Can You Really Make Money Taking Online Surveys?

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The answer is yes. But the question really is: Does it make financial sense? That depends on your time and your tolerance.

Lately, I’ve been having good luck with online surveys. Not only have I earned more than $20 for relatively little work, I’ve been asked to test several products.

Can’t say exactly what they are – confidentiality agreements – but they’re all things I was happy to get. Even though none of them was a pony.

As I noted in “Make hundreds by taking online surveys,” this can be a nice way to bring in some extra dollars or some gift cards. Both can bolster your budget.

That said, I just canceled my memberships in three survey sites because I decided they were expecting too much and offering too little. For example, I might get 150 points for a survey – but the smallest reward cost 10,000 points.

Heck, one site doesn’t even give actual rewards. It lets you trade your points in for chances at cash drawings. Do the math.

And any time I see an invitation that offers 50 cents for a 40-minute survey, I pass.

Every little bit helps?

Some people wouldn’t. A number of the folks I interviewed said they do surveys while watching TV with family, keeping an eye on the kids in the yard, or waiting for supper to cook. I bet plenty of cubicle workers keep surveys open on alternate screens too.

For them, the 50 multitasked cents are a bonus. But I spend too much time on the computer as it is. I like getting the extra funds, but it needs to be maximum reward for minimum effort.

Thus, I’ve decided to stick with surveys that are shorter and pay what I consider a decent amount – and like the folks above, I multitask. I keep a survey screen open while I’m doing other online chores, or eating an apple, or, yeah, talking on the phone. (Don’t pretend you’ve never done your nails, folded laundry, or killed Xbox aliens while chatting with your BFF.)

My advice: Don’t join every survey company you’re invited to join, and if you don’t get good results, cancel.

Also: If you have your own website, surveys can be a good source of prizes. How else would I be able to give away so many gift cards?

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Stacy Johnson

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