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The Five Rules to Online Paid Surveys

Apr 16, 2008
If you have been around the internet for more than a day, chances are you have seen information about taking online surveys for money. Chances are you have seen a lot of information about these paid surveys, including sites that will show you the best ones for a fee.

Are they legitimate? Can you make real money with online paid surveys? Is this an acceptable for of supplemental income?

The answer is, online surveys can be a fun way to earn a little extra pocket change, but they are rarely a good way to earn significant supplemental income. Think of them as a paying hobby, and not much more than that.

Most sites will pay $1-3 for completing a survey, which you must first qualify for. Some sites will pay $5-10 for a lengthy survey, and there are sites out there that do pay $25 or more for surveys or focus groups, but the qualification process is very selective.

Many sites are also offer sites, which will pay you to complete trial subscriptions or will give you a rebate on your purchase at select online stores. While some people do not like these sorts of sites, I do, as I shop online anyway, and it gives me the chance to earn some money back.

There are a few rules when it comes to taking paid surveys or completing offers online. If you follow these five rules, you will have fun with your paid surveys hobby.

1.Never Pay for Surveys
The biggest mistake someone new to the online offers and survey world makes is that they pay a service to give them a list of sites that are "hiring". This service typically charges the user around $30 for information that is available free on the internet.

Many survey sites also pay a referral fee to the service for recruiting the new panelist. So these services get paid twice for the same amount of work. Quite lucrative for them, a scam for you.

2.Open a Separate Email Account
Taking online surveys and paid offers usually comes part and parcel with receiving a large amount of junk email. It's technically not SPAM, as you do subscribe to these companies in exchange for your payment, but it does have a tendency to clog a good email account.

As a precaution, open up a separate email account to use only for online offers and surveys before you get started. All your offers will come to that email account and will not affect your main account.

3.Sign Up with Multiple Companies
In order to get the most offers, you need to take the time to sign up with as many companies as you can. Some will be real winners, some will be a waste of time, but you need to sign up with them all.

Also, make sure that you confirm your email address immediately. You will not receive any offers if you are not confirmed.

And take a few extra minutes to go into each site, after confirmed, to take their initial questionnaire. This allows the site to match surveys to you. The more info you give them, the more surveys you will be offered.

4. Don't Give Out Your Credit Card Number
If any survey company requires your credit card number to do business with them, something is wrong. Do not give it to them, even to verify your identity. Just move on.

Some offers or trials from offer sites will require your credit card number, however. If this makes you uncomfortable, just pass on these offers. If you do decide to try the offers, make sure you read the fine print on how to cancel your trial subscription.

Most mistakes happen when panelists do not read the fine print and let the trial go on to a full subscription. This can cause a battle with your credit card company over reimbursing charges for a service you did not want.

Rule of thumb: only do trial subscriptions to a service that you are thinking of trying out anyway. This way you are not disappointed if you forget to cancel it.

5. You Won't Get Rich
The most important thing to realize when you are doing online surveys and offers is that you will not get rich off this type of work. You might only get 1-2 surveys per company, per month.

Most sites require a certain amount of money to be earned before you will be paid. Understand that it could take you a few months to qualify for this amount.

Treat this like a hobby, and look at the little extra money you earn as a fun treat to spend on yourself, or as your holiday gifts fund to spend on other people. Enjoy!
About the Author
Rayven Perkins has been taking online surveys for more than 5 years. Check out her list of survey sites at Online Paid Surveys
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