If you’ve been a visitor of Work-At-Home Success for some time, you’ll know that I’ve never been very optimistic about making a living doing surveys. But I get asked about them all the time, so I thought I’d post my thoughts to help answer questions. I’ve also posted a few survey companies you can check out if you’re interested in learning more about surveys.
What are surveys?
Companies need information and feedback on the products and services they sell. They get this feedback by asking consumers questions about the product specifically or their buying habits in general. Surveys are not new, but in the past they came in the mail.
Are surveys a scam?
No, at least not the legitimate ones. Like most everything else related to working at home, there are always a few bad apples trying to take advantage of others. Legitimate survey sites do not charge money. I have found that some sites will charge money to access their database of survey sites. You have to decide for yourself whether this is worth it. In my experience a little research goes a long way. And some of these survey database sites sneak in free-to-try programs that can cost you money.
Can you work-at-home doing surveys?
This is a hard question to answer because you can make some money and get free stuff by doing surveys, but I haven’t met anyone yet who supports their family on survey income. So if you need to pay the rent, I don’t think surveys are the best option. If you want mad money or less than a few hundred a month, then maybe it would be worth effort.
Do I have to give them all that information about me?
Yes, but within reason. The survey sites need to put you into a demographic (gender, marital status, age, home ownership status, interests, etc.) because companies survey specific demographic groups. But you always want to be careful about giving away information that could hurt you financially. The difficulty is that if you’re getting paid, the law requires the company issue a 1099 for which a social security is needed. This is true of any paid work in the U.S. (Incidentally, you’re also supposed to claim prizes and winnings as income on your taxes).
What do I need to know that isn’t usually mentioned?
Most survey sites will tell you how you can make $5 to $75 per survey, but what they don’t tell you is that you may only qualify for one survey a week or less or maybe more, but you’re not going to do five $25 surveys a day seven days a week. Many don’t pay per survey, but instead enter you to win money. And some give you stuff instead of money. I’ve gotten a portable CD player (before there were MP3 players) and a Victoria Secret bra. I also got paid $5 once to do a week-long log of my TV watching habits. It was fun, but I didn’t earn much.
They also fail to mention the qualifying aspect. When companies survey consumers, they usually want a very specific group such as married moms with children under 10 years who own a home, a computer, a gaming system, and watch 20 hours of t.v. a week (this is just an example). Further you don’t know until you start the survey whether or not you’ll fit the demographic the company is looking for. Usually the first few questions are used to identify if you fit the target group.
The people I’ve met who seem to make the most from surveys and win a lot of free stuff spend a lot of time at it and participate through more than one company. If you’d like to give it a try, you’re likely only to waste time (as opposed to money) and perhaps you’ll get a few bucks or free items. Remember though to never pay money to join a survey site and be skeptical about the free-trial offers that will bill you if you fail to cancel. Some survey database sites have those kind of offers as well.
Here are few survey sites you can try. The are free, BUT I cannot make any guarantees about their programs or your success in working with them. They are offered solely as information you can check out.
American Consumer Opinion
Online Customer Surveys