Monday, June 23, 2008

Paid Surveys - A Presumptive Nirvana

By Scott Lindsay

I have to admit I'm surprised to see so many articles expounding the virtues of paid surveys. The presumptive belief is that paid surveys can manage financial concerns and provide stable and long term income.

It won't take you long to find articles indicating you can stay home and be a mouse potato while raking in the cash.

In my personal research on paid surveys there are very few survey companies that pay more than $3-5 per accepted survey. I don't know about you, but that amount of money will not provide much buying power.

There were times in my research when I invested fifteen minutes in answering questions only to be told I didn't ultimately fit their need for participants. Five weeks into my research I had $11.38 banked in one survey company (the funds can't be removed until a $30 threshold is reached). Most surveys I ultimately filled out had a payout of between twenty-five cents and a dollar.

There was also the reward of points that I could use to enlist in an online raffle for big prizes. No prizes were ever awarded to me for my efforts. I invested 25 hours in surveys for this type of company with absolutely no reward nor did I expect any.

There is no doubt there are those who are making significant cash in paid surveys, but my research indicates it is not the survey takers.

Use your favorite search engine and you will find more paid survey sites than you will ever have time to investigate. You will also find that many paid survey sites promote other paid survey sites. I even found more than one that will happily sign you up for dozens of other paid survey sites. The end result is a spam folder loaded with offers to take surveys for points (very few for cash).

You will also be alerted to special offers including gift cards worth a thousand dollars. These offers require purchases and recruitment.

The growth of paid surveys may be attributed to two causal agents. The first I believe is the idea that many cash strapped individuals are looking for an easy way to improve cash flow. The second reason I think individuals may stay with paid surveys is that many paid survey sites don't automatically send a check to your home. What they do is bank your cash until you make a certain amount. Many disgruntled individuals will stick with it until they accumulate enough money to receive a check and then they leave paid surveys behind.

I had gone into my research in the hopes that I would find this to be something I could recommend. After researching dozens of companies that had been recommended as 'among the best' I found that even the best only fed nickels when members were anticipating something more.

It is my belief that you could make money taking paid surveys, but it will require viewing it as a full time job where there are no benefits and there is a real potential to earn less then minimum wage.

I have a feeling that those who promote paid surveys either have a vested interest in recruitment or they have simply bought into the hype by believing everything they read.

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