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Cash For Questions

In the boosting your income section of Saving For Travel I suggested answering online surveys as a slow-but-sure way of earning money, and I thought I’d go into a little more detail as to what’s involved – and the potential rewards.

Traditional market research methods – such as people with clipboards on the street, or cold-calling by phone – have been largely superceded since the boom of internet surveys. Clients with a need for a product or service to be evaluated are increasingly turning to online market research companies.

The benefits are clear. Such companies have thousands of people registered who are available to answer surveys – WILLINGLY; time and effort is immediately saved as cold calling is not necessary. What’s more, the companies have mini-profiles of everyone on the books, so clients can target a specific group of people should they wish.

These willing individuals are people like you and I. So what do we get out of it?

The best survey companies offer rewards in the form of a cash payout. Payouts vary wildly, but typically lie around the $1-$3 mark for a 10 to 20 minute survey. More specialised survey niches – such as those targeting specialised IT professionals or frequent travellers on business – can be even more lucrative.

Participants are notified of surveys by email. It helps to check frequently as many surveys have a quick takeup; if you are a few days late you may find the survey is closed, having already received the required number of participants.

The number of survey invites you receive in a given week varies, and you will often find that after answering the first few “screening” questions you do not belong to the “target group” (and so the survey ends prematurely without you being paid). So to maximise your survey uptake, you should sign up to as many of these companies as possible!

Note that to avoid costly overheads on small transaction amounts (and to some degree to encourage loyalty), the majority of survey companies have a minimum amount your account has to reach before you can withdraw.

The golden rule to help you avoid any scammers is simple:

  • NEVER pay to join a survey site, even if it’s promising you access to “exclusive” surveys – it’s most likely a scam.

Some of the more established survey sites I can recommend are:

Lightspeed (UK)
Lightspeed (USA)
Lightspeed (Australia)
Greenfield Online (US/Canada)
Opinionistic (UK)
Ciao (UK)
The NetPanel (US)

Have fun!