Have you heard yet about online surveys and market research focus groups? There are ads all over the Internet for surveys companies. The trick is to know how to tell which opportunities and which are legitimate. Legitimate surveys come from companies wanting to know what consumers think about their products, their new product ideas, what your frustrations are so they can develop products that will sell. Some of these surveys will come directly from the companies, while many companies large and small opt to hire market research companies to conduct the surveys. You will find opportunities for online surveys, telephone surveys, in-person interviews and focus groups.
Legitimate companies do not charge you to join in order to get surveys. There are so many free companies that pay, so there is no sense in wasting your time paying a membership fee or paying for a list of companies.
Online surveys can pay out in checks, PayPal, Gift Cards/Certificates, or points to exchange for cash, merchandise or gift certificates. Get signed up with these companies and enjoy a lot of “fun money” and things. I’ve gotten everything from cash, Amazon.com certificates, Target gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, gift cards from restaurants and stores, to household items like a Bissel carpet cleaner. Once you start getting checks in the mail, packages and gift certificates in your email you’ll be hooked on surveys!
Most surveys are fairly short – 20 minutes or less, and these ones pay anywhere from $1 – $5 on average. The more of these you complete, the more likely you will be to get chosen for a focus group. Focus groups are online sessions that last usually anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours and pay up to $150, sometimes more.
How do I get started?
1. Open a free email account at Yahoo, Gmail or another service that you use exclusively for surveys. The reason I recommend this is that once you sign up, along with surveys, you may be receiving some “junk” email. While I’ve found the vast majority of the companies don’t send junk mail, as you learn, you may give out your email to a place that sells email addresses.
2. Open a PayPal account. PayPal is an option that many survey companies use for payment. If you don’t already have an account, sign up. It’s a terrific service that’s free. You can also apply for a debit card from them for easy access to your cash.
3. Start a spreadsheet. Not required, but I highly encourage it as it will allow you to see what you’re earning and keep track of payments due and/or points you accumulate. Put as much or as little information as you want to track. I do a list by survey date, company, survey topic, payment amount, payment method and date payment received.
4. Keep a PAPER notebook. This is for your login name and password information for your email and survey accounts. It’s best not to keep those on your computer incase you ever get hacked.
5. Start signing up for companies! Start with some on the following list, and continue searching the internet for more opportunities. There are many sites and blogs out there that list these companies for free.
6. Check your mail. Once you sign up, you’ll receive email invitations to participate in surveys. Many of the companies also have web sites where you can log in, see your points or cash balance, request pay outs and take more surveys. Check your email daily or several times a day if you have time, and log into the sites at least once a week.
7. Get paid! Some companies pay via PayPal per survey, meaning you will get a PayPal payment shortly after completing the survey. Other companies have pay out thresholds where they will pay you when you reach $5, $10, $20 etc. Check each company’s policy to see how their pay outs word.
Here are my current favorite survey companies.
Global Test Market