I discovered paid surveys when I started to look out for work-at-home schemes. It was an easy option at that time: first they did not ask me to take any test, secondly, I did not have to declare any pre-existing skills, and finally it did not involve investment in any special product.
Naturally, I got myself busy signing up one after another one after reading countless number of online surveys for money sites reviews on SurveySatrap.com. Ultimately, it hit upon me that there is no chance I could make hundreds of dollars every week (as claimed by those irresponsible ads) by simply handling all these questionnaires competently!
Despite my early enthusiasm, I should have better anticipated all sorts of issues with such nature of the work. First off, I found myself failed at the qualifying point for most of the surveys that interested me. In too many cases, I was completely oblivious to this fact until a system triggered alert warned me of that, by then I was already 10 minutes into the surveys.
OK, this problem was not universal as sometimes I was only alerted after “15 minutes” down the questionnaire, but you got my point! That got me really pissed because the survey has extracted valuable inputs from me without paying me. I also reject that notion “you do not qualify” when the system decided to present me with the survey questions and happily stored away my well considered responses this far.
One other thing about paid surveys is the pathetic pay. If you have prior experience, then you know that it doesn’t pay well. Most surveys are designed to compel you to be in front of your PC for some good 15 to 30 minutes, prompting you with mundane and repetitive questions. And you usually got a miniscule $1 or $2 for every survey.
I think surveys of this kind of price tags are not worth going for — especially in consideration that the likelihood of disqualification is high. Some panels also completely do away with cash — they award you “points” instead. To make things complex, you are not allowed to turn these points into cash – as the only redemption option is to exchange points with “stuff” that they hawk. So you can never be sure on exactly how much you make on hourly or daily basis. I once took the trouble to equate the “stuff” with a dollar amount. In my best assessment, I often made no more than a dollar or two for every survey completed.
Despite my misgivings on paid surveys, it is undeniable that certain folks actually find pleasure in tackling the surveys and they are proud of having a say on the direction of the products and advertising campaigns of the companies involved.
If you fit into such profile and enjoy being part of this collective voice that influences future products and services, then paid surveys may be your thing. There is no reward too small for somebody who takes pride in doing things that are close to the heart. Still, some tinkering on the expectation may be advisable as you know your immediate reward would not be significant in any measure and your best bet is perhaps the occasional free product trials.
With my observation, it is no surprise that I have since found other online money-making opportunities. However, if there is a survey invitation in my inbox which promises more than $5 payout, I think I would still give it a go. Sad to say, such invitations do not come often enough. All in all, if my experience fails to dissuade you and you are still keen on survey and market research companies, check out 20/20 Research and Pinecone, they may be worth your while.
Words have it that 20/20 usually pay really well (could go up to more than $50 a piece), and Pinecone guarantees minimum of $3 for every survey completed. While $3 is still not exactly a fantastic deal, you are assured of prompt payment from Pinecone into you PayPal after every survey completion — sometimes within the next day! Too bad Pinecone is never in a hurry to recruit new members. But stay alert and keep a regular look out for their banner. When you see it (it could appear anywhere on the web), it is recruitment time at Pinecone.