I you have been involved with paid survey sites for any length of time, like I have, you probably are aware of the reality that there are many sites pretending to be legit well-paying paid surveys when in reality they are not.
So, learning to differentiate between legitimate paid surveys and scams can save you hours of wasted time and perhaps hundreds of dollars lost to sites of that nature.
Although there is no dearth of reviews of various (reputed and other wise) online panels, it’s never a bad idea to learn how to tell the real ones from the fake ones. So how does one exactly gauge the difference?…
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Legit Paid Surveys Sites Will:
Thankfully, differentiating between real and fake sites can be made easy by paying attention to the common signs.
- Have registration for free
Whether you live in Australia, UK, the Philippines, United States, or anywhere else for that matter, if ever you’re required to pay even a penny (or enter in details of your credit card) to any survey panel then you should be absolutely sure that the site is anything but real. All genuine panels allow you to register for free once you conform to their conditions (for instance, quite a few online panels need you to have completed 14 years of age and hold citizenship of either Canada or the USA).
If a site says that your private information will be “shared” with its “associates” and “partners”, take this as a warning that your information is about to be sold to the highest bid. The risk is clear but also avoidable. Although there are many state laws related to Internet privacy, some sites clearly don’t care.
- Have contact info and ‘About’ page
If you ask me, trusting businesses that don’t share even basic contact details that are useful when asking queries or posing a problem is highly impossible.
- Refrain from assuring you a certain fixed income
Actually, a genuine site will even carry a disclaimer that specifies how the income earning potential of any member is highly dependent on two factors, viz. the time spent by a member in taking surveys and the demographic group to which he/she belongs.
What to Do & What Not to Do
There is no paucity of reputed and honest survey websites on the internet. However, it’s also a fact that there are an equal number of rogue ones as well. So, to keep yourself from falling victim to paid survey scams, keep the following pointers in mind:
1. Never give out sensitive information such as Credit Card or SSN
This is quite straightforward as no genuine survey company to my knowledge has asked for these from its members, period!
2. Sign-up with only legit paid survey companies
Although this sounds obvious, I know it’s hard to locate them. However, what you should never forget is that all genuine and honest sites out there allow you to sign-up with them for free.
So, if you are looking to earn money right away, I’d recommend signing-up with sites that allow free registrations. This ensures you don’t get scammed.
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But even if you do sign-up mistakenly with a site that screams scam, don’t worry. This is because you still haven’t lost anything and have the option of cancelling immediately without paying any money.
3. Avoid joining sites that look like scam
If a site appears like scam, it most probably is. Once you have your list of paid survey sites, make sure to undertake a thorough research and single out the ones that are genuine and Legitimate. And since there are quite a few genuine sites, there’s a good chance you’ll find many of them.
The sites of these companies are typically professional and structured in their layout. They also appear similar to normal companies. Lastly, make sure the site displays a decent amount of contact information.
Also be on the look out for badges and signs that link the site to the market research associations such as CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations).
4. Stay away from companies promising huge payouts
Now let’s get this straight, answering surveys won’t get you a million dollars. Yes, not even by a long mile. That’s why you need to run away from sites that claim to help people get super rich in a short span of time. They are most definitely scammers. Instead, I’d rather you join a site that offers normal market rates.
Once you make it a habit to read through details, you’ll find yourself beset with lots of information on the functioning of these sites. This will also help in zeroing-in on the correct survey sites for you.
Also, remember that every legitimate survey site has its set of ‘privacy policies’ and ‘terms’, so in case you encounter a site that doesn’t, simply stay away from it.
6. Search for more information / read reviews
You can do this simply Googling the site’s name along with terms like ‘review’ and ‘scam’. This is an excellent way of knowing if a site is genuine and trustworthy.
With research, you are assured of finding survey sites that indeed pay money and the best way to start looking around is by reading opinions and comments of other users.
I can stick my neck out and say that there is a ton of information present on the web about pretty much every real survey company.
So, if you are not able to come across any useful information on a company, you better not join it. Instead, focus your research on the next company on your list.
7. Verify their history with the Better Business Bureau
If a business boasts an A- or above rating with the BBB, you can consider it to be completely reliable and trustworthy.
That said, just because a site is not listed on the BBB, it doesn’t mean it’s a scam. There are hundreds and thousands of legit companies that are not listed there probably because they haven’t had the chance to register yet, or perhaps they just dont find it that important.
So, you have to be cautious about labeling a site scam just because they are not listed with the BBB.
8. Check the payment options offered
Making money is comparatively quicker and easier if a panel pays you on a weekly basis instead of monthly payments.
There is also the safety aspect with weekly payments. Suppose you are working for a company that is not entirely genuine, so in the event of you not being paid for a week, you can simply stop working and in the process, end up not losing too much by way of time, effort and money.
Are There Any Legitimate Paid Survey Panels You Can Join?
The good news is that despite all the negative press the industry gets and despite the fact that lots of people disregard paid surveys as a complete scam and waste of time, there are many real well-paying panels operated by real market research firms.
As long as there are products being made for consumers, there will be market research, and as long as there is market research studies going on, there will be incentives offered to people for giving their opinion about those products. So, this is a legitimate work from home opportunity.
Here at SurveySatrap, I have my own list of favorite panels that I always recommend to people.
Here are a few:
- Pinecone Research
One of the most sought after panels is Pinecone because of their extremely high paying surveys. However, their doors are only open a few times a year. So, join as soon as you can before they close their doors.
- Ipsos Isay
One of the oldest and most well-established online research panels that I personally have been a member of for a long time. I have been paid each and every time I have requested a payment and so will you. If you decide to join only one site, I would urge you to go with Isay.
One of the highest paying and best paid survey sites I have ever been a member of. It is run by Luth Research, a highly respected marketing research company that has been conducting studies since 1977!
A must join panel offering lots of good paying surveys that pays by PayPal. It is a member of many marketing research organizations such as CASRO. How is that for legitimacy!
By the way, you can find more of them by simply browsing this site and reading my reviews of online survey sites.
If you maintain the belief that finding legit paid survey sites is easy then I am sorry to burst the bubble when I say that it most certainly isn’t. That said, it’s also not true when someone says that finding good sites that actually pay is impossible or that they are non-existent.
In reality, finding a reliable site is not easy but also not impossible. By reading all the points elaborated above and by investing a little bit of your time, you can be sure of making the most of your time as a survey taker for legitimate paid surveys websites.
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