Getting Paid to Take Online Surveys: Genuine or an Opportunistic Scam?

by WorkFromHome on November 9, 2011

It’s something that virtually every internet user has seen in their travels throughout social networking sites, search engines, and even online business websites: myriad advertisements assuring users that they can earn more than $250 per day taking online surveys — and some of those ads claim that just one survey can be worth that much money. It sounds too good to be true, and a large majority of internet users likely disregard these advertisements as a waste of their time and a likely scam for which they will not be paid nearly what they’re worth.

And while it’s certainly true that the vast majority of online surveys won’t pay even close to $250 per questionnaire, it’s also quite true that there are a large number of market research groups out there who are looking for qualified respondents to help them study the effects of their new products, marketing strategies, and business ideas. So these ads should not be completely disregarded, although a healthy skepticism of high-payng online surveys has never hurt anyone, and is a good way to proceed with this kind of money making opportunity.

Getting Paid for Your Opinion: What to Expect in Terms of Compensation

Taking online surveys in an effort to make a modest second income from home is a respectable idea so long as it’s with a reputable company that has consistent amounts of work for the number of people they’re currently paying to take the surveys. But this home-based occupation will require a significant amount of work if consumers are hoping to earn anything more than a few dollars per month.

The average online survey conducted by a market research group will pay the survey-taker between $2 and $20 for their time spent answering the various questions and providing detailed, short-answer responses to open-ended questions. The compensation for these surveys is often based on two metrics: first, the length of the survey plays an important part in determining its compensation of the end user. Secondly, the market research company themselves will often place their own value on the survey. Those which are considered more pressing and important, and more needing of high-quality survey takers, will pay more. Those which are a bit less important and more expendable will necessarily pay less.

And as for getting paid $250 per survey? It’s certainly possible, but for the average online survey taker, it simply isn’t probable. And any survey which pays in the hundreds of dollars will likely be highly involved and consume the majority of the survey taker’s home-based work time. Those who opt to pursue online surveys as a method of earning extra income should certainly be vigilant and watch for these opportunities, but they should also be aware that they’re quite rare — and will often get snatched up by other survey takers in a heartbeat.

Other Considerations When Committing to Online Survey Taking

Of course, taking surveys online in pursuit of secondary income is not just about how much each survey is worth. It’s also about being qualified to take those surveys and offer a well-formed, well-considerd opinion. When joining a company which offers these surveys, customers will be asked to provide information to the company which involves their education, their profession, and their life experiences. These responses will determine which surveys the user is shown. If they’re not qualified to take a survey, it simply won’t be offered to them — and this further limits the earning potential that most users will have.

Not Worth a Monthly Fee

A good number of survey companies will actually charge users an annual fee to be part of their “directory” or “community” or surveys. These fees vary in price and can range anywhere from $5 per year to more than $35 on an annual basis. The simple position to take on these fees is: no. The earning potential with survey companies is, if nothing else, quite uncertain. Combine that with the fact that most survey companies won’t let you know just how many surveys they offer on an average daily basis, and the fact that your experience may not match up with what they do offer, and it’s easy to see why fee-based survey directories are a losing investment for the typical home business aspirant.

Still a Solid Source of Income in Some Cases

Even so, it’s time to stop disregarding every advertisement for an online money making opportunity that involves taking these market research surveys. Many of them are well worth investigating, and some are even worth working for. If you’ve been looking for a solid way to earn supplementary income, you might just find it via selecting one of these companies and offering your opinion on a variety of things for which you are qualified to do so.

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