Life is pretty expensive these days. We have expenses for food, schooling, transportation, and don’t even get me started about housing. So it’s no surprise that there’s an appetite out there to make a bit of extra money to help cover the costs. I definitely do it, even though I’m also trying to simplify and spend less where I can at the same time.
This post will cover off how to make money taking online surveys. I’ll cover off which sites are best, which sites to avoid, and give you a few tips along the way too.
Top Sites to Take Paid Surveys
Looks, I’ll tell you upfront that you’re not going to get rich taking surveys. It’s not even a great investment of time. It is, however, something you can do while relaxing on the couch, and so it’s worth considering. If you’re fast, you can make the equivalent of maybe $8 – $10 CAD an hour with these websites.
Opinion Outpost has probably the best rates on the net. What’s more, you can redeem your points directly for PayPal funds, which can be withdrawn and deposited into your bank account.
Survey topics range from consumer packaged goods, to automotive, to employment, tourism and government services. They’re usually pretty interesting!
Web Perspectives has some of the fairest rates out there. While the points you earn can’t be redeemed for cash directly, you can redeem them for Amazon gift cards, which are almost as flexible. The next time you need to make a purchase off Amazon, just use your credits, pocket the savings, and voila, cash back in your pocket!
Less-recommended Survey Websites
Beyond the two sites I just mentioned, there are a whole host of other survey sites out there that will pay you… it’s just that it’s not even remotely a good use of your time. Here are some of the sites I’ve tried that just aren’t worth the effort in my opinion:
- Toluna: they claim that you can use their app to take surveys on your phone, but the experience is clunky and full of bugs. Not only that, but the site pays you roughly $2.00 per survey hour, which is brutal. PASS.
- Ipsos iSay: The site is well-designed and they have a fun thing called Poll Predictor that allows you to guess how other respondents have answered a question in order to win entries into a draw (for things like a Visa gift card, Nest thermostat, Michael Kors purses, etc.). That’s great, but the $1.80 per survey hour they pay you still doesn’t justify the time spent.
- OneOpinion: The rate is actually quite good on this site… it’s just that you never seem to get surveys that you qualify for. The site does a poor job of profiling you upfront to give you relevant surveys, and as a result, you end up getting disqualified for most of them.
- OfficeOpinions: They don’t even pay you. ‘Nuff said.
Everything else beyond this isn’t even worth mentioning, in my opinion. Stick with Opinion Outpost and Web Perspectives, and you’ll do ok. I make about $100 extra a month taking these surveys.
How to Qualify for Surveys
Once you get started on these sites, the first thing you’ll notice is that you can’t just take every survey offered to you… you have to qualify first. Sometimes, you’ll be told if you qualify, and sometimes you’ll only be told if you don’t. Sometimes the latter of those two happens after you’ve spent 10 minutes filling out the questionnaire, which sucks.
To avoid that as much as possible, here are a few tips I’ve picked up through experience:
- If the survey asks you early on if you work in a particular industry, it’s usually because all of the industries they list are not eligible to take the survey (especially if the list is fairly short). If you want to continue, then you and your family work for “none of the above.” 🙂
- When you’re asked if you’re planning to purchase items from a list, the survey is usually focused on one or more of the items in that list. So yes, you’re planning to purchase items from that list, and in the near future too!
- If you’re asked whether you’ve purchased any of the items in a list, they usually want to hear from people who have. Not always, but usually.
- If asked if you’ve taken a survey on a subject within the past three months, the answer is always “no.” Always.
Basically, you can glean from the way the questions are worded who they are looking for, so do your best to be that person if you want to qualify for as many surveys as possible. Once you’ve qualified though, and you start to get into the meat and potatoes of the survey, do your best to answer as honestly as possible. Don’t be that guy or girl that puts answer down in a zigzag pattern on the sheet. Not only does it add no value to the survey responses (and make it less likely that companies will offer surveys on that site in the future), but your account can also be frozen for doing that. Many surveys even contain “quality check” questions that tell you to put a specific answer, just to see if you’re actually reading the questions!
Wrapping it Up
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: you won’t get rich off surveys. There are better ways to make money on the side of your day job, and I’ll cover those in a later post. What surveys will do for you though, is give you an easy way to make an extra hundred bucks or so a month to help smooth out your budget and cover off unexpected expenses. I personally use it to pay down debt. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, then by all means give it a shot!
Are there any other websites I’ve missed that are worth mentioning in this post? Drop me a line or leave me a comment below with the details!