques. You will be able to redeem your cash through PayPal after you have earned 1,000 points, which translates to $10 in actual currency.
There are already over 3 million people responding to surveys on eMiles, making it a particularly comforting place to know you are working with a legitimate company. What they do is simple: like any other site, you answer questions and watch ads. The difference is that instead of redeeming points for cash, they give you money that can be redeemed with airlines. They can also give you points that can be used at Amazon and Starbucks if you aren’t likely to be going on vacation any time soon. However you want to redeem their points, they can help you bring in a decent haul with an easy-to-use product.
ePoll Market Research
Though they may not be as popular as some other survey sites, ePoll Market Research has been around for two decades, making them about as reliable as you could ask for. Many of their polls are centered around various aspects of entertainment media such as TV and movies, which can make their questions particularly fun and easy to answer for some users. Sometimes they will ask you to watch a short video and offer your thoughts for it, which can be a more involved way to be a survey respondent. They also offer some of the quicker polls out there, as you will probably be able to do several every hour.
Global Test Market
If you are looking for a site that you can definitely trust, look no further, as Global Test Market is accredited by the BBB. This is not common for survey sites and gives them an extra feather in their cap. You will generally be able to make a dollar or two per survey and will have to earn at least $50 before you can redeem your points. They are also flexible in their ability to pay you, as you can receive a check in the mail, a payment to your PayPal account, or receive gift cards. Their range of topics varies greatly, meaning just about anybody should be able to find something that will keep them somewhat engaged while knocking out their daily dose of surveys.
Harris Poll Online
Harris Poll Online is a website that rewards you for taking the time to check in with them often, which is especially great for the avid survey taker. The payouts per survey may vary a bit more than for other sites and you won’t know what they are offering until you finish, but they are consistently worthwhile so this shouldn’t steer you away from giving them a shot. After you’ve earned enough money to cash out, you can turn in your points for credit towards purchases on popular sites, including Amazon.
The fun thing about Inbox Dollars is that they don’t only pay you to do surveys. While you will certainly have the opportunity to do surveys, you may also be asked to do things like visit other websites or play games online. The variety of things that you will be asked to do is great for mixing up your regular survey routine and keeping things fresh while you pass the time.
Ipsos can sometimes be the most lucrative site out there, offering almost $100 for some surveys. However, you will more often be completing surveys that pay at the normal rate for survey sites. They offer quick surveys that you should be able to finish in a short amount of time, usually under 15 minutes. They also offer you the chance to either receive payment through PayPal or receive gift cards, which is a nice bit of flexibility that not every survey site brings to the table.
Opinion Outpost will have you doing surveys for governments and political organizations as often as for businesses, which can be a wanted or unwanted change from the typical surveys depending on your preferences. Still, it is something that keeps things fresh while you earn money in your spare time. They are also able to provide new surveys at a high rate, meaning you will get the chance to earn money with them more frequently than with some other survey sites. This alone can make them a valuable staple to your survey catalog.
Pinecone Research is a fairly typical survey provider in terms of what they will ask you to do. You will complete surveys, which will earn you points that you can redeem later on. The valuable thing about Pinecone Research is that they will send you a check in the mail, which not every survey site offers. While there is nothing wrong with a nice gift card, sometimes what you really need is some plain old cash. For people that like the idea of getting a check instead of merchandise credits and gift cards, Pinecone Resarch is an absolute must.
The best thing about Pro Opinion is that the surveys are tailored towards you. While the sign up process is a bit lengthier than for other sites, this is so that they can find out your particular areas of expertise. Once they know which surveys line up with you as an individual, they will start sending you opportunities. This can be a refreshing site to keep in the mix, as you may sometimes tire of the redundancy of the content in surveys on other sites. Money is money, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to be catered to once in a while.
Swagbucks stands out among the survey sites out there because of how easy it is to cash out. While you have the option to let your account build up big numbers in the points column, you can also redeem your points for gift cards worth just a few dollars. There is also a huge variance in the amount of money you can make per survey, with some going as high as $50. They are also one of the sites that offers more than just surveys, which can be great for keeping things a bit more entertaining over the long haul. When you consider all of these advantages, it is no surprise that Swagbucks is one of the most popular survey providers out there.
For a more involved site, try Wonder. Instead of the traditional setup of a survey provider, they will actually hire you to conduct research for them. The pay can vary greatly, but Wonder has the opportunity to be more rewarding than other survey sites for those that have enough time to take it seriously. Not everybody will be able to work for them, but if you have the time and interest, it is worth seeing if you and Wonder are a good fit together.
These are just some of the great survey sites out there. While they may not be a pipeline to millions, they are an easy way for anybody to bring in a little bit of extra money while listening to the radio or watching TV. If you are interested in making money during your free time, give these sites a shot and see if they are right for you. You may be surprised by how much you are actually able to make if you complete surveys regularly.