Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reviews of the Best Survey Panels #5 - Ipsos

Ipsos is another of my favourite survey panels. Ipsos Mori are a respected and well established consumer research company so you can be sure that the survey invites that you participate in are genuine market research. Invites are sent by e-mail and, as you have the opportunity to sign up all members of your household, will be targetted towards the most appropriate person to complete. They tend to focus on consumer issues, so they are generally seeking your views on a particular brand, or on a new product, or an advertising campaign, and so on.

The surveys are generally well put together and, unlike most other panels, if you lose interest in the survey, or your PC crashes mid survey, you can usually come back later and complete it where you left off.

In return for completing the surveys you are rewarded with points which you can then trade in for gift vouchers. The only down side is that real money is not an option for your rewards, but there are wide range of vouchers available.

Ipsos is an international panel and available in many countries around the world.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reviews of the Best Survey Panels #4 - Toluna

Toluna is different from most other survey panels in that the site allows you to register to test products at home. Once you have tested the product you are invited to give your opinion. The site also has a community element to it in that there are polls you can vote on and submit your own polls if you want to.

But, as for the surveys, I receive these almost daily, although I do get screened out of many of these. For each survey you will receive points which you can ultimately trade in for a range of shopping vouchers. The surveys are varied, but usually consumer related but cover a wide range of topics from movies to toothpaste! The main downside is that you do not have any option to receive cash. I personally trade my points in for Amazon e-vouchers which I then put towards our Christmas fund.

Toluna is available to residents of the US, Canada, the UK and most of Europe.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Extra Cash Challenge Twitter Identity


I have been using Twitter for a while and I am only really just getting the hang of it. However, it has occurred to me recently that my tweets appear somewhat random as I dabble in various areas and have several RSS feeds automatically sending tweets for me. So as a part of my current re-development of Extra Cash Challenge I have decided to create a separate Twitter identity dedicated entirely to making money online and to this blog.

This new identity is @XCashChallenge. By following me on Twitter you will catch the very latest in what I am up to. Anyone following me, I will follow back!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reviews of the Best Survey Panels #3 - New Vista

New Vista, formerly known as It's Your View, is a UK based survey panel. They offer a variety of consumer market research and lifestyle surveys which are easy to complete. Sign up is easy, but restricted to residents of the UK. Although they are not an international panel I have included them in this series because they are one of the best paying - they say that they pay £1 per approximately five minutes spent. This better than most other panels, although the down side is that the payment threshold is £50, so it takes a little while before you see any of your money. Surveys are also not as frequent as many other panels (I receive around two surveys per month), but the rate of screen out is much lower.

With all surveys you need to exercise care in completing them. However, with New Vista you need to be particularly careful as they include some questions to check out just how much care you are taking. If your answers conflict with each other then you will not receive your reward.

I think that New Vista are well worth doing surveys with as the rewards are that much higher than other panels.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reviews of the Best Survey Panels #2 - Global Test Market

Global Test Market are an international survey panel who offer regular market research surveys for which you are rewarded with Marketpoints. Once you reach 1000 points you can trade them in for cash - each point is worth $0.05, so 1000 point is $50. The surveys are mixture of views on products, advertising and movies. Like most survey panels you can expect to be screened out of many of the surveys you are offered, the difference here is that you will still receive 5 points if you are not eligible - not much, but it all counts.

Signing up is easy. There are a number of short profiling surveys on the site which they say helps match you with surveys. To be honest, I don't know how much difference these make, but I try and keep mine up to date anyway.

You will be sent your survey invitation by e-mail and it is just a case of clicking on the link. Alternatively you can log into the site and access them from there. When you redeem your points you will receive your payment by cheque converted into your local currency, although it this can take several weeks to arrive.

