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Are Paid Surveys Worth the Money?

Updated on November 19, 2011

Are There Really Paid Surveys Online?

The short answer is yes. There are many websites that offer to pay you to take surveys. On the surface, paid surveys sound like a great idea. All you have to do to earn the money is to answer a series of questions. Some people sign up with multiple companies in order to gain access to paid surveys every day.

Once you have signed up, these companies will often email you when there are surveys available. Some will have multiple surveys available at a time and others offer one or two per day. Sounds great, right? Not so Fast.

What Surveys Actually Pay

The main problems with doing paid surveys is that they pay so little for each one. They may pay less than a dollar for 10 or 15 minutes of your time. Many pay in points that can be redeemed for gift cards or cash. When doing these surveys, it may feel like you are being well compensated for your time. This one pays 300 points? Wow! This can make it hard to see exactly what those points translate to in dollars. That big wad of points may mean that you've earned a whopping .75 when you look at their actual buying power. Sites often do this to disguise how little you actually make for your time.

Some surveys take as much as 45 minutes of your time, and you may make just a couple of dollars for them. Some sites actually pay you by putting you into the running for a money drawing. You can take survey after survey and earn nothing at all. In the early days of the Internet I did surveys for one of the largest online survey companies and actually did win a few drawings. However, the time it took to answer the number of surveys it took to do it was not worth the payoff.

Are Paid Surveys Better Than Nothing?

Some people assume that if they make a few bucks here and there, that it's better than earning no money at all. I would counter that this isn't at all true. If you take the 30 minutes that you might spend on a $1 survey to learn about blogging or set up your own website, you will do much better for your time. Taking the time to develop marketable skills is worth far more than earning change for hours of your time. There are dozens of ways to make money online, and you can do far better than paid online surveys.

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