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Paid Online Surveys: Too Good to Be True?

Paid online surveys featured image
Paid online surveys are incredibly popular, but are they the real deal? Image credit: Emily Morter

Whenever you’re sitting around scrolling through TV channels, wasting time, you could be turning this time into money! Through online paid surveys, you can earn up to £200 on your computer.

If you want to gain some extra pocket money, or if you’re a business owner looking at how you can improve your sales, you’ve come to the right place. Paid online surveys have benefits for both the producer and the consumer, which is why they’re very popular.

You may have wondered what all the hype is for?

Paid online surveys are beneficial for the consumer as well as the business. If a business is thinking about putting out a new product in the market, they need to make sure that there is demand for it so that minimal time, effort and money is spent on unprofitable products.

To encourage the audience to participate in the survey, companies use paid online surveys to get fast and accurate results.

How Online Surveys Work

The need is there for businesses to gather opinions, and people want to earn money. All paid online surveys do is facilitate a process that offers a platform that fulfils the needs in both ends of the bargain.

Survey sites are the main facilitators in this process, through them the business becomes in contact with random consumers and generates their market research. At that point, the survey is sent to a group of people who complete it in return for money and other prizes.

The size of the survey group depends on the business’ budget and goals.

Once users complete the survey, they are rewarded with either monetary prizes or a point system that can be redeemed for other prizes such as airline miles, or gift cards.

Paid online surveys growth stats
Market research is a growing industry, especially in English speaking markets. Image credit: Consultancy.org

The Business Perspective on Online Surveys

During market research, businesses need to determine whether or not there is demand for their product in the market. Through online paid surveys they can ensure that people are giving their honest opinion on whether or not there is demand for the product.

What better way to learn about consumer behavior than asking the consumer? By asking random people about their daily lifestyles, their interests and perspectives you can determine whether or not your product would succeed in the market.

Businesses spend a lot of money on market research. The market research industry is a big one and companies spend millions to conduct focus groups, product testing, interviews and other means of generating information about the market.

These kinds of tests can determine a lot of factors and features for products in the making. Nowadays, many companies are turning to online market research in order to save money, time and effort. That is where paid online surveys come to play.

Companies pay a lot of attention to market research because of the data it generates and the impact it could have on making important business decisions. When doing so, businesses want to minimise the amount of money, time and effort spent.

Online surveys are usually a lot cheaper than offline surveys and other forms of market research. While they may be slightly less accurate, they form an important part of the businesses’ understanding of the market.

The Consumer Perspective

Consumers already spend a large portion of their days online, watching YouTube and scrolling through memes. Paid online surveys allows consumers to turn this time into money. Answering surveying is annoying, but it’s not difficult.

And it seems a lot more interesting and attractive when there’s money involved.

While most websites have a limit on how many surveys you can take per month, you can earn a significant amount of money depending on the website you use and the kind of surveys you take.

Online survey websites offer more than just money, you can be rewarded with vouchers, gifts, and other rewards. In some cases, monthly or quarterly prizes are handed out and you can be rewarded with an opportunity to enter the draw for it.

Although beware of the scams that trick you into doing the survey without really giving anything in return.

Paid surveys can either be online or offline. Offline surveys could be done in person, on the phone or via mail. Online paid surveys are usually done through survey panel websites.

Some argue that online paid surveys are better than offline ones because you get to them at your own pace, and it’s more indirect and personal. Unlike the offline survey, online surveys are usually impersonal and systematic so the opinion received by the business is usually unbiased.

Getting in the online paid survey business is simple, and to make it even simpler, we’ve broken it down into five steps.

Find a Survey Site

Take this step very seriously, find a website that is suitable and offers surveys that you can answer. There are different types of surveys offered so it would be worth it to take a look and make sure that you’ve picked the most suitable website for you.

More importantly, make sure that you are not being scammed! Some websites pretend to be trusted but will actually waste your time and effort and give you nothing in return. They might even just be trying to steal your data.

Search for security badges on the website’s homepage. This is a good indicator of whether or not the website should be trusted. Also, take a look at their privacy policy to ensure that your confidentiality is secured.

Register

Follow the steps on the websites to sign up as a member on the survey site and start taking part in online paid surveys. For many sites, signing up is free so try to avoid websites that ask you for money, when you really don’t need to be paying anything.

In fact, if they ask for money, there’s a very good chance that you’re getting scammed.

Activate your Email

Most sites ask you to activate your email in order to verify that your email is real and allow you to activate your account. It usually takes a few days for the site to start sending you surveys to complete, you don’t worry if you don’t receive any at once.

Once this is done, you are officially a member, and can start taking online surveys and start earning some cash!

Stay Active

Earning money doesn’t come easy, you need to stay active and put in effort to get something in return. This entails staying active via email and checking your emails regularly, most websites will send you surveys to complete and you can complete them at your pace.

But remember that some surveys are available for a limited time so you need to be active, quick and concise so you don’t miss your chance at gaining rewards.

Start Making Some Money!

Now, your payment is probably on its way! If you follow these steps, you’ll be surely compensated for your efforts. The input you’ve provided on the survey can now be used by businesses to improve their performance.

Keep This In Mind!

When signing up for paid online survey sites, there are some points you should keep in mind to make sure you get paid the largest amount possible, and actually make your time worthwhile. Here are some pro-tips to get you started:

  • Look for the sites where you become eligible for the largest number of surveys.
  • Don’t sign up for websites that ask you to pay for a membership.
  • Look for the safety badge on the website to make sure your privacy is protected.
  • Set up an email address specially for online surveys so everything is all one place.
  • Search for reviews on the survey site before signing up
  • If you have an opportunity to fill out a survey directly through the business (not through a survey site), take it!

Unfortunately, There Are Downsides…

The main problem with paid online surveys is probably the concept of rewarding consumers for their answers. This gives them the incentive to complete as many surveys as possible and ultimately give them the motive to cheat.

By cheating, they could be answering surveys quickly and randomly and so the results for the businesses turn out to be slightly inaccurate.

Another form of cheating could be done through signing up for the same website through different email addresses and lying about demographics in order to receive more surveys.

Unfortunately, these means of cheating are becoming popular as people realize the effectiveness of paid online surveys. Although many survey sites are doing a lot to stop it.

Scams are definitely on the list of downsides. The market research business is a huge one, within that industry, there are many firms that actually reward participants for the inputs, while others are solely there to rip you off.

Fake paid online surveys
There are also countless fake online surveys out there. Image credit: PCMag

Often, when people hear of a means to make money quickly, they tend to overlook these possibilities and end up getting ripped off.

Usually, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it’s fake news and a sign for you to steer clear of it.

Also, if the site asks you to pay to participate, it is more likely that you will not get your money back fairly. You’ll likely get the same amount of money (or more) on other websites for free.

Can I Live On Paid Online Surveys?

The short and current answer is no. Paid online surveys are a great way to add to your salary or pocket money, or could be a nice addition to your savings.

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While you can get some rewards from paid online surveys, you're unlikely to make any significant money. Image credit: The Balance

However, it is not a practical source of income, as it will not provide you with enough money to sustain a moderate lifestyle.

There are a few exceptions to the rule of course, you’re bound to find someone who is actually living off completing surveys and taking part in focus groups, although it’s unlikely that they’re representative.

Thanks to the internet, we now have ways to make easy money, and businesses have easier and more efficient ways to conduct market research.

Now that you know a little more about paid online surveys, get in the game while you can and make some extra money!

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