If you type in “paid surveys” in google, you’ll get almost 8 million search results…
Yes, that’s a lot, but who can blame us, really?
Who wouldn’t want to earn some easy cash by simply filling in some forms and ticking some boxes?
Whether you’re a student, stay-at-home parent or you’re just looking to supplement your main income, it seems like a great opportunity to bring in some extra dough.
We’ve all seen the ads one time or another. “Earn $1000 in a week!”, “get paid FAST!”, “earn 10$ on your first survey today!”.
But the question remains, can you earn money from surveys?
Well, the answer is: NO AND YES.
Stick with me and I’ll explain what I’m talking about.
How It All Works
Companies are constantly looking to expand their product lines, reach into new markets and improve their sales.
Well, there’s one thing they need to be able to do that correctly…
Or in this case, big data.
What brands you like, why you like them, what you’re spending your money on, what you’re planning to buy for Christmas etc. etc.
All of this is valuable information for big businesses that are looking to expand and one-up their competitors. In other words, they are willing to pay a decent sum to get a hold of your opinions.
And this is where the survey websites come in. They act as middlemen that get the data from you and me, and then sell it to the corporations that want it.
Here’s the breakdown:
- You take surveys.
- Survey site stores your data.
- They sell the data to corporations.
- You get a percentage of the profits.
Seems simple enough, right?
Of course, the model is pretty straightforward, so you should get paid… in theory.
However, the devil is in the details.
What’s The Deal?
If you’ve tried a few survey sites, you already know the main problems with most of them:
- They don’t give you enough surveys to complete.
- They payment is too low compared to how much time you spend.
- Or they don’t even offer you cash for your work, at all!
But, why do so many of them have these issues?
I mean, if the demand is there, and the business model is so straightforward, what’s going on here?
Bam, Scam, Thank You Sam
Well, let’s get the obvious answer out of the way first: A good portion of these survey sites are simply scams.
If you search the web, you’ll find no shortage of pissed-off people who never received the surveys they were promised. Instead, the “survey site” simply took their email and phone number and started spamming them with ads and other junk.
It’s quite simple, really. These survey companies have operating costs that need to be taken care of: Developers, support staff, managers, server hosting etc.
Since these sites are free to join, they don’t bring in enough income to actually make a profit. The payment they get from selling the info is simply not enough on its own.
They have to compensate in, one way or another, to keep themselves afloat. They usually do this by lowering your share of the payment.
In some cases, they don’t even offer you cash at all. Instead, they try to lure you in with various gift cards and discounts. The most popular ones commonly use a combination of these strategies.
So, the bottom line is this:
With the majority of these “free” survey sites, you’ll actually be charged a hidden fee on ALL your commissions!
This is why you keep grinding away, hours on end, with only peanuts to show for it…
Your opinions are actually worth more. However, because of their business models, these free-to-join sites are taking a sizable chunk out of ALL your earnings.
So, in this case, the answer would be no. You cannot earn a decent income from these sites.
What Actually Works
But wait, didn’t I say no AND yes in the introduction?
Indeed, I did. And here’s why:
While the majority of these survey websites won’t get you anything more than some measly pocket change, there are a few that actually can.
What separates these few from the rest of the gang?
They charge you a flat fee to access the paid surveys.
I know, this might seem counterintuitive to some. After all, you’re paying someone to get a hold of surveys you could get for free on other sites. That’s got to be a bad deal, right?
As we’ve just discussed, these “free” survey websites are actually taking a hefty chunk out of every single commission you make.
So, in the end, they get a lot more people to join their platforms, but their payouts are low to nonexistent because of it.
Pay Some To Get Paid More
For sites like Gold Opinions, however, you just get charged a flat fee to access the surveys, and then keep all of your earnings to yourself.
With a basic membership fee (usually $25-30), they can cover all their costs without cutting into their members’ commissions. This naturally results in bigger, steadier payouts.
The paid sites offer the regular rewards you’re used to seeing, such as gift cards. However, note that these kinds of sites always offer multiple ways to get paid in cold, hard cash. This is a good sign.
Furthermore, you won’t suddenly stop getting work because your payout potential is getting “too high”. You won’t be getting all your commissions slashed by 30% or more, either.
Boiling It Down
With all of this in mind, don’t take the hype at face value.
If you see a success story of someone who actually make real money every month with surveys, they’re not grinding away at the big freebie sites where the masses are mingling.
Instead, they’ll most likely be using one of the premium sites. There, as long as you put in the effort, you could potentially be making an extra $500 or more per month.
Not too shabby for a side hustle, huh?
So, with these types of websites, can you earn money from surveys?
The answer is YES.
By now, I hope you understand why the answer had to be explained further.
You also understand exactly why the vast majority of people never make anything worthwhile from these “free” survey sites.
They aren’t actually free at all, they just use a different business model, and hide how they actually make a profit (by munching on every single commission you make!).
If you want to be one of the few who actually make some extra income from this, look for sites like Gold Opinions that charge a small fee for its users.
This may scare off the majority of freebie seekers but, again, it’s actually a good thing!
Here are the things to look for in a survey site that works:
- They charge for their services (to cover their costs).
- They don’t take a cut out of your commissions (there will usually be a statement about this somewhere, because it’s a selling point).
- They have a wide selection of work to choose from.
- There’s no limit on how many surveys you can take.
- They offer REAL CASH for your work.
Keep these points in mind, and you’ll be pulling in some nice extra income in no time.
Now, go forth and let your opinions be known — they’re worth something!