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With a plethora of things to do online such as games, social networking, and shopping to name but a few. It comes as no surprise that today, many people have depended on the internet to:

– Upload there Resume.
– Look for and apply apply for jobs.
– Become freelancer’s.
– Search for employees & lost friends.

However, it may come as a surprise that one of the fastest growing online trends apart from the popular online writing jobs, is the paid online surveys.

What is the online survey’s appeal?

– It is online.
– Any one can do it.
– You can work from anywhere with internet access & on any device.
– Zero start-up costs.
– Little physical or mental effort required.

However, like everything that is nice and shiny, it pays to know the risks before hand. These risks work both ways – both for the companies that administer them and for the people who take them.

Paid survey clipboard image

Web sites offering online surveys

There are several Web sites that offer a varied systems and mechanism of online surveys. Some even cater to a specific group of people such as the middle aged white male blue collar worker, whilst others cater for the stay at home mum. Most of the time the websites themselves only act as third parties, and it is the survey providers who determine who is or is not suitable for each survey.

But the common denominator of these sites is rewarding system:

– Paying participants for filling out online surveys.
– It should be noted that each site has a unique reward system in place.

So how do these sites work in general?

The first thing you need to do is register at the website and answer some basic contact and login information. You will then receive an e-mail with a link that directs you to a page asking for more detailed demographic information such as whether you are male or female, your marital status, education level, and your race. Upon completion you will receive intermittent e-mails with links to surveys that correspond to the demographic. Though the duration of each survey varies, most surveys take an average of 10 to 20 minutes to fill up.

How do I get paid?

Some survey sites will reward you in e-coupons to use at various on-line outlets (these work like discount vouchers almost). Some sites will reward you with cash, which once you reach the withdrawal limit set by the survey company you can withdraw through either Paypal or by cheque. All of the rewards are based on how long the survey took to complete and how complete and truthful were your answers.

How do I get more surveys?

After you complete the registration form and your first survey for each site you wish to participate in, you will receive intermittent e-mails with links to surveys that correspond to your demographic. However, not all sites work to this business model.

One of the best online survey sites has adapted the business model to include both a paid advertising platform, where advertisers get good quality prospects and customers get paid to view adverts (PPC). This site (Clickbank) has been online for over 8 years and has been running surveys from within the site for the same length of time. The other feature which makes this site stand out from the rest, is the lack of follow-up emails received. All of the survey details are contained within the site. You complete an online form initially and these details are available and pre-loaded prior to taking a new survey on-site.

Possible risks for companies providing online surveys

One of the biggest risks for companies providing this service is the credibility of the survey answers. Participants have been known to cheat the system by:

– Providing incorrect demographic information.
– Creating multiple profiles with various email addresses.
– Creating multiple different physical addresses
– Requesting Instant Pay-outs

Why do this?

Participants hope that by doing this, they will qualify for more surveys and get paid more.

What is the effect on the data?

Survey companies are not only left out of pocket, however, the quality of the data is often compromised and the survey results are skewed to match the false data provided.

What can companies do to protect themselves from scammers?

Survey companies have been tightning up on both the application process and the software used to assess the survey answers.
When you first register for a survey site, you not only have to confirm your email address, but you will often have to wait for up to 24 hours before you can participate in your first survey. The software the survey companies use on the back-end is becoming more sophisticated and can profile your responses to match your demographic profile.

On the participants end.

There is a higher possibility for signing up on scam Web sites. Participants should by now know that paid online surveys have become haven for Internet scammers. Participants should beware of the middlemen who charge a registration fee for accessing the lists of surveys, which in fact are free.

Tips for avoiding paid survey scams
– Avoid signing up with sites requiring a fee for accessing surveys.
– Read privacy statements and disclaimers.
– Be cautious.
– Trust your instincts.
– If the offer looks to good to be true, then avoid it.
– The more the site defends itself as legal, the more likely it is a scam.

In Summary

By using a little bit of common sense, you can add another revenue stream to your online business, and with some surveys paying between $1.50 – $7.50 per survey this can add up to a nice monthly pay check.

I always love to hear what people think of my blog posts and it also fascinates me the reach and depth a blog post can have within this wonderful platform.

If you have questions or need assistance please feel free to contact me.
I will be happy to help.

Best regards