Paid Survey How-To Series
A series of detailed articles that take you step by step through the process of participating in paid research studies.
Free Paid Survey Sites
One way to bring in some small amounts of extra money is to participate in consumer panels, otherwise known as free paid surveys. Consumer panels are free to sign up for, and essentially you end up in a database and based upon your demographic profile, you will get surveys sent to you occasionally for which you will receive compensation. Many of the companies who initiate the surveys and hire the consumer panels are large manufacturers and fortune 500 companies.
You may be a bit wary of signing up with these sites but don’t be. They are legitimate and they do not send spam. Some product tests or online focus groups (online bulletin board type discussion usually for 60-90 minutes) pay upwards of $100 or more. Most surveys range from $1 to $10 and take anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. Some sites pay in cash, some in points redeemable for cash or gift certificates and some in points redeemable for merchandise. All the sites I have listed here DO pay and/or the send merchandise you redeem your points for so get to signing up to earn some extra money!
- Never, and I mean NEVER pay to join a survey site. There are plenty of sites that offer a database of companies and promise you the world, but they are the same companies I’ve provided for free.
- Be wary of survey sites you find on the web that say “take surveys and complete offers” for cash. Not that you don’t earn some money, but usually you have to sign up for free trials (and then cancel them) and or sign up for a lot of spam you don’t want.
- Create an email address specifically for receiving survey invites. You’ll likely get a lot of them and it’s nice to separate them. Also, some do get thrown into spam, so having a separate address makes it easier to control that.
- Be honest in answering the surveys. These are legitimate companies, often MAJOR companies paying for legitimate market research.
- You don’t have to be afraid of giving out your home address to receive payment but if you are, a post office box is roughly $60 a year. You can keep your anonymity and it will pay for itself in no time with all the survey money you’ll be receiving.
- If you find that you are having trouble keeping track of all your log-in names and passwords, there is a handy tool called RoboForm that will attach itself to your browser and provide a way for you to fill forms in automatically. It also helps the registration process for the survey sites by allowing you to create a profile with all the typical information. It works for more than just survey sites as well, it’s a handy web tool. A limited version can be downloaded for free. See the banner below for a link.
RoboForm is a very useful tool to help make signing up and maintaining passwords for all your survey sites quick and easy. The free version contains a limited amount of “passcards” which are what you use to log on to each site. The full version contains an unlimited amount of passcards and free updates for life for $29.99. It’s been a huge timesaver for me and I use it across the web for everything that requires a membership or password.
If you’re ready to get started, I recommend starting with my favorite sites. PaidViewer offers some of the top surveys and offers in the United States. Plus they routinely run giveaways. If you are ambitious and would like additional sites, you should check out surveypolice.com.
Keep in mind that our experiences with these sites may be different from yours. Depending upon your demographics you may receive more or less surveys and qualify for more or less surveys than we do from the same sites.