Whether you call them free paid surveys, consumer panels or paid research studies you CAN make money taking online surveys. This is the first post in a series of how-to’s that will describe the ins and outs of how to make money by participating in paid research studies, surveys, product tests, focus groups and more. Stay tuned each week as we go further and further in depth on this subject in order to first, participate smartly and safely and second, to make some extra money by voicing your opinion.
Most major companies employ marketing firms to solicit consumer opinions. I can tell you first-hand that everyone from KFC to Pampers and Kraft to HP value consumer input so much that they are willing to pay to get it. The problem is that they do it discreetly. You cannot go to their websites and sign up for their testing panels (actually there are a few that have their own, but generally it is not the same thing and is a topic for another post), you must sign up through the marketing firms who actually design, set-up and administer the surveys.
If you type in “free paid surveys” into Google, or any combination of words or phrases that roughly represent being paid for your opinion, you will get a never ending list of websites that claim that you can earn $75 an hour or more by participating in surveys. Many of them charge you for access to their “database” and those that don’t will often end up spamming you into oblivion.
RULE #1 in the world of Free Paid Surveys: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER pay to join a survey site. This is 100% true ALWAYS. I can give you the same list of survey sites for FREE and actually plan on doing just that. In fact, the legitimate sites often have an area where you can report sites that charged you to obtain their information. So, what did we learn here? Bottom line, if it costs money it is a SCAM.
Another type of site you should watch out for are those that offer you free access to their database in exchange for your email address. There are so many other sites (like this wonderful one) offering the information for free, you are better off steering clear of the possibility that you may get more spam than the Spam Museum (a real Museum, by the way…I think it’s in Wisconsin).
Market research is a major method of product development used by manufacturers and they rely on the opinions of consumers like you and I – especially Moms – to develop new and innovative products that will sell and sell well. In order to do this, they have marketing budgets and hire firms to deploy surveys to consumers and pay them for their time. THIS IS A FACT. I have plenty of cashed checks and have helped keep Amazon.com in business because of the Gift Certificates I have received, to prove it.
In the coming weeks I am going to provide you with all the information you need to participate as I do. But let me leave you with a warning. You will NOT make $75 an hour doing paid surveys. Sure, there are some online focus groups where you may make that amount ONCE, but this will not become your full time job. It can, however, bring in some nice side money to buy me nice present…ok, kidding…sort of. Seriously, it may fund Christmas, but it won’t buy you a Mercedes, not even a used one.
Stay tuned for more!
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