So, you have figured out that participation in paid online survey panels is a great way to make some extra money, but you are not sure which ones are the best survey sites and are undecided on which sites you want to channel your time and energy.
Just like you, many are struggling with the same problem. It is a common situation! With all the hype and misguided information going on in the industry, it is hard to find the best survey sites and it is easy to fall prey to some scam if one is not careful.
In addition to simply seeking out the legitimate operators from the tricksters, one also has to devote some energy to sniff out which the better paying survey sites are.
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In my last seven years in the industry, I have definitely come across a wide variety of survey sites. Sure, you are bound to bump into some bad apples, but there are also some great ones offering marvelous experience.
I have dedicated this post to introduce you to some of the best survey sites that actually pay. Whether you are a teenager, a college student, a stay at home mom or dad, or anyone for that matter, looking to supplement your income, these are survey sites who really pay you for your time and effort, and it is my sincere hope that you will be able to make some meaningful money out of these candidate sites.
1. Ipsos I-Say (Also known as Isay by Ipsos)
Ipsos I-Say is arguably the best you can find, at least in my book of legit survey panels. The pay is decent and the threshold amount specified is just 1000 points (or a $10 equivalent).
What I like most is that Ipsos I-Say actually pays during the screening exercise. What it means is that you can make any initial attempt at any survey, and in the case of under qualification, there would still be a neat five points awarded to you.
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So, whatever time you spent on any survey, you are always assured that your time is going to be compensated (even then you do not qualify).
The only drawback is that the company does not regularly send out a lot of invitations, which is a norm in the industry itself. But I do not naturally see these as a bad thing. In doing so, I believe that the company involved is actually serious in deliberating on what invitations to be sent out, so the invitations that come your way would very likely be those that the company thinks you can qualify easily.
2. Survey Spot
Survey Spot is one of my early favorites. I came across this site when I first venture into this industry many years ago. It had many things going for them.
The amount of surveys was simply mind-boggling, and they used to have a practice of paying fairly and promptly. Fast forward to today, there is still a decent amount of work on offer here. But the pay rate no longer keeps up with the competition in the industry.
My suggestion here is to put your priority on other better paying survey sites, and use this Survey Spot as filler. In other words, when your earnings from other sites fall short of your expectation, you can turn to Survey Spot to look for work to add to your income.
3. Survey Savvy
This can be a good site to work with if you prefer cash rewards and instant gratification.
Survey Savvy equates your time spent on a particular survey to a certain dollar amount, and the company is ever ready to send you a check at your fancy, no question asked.
MySurvey is among the old-timers in the industry.
Easy cash is guaranteed from the site, with the threshold set at a very lowly three dollars, and they also promise plenty of surveys.
The payout is credited to your PayPal account.
5. Opinion Site
Opinion Site is the new kid on the block, but it has already proven to be a legit and trustworthy survey site.
They have a low minimum cash out amount of only $10, which considering an average survey pays anywhere from $2 to $5, is pretty easy to reach.
Once you earn $10, you can request a check.
Opinion Outpost can be a nice addition to your repertoire of survey panels. There is tremendous flexibility in term of payout threshold: $3 for a game download, $5 for an Amazon.com gift card, $10 for PayPal and $15 for a Citibank virtual debit card.
Another great thing here is that there are plenty of surveys to participate in. In fact, I regularly receive 10 to 15 survey invitations every week after my registration.
Naturally, I do not qualify for every survey. But my point is you can easily accumulate credits and it usually takes no more than one week for me to get to the preset threshold and transfer to my PayPal account.
Pinecone is the most generous paymaster I can find. At three dollars a survey, I definitely have no bone to pick with them.
Unfortunately, membership is strictly through invitation only. And to add to the complication, nobody is exactly sure when they are in the mood for new recruits.
You either wait for your invitation to come, or actively seek out the recruitment banner as it appears on the web (usually on other websites rather their own). You can also bookmark my review of Pincone where I update the page with the registration link / banner if and when I find it.
8. Survey Head (Now known as iPoll)
Survey Head is another good place to go to. I was instantly bought over when I was paid five dollars the moment I completed my registration.
After that, you are required to furnish individual profiles surveys (to make it easy for the company to match your qualification with certain surveys), and for every computer profile, you are paid 10-25 cents individually. By the time of the registration and profile competition, you would already have up to seven dollars into your account.
