Paid Surveys Online, Are They All Scams?

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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 and

My favorite companies to work with that have actually paid me cash are as follows: (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.) (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!) (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.

19 thoughts on “Paid Surveys Online, Are They All Scams?”

  1. Hello Eddy with a y, I have been with Pinecone Research for a few years but I only get $3 a survey. Did the raise it to $5?

  2. @Edgar N Cohen:

    Hello Edgar,

    Sorry to read about your unsatisfactory survey experiences. I do understand your frustration. It is very annoying to spend your quality time attempting a survey only to go very far into it and receive the dreaded message of disqualification. We all hate that.

    You mentioned trying surveys a couple of months ago, but I’m unsure of how long you actually gave surveys a try. I recall when I got started with surveys (well over a year ago) and experienced discouragement in the first several weeks to a month or so. However, I kept positive about it and made up my mind I was not going to give it up. That paid off for me.

    Of course I realize everyone’s patience level is different, and some deem it necessary to call it quits sooner than others, but for me hanging in there worked.

    In terms of possibly knowing of survey programs that compensate for screeners, unfortunately, I know of none currently. That would be great if there were!

    You said you used Eddy’s list to start with, which is an excellent starting point. That is where I started as well. Then, as I began to experience success, I joined more survey sites.

    By the way, I just posted a NEW member sign up link for PineCone Research in another area of Eddy’s blog:

    So, if you’re not already a member of PineCone Research, and might be interested in taking a shot at it, I encourage you to go for it quickly because the new member sign up link will ONLY remain active for a limited time.

    Take good care.

  3. Eddy,
    I know you tout paid surveys as a legitimate method of making money. Well, I did try that a couple of months ago – I made squat. I signed up for a lot of survey’s and I started to get emails inviting me to take the survey. By, the way I used your list here to start with. Well, I get the invite, log on and start the survey. Well, everyone of them terminated the survey saying something like, “We are sorry, but you did not qualify to continue the survey.” And that was that.

    Now, before you say anything, I did fill out all the info truthfully and did not lie about my age, sex, income, etc. Without exception, I was not allowed to complete any survey and earn some bucks. I am white, male and 55. I guess I am not worth anything to these folks – which is not true!! Care to comment anyone? What have been your experiences in taking paid surveys?

    Ed Cohen

    • Hey Ed,

      Good to hear from you again buddy.
      In terms of surveys, I’ve said this many times but I’ll say it again. Landing surveys is completely based on supply and demand of a demographic. Just as in the offline world there are certain skill sets and people that are more desirable for a given industry or job. It’s just a fact of life. Unfortunately it appears that certain age groups seem to be targeted more when it comes to online surveys. I know it’s not fair but we all know life isn’t fair.

      The reason I try to provide you all with so many different ways to make money is:

      1. I strongly believe in multiple streams of income and never putting all your eggs in one basket.
      2. I know that some opportunities won’t work for everyone or are just not appealing to certain people.

      So I like to help folks cover all bases.

      When I first got started in this work at home industry, I spent a lot of time doing get paid to read emails, and surveys. But eventually I just moved on to other things that were more appealing and made me more money. So I think when it comes to surveys or any of the opportunities I’ve recommended if you’re not getting the desired results and have done all you can with that opportunity, you should move on to greener pastures.

      I don’t think these market research companies have a desire to exclude certain age groups. But they work for other companies that hire them. And if the company paying the bills wants a certain profile and you don’t fit it, then there isn’t much that can be done. Although some people take the route of fitting every profile with fake data.

      That being said, I do take issue with folks spending some of their time to take the preliminary questions and not being compensated some type of money for their trouble. I know with mysurvey, even when I don’t qualify for a survey, they still give me a little something for going through the screener questions. I wish it was a practice that all survey companies engaged in.

      My buddy Callie runs maybe she has a list of survey companies that always pay you even for the screener questions. So give her a shout.

      I know you’re frustrated Ed and you’re just trying to find some things that will make you money. It can be a long and annoying process. But just keep giving various things a try until something fits your needs.

