There was a time in the late 90's where online surveys didn't have a dirty tinge to them. But as time passed that has all changed. Paid Internet surveys are almost viewed like envelope stuffing scams. This is really unfortunate because paid on line surveys can help people make money. Granted it won't be boat loads like some of these ads claim but they do add up when you're involved with several legitimate and free companies.
I'm here to clean up the misconceptions about surveys online. The reason paid surveys has become a dirty word is because there are companies out there selling list of marketing company data bases that are readily available on free paid survey list sections of legitimate work at home sites. Now look whether you like it or not that is life. Authors make millions every year selling information that can readily be found for free. What you're paying for with books and paid survey sites is the convenience of having all the information in one place.
Not everyone is savvy enough to know where to look or have the time to do so. So those paid survey list can be useful. But the problem with some of these list are the claims of earnings and how soon you can start making money.
Signing up and finding companies willing to pay you for your opinions is the easy part! Qualifying for surveys right away is a whole other story. Market research people are always looking for a different demographic depending on the product or service they are researching. So one week they may be looking for African American males, ages 25-40 that own ipods. Guess what if you don't fit that profile you're not getting a paid survey that week! So it's not all of sudden you sign up and you start right away. That's where the deception comes in with some of these companies marketing paid surveys. If they leave it at, look we're selling you a list of survey companies and we can not guarantee you'll get a paid survey right away, then I think people wouldn't be so quick to label paid survey sites a scam.
So here's my advice, just be realistic with yourself. Chances are you won't earn money right away. But eventually you will fit a profile that a marketing company is looking for and you can earn some money. The way to improve this is by signing up for a lot of these companies. So having a list of survey companies is useful for this. But you don't have to pay for it. Many sites already provide the list for free such as www.MoneyMakingMommy.com and www.WorkAtHomeCareers.com
My favorite companies to work with that have actually paid me cash are as follows:
SurveySavvy.com (This company is listed with the BBB in good standing. Not as many surveys as some others. But when they do have one, it pays well. You also get for referrals and when they take surveys. That's how I've earned most of my money since I never seem to qualify for their surveys.)
MySurvey.com (They work on a point system but calm down, the points can be converted to cold hard cash. 150 points is equal to $1.50 and you earn that just for joining and taking a welcome survey. They provide frequent surveys and pay you for referrals. So even if you aren't taking surveys you can get paid for referring others. It's a great company and listed with the BBB!)
PineConeResearch.com (These guys pay like clock work, but they only accept people in spurts so you have to hunt around the internet for an invitation link to get in. But once you do, you'll earn $5 for every survey you take. I get about 2-5 a month. Not a lot of money but hey it's easy money)
Paid Focus Groups
Another great way to make money with surveys are focus groups. There sort of a varitaion on online surveys. A paid focus group works as follows. A marketing company calls you based on some demographic information that you fit. So for instance if they're looking for stay at home moms with 2 kids that are between the ages of 30-40 they may call you if you fit this demographic. But this is assuming you're in their database. To get in a paid focus group database is very easy, we provide a free list of paid focus group marketing companies. It's all free to join but it just takes some time to fill in the information. Once you've registered with a few companies. I suggest registering with as many as possible to really maximize the money you can make. I've literally made $1000 per month doing focus groups.
You'll start getting phone calls from these companies to schedule for a focus group. You'll have to go their facility which is usually near your home. I know it's not a traditional work at home job but you only have to leave your home for an hour or so and you can get paid up to $200 for doing so!
Once you get to the facility they just confirm that you are who you say you are so have some idenitication. Then you'll be brought into a room where other paid participants will be sitting and the moderator will start the focus group. Usually you're discussing a product, service, social issue, website, etc. I've had focus groups that required me to watch tv, sample cakes and drink beer and I still got paid! It's a great way to make money. So that's another great way to get paid for surveys! I even wrote an article on how to maximize your earnings with paid focus groups so be sure to read it before you do anything.
So I hope this clears up this whole nonsense about all surveys being scams. You have to be very objective when doing your research. Many times people are very cynical and jump to conclusions. So you want to say that you were able to look at a situation objectively and make a decision based on your own judgement and experience and not by what some blogger like me says.