Another great thing about Survey Head is that they have a really low payout threshold. Set at $10, members can usually overshoot the threshold with completion of just one or two actual surveys.
Once you get there, you can order a new magazine subscription (just a limited choice to choose from), or you continue to stash your rewards in your account until it gets to at least $25. Then you can request a check that is anywhere from $25 up.
Global Test Market is another of my favorites. The common characteristic of the surveys on offered here are often fun and fast. But the aspect I like most about this site is that there seems to be a continuous flow of invitations coming my way.
The obvious advantage is that one can quickly accumulate points in order to get to the preset threshold easily and quickly.
Toluna employs a virtual currency system where everything is paid out in Toluna points. These can be credits related to a number of activities like: surveys taking, introduction of new members, completion of profile surveys, and a host of other things.
As a welcome bonus to the new member, 500 points would be awarded with successful registration.
As you get to 30,000 points level, you can start to contemplate your redemption. The options you have are: vouchers for great shops and brands, Facebook Credits, PayPal transfer or the good old fashion check.
A Little about Online Surveys and Market Research
The objective of a typical “survey” is to gather inputs from survey participants so as to allow the survey sponsors to understand the big picture with regards to their products and services, such as the wider market trend, consumer responses etc.
Market research used to be conducted using paper based approach, but “Online Survey” has become the norm with the proliferation of Internet.
These surveys are structured and presented to participants as questionnaires, so they provide a focused way of questioning to the targeted audience.
Often, survey is available over the internet, and individual survey has to be completed in some predefined timing; with survey companies offering some sort of incentives (either cash or reward points) to encourage participation.
On the web, each participant tackles every survey through a Web form, which in turn links to a database that stores the various responses and a statistical software would be used to analyze these responses.
Businesses are dependent on online surveys to develop an insight about how their products and services fare in the customers’ eyes. The inputs would be helpful to the companies to set up their customers’ profile, with regards to the demographic makeup plus the social information.
Once this insight is gained, companies are better able to carry out targeted campaigning. When companies are more efficient to find the right market for their specific products, significant sales can be achieved while cutting unnecessary marketing expenses.
The market opinions and feedback offer tremendous values to both commercial and public institutions, and this explains why you are paid handsomely when you offer your inputs to these surveys.
Since the principle would work only by applying it to as broad base of users as possible, so no particular skill or experience is called for to warrant qualifications. What is asked is that you just be yourself and you being willing to offer your opinions.
How to take part?
I don’t advocate you signing up every survey panel that Google is throwing in your way. For me at least, some of those guiding criteria would be established survey panels with a reputation of being decent paymasters, low payout requirements and a consistent stream of survey works to be done.
With that said, generally survey companies would solicit your inputs through the following 3 ways:
- Online surveys
Here, you wait for invitations to participate in surveys after you have completed the registration exercise successfully. Once these are in, you are required to tackle the corresponding questionnaires. Upon successful completion, some rewards would be added to your account. Polls are often fun – you can say almost anything when your opinions are asked on a number of subjects; from sex toys to DIY tools. For a full how-to, see Survey Sites below.
- Focus groups
This traditional survey form pays more comparatively, but the opportunities to get involved are not as frequent. Participants would be asked on a given subject matter. Usually this is conducted at a physical site with free refreshments provided. Once you are done, you can pocket anything from $30 to $250.
- Product testing
Product testing often works hand in hands with test marketing. It requires you to commit a certain amount of time to test out a product sent to you by research firms. The exercise usually takes two weeks but there is no strict guideline with regards to time frame. At the end of testing, you are required to take part in a survey (through a link sent to your email) where you will be drilled about your experience with that specific product. Often product is delivered to you free of charge, and they pay you $10 to $50 for your agreement to take part in this full exercise.
Consistent with the broader online money making schemes, you will find your endeavor to make extra money is not going to be smooth sailing all the way.
Sometimes you find too many invitations that you clearly don’t stand a chance of qualifying, thus a complete waste of your precious time.
It is with this in mind that I wrote this blog, in order to point you to the best legitimate survey sites that pay cash (and sometime points that can be converted to cash) out there on the web.
To add further weight to my assessment, I am personally involved in all these panels mentioned and I dare say that all have been comprehensively scrutinized. So, this is definitely a qualified list of top 10 best online survey sites of 2015.
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