Make Money with Free Online Surveys
Looking for bucks in all the wrong places? Online surveys are a great way to pad your paycheck on your own time and with minimal effort. To find legitimate sites, go through the registration process, and become eligible to take surveys, follow these instructions.
Become Eligible to Complete Online Surveys
- Be prepared. Surveyors are looking for specific types of people, and while you won't qualify for every survey (if you're a 25-year-old healthy hipster and they're looking for a 60-year-old couch potato, you're just not going to make the cut).
- Fill out the surveys. Many survey companies offer screener surveys when you register, which usually don't pay.
- However, it's an important first step, and worth the little extra time it takes to fill these screening surveys out because the more demographic information the market research companies have on you, the more surveys they can send you.
- Remember, you will only be matched with surveys that you can actually contribute to, so if you leave all your screener information blank to get through it more quickly, you will receive fewer survey opportunities.
- Check often! Keep an eye out on both the site and your email regularly for survey opportunities. Some companies offer surveys more often than others—and you certainly don’t want to miss any of them!
- Any individual survey site may only offer a couple of surveys to you in a given month. The more companies you sign up with, the more surveys you'll be able to complete.
- Set up a rule for your email so that any survey emails that come in are flagged, make noise when they arrive, and appear at the top of your list. Everything you do to make them stand out will help.
- Choose and complete the best surveys. Once you have lots of surveys available, you can be more selective and pick the ones that seem like the best use of your time. If time isn’t an issue, on the other hand, you can do them all. You're under no obligation to complete any surveys if you don't want to.
Find Legitimate Survey Sites
- Get searching, but be wary. There are many legitimate survey companies out there, and money to be made. Which, of course, means that there will be unscrupulous people out there as well, looking to nab some dollars without working for it. Here's how to steer clear of scammers:
- Never pay up front. Some companies will ask you to pay a small fee up-front for access to survey lists, which is absolutely unnecessary. Check Terms and Conditions, FAQs, or any other area on a survey company’s page containing information on how the company operates. (If such information is hard or impossible to locate, consider it a red flag and cross that site off your list.)
- Make sure you will be paid in cash. There are tons of surveys on the internet that can be completed for cash (or points that you exchange for cash), but some only pay in gift cards or enter you into a sweepstakes.
- Some sites offer a combination of these, which may or may not be to your benefit. Be sure you know exactly how you will be rewarded by checking a sites FAQs, Terms and Conditions, etc.
- Some companies offer prizes or products, or let you accrue points that you can trade in for such. Many of these won’t be as useful or valuable to you as cash, but occasionally you will get lucky. Just be sure to price-hunt any items before accepting them (or investing valuable energy into trying to earn them).
- Get fine-print savvy. Some websites will say you won an Xbox360 or a new laptop, for example, but if you look carefully, you’ll usually find an asterisk near the "you won" part. Be especially wary of weasel words, like "you may have already won," or "new laptop is based on a purchase of gummy bears worth $5,000 or more." Don't fall into these sorts of traps; they're ridiculously difficult and not worth it.
- Check for age restrictions. Online surveys can be a great way for teens to make pocket money, but not all sites allow it. (Many allow it if parental permission is given.)
- Look for a minimum payment amount. Most sites won’t allow you to cash in until you have accrued a certain amount of money, which reduces the number of transactions they have to process (and, of course, gets people to invest more in the site).
- Make sure the amount required is fair before diving in—twenty dollars is common—and, more importantly, if you don’t like a site and plan to cash out soon, make sure to time it so that you don’t have to do a lot more surveys to unlock your cash.
- Look for sites that have good ratings. Finding a reputable survey-site aggregator (such as GetPaidSurveys or BigSpot) that allows members to rank the companies they’ve worked with is a good way to do this. Don’t take any stock in reviews or testimonials that are self-posted by survey sites.
Register with Survey Sites
- Make a dedicated email account just for surveys. This will keep junk mail out of your normal inbox. They may say they won't sell your information, but less-reputable companies might give it away for a favor. Once your information is out, it's out.
- Register with legitimate companies. You will usually be required to provide basic information such as your name, email address, birth date, gender, and address. Later in the process, you will also need to provide PayPal information—usually associated with an email address—so that you can receive the money you’ve earned.
- Check your email to verify. After registration, companies will email the email address you’ve provided to verify. Open this email and activate your account to confirm.
- Add the site’s email address to your address book. If an incoming address doesn’t match one in your address book, your e-mail account might mark it as spam automatically.
- Surveys only net a few dollars on average but take very little time. Even if you only spend a few minutes making $3 a day, in a month, you will have earned over $90!
- Teenagers can also do surveys for cash but should always research whether or not a given company will allow them to participate.
- If you use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, try using the WOT extension to stop yourself from going to scam sites.
- Don’t accept what sounds too good to be true.
- Many websites with online surveys often have spyware and viruses, so be careful of them.
- Avoid giving out your phone number, as it can open the door for telemarketers. Some can even circumvent the Do-Not-Call lists because you've signed up to receive information.
- Ask yourself what your goal is. Surveys are a nice way of getting a little extra change in your pocket but you will not be able to quit your day job. If you are looking to make more than $100/month online, you should look into affiliate marketing.
- Most survey sites (and their affiliate companies) will start sending you tons of spam.
- Create a Survey
- Make Money Fast
- Make Money (for Teenagers)
- Make Easy Money
- Make Money Online
- Spot an Online Scam
- Do Paid Surveys