I have found Global Test Market to be one of the most reliable survey panels around and survey invitations are very regular.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Working on a New Look for Extra Cash Challenge

I have come to radical decision that I no longer like the template that I did have. The reasons for this are:
  1. It takes too long to load
  2. Too many other people have the same template
  3. I didn't like the look of the sidebars.
I wanted something that is clean and simple, and much easier to navigate. I couldn't find anything that I liked to download, so I have been trying to make one myself. I am not nearly clever enough to make one from scratch so I have taken the Blogger Minima template and have been modifying it with the help of template hacks that I have found on various blogs. I am still playing with it at the moment so at the time of writing you will see that most of the links across the top don't go anywhere and the sidebars are a bit empty. I am trying to avoid unnecessary clutter so I will thinking through carefully what will be going in.

You can see what I have been playing with on my experimental blog.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reviews of the Best Survey Panels #1 - Review of Lightspeed Surveys

I thought I would start my series of reviews of the best survey panels with Lightspeed. OK, so I have reviewed them here before, but it makes sense to cover them within this series as I have found them to be one of the best. Signing up is straightforward, and then you will soon start receiving surveys. The surveys you receive are genuine market research, generally asking your opinions on existing products, new product ideas or on advertising.

You will be informed of new surveys by e-mail, but you can also log into the website to see what surveys are available. On the website you will also see minipolls for which you are entered into prize draws (no, I have never won anything!) and short match surveys which help to match you with future surveys.

For each surveys you will be rewarded with points - unlike most other survey panels you are credited with these points instantly. You can then trade in the points for gifts or cash via Paypal. If you choose to take the cash option, there is a very low payment threshold (here in the UK you can cash your points at just £1) and you will receive your cash within 7 days.

Lightspeed is an international panel and is open to participants from many parts of the world.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Can You Really Make Any Money From Suveys? The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Paid Surveys

For many people, taking online paid surveys is their first step into the world of making money online. Well that's how it was for me anyway. It has to be said that people have a range of experiences with survey panels, some good, some bad, and some positively ugly! So, what does doing paid surveys involve anyway? Well, in order for companies to understand what the views of consumers (that's you and me!) are, what they want, how they might view a particular new product idea, how they view particular advertising, etc. they need to go out and ask them. If they fail to do this and try and guess what the consumer wants, then there is a good chance their product will fail. Paid surveys are one way thay these companies can achieve this, and achieve it quickly.

The good thing for us is that it gives us the opportunity to make a little extra money, although often the rewards are not paid in cash but in vouchers or gifts. However, you should not expect to make vast sums from these surveys - most pay between $1 to $5 per survey. You may see ads suggesting you can make a living from doing surveys - all I can say is that this has not been my experience. And I belong to a lot of survey panels!

Most survey panels are about legitimate market research. These panels operate strict privacy policies and will not share your details with anyone and are not concerned with selling you anything. Some survey companies are actually more concerned with selling your details on to fill your inbox up with spam. There are also a few companies that present themselves as legitimate market research, but are actually about selling you stuff.

My Tips for Checking Out a Survey Panel
  • Read through all the information on the website to check whether they are actually concerned with market research.
  • Read the Terms and Conditions carefully
  • Carefully read the Privacy Policy - if you see the phrase "we may share your details with trusted partners" (or somthing similar), then avoid.
  • Read reviews of survey panels.
 Although I am not doing as many surveys as I used to due to lack of time, I still do them and they still bring in some useful extra cash. Personally, I think that it is certainly worth doing surveys for bringing some extra money, just don't give up the day job!!

I am intending to review the best survey panels (and couple of the worst) that I have used over the coming weeks. The experiences that I will describe will be mine and mine alone, so if you have a different experience then please leave a comment to let me know.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Monthly Total for September

September has been another pretty poor month in terms of what I have actually received. I have made a couple of affiliate sales, but have not yet met the payout criteria for Clickbank or other affiliate programs that I registered with. Here are the totals anyway:

Surveys: £5 (Just the Answer)
Squidoo: £0.90
Private Advertising: £4.87

Total = £10.77 (or $17.19)

Pretty disappointing really. I am still working to my plan and I am hoping it will start to pay off soon. At least I know I will beat that total in October - I have made more than double the September figure today!