  4. I have done thousands of free surveys either i do not qualify or they do not pay up
    I am going to start listing thema couple you listed yousaid were good wer not good to me

    • Robert,
      Sorry to hear that. But your experience is not typical and I hate to say it I have serious doubts that you took thousands of surveys and never made a dime. It’s nearly impossible. There are only 3 main reasons people don’t qualify surveys:

      1. Your particular profile & demographics isn’t in demand at the moment. I’m 33 year black married black male with 1 child. If the survey company is looking for a single white female, guess what? I’m ass out. That’s just the nature of the industry. It’s research. And if companies aren’t interested in your feedback it’s not the survey’s company’s fault. They can just make surveys up unless they’re being paid by an outside firm.

      2. You didn’t provide enough information in your profile. The more information you can provide the survey company in your profile, the easier it is for to them to connect you with their clients.

      3. You’re signing up for shady middle man survey companies. I only have about 5 survey companies I give extremely high marks to which can be found on the following page: All of which I have been paid with as a survey taker and that I know others have as well.

      There are a lot of survey companies out there but they’re not all built the same. In any event, thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate it. Hope you have better luck with some other opportunities.

  5. i’m malayasian.. i’m onth mother of two. right now i’m seeking the job online to be done from home.. i’m find that this web sites almost helping me. but eddy i need your suggestion on which jobs suit to me most. my interest is in typing field. hope you can suggest me one. i’m really wanna start doing the jobs from home. help me!! thanks..

  6. I’ve been working with several different survey sites now for maybe a year (and only very actively for the last 3-4 months) and have made some money and/or received a compensation gift totally a little over $100. One thing that I do enjoy is that twice so far the site has sent me a product to try out at home, and then a week later I get e-mailed a follow-up survey asking me how I’d rate the product. The nice thing is that these products are things I use anyways, so not only am I getting to use the product for free (and usually before its even out on the market!) but I also get paid to use it. And that got me thinking of a Scam that I’ve witnessed almost daily when I open my “public” e-mail account: Get Paid to Try [insert high-priced item here]. Usually it’s for a laptop computer, but sometimes it’s for some other product. If it wasn’t that my inbox gets spammed with these messages, I might be tempted to try out one of these to see where the scam sets in. It seems, however, that there must be legit opportunities like this… After all I’m getting paid to try out small items on regular survey sites. Also, there was a car commercial that also showed people that got to try out a new car and had their responses recorded for the car ad. Are these mostly offered to the paid focus groups you mentioned, or are there actual sites that are solely dedicated to having participants try out different products?

    • Hi Pyth007,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I totally agree with you. I love trying new products and being paid to do so. It’s like double the pleasure. lol
      In terms of the get paid to try offers, it can definitely be profitable. But like paid surveys when people misrepresent and abuse legitimate opportunities then they get these negative associations of being a scam. But as you’ve seen with surveys they’re not scams. You just need to find the right companies to work with. With that said get paid offers can lose you money if you don’t have attention to detail and don’t know what you’re doing. We’ve actually written an article about this here:

      So you can learn more about getting paid to try offers there. I don’t know about companies that pay you to try cars. Although I have been called to do a mystery shopping job at a car dealership. You can learn more about that type of opportunity on the following page:

      I hope this helps.


  7. Eddy,
    You state that with paid focus groups, they usually want you to travel to their business. Is there any way of taking these over the phone just in case there aren’t any companies in the area where one might live?

    • Hi Lori,

      Unfortunately no. Focus groups tend to pay more because they understand the trouble it is to come out to their facility. It’s a great way to make easy money if you live in a major city or near one. But you do have to sacrifice leaving your home to earn the type of money they give you.

      Take care.


  8. A person does not need to go through Survey to do surveys, you can find them online and sign up for them without paying a fee.

  9. I have been taking surveys online for almost a year now and I have made thousands of dollars so far and counting. The key is to sign up for as many of the good ones as you can. The best ones are the sites that pay well and send surveys consistently. I have written a blog about this which includes links to some of the best paid survey sites I have found. You can check it out here:


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