06 May 2009, by A. Cedilla
Signing up for paid surveys seems to be an easy job for extra cash without exerting too much effort, not like taking on a second (or in this economy, a third) job. However, when it comes to picking which survey groups to join, you have to answer 3 simple questions to see if doing paid surveys would work for you.
Do you have to pay for signing up?
Legitimate survey and market research companies won’t ask you to fork over any money. You are the one giving them feedback so you shouldn’t be charged anything.
Check to see if the survey company has an affiliate program where you also get paid if you refer your friends and family to join in the surveys. Some companies compile directories or lists and sell memberships to these instead.
Do some research and check out the reviews on the individual service first.
Is this a workable choice for me?
Companies with potential new products waiting in the wings have to pin down what the consumer really wants and needs before releasing their products in the marketplace.
Before spending real serious money on the development of their new wonder-gizmo, they funnel millions of dollars into market research to avoid having said wonder-gizmo crash and burn.
Surveys take time to collect, and so companies are quite willing to compensate you for your time with a nominal amount of cash incentive, product points and loads of other freebies and things you can redeem for other company products already on the market.
If you plan on fast cash from a few surveys, think twice. Paid surveys need consistent, sustained effort to see appreciable results.
What kind of money can I actually expect?
You really have to check the fine print before you sign up to know how much you can make for these surveys.
Most companies will pay you in “credits” or “points” which can be redeemed for other products, converted to cash or say, a Visa gift card, which is treated like cash.
Some will pay you cash, usually paying out 2-4 weeks after you completed the survey. Most of the time this is connected to their accounting cycles.
Payouts can be anywhere from $2 dollars for a 5 minute survey all the way to $20 for a 30 minutes survey and even as high as $75 and up. Committing to paid surveys can help create an extra source of income that asks for nothing more than a little time set aside every day to answer questions.
To recap: You shouldn’t have to pay to take the survey. For the most money possible — there’s no two ways around it– you need to work on this consistently, and yes, it is still work. Finally, double-check if you prefer getting paid in cash or kind (points, freebies, whatever) and read the fine print .
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