Monday, 13 November 2006

Paid Survey / Online Survey Schemes - The Truth Behind Them

Anyone who has been serious about making money online is bound to have come across these schemes – those market research companies that entice you to register with them and take part in online surveys that they will field on to you in return for some money.

Many sites boast that you can make up to $500 a week completing surveys lasting 15-20 mins each.

Is this statement true? The short answer is Yes! There are people earning such types of monies online doing exactly that.

Also, making such a second income is entirely legal and ethical in most jurisdictions or cultures. As such, you are unlikely to run into any problems with the law and/or into any moral dilemmas.

Do the surveys really take only 15-20 mins to complete? Yes.

How do I know? Well, I have tried such schemes for about 6 months and have made money with them too.

Are such schemes sustainable? Once again, yes. It is true that:

  • The big companies (and I know that since I’ve worked for them for years) commission market research companies to conduct surveys about consumer tastes, habits and preferences in an attempt to profile their customer base and/or refine their products and marketing strategies;

  • The big multinationals are diverting marketing spend from the conventional media (i.e. newspapers, radio, television, direct mail) in favour of the Internet. Don’t forget that Wall Street does not classify Google and Yahoo as Internet companies – they are full-blown media companies – i.e. they compete with BskyB, BBC, ITN, CNN, Reuters, NBC, TF1 etc. for advertising revenue;

  • There are market research companies out there being paid to profile consumers and report back to their clients for a fee. Some of that fee is passed on to you – the consumer helping them shape the profile!

  • Such online 2nd income schemes do not require any initial cash outlay. Yes, it’s zero cash investment!

However, here is also what you need to know:
  • Each market research company you sign up with will field you about 1 or 2 surveys each month and pay you between $10 and $20 per survey. Those who field you more will pay you less per survey. THIS MEANS THAT YOU NEED TO SIGN UP TO MORE THAN ONE MARKET RESEARCH COMPANY IN ORDER TO MAKE SOME SERIOUS MONEY;

  • How many should you sign up to? From past experience, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE $500 A WEEK, YOU WILL NEED TO SIGN UP TO 50 MARKET RESEARCH COMPANIES. This sounds incredible – but it is correct;

  • Signing up to each of them takes some time – I would say between 15 and 45 minutes each;

  • You will have to provide some very personal information about yourself and your household such as no. of kids, appliances you have in the house, no. of cars you have, how much you earn etc. AND THESE WILL BE STORED IN A DATABASE SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD. Whilst I don’t have a problem with this since I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear, some people strongly object to that. Needless to say, paid survey schemes are NOT for them;

  • You will only be invited to take part in a survey if, based on the personal info you provided about yourself and your household, YOU FIT THE PROFILE OF THE CUSTOMER BASE THE MARKET RESEARCH COMPANY IS LOOKING TO SURVEY. If not, tough! You will have to wait until the next survey comes round;

  • Like most marketing campaigns, marketing budget is limited! This means that once the market research company has received the intended number of responses, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TAKE PART IN THE SURVEY EVEN IF YOU WERE SENT AN INVITE BY EMAIL. And such slots will normally be filled within hours, not days;

  • Most market research companies will pay out only when you have reached a certain amount of money, e.g. $50. This can take time to gather with one market research company;

Does it therefore mean that it’s not worth joining online survey schemes? No, I think there is money in them. And some people gladly join such schemes because it suits them. I can make about $2,000 a month with such schemes when I want to.

Summary assessment
Typical monthly earnings?$250-$2,000
Get righ quick?No
Decent 2nd Income?Yes
All from home online?Yes
Legal and ethical?Yes
Ongoing effort required?15 mins per survey - 4 hours a week
Initial cash investment required?Nil (or $40-$60 if you buy a catalogue)
Initial time required to set up?30 hours

Do I have to pay to have access to such schemes?

The short, honest answer is No. The links to all the market research companies is freely available on the internet and you will find them easily by doing a Google search. However,

  • Many of these market research companies will not be suitable for you – usually because they do not cater for customers in your region – and you will only find out after spending 15 minutes trying to sign up;

In my own humble personal view, it is better to pay a nominal amount (between $40 and $60) and have access to a good collection of such market research companies and an assessment of the countries they cater for as well as how they reward their surveyees (cash, prizes, or both);

If you are serious about earning a 2nd income through online surveys, YOU WILL RECOVER THESE $40-$60 in less than 10 days. TRUST ME!

Recommended Links

There are many links to paid surveys on the Internet providing you with such catalogues. Below are 2 catalogues which I think you should consider. I know that these are not wastes of space. Many others are!

If you are UK based or Europe based, Surveyhawk is the best book to buy!
If you are US based, Surveyscout is the best choice!
If you are based in the Asia-Pacific, you are better off with Paid Surveys Online.

  1. Surveyhawk
    This is an excellent survey site particularly if you are UK based. A lot of survey sites don't have that many surveys for UK residents - surveyhawk has it's own large section of UK survey companies. Nicely designed with a great choice of surveys this is our No1 choice. Their database includes 450+ companies that are looking for people to participate in surveys.

    Click here

  2. Survey Scout
    A nice looking site with a great range of paid surveys - nearly 450 at the last count. Once of the longest established survey databases. The site is well organised with rewards sorted into different categories which makes easy to see exactly what you are getting offered. is loved by its members and we have yet to hear anyone have a bad word to say about them. We've rated this number two because of the wide selection and the excellent service if you get if any problems. Surveys - 450 Rating - 9/10 Price - £18 / US$35

    click here

  3. Paid online surveys
    This site might not look as nice as some others, but still does a good job. They have got a good selection of surveys to chose from and are always quick to respond to any little problem with great online support. An excellent feature we liked about this site is after members asked if there was any way they could fill out forms quickly - they developed their own software to help their members. You can now fill out forms quick as a flash! This site might not be pretty but sure is the fastest when you are looking to fill out surveys!
    Surveys - 300 Rating - 8/10 Price - £18 / US$35

    click here

  4. Paid surveys at home
    Still in the top 5 is paid-surveys-at-home at number 4. Again a good selection of surveys with over 450 at the last count. They were charging nearly £30 to join but now have reduced that to about £20. Great value for money as you'll get that back in no time with a bit of effort. As an added bonus they have a section with over 300 ADDITIONAL work-at-home opportunities.
    Surveys - 450 Rating - 8/10 Price - £20 / US$40

    click here

  5. Work online 4 pay
    About 400 surveys available for members in this survey site - more than enough. Not the best looking site, but design isn't everything. Again they have reduced the price of joining from about £30 to half that £16. They claim on their website you can get that back in half an hour and to be honest that isn't far from the truth. Good site with plenty of choice.
    Surveys - 400+ Rating - 8/10 Price - £16 / US$30

    click here

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