Last night, while at the bank, I cashed a check for $5.50. While it wasn’t much, it was one of about a half dozen like that I’ve cashed over the past month and, it only took me about 15 minutes to earn it.
Even though I don’t spend as much time on them as others I’ve talked to, paid survey sites are slowly becoming yet another way I supplement my monthly income. And, they are among the easiest way to make money.
The first thing to realize when you do sign up for a survey site is you’re not going to make a fortune at it. In a typical month, I make maybe $30 from several sites. However, if you’re online anyway and you like expressing your opinion about different products there are few better ways to spend your time.
The hardest part of online surveys is finding sites that will not only send you plenty of survey invites but will send you surveys you actually qualify for. For example, I get an invite from www.testspin.com almost daily. However, I have yet to qualify for a single one. In fact, I’ve stopped trying to qualify after the last couple of surveys made me go through 10-15 minutes of questions before telling me I didn’t fit the demographic they were looking for.
In contrast, www.opinionoutpost.com sends me an invite about once or twice a week and I qualify for about half of them. Since January, I’ve made about $40 on that site. Another site, www.your2cents.com has only sent me four invites since I signed up with it in December but I qualified for all four, earning $20.
If you’re thinking about signing up for a survey site, there are a couple of things you should look at first, starting with how specific of questions they ask. Some sites will only ask you for your name, address, age and gender. Others go into much more detail; asking for information about the car you drive to the type of house you live in. They may even have separate non-paying surveys specifically for that purpose.
The sites that ask more questions usually send less survey invites to you but you’re more likely to qualify for those surveys. If I remember correct, Testspin did not offer this option when I signed up (they might now, but I’m still mad about the last couple of surveys I mentioned before and haven’t been to their site recently).
I would also look at how the survey companies pay you. Some will pay you a certain amount immediately (usually to your Pay Pal account) but most have some sort of points system in place and will only pay you if you reach so many points. Opinion Outpost, for example, pays $1 for every 10 points earned and you can’t request payment until you have at least 50 points ($5).
Some sites offer you no monetary incentive and will instead enter you in a monthly drawing for prizes (I don’t do those) and some like www.harrispollonline.com let you trade in points for gift cards and other items (800 points will get you a $5 gift card to Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Puretracks.com, Blockbuster, Pizza Hut, Best Buy, Red Lobster, KFC, Target or Applebee’s).
The most important recommendation I would give you is to find out what other people think of the sites. In fact there are several sites that specifically are out there to allow people to critique their success or lack of success making money on them (I usually use www.cashpirates.lifesupporters.com).
When you’re looking at the reviews, don’t just look at what people are saying; look at who is saying it. If all the good reviews are coming from women and you’re male, there’s a good chance most of the surveys on that site won’t fit your profile and you’re just wasting your time.
And, believe me, at 15-20 minutes a survey, the last thing you want to do is be wasting your time.