How Do Paid Online Surveys Work?

Make Money With Paid Online SurveysIn the internet age, more and more people are flocking to the web to make extra income. One of the most talked about ways to make some extra cash online is by completing online surveys. While it might not be a way to replace your job, the best paid online surveys offer enough money to start building a savings account or fund some fun activities.

People are often hesitant to try online surveys because they think they are all scams. After all, that money has to come from somewhere, doesn’t it? We fear what we don’t understand, so knowing how online surveys work should combat some hesitation.

Where Does the Money Come From?

Surveys are a form of market research conducted by different businesses to get an overall feel for their advertisements, packaging or product offering. They use this information to determine if their offering will be successful and make changes based on the feedback they receive before launching.

Hiring a specialized marketing firm to conduct focus groups and surveys is extremely arduous and expensive. Thus, some businesses opt to reach out to online survey companies to facilitate their research. The business won’t have the specialized approach they would get with a marketing agency, but they can easily get the information they need from their target demographic. They pay the company to conduct the survey, and the company pays you a small portion of that to complete it.

In summation, when you find a legitimate online survey company, you are participating in a legal, legitimized business.

Payment Options

Online survey companies compensate you for your time in a number of ways. Some opt to pay you cold hard cash. They’ll send that money to you via PayPal or by check once you reach a certain dollar amount or on a set schedule throughout the year. Other companies offer gift cards rather than money. This is a valid option for those looking to have spare cash for fun activities or bills, as the gift cards often pertain to movie theaters, popular department stores, and gas stations.

Other options include sweepstake entries. For each survey you complete, your name is entered into various prize draws. Alternatively, the company might have a points system which allows you to accumulate points and trade them in for a gift card, cash, or product offering.

One word of warning is to keep an eye on the small print. You may be required to take a certain number of surveys within a set time limit to keep your account active.


While there are many legitimate online survey businesses, you should always be wary of scams. To properly conduct market research, a business will require a lot of personal information. For example, your race, age, location, etc. They may ask questions about your income, but do not require your Social Security Number or banking information. If they ask for that information, run in the other direction. If they only ask for your name and email address, the same rules apply.

You can also tell if a business is legitimate by looking for reviews online and by determining if the website has company information and a privacy policy. If an online survey business requires you to pay them to take surveys (with a promise that you’ll get a good return on your investment), they are trying to scam you.

Qualifying for Surveys

If the online survey business is legitimate, you will need to qualify for surveys. That means that you fit the target market the business is trying to assess. Market researchers don’t want to know if just anyone would like their product, they want to know if the people they are trying to sell it to will buy it. That’s why you shouldn’t sign up with survey websites that want nothing more than your name and email address.

If you have the time and dedication, you can make some extra spending money on the side by completing online surveys. Just be wary of scams and proactive in signing up for recommended sites.

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