We’ve all seen those flashy online ads that proclaim you can make thousands of dollars in a week just by answering questions from your laptop. Clearly this is a scam, but nowadays the bogus survey companies are getting sneakier with legit-sounding promises and subtler messaging. Can you make money legitimately with paid online surveys?
Not all paid web surveys are scams, but most of them aren’t worth your time, either. If you’ve been trying to break into the world of paid online surveys, then carefully read the guide below to protect your information and privacy before signing up for any survey site.
Make Money With Legit Paid Online Surveys
How to Spot a Scam
The Survey Police Blog has several excellent tips for avoiding survey scams, such as looking for the company’s information and privacy policies (if those things are nowhere to be found then run!). Also, steer clear of websites that only require a name and email address to get started.
Legitimate market research companies generally ask for quite a bit of personal information to get an idea of who you are as a consumer and determine which studies and surveys you might be suited for. If they ask for your social security number, this is probably a red flag and you should avoid that survey at all costs, lest you risk having your identity stolen.
Take back control of your finances!
Get a FREE checklist for the money moves to make in the New Year.
Also get new articles, advice, and tips delivered right in your email inbox with our newsletter!
Another huge warning sign is when the survey site asks for your financial information or requires you to pay a fee to get access to those supposedly “high paying surveys.” 99 times out of 100, a survey that requires upfront payment is a scam. It’s better not to make money at all than to lose money, right? Don’t bother with these websites because bogus survey companies are usually behind them.
Paid Online Surveys – A Waste of Time?
If the wild claims of earning hundreds of dollars a day with little to no effort were actually true, then why isn’t everyone doing it? Because you won’t actually make a lot of money answering surveys.
Not only do you risk running into the pitfalls of online surveys, but it also might be a complete waste of time. If you’re filling out surveys for hours and averaging an hourly income of less than $5 or $6, then you’re better off finding higher-paying opportunities that may require a bit more work.
ScamBusters did an experiment with online surveys to see how much they could make and only averaged $0.37 per hour. Yikes, right?
Two Examples of Legit Paid Online Surveys
If you already enjoy filling out surveys online or just want something to do in your free time that can score you some gift cards over time, then there are a couple legitimate online survey companies worth looking into.
SwagBucks currently has over 13 million users and a decent 3.8/5 rating from the Survey Police. You earn SwagBucks by completing surveys, watching videos, shopping for items online, discovering coupons, and referring friends. When you have accumulated a set amount of SwagBucks – withdrawals start at $25 – you can redeem for PayPal cash or electronic gift cards to major retailers such as Amazon and Starbucks.
i-Say by Ipsos is also a well-known market research firm, with a solid A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. The BBB wouldn’t approve a scam site, let alone give it the highest possible rating. Through i-Say, you’ll explore polls, respond to surveys, and perform other market research tasks from the consumer’s perspective. You won’t make thousands of dollars per week, but you’ll get a nice little stream of income in your spare time.
Alternatives to Making Money Online with Surveys
Instead of wasting 20 minutes filling out a boring survey that’ll only pay you $1-2 worth of a gift card payout, why not seek out more exciting options with better financial windfalls?
No, you won’t come close to the $100 or even $30 per hour that survey scams promise you in big, bold red letters in their spam emails. However you can possibly make a modest chunk of change through these online jobs and websites:
- Offer a service for $5 on Fiverr
- Offer more pricy freelance services on Upwork
- Become a virtual bookkeeper for a web-based clientele
- Get paid to evaluate search engines for companies like Google, Yahoo, and Bing
- Make $5 per month just for installing the Smart Panel app on your smartphone (it’ll track your usage habits, so beware if that’s too much of an invasion of your personal privacy)
- Get paid $100 to write a unique list for Listverse
- Sell photos on Foap
What about you? Have you made money with any paid online surveys? What’s been your experience with it?