With the economy being so weak and so many folks out of work, a lot of places have been pushing paid surveys as a way of making a little extra money on the side. Unfortunately, this just isn’t possible. While participating in focus groups and paid surveys can bring in a little extra income, it’s not a gold mine. You won’t be able to turn surveys and focus groups into something that will make the rent payments or the utility bill. If anyone says that’s possible, they’re not being entirely truthful with you.
That said, you can earn a little supplemental income off surveys in your spare time. It’ll be a few dollars here or there but when times are tough, every little bit helps to get your head above water. As long as you’re honest with yourself and understand that it is what it is, I think you’ll find that filling out surveys is a good use of your time.
Never Pay Them
Never pay to join a survey site. If they ask you to pay to apply, run away. They are running a scam and they should be reported to the BBB. Survey sites pay YOU, not the other way around. Some scam sites will disguise this by calling it shipping and handling on sample products or maybe just a “processing fee.” Whatever you do, never ever send money.
For extra protection, I never give my bank information and opt for paper check payments. Most of the companies are legitimate market research companies, you never know when one might sneak through and who knows what they’ll do with your bank information.
Best Survey Sites
My two personal favorites are Opinion Outpost and NPD Global Survey. Both are online arms of much larger market research firms with decades of experience in the business. Opinion Outpost is owned by Opinionology, formed 1987, and NPD Global Survey is owned by NPD Survey Group, founded in 1967.
Another great survey site, which is usually closed, is Pinecone Research. Every so often they open up their rolls for applicants but that hasn’t happened in quite some time.
Finally, what I like the most about surveys is how quickly you can complete one. Most surveys take five or ten minutes to complete, which is short enough that you can knock one out if you’re waiting for something else to happen (say you’re ten minutes from dinner being ready or five minutes from leaving the house). I like to queue them up and just complete them when I know I have a few minutes of down time.