Can You Get Paid To Do Free Online Surveys?

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-05-3025

Earn a little extra income by getting paid to do free online surveys.

This is something you’ll find a lot of people discussing online. There are plenty of people out there who claim to make a nice second income from a variety of activities including blogging, mystery shopping, or earning points or cash through rewards and cash back sites like BigCrumbs and Ebates. But a fair number also claim that they earn good money by filling out surveys online. But is this to be believed? Is it really such a good opportunity or is there more to it than meets the eye?

My Experience With Free Online Surveys

I’ve tried this in the past and it is very easy to get seduced into thinking that you can make a heck of a lot of money with it. I’m sure some people do, but they must be in the minority. You see, the thing with online surveys is that not every survey will appeal to every person.

When I was trying it out, I used to get sent quite a few of them every day. But what would usually happen is that I would get past the initial stage of the survey and it would say something like “thanks, but you are not the kind of person we are looking for”.

Ouch. I can understand that they must be looking to survey a particular section of the population, and I won’t always fit into that category. So in general, this could mean that you and I may get a smaller return from filling out online surveys than we may initially expect.

free online surveys

Get Paid To Do Free Online Surveys Through These Sites

The good news is that there are lots of websites that are looking for people to help fill out surveys of all kinds. Some of these also offer other money making opportunities you can try out, such as making money from performing searches online. The only downside to this is that you will normally make no more than a few pennies a day from your efforts. The surveys are definitely better at bringing in the money if you can find and join a few sites. Here are a few of the usual suspects:

  • My Points: This is a site that offers a points program. You receive points by doing a variety of things, such as shopping, reading email offers, using coupons and taking surveys. It’s a bonus if you can actually earn points when you use a savings coupon at a grocery store.
  • Memolink: Memolink is another established site in its niche. Once more, you earn points by reading email, answering surveys, going shopping and doing online searches. They pretty much compete with My Points in many respects. While I think that My Points is easier to use, Memolink seems to represent more merchants (for your shopping expeditions).
  • Creations Rewards: This is yet another rewards site in the same space. Take their surveys, shop and earn points!

There are a slew of other sites that operate under the same premise, which you can read about in our article “MyPoints, MemoLink, MySurvey Online Shopping Sites For Point Rewards“.

Tips On Making Money With Online Surveys

There are a couple of things to bear in mind if you do want to start taking some surveys for profit.

1. Join many sites. First, you need to think about joining more than one site if you are serious about trying to make a proper second income doing this. Now we know that you won’t be eligible for all the surveys you receive, so it stands to reason that you should try to determine how to make yourself available for as many of these surveys as possible.

2. Set a special email account for surveys. Another good pointer to remember is to set up a new email account for your survey sites. Never use an existing email account for this because you’ll end up having trouble with managing your inbox due to the deluge of survey offers you’re bound to receive. By setting up one dedicated email account for all your survey sites, you can get into the habit of checking it once or twice a day.

3. Act quickly as survey offers expire. The more often you check your email account, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to participate in newly released surveys. Quite often the creators of a particular survey have a quota of responses they’re trying to fill, and are only looking for a limited number of replies before they stop. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to manage these tasks and the more surveys you’ll get to do.

4. Keep your eyes open for good survey sites. One final point to think about: if you should find that a particular survey site isn’t giving you the response you’re expecting after a couple of months, then ditch it and move on to another one. You should aim to become a member of all the best survey sites online, so it may take a while before you find them all.

Contributing Writer: Allison W.

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Men's Online Magazine May 30, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I used to do this quite often a couple of years ago and I was making about $100 a month. May 31, 2010 at 5:18 am

I have to say that you CAN make good money doing surveys. I make on avg $300 a month and this is not including all the free products that i am given to try on a weekly basis. This week i am testing microwave popcorn, paper towels, & scrubbing bubbles.
Last week it was hair color, crackers, & candles. I got hubby involved a few weeks ago and he has been asked to test ketchup & sports drinks.

The biggest thing is you have to prove yourself to the companies before they get serious and start sending you the ‘good’ ones. I have been doing them for about 2 yrs now and i too started out with the .50-$1.00 a shot, being disqualified throughout half of them. But i stuck with it and now i am getting the cream of the crop.

I just completed a $75 2-week study where i logged on once a day and gave opinions on tv (10 mins tops), i did a 45 min focus group on insurance where i was given a free web cam to participate and $150, i logged my beverage consumption for a week on a PDA (supplied by company) and was paid $60, i currently am doing a wrapping paper survey for the next 3 months and every time i make a purchase i log in and fill out a few questions, the reward $25 (even if i make not a single purchase in this period) and it goes on and on…(and these are separate from the $300+ i make just for taking odds & ends at $3-10 a survey.

