Online surveys have been around for a very long time, with millions of people participating in them and getting paid on a daily basis. Although it’s an easy and seemingly harmless way to earn some pocket change, paid online surveys have their downsides as well. I’ve participated in a number of them, and in this review, I’ll reveal both the good and the bad of the online survey world.
What Exactly ARE Paid Online Surveys Sites?
Websites that pay their users to complete online surveys are fittingly called “survey sites”. These websites allow you to sign up and begin taking a variety of surveys. Some have specific rules in place where you have to be a certain age to participate, but in general these sites are open to those 18+ years old, and in some cases, younger.
When you register, you’ll have to give out tons of personal information such as your full name, your date of birth, and even your street address. If a survey site doesn’t ask for this information when you first sign up, you can expect they’ll want it once you’re a member. They need all this information so they can link you to the most relevant surveys for your demographic. And, once you’re inside a survey, expect a whole slew of very personal questions.
Unfortunately, survey sites are not as great as you might think. For instance, they have the right to make you disqualify from any survey, and this happens quite often. On top of that, the pay is terrible if you do happen to successfully complete a survey. How does $1.50/hour sound? That’s the reality with these sites. The pay is almost never worth the time. As you can see, survey sites have some major downsides and I’ll explain these faults in more detail below.
Why You Can Disqualify from Surveys
The harsh truth is that for most people, completing a survey without disqualifying first is a very uncommon occurrence. In fact, I’ve disqualified from the last 5 surveys I’ve attempted.
The reason for this is that the research companies conducting these surveys are only looking for opinions from specific people. If I get a survey about TV shows but I don’t watch TV, I’m not much help to the researchers, am I? I’ll inevitably be disqualified early on during the initial qualification questions.
Other things you’ll often get disqualified for are questions like your race, income level and whether or not you’re the primary decision maker in your household. Again, these survey companies are looking for opinions from very specific people.
Your demographic, however, is not the only culprit. Another reason why people get disqualified is because they sped through the survey questions, and accidentally contradicted one of their previous responses. Oftentimes you’ll get 2 very similar questions in the same survey, and if you answer each one differently they will be able to detect your dishonesty, which will result in you being disqualified.
You can even disqualify for providing inconsistent answers across separate surveys. So, for example, if you answered that you’re 26 years old in one survey, but in the next one you say that you’re 69, it’s not unlikely that you’ll disqualify, and in some cases, be restricted from taking any more surveys at all.
If you don’t mind wasting your precious time on multiple surveys just to disqualify from most of them, then I can safely say that you’ll love survey sites. If that’s not the case though, consider yourself warned.
Why Survey Sites Pay So Low
Like I mentioned earlier, $1.50 per hour is pretty standard. Once in a while there will be surveys paying more like $5/hour, but there will also be some paying just $0.50/hour. Generally, the pay depends on the survey site itself. Some pay better than others.
The reason why the pay is so bad is because they are paying for your opinion. You know what they say about opinions: everybody’s got ‘em. Now, your opinions are valuable for the research companies, which is the only reason paid surveys exist. These companies need to study their target audience somehow, and surveys offer an excellent way to do this.
However, companies can’t afford to spend tons of money gathering the public’s opinion, and therefore they only pay the survey sites a small amount for each successfully completed survey. Which leads me to another reason why surveys pay so bad:
The survey sites themselves need to make money. You only get a portion of what the research company paid the survey site, so if you complete a survey worth 50 cents, the survey site likely got closer to a dollar. They have to stay in business, after all.
If 1), you don’t mind disqualifying from most of the surveys you attempt and 2), you’re okay with earning far below minimum wage for your opinions, definitely give survey sites a go and I can guarantee you’ll be satisfied.
The Good Things About Paid Survey Sites
- Survey sites throw all your answers into the vast pool of other people’s answers, and therefore your personal information is decentralized and is actually safe for the most part. This does not include any personal information you gave them during the sign-up process or right after it though.
- Your opinion will be heard. Sometimes you’ll get the chance to share your thoughts on a new product, for example.
- Once in a while, you’ll be one of the first people to know of a company’s new product or a brand-new website. This is because the company/website owner wants to see what people think before they release it to the world.
- You’re helping companies and research organizations by providing your honest thoughts and opinions.
Paid Survey Sites – Pros vs. Cons
- For the most part, survey sites are free
- It’s very easy work
- You’re getting paid for your opinion
- Your voice will be heard
- The personal information you have to provide is extensive
- You’ll likely disqualify from most of the surveys you attempt
- The pay is terrible
- There are much better things to spend your time on
Maybe it’s just me, but I think survey sites are a waste of your valuable time which could be spent on much more productive things. Paid survey sites are a legitimate way to make money online, but also one of the slowest ways.
I know of a much more profitable way to earn an income online. Do you have a passion or hobby? You can actually get paid a lot of money writing about this passion or hobby of yours. In fact, you can turn it into your own online business that has the potential to generate a full-time income.
Building your own online business is a lot easier than you might think. All it requires is your own website (which can be built in under 10 minutes), and proper training. If you work hard and give yourself time, you can definitely earn a living online. Click the link at the bottom of this post if you’re interested in learning more.
Have you ever tried online surveys before? What are some of your experiences? Feel free to leave a comment below, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