What Are Paid Online Surveys?
If you have been looking for ways to make money online then you have probably encountered online paid surveys before. These are surveys or opinion polls that are comissioned by market research companies on behalf of their clients that are sent to thousands of people online in order for them to make informed decisions about thier newest product or how well a certain kind of advertising is working. The people being sent these surveys need to be incentivised or they will probably not respond.
Who comissions an online survey?
You can get paid for surveys comissioned by almost any company producing consumer goods or services. Some company sectors include shampoo manufaturers, car makers, travel agents, government agencies, mobile phone manufacturers, broadband providers, energy companies and clothing retailers. The list really does go on and on.
How do Paid Online Surveys work?
The method of delivery tends to vary depending on the survey company but what will generally happen is you will register with the company for free (you should never pay any money to register with any survey site) and sometime after registration you will receive an invitation to take a survey. There is usually a link to click directly through to the survey contained in the email so you usually don’t have to log into the site to take the survey. Once the survey is completed, your answers will be recorded and payment will be made (the level of payment is usually mentioned at the start of the survey). Once you have taken enough surveys to accumulate enough points to be able to cash out, you can log onto the survey site and request payment. Depending on the company involved this can be direct money transfer, paypal, cheque or vouchers.
How much will you get paid?
When completing online surveys for money in the UK, you will find that the actual payment amount varies wildly between different survey companies but you can generally expect between 20p and £2 for the vast majority of surveys you take. I have seen several people stating in massive bold type that you can earn between £5 and £50 (or even more!) per survey. If you see something like this be very wary. Most paid survey sites would not pay anything near this amount for just an online survey and anyone trying to tell you otherwise is at best being misleading and at worst possibly trying to scam you.
Some surveys can result in you being invited to focus groups, however, and in this case it is not unusual for you to be paid in the region of £50. You will generally be invited with a group to a location (usually in London or other large cities) where you will discuss something related to the survey you took. This is very rare and in over five years of taking online surveys has happened to me only once. You may also be invited to an online discussion group where a discussion will take place online and for this, payment can be up to about £20.
There are other fringe benefits too. I have been invited to take part in online forums for new products, and one fairly common occurrence is the product test. This involves the company sending out a product related to the survey you took in order for you to test it. A follow up survey will then be sent to get your opinion. I have tested razors, crisps, chocolate, bagels, cereal and much more from these product tests. All the survey sites seem to do them and it seems to be down to luck as to when you get sent them.
I am signed up to about 50 sites and I make about £850 a year on this. I am employed full time though, and it would be fairly easy for someone with more time on their hands to make more than £1,000 a year with online surveys. As I said, you will not make a full time income doing this but it is handy for some extras – I bought a laptop and a smartphone last year, for example.
The reward method for online paid surveys varies from company to company. You can take online surveys for cash, particularly if you have a paypal account as many online survey sites pay by paypal but you can also get cash via a direct bank transfer or by being sent a cheque. You can also take online surveys for vouchers, and these range from Amazon to Tesco (and many others). Usually, however, you will be able to have a choice of the above payment methods for most paid surveys.
The Dreaded Screen-out
Once you have taken a few surveys, you will almost certainly have been screened out of some of them. Each survey is looking for a certain number of respondents from certain backgrounds before it closes. Sometimes you do not fit the requirements for the surveys (you don’t own a car for a petrol survey for example) and sometimes the surveys are full for people fitting your criteria (30 year old women who earn £25K and have no children for example) and in each case, after you have answered a few questions, you will be screened out of the survey and not receive the incentive. Usually you will receive a token amount of 10p or you will be entered into a draw to win some money (I have never, ever won any of these draws!) but it is still rather irritating. Usually this will happen after only a few questions but I have had it happen to me after about half of the survey has been completed. As with most things, not all online survey sites are created equal and some are much worse than others so check my reviews for more info.
Are Paid Online Surveys for You?
Of course this is something only you can answer but in order to make any decent amounts of money, it does get time consuming and you will never be able to make a living by doing online surveys alone. As part of a wider range of money making ideas, however, they can be useful. There are no outlays of costs (assuming you already have a computer and broadband) and they can be done while sat in front of the TV or in your lunch hour at work so there is really nothing to lose.
- Sign up to a lot of survey sites – one site alone is not going to make you much money, you need to sign up to a lot before you make any real returns.
- I’ve said it before but never pay out any money to join survey sites. Any legitimate site will not ask for any.
- Set up a webmail account for surveys. I have never actually had any spam at all from these surveys but if you sign up to a lot of sites, you will get a lot of emails of survey invites which may clog up your inbox.
So, if you think taking online surveys for money might be for you, then take a look at my online survey reviews and pick the companies that you like the look of and join up! Please note that I only include UK online surveys for money and at this time do not have any links for people in other countries or for survey sites that only offer prize draws. If there is a desire for me to cover prize draw surveys, contact me and I will have a look into them. I would advise reading some sort of review as some companies are much better than others and it also removes the possibility that you are signing up to some sort of scam website.