I suggest if you have the time and patience, get in good with the co’s. Be willing to take the lower paying surveys in the beginning, be timely on getting them completed. If asked to test a product make sure you fill out the surveys involved ASAP. Companies are looking for people they can count on and if they think they can count on you they will use you often.

Diasdiem May 31, 2010 at 8:44 am

I currently belong to MyPoints and Pine Cone Research. In my opinion, MyPoints isn’t really worth it. I’ve gotten most of my points from the advertising emails they send you. Most of the time I don’t qualify for the surveys. The thing is, I find out I don’t qualify for them after entering quite a lot of information. And this is not just information about the demographic I belong to, this is info about products I use. They’re clearly getting marketing info from me, but then say I don’t qualify. Which is kinda scammy. At least with MyPoints you get points even if you don’t qualify, which is more than a lot of other sites. But I’ve been doing it for almost a year and haven’t even gotten enough for a $25 gift card yet.

Pine Cone Research is a better deal. They only take new surveys periodically, and you have to find their ads to join. But you get around 1-3 product surveys a month, and you get paid $3 per survey. Again, not a lot, but it’s cash. By that alone, I’ve made more on Pine Cone Research than I have on MyPoints.

I don’t really think online surveys are a good way of making a lot of extra income. You’re not going to be able to pay your bills on it, but you will be able to get a little extra cash.

sovi May 31, 2010 at 9:35 am

Hmmm… Seems that I have to try this out to see it for myself ! 🙂

Funny about Money May 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Sounds like an inefficient use of your time. One fellow reader reports earning $300/month plus various products that one might or might not voluntarily choose to use. If you figure 10 minutes a day, 7 days week, for the $75 two-week gig, that’s $32.60 an hour. Not bad! But it takes two years of dinking around to get to that point. If you averaged your hourly income over a period that includes the unproductive start-up time, it might not look that great.

Around here, you can clean houses for $100 apiece, and you don’t have to pay for a computer and a DSL connection to do it. Three houses in a month– not three clients, who would hire you to come in once a week or once every two weeks — would pay you $300. Three clients hiring you once very two weeks would generate $600 a month, most or all of which would be paid in cash, under the table. Get them to hire you weekly, and you’ll be earning twelve hundred tax-free dollars a month. More work, yes. But the pay starts immediately and no capital investment is required.

Silicon Valley Blogger May 31, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I agree that it’s not for everyone. I think that with anything else, there are those who master a system for earning extra income a particular way, and it ends up “working out for them” even though they’re a small minority with success stories. I guess you can also say that about blogging — most people don’t make much money running their blogs, but there’s a small percentage who make out like bandits doing so.

I do wonder what the top survey takers get? I think that with cash back sites, you can get in the thousands of dollars per month if you really leverage your network.

fern May 31, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I agree with others who say it’s not a very efficient way to make money. Meaning, you’re probably working for something like $2/hour. But if you’re home and have free time on your hands, why not.

I do Pinecone surveys ($3 a survey, plus product samples) and Toluna, which has a points system through which you redeem points for $20 cash when you earn 60,000 points.

Since being out of work, I’ve gotten more serious about doing these and I’ve averaged $40 a month from Pinecone and Toluna combined. I spend a small part of most days doing surveys, probably about an hour. So if you divide $40 a month by 25 days/1 hour a day, it comes out to $1.60 an hour.

For most people, I would hope their time is worth more than that.

But for an unemployed person who has time on their hands, I figure it pays for my cable and water bill each month. If I was working, I wouldn’t bother with it much.

I find it hard to believe someone could earn $300 a month from doing surveys in any kind of normal work schedule. Again, it would likely come out to $1 or $2 an hour for your labor. You could earn more at McDonald’s.

Ace @ June 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

I used to do this as well. The service I used was pinecone research. It was okay, but I found overtime that many of the products they asked me to review were of little interest to me. I think that for certain types of people it can be really interesting and rewarding, but I wouldn’t ever expect to get rich from doing them.

Goran Web Design June 2, 2010 at 4:42 am

If you are living outside of the US you can support an entire family on $300 per month in some less privileged countries! This kind of money is relatively attractive to people from foreign countries, but I don’t think foreign people will be the demographics desired by the agencies, so $300 a month in the US aint much then.

Credit Girl June 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I would definitely do it if I had the time! My brother’s currently not working so while he’s looking for a job, he tells me that he does these surveys!

