A lot of folks began their first few exploits in learning how to make money online, making many stops and many failures along the way. On their journey, sooner or later, they typically run into the idea that everyone eventually tries… paid online surveys… It seems like an easy, care-free, low-input way to make some extra cash. So the allure is quite understandable… but are paid online surveys legit?
I’ve tried them too… 🙂 Here’s my take…
I’ve tried many paid survey sites. I’ve tried some of the more popular ones, as well as a few of the newcomers with varied success. I visited my very first survey website back in 2009. I forgot the name, and I’m not even sure if it’s still around, but it doesn’t really matter. The concept of making money full-time, and then not having to “get a job” never really occurred to me at that time.
The site required you to register and then create a profile. After you’ve created a profile, you were immediately given certain tasks to do, whether it be watching TV, doing a survey, or playing an online game. Doing these tasks would earn you a certain amount of virtual currency.
If you think about it, it was kinda like “Swagbucks.” It took awhile, but you could earn a few dollars by doing enough tasks. At the time, I wasn’t seriously trying to earn anything. It just seemed like something fun to do while I was bored. I mean, I was always online… so why not earn a few bucks while I’m at it?
What exactly are these paid survey sites, and how do they work?
Like football, market competition is a game of inches. Every little advantage counts, and could potentially make or break you. In a fast-paced business world where every other company has the potential to steal your revenue and knock your business of its feet, companies need to utilize their best resources and stay ahead of the game.
A company has many options and tools to use when it comes to testing a potential product against a targeted demographic. There are always focus groups, which are live testing groups full of a targeted group of people who get to try out the product for the first time and offer their valued opinion. Then there’s interviews, where volunteers get paid for a questionnaire.
And then there’s online market research.
When it comes to market research, surveys in particular can be a quick and easy way for companies to gather info about consumers, whether it be their race, their gender, occupations, interests, or other categories. Companies can send you these surveys through email or any other online medium which gives them a wealth of access to targeted demographics that could potentially save them millions while earning them millions more.
However, offering surveys by email or by ads that internet users may or may not come across, is not enough to drive internet traffic towards these surveys. I mean who even likes surveys nowadays, or even pays attention to them anymore? Whenever I see a request for a survey in my inbox, or a survey that pops up after an online purchase, I typically go “meh,” and click away very quickly. In today’s online world, unsolicited surveys can come across as very spammy. No thanks.
So how do you capture the short attention span of an average internet user?
Tell them they can get paid for it! Offering a survey to internet users as well as payment for their time, provides an incentive for more people to participate, and therefore more opportunities to collect valuable consumer data from a variety of people. Paid online surveys are a way to entice and draw in a wide variety of people from all parts of life towards an activity that they otherwise wouldn’t have been interested in.
The power of the internet has allowed many companies to capitalize on the masses. Likewise, in the way that it has also allowed the average person to capitalize on the activities of the big corporations. Where there is payment, there is also opportunity, and people eventually came up with the idea that there could be potential for easy income.
Why do people take part in paid online surveys? Are they even worth it?
Simple… People like the idea of working at home and earning an extra or even a full time income. The freedom of earning a side income can be especially alluring, but can it really replace your job?
The average survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and depending on the type of survey you took part in, you could earn anywhere from 1¢ (which is typical), to $5 (a little on the rarer side). You’re looking at a ball park estimate of 50¢ to $4 an hour. Doesn’t quite look very enticing, but it’s still something.
So lets say that the average person can devote at most 4 hours out of their entire day to taking online surveys for cash. That’s a ball park estimate of $2 to $16 a day. All in a hard days work eh? An Average of $270 a month is an okay addition to your paycheck, as far as paying for groceries and/or maybe one utility bill, but it doesn’t seem like something that’ll ever be able to replace your day job.
And that’s if you even get approved… REJECTED! 🙁
Hold your horses now. Before you can even think about that earning scenario, you have to consider the fact that most of these surveys have a pre-screening process in order to sift through the unwanted demographics and find, then approve only the participants that fit their criteria. If approved, you will be granted an opportunity to take more surveys.
Most of these pre screening sections of surveys take an average of 5 minutes to complete, and a lot of times these surveys will end up with you not fitting the desired demographic and therefore getting you disqualified from the survey. Getting denied several times over many hours can be quite frustrating.
Their are some survey matching sites that will have pre screening questionnaires and will reward you for trying even if you get rejected, but most will only pay you a single cent for your time. However, those same sites will also have a minimum payout of up to $10, or even $25. How long do you think it’ll actually take to reach $25? That seems like fighting a losing battle both time and money wise to me.
Are paid online surveys even worth it for companies?
Now let’s take a deeper look into the concept of making money online through paid surveys. Given the above information and ballpark scenarios, the cost(time wise) to benefit ratio isn’t looking too appealing, especially if you factor in getting disqualified. In order to maximize the possibility of profiting from online surveys as much as possible, people have become very creative and crafty when it comes to trying to produce an income through these surveys.
The truth is, that rather than providing these companies with usable and honest info, these small payouts and the potential to somewhat maximize them, entices a lot of survey participants to cheat.
If a survey taker is sure or has an inkling that he or she may not meet the required criteria to be qualified and therefore accepted for participation in a particular survey, as well as more opportunities to take more surveys, they will definitely take the opportunity to out right lie if it will earn them a few bucks.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way…
There are many ways that a person might maximize their success with earning money from online surveys. A person might create multiple email accounts and even invite some family members to participate as well. These multiple accounts give potemtial access to multiple bundles of surveys and therefore multiple bundles of rewards. Still a lot of time for very little payout.
When companies accept surveys with falsified answers, it leaves these companies with useless market research information. Hundreds of thousands of consumer data may be rendered unusable and may end up being a lose-lose situation for businesses and consumers. consumers lose a valuable and potentially useful product targeted specifically to and tailored for them, and businesses waste time and money crafting these surveys that are only going to be taken advantage of.
Other than wasting my time, are there any dangers or risks?
Where there is potential for people to earn money online, you can bet that there will be plenty of scammers out there hoping to cash in on the naiveté of a lot of online marketing newbies.
Plenty of so called “surveys” will ask you for your number and email. I’d be very careful about giving out personal info, because there is a chance that this info could be sold to spammers, and these “surveys” could actually be setting you up for an inbox full of spam!
Spam=junk=trash… All a nuisance
“Earn $1,000 a week from the comfort of your home!” That sure does sound somewhat enticing, doesn’t it? Luckily, most modern email management systems have spam folders that catch junk emails like these before you even read them. Even so, the risk of these “middle men” are very real and you should never pay any site that claims that they can help connect you with paid surveys.
Are surveys worth your time? No. It is extremely rare to find a survey that you actually qualify for, and even if you do, your time is only worth a few cents. You are much better off working for minimum wage. I’m sure you, like everyone else, are not here to waste any time. There are better and more lucrative ways to make money online. Your greatest tool when it comes to making money online is your gut. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Stay sharp, and keep getting back up when you fall.
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