Can I Really Make Money Taking Surveys?
Like many of you, I am always on the lookout for ways to earn a little extra money — and being a stay-at-home mom, I was looking for something I could do from home. I started my internet research approximately 1 1/2 years ago. The information I found along the way was interesting, encouraging, and a little disappointing. Here is what I have found.
What does a survey company do?
Survey companies are hired by other companies to prepare paid surveys for new products or television ads before they share them with the masses. Depending on the survey company, in a typical day you could watch a movie preview, read about a new cereal, share your opinions about cell phones, or watch a video about current affairs.
What will I get paid?
Survey companies pay in a variety of ways. Some will give you points for each survey that you complete that may be redeemed for cash, merchandise, or entries into giveaways. Some companies will pay you directly when you have reached a pre-set amount of banked money. Still others only give you chances to enter giveaways. Knowing ahead of time what each company offers will help you to make an informed decision on which ones to sign up with. An added bonus to participating in surveys is that many times companies want you to try their new products, so you will receive free items in the mail to test and give your feedback on. In recent months I have tested shoes, gum, deodorant, toilet paper, make-up, perfume, frozen food, and dog food.
How much time will this take?
That really depends on you. I have personally signed up with over 40 survey companies. All of the companies will e-mail you when there is a survey available. Some companies will send you multiple surveys a day while others might send you one once a month. Many of the companies will tell you ahead of time how long they estimate the survey will take to complete. I find that most of the time it does not take me as long as the estimate to complete the survey. The more time you have to invest in taking surveys, the more rewards you will receive.
How do I get started?
I have compiled a long list of survey companies that I personally am a member of and I know to be legitimate. Each company will ask you to fill out a demographic profile. The reason for this is so that they can send you surveys that you will qualify for. If you don’t smoke, there is no reason to send you a survey about cigarettes. Keep in mind that there will still be many surveys that you will not qualify for. I qualify for about 40% of the ones I try.
I recently spoke to Brad White from United Sample, a company that hosts several on-line survey companies, and he said that 70% of the people that sign up with his company never take the time to fill out the profile and never do another survey. There could be many reasons for this. Perhaps the excitement of earning money wears off quickly, or the time commitment is more than some people anticipated.
Do I need to pay anything?
Never. If you come across a survey company that is asking you for money, stay clear. Legitimate companies need you and are willing to pay you for your time.
My Personal Favorites
Here is a list of survey companies that I have had the most success:
- Valued Opinions
- Pinecone Research
- Opinion Outpost
I took the time to calculate the amount of money I received in 2009 from taking on-line surveys and it was over $1,000. Not bad for a stay-at-home mom doing this in between cooking, cleaning, and shuttling kids around. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit. You can do it too!
This is a guest post by Katie Adauto. Katie is a stay-at-home mom of two great teenagers and is avid about finding the best deals! She enjoys sharing her tips at Mom's Fun Money.