Donna Freedman June 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

If it’s kosher to post URLs, here the link to my “Living With Less” column on the subject.

The folks I interviewed reported anywhere from $50 to $250 per month. Not a killing, but something, especially if you’re unemployed, underemployed or a SAHP who can do surveys while watching the kids play or after they’re in bed.

I do them myself, when I have time.

Bob Schwartz June 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

In the fragmented, highly segmented U.S. economy a practical way for consumers and marketers to find the best solutions to each other’s challenges has emerged and been proven effective. Consumers are not only buying a lot smarter, but they’re also inhaling more information from more sources than ever before to inform their purchase choices. Whether it’s a car or pantyhose, cake mix or a new house.

To accomplish this, market researchers are on a major campaign to recruit housewives, stay-at-home moms, students, retired people, plant workers, and office managers to take online surveys for from $1 to $75, to participate in focus groups for up to $150 an hour, or to take phone surveys for as much as $120 an hour.

Charles Wethurst June 6, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Picking a market survey firms that will be the best for you to work with is sort of like dating – many firms offer a lot of exciting opportunities like movies, games, no cost gifts, products, and perhaps some travel, in addition to as much extra cash as you want to spend the time to earn.

So what’s the best way to avoid pitfalls? To push the analogy, date around a lot. Get to learn at least the minimum about a good variety of the marketing firms that seem to present the best opportunities. Check the blogs to determine what other people are saying about the ones you are considering.

misstopaz June 14, 2010 at 6:35 am

Reading this post and comments just might make me want to try. So far I always declined such offers, deleted emails or said no to online surveys. A few more $ wouldn’t hurt my pocket.

Thomas Marks June 22, 2010 at 4:00 am

I have my own experience with paid online surveys. It’s a good way to start making money on the net. I’ve got $200 in my lifetime from surveys and I’m happy with it.

Trini @ Surveys For Money July 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

I just did a post on my blog about the difference between paid survey sites and GPT sites. I think they are both a great source of earning extra cash online just like you mentioned. I think it’s all about how much work you put into it, and how bad you really need the money. Some people might think spending about 15 mins to complete a survey for $3 is waste of time, while others will be happy for that $3.

– TriNi

I Like Surveys August 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

If you are just playing around online anyway, it is not a bad income for just killing time.

Rob @ Paid Surveys October 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Free paid online surveys are a great way to make extra money. Getting rich, not gonna happen. And one should never pay to join a survey company. But if done right, one can make a few hundred a month. And some free products to boot. I do and I don’t try that hard. The big problem is all the scam survey companies that bring the real paying sites down.

Jamar Baumgart October 3, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I began taking surveys a couple of months ago and continue to produce small change every now and then, but nothing to live off of like they claim. I largely just make little purchases on-line through PayPal once I get paid so it’s not too lousy.

someguy317 November 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Hey guys there are a lot of paid survey websites that don’t actually pay you a dime. I started a blog that reviews legitimate paid survey websites that I have made money from in the past. Paid surveys won’t make you rich, but these sites can definitely put money in your pocket. I’ll also be adding additional ways to make some extra money online when I get a chance.

Marlene December 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm

I think that many people go into working with paid surveys thinking that they are instantly or guaranteed to make a lot of money. Like you stated that is definitely not the case. I have been working with paid survey sites for a few months now and I’ve managed to make over $300 so far. If anyone would like to read my reviews or see my payment proof feel free to check out my blog.

Kattie Wilson June 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

That is certainly the case: people thinking of paid surveys as a get rich scheme instead of what they really are — a simple way of generating some extra income. The process is fairly simple: the more surveys you take, the more money you make. Most people sign up for one survey site and that is not the way to go! Anybody who is trying to maximize their income potential by taking online paid surveys should sign up for multiple survey sites in order to gain small amounts of capital from each one. Take me for example — I am currently signed up with 24 paid survey sites. Last month, my total payouts were $1025.50: not enough to retire, but it sure does help out with the bills!

Tony September 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm

As most of your commentators say, these ideas are never going to make you rich, but it is still money for hardly any effort. I give my own (similar) input here: There is some info here on PTC (pay to click) sites although these are not as lucrative as surveys.

Albert Wilkerson November 18, 2011 at 9:17 am

I think surveys that pay are a great way to make extra money, but you can’t expect to get rich from them. The key is to make as many survey accounts as possible and finish as many as you can. In fact, as you complete more and more surveys for cash, you become more likely to be sent the top paying surveys by the survey research companies.

gem @ survey sites November 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I definitely agree with you Albert. Chances of getting rich may not be realistic, but with signing up to more accounts you could earn some real extra income.

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