You’ve probably seen the email pitches or ads, but are all those “Come make cash filling out surveys” come-ons worth real money? Well, the answer is a qualified yes. Money making surveys definitely are not a scam- marketing departments and agencies use them to get quick data about how real people feel about products and services so they can improve their ads or alter their products in ways that would make more people buy them.
If you’re looking to supplement your income with a little extra cash, then yes, they are worth it. They aren’t likely to become your primary income stream, but you can definitely make enough for an occasional splurge or some stress relief at bill-paying time.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Completing Surveys for Money
One of the big benefits of using surveys as a moneymaker is that you can do it just about anywhere- including while you’re doing something else like watching TV or listening to the radio. The extra infusion of cash into your bank account – and your ability to control how much extra cash you want to make- is another substantial benefit. One disadvantage is that the time you spend doing surveys could possibly be put to better use on more lucrative money-making ventures, especially if you have an in-demand skill that you could convert into a paying gig. Online survey work can also be frustrating at times because you sometimes don’t qualify for surveys you want to take, and finding surveys that interest you could take time if you’re picky. Some survey sites don’t offer cash, but instead offer gift certificates or points you save up to trade in for cash, sweepstakes entries, gift certificates, or specific products. If you plan to spend your money on these things anyway or would be likely to use the gift certificate, these can help you buy the things you need so you can spend your actual cash on other stuff.
How Survey Companies Work
Once you sign up for a survey company, they’ll send you emails when they have available surveys. You can also check the company website for current surveys. You can only take surveys you are qualified for (in the right demographics for), so fill out your profile on each site as completely as you can to qualify for the maximum number of survey opportunities. On the site or in the email you’ll see time estimates and the pay rate for each survey. Once you get good at them, you’ll likely be able to complete surveys much more quickly than the typical 5 to 30 minutes estimated time they suggest.
Tips for Making Money with Surveys
Sign up for a bunch of survey companies, not just one or two. Different companies offer different surveys and some have limits as to how many you can do a day. Maximize your time by completing the maximum on one site, then switching to another site to continue earning without excess downtime. I’d recommend signing up for at least 10 survey sites if you want regular work. with 15-20 sites in your paid survey portfolio, you’ll likely have a regular stream of surveys available and won’t have to worry about unexpected dry spells.
Use a separate email address for your survey emails. Otherwise, they’ll get overwhelming. If you set up a separate account using a free email service such as Gmail or Yahoo mail, you can just dip into that email stream whenever you feel like filling out surveys and earning some extra cash. The rest of the time, you can ignore that email account- and because those emails are separate, you don’t have to worry about important emails getting lost in the flood of survey company ones.
Watch out for scams. Fortunately, scams are usually easy to spot because they ask for upfront money to access the paid surveys. Honestly, it’s easy to find surveys that cost you nothing to access and complete- so paying to make money is a complete waste of both money and time. Follow my general rule for avoiding scams and you’ll be fine: The money always flows TO the worker. (So- if you find money flowing away from you to do ANY kind of gig, then it’s not a real gig)
Summing Up Surveys
Basically, surveys are an easy way to make money while watching TV, but they aren’t a big enough moneymaker to live on full time. Like all gigs, the amount you can earn is dependent on how much you put into it- although you can easily set up a fairly efficient system to keep a steady flow of survey offers coming into your email inbox without exerting too much effort on a day to day basis.