Do you like sharing your opinions? Want to get paid for it? You can, with online survey sites that pay cash or offer gifts and chances to win prizes in exchange for your taking a little time to fill out a survey.
It works like this: You sign up with an online survey company, giving your name, age, email address, mailing address (so they can send checks or other items) and perhaps a few other details. The company will then send you an occasional email with a link to a survey. Click on the link in the email to activate the survey. Most surveys come with pre-qualifying questions and, based on your answers and the type of respondents they’re looking for, you may be qualified to complete the full survey. But even filling out a partial survey usually brings a small rewards or a chance to enter a sweepstakes. If you do qualify, you get rewards, which can become cash, gift cards, or free merchandise. If you're asked, it's a good idea to answer extra questions about yourself. The more they know, the more willing they are to engage you.
More Is Better
Begin by signing up with some online survey companies. MySurvey123 is a great place to start. It has a list of paid survey sites, complete with reviews of each. Otherwise, we recommend MySurvey, GlobalTestMarket, Mindfield, and Ipsos i-say. Once you sign up, you'll begin receiving emails with links to surveys. Respond to surveys as quickly as you can, because the sooner you respond, the better your chances of completing the full survey. Each survey comes with a specific number of points that you can redeem for cash or various gifts when your total gets high enough. If you like filling out surveys, it makes sense to sign up for several survey sites as that will bring you the most opportunities. And on behalf of protecting your email from spam, we recommend setting up a separate email account just for your surveying needs.
Watch Your Inbox
Surveys go out to large numbers and will often “fill up” quickly, especially on respondents who fit your particular demographic. So the best chance of getting accepted for the full survey is by responding as soon as you can after the email is sent. (If you’ve created a separate email for surveys, you’ll either need to check it frequently, or have the emails forwarded to an address that you do check regularly.) If you miss an opportunity, don’t worry. If you’re signed up for several sites, you should be getting survey opportunities several times a day.
It's Not A Career
It is absolutely not possible to make even a part-time living filling out surveys, so don’t try. Some dedicated survey-fillers claim it’s possible to make $1,000 to $2,000 per year in cash, merchandise, and discounts by filling out surveys for about an hour a day. Even if this is true—and we’re skeptical—you’d still be earning less than $5.50 an hour. If your goal is to earn extra cash in your spare time, there are much better ways to do it. Taking online surveys makes sense as a fun way to take a break between other tasks, and pay for small items, such as magazine subscriptions or books. Some sites will even offer to make small donations to your favorite charity. But whatever you do, don’t fall for offers to buy lists of survey sites or secrets of taking surveys. Run the other way. There’s never any need to pay for taking a survey, or for info on survey sites. And if you're feeling a little odd about being an official survey-taker, don't—there's much weirder out there.
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