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.

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