Here are the basics on each site we looked into where you can make money taking surveys.
If you’re thinking of taking online surveys, keep in mind that the money we made this year wasn’t enough. Three of us spent more than 50 hours each on paid surveys last year and our combined earnings were only close to $90.
So, no, we didn’t make any money from online surveys.
The lowdown on paid online surveys
The sites we tested were free and did not require any education or skills. They could be done from home and did not feel like a chore. It is important to be honest with yourself about how you feel about taking surveys. However, compensation for surveys can vary widely based on the requirements of the specific survey. Surveys can be quick and easy, but at some websites, you might be asked a long list of questions or only one question. The pay rate for surveys varies too, so it’s important to read over the website before doing the survey.
Sites that pay more are worth a try, but we definitely felt that sites that paid through cash and not points were fairer ways of handing out surveys. We never had any luck with the point-based ones.
It is important to note that survey eligibility is determined by many different factors, including your gender, age, and location. This survey was mainly taken by young single women in urban areas like us. We may or may not have been ideal participants for your survey. Your profile might lead to different results than ours.
Paid survey sites
Below are the findings from our survey of five days of a review. On each day, we spent one hour on each site. On days when there were not enough surveys to fill up the one hour for some sites, we did not count that time towards the total review hours.
This list is based on the average hourly rate we earned in 2017, from sites with the highest pay to the lowest.
1. Survey Junkie
This website is a small survey aggregator, but stands out. The site has a clean, user-friendly dashboard and offers a high point value for each survey you complete. The point system is clear and concise, and allows you to convert your points into cash. However, it takes 500 points before you can redeem them. Check out our Survey Junkie review for more information.
2. Opinion Outpost
Opinion Outpost is a great site for beginners like us. The website is so easy and intuitive, it didn’t take much thought to actually start answering surveys. Furthermore, you can also find some really good offers on the site that we looked into right away! Most importantly, we actually made some money. We averaged $1.50 per hour on Opinion Outpost and were able to cash it out on Amazon. You can find more information in our review of Opinion Outpost.
Of all the survey sites we tested, this one offered the most opportunities. However, it also had a lower success rate and less pay for surveys completed. We were once disqualified when we were asked to write the word “Purple” incorrectly. Thankfully, we spelled it correctly! You can see our full MyPoints review here.
You can only sign up to take surveys on our site through Ipsos, the company that sponsors us. There are less surveys available than with other survey sites, but this lets you focus on them for longer, which means it’s less stressful overall. Sometimes it displays surveys you’ve already tried, which is a little confusing. If you want to know more, check out the i-Say review.
We love creating surveys on this site, but disqualifications are a frequent occurrence. Sometimes we’re disqualified just by clicking the link to a survey. Swagbucks aggregates third-party surveys and some of the sites they send you to don’t work well. It takes a while to save up points on Swagbucks, but there are plenty of rewards in the marketplace. You can get gift cards, sweepstakes, or even PayPal payments. You can read our full review here – https://swaggingreenies.com/videos/.
This website is a survey aggregator with an efficient screening process. The dashboard provides useful information, such as your activity and customer support. The site also gave us access to surveys that we were eligible for even after qualifying for others. When you compare the points obtained from surveys from OneOpi to the reward dollars, it really isn’t as attractive. For example, 500 points doesn’t actually equate to a $5 reward. You need to earn 25,000 points before you can cash out at $25. Read more in our OneOpi.
While Toluna does offer its users the ability to choose their own topic of interest, other sites may offer more in terms of payment. When you convert your points to cash, you’re earning 71 cents per hour – one of the lowest rates we’ve seen among all the sites we tested. We found out that in order to purchase a $5 gift card, 5 hours of work is needed, which is not enough time for a full week’s work. Check out our Toluna review for more info.
New users are given a $5 bonus after signing up for the InboxDolls email address. However, this included little revenue compared to other survey sites ($0.41). Sometimes, instead of sending us surveys, the site sent us promotional content that required our address, phone number, and birthdate. Read our InboxDollars review.
Are paid surveys worth it?
The most important disconnect is that survey-takers earn a very small amount for their time investment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for U.S. workers was $16.94 in 2017. One of the lowest paying surveys we saw was an offer where we earned 41 cents per hour, and its sister survey offered just 27 cents Most survey sites had a minimum amount of points you needed to exchange them for rewards. We didn’t reach the minimum after five hours of work, but that may be because we prefer other things to do when we’re not working.
We provide so much more than just our time to these survey sites, they collect sensitive information like our health data, ethnicities, income, and other information. After spending hours in a question-answer mode, we seldom think about giving out those details.
Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, says, “The biggest risk is the unknown of how that data is going to be used.” You are putting yourself at the mercy of those sites and saying, “OK, I’m going to trust you to be a good steward of the information I give you.”
Velasquez warns that nefarious groups may use the information we provide for questionable purposes or to sell it to health insurers, for example. They may also steal said data. As you answer the questions, please bear in mind the information you’ve been giving away. Information like your date of birth can be connected and used to steal your identity.
What to know if you take online surveys
Despite their drawbacks and half-truths, online surveys are still a popular choice for many people. They’re open to anyone and can be done from anywhere with an internet connection.
After collecting survey results from 55 people, here’s what we found:
Don’t overshare. Be mindful of the information you’re giving to surveys, as they could contain more sensitive details such as your Social Security number. Be deliberate with the personal information you share when taking a survey. It might be ok to answer some questions about a TV commercial, but giving out medical information comes with serious consequences.
Create an email address just for survey sites. We got a lot of surveys sent to us, but signing up for these sites with a separate email address helps prevent the surveys from cluttering our main inbox.
Install anti-malware software. If one of the survey sites takes you to a spammy third-party client, we recommend taking this action.
Take breaks. We frequently experienced extended review meetings, with our faces stuck to the PC screen the whole time. To forestall eye strain, the American Optometric Association suggests the 20/20/20 rule: Take a 20-second break at regular intervals and take a gander at something 20 feet away.
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If you decide that surveys aren’t worth your time, there are other options for earning money online, like blogging, selling items, and freelancing. Those strategies may require more effort, but the potential benefit is bigger.