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Why Survey Sites Aren't Worth Your Time

Updated on September 27, 2019

What are Survey Sites?

Survey sites are sites that pay people to take surveys. That's really it, as it is a simple concept that many seem to be mostly fond of because it gets them extra money for what appears to be a menial task. The concept is very tempting, taking surveys for money, and many surveys say that they are only around 10-15 minutes and pay out a couple of dollars or cents. Some examples of these sites are Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and InboxDollars, just to name a few (as there are a lot of these types of sites and apps). All of these have the same premise, take "short" surveys, receive money or points, then redeem those for cash (usually PayPal) or through gift cards. Sounds great right? Well, yes, and no, but mostly no. Survey sites are not the best way to earn extra money online, and are more or less a waste of time.

This is supposed to depict a survey site, if you didn't already guess so.
This is supposed to depict a survey site, if you didn't already guess so. | Source

Why Survey Sites are a Waste of Time

I will get right to the point; survey sites are a waste of time because the surveys take a long time to complete and the payout is usually a couple of cents. For example, some surveys claim to be only 15-20 minutes, which in itself is a lot of time, and promise to give around $0.50-$1.00 at the minimum. Of course, this is the best case scenario, as most of the time these surveys take longer, usually around 30-45 minutes, instead of the 15-20 minutes as they claim. Of course, this would not matter all that much if you still get paid, right? Well, not really. Sure, it could be seen as beneficial to you if you get around a dollar or so from the survey, but you usually spend around 5-10 minutes going through screening questions to determine whether you're a good fit for the survey. Most of the time, you do not make the cut, and that 5-10 minutes you spent on the survey is rewarded with either nothing, or around a cent or two.

This brings me to my most prevalent argument when it comes to survey sties, and that is they waste your time. Spending hours on end, grinding through surveys to get a few dollars is a waste of time. There are numerous ways you could make more money online than selling your information to corporations for a few cents. But I'm mainly going to be focusing on the time aspect of surveys. I will be using some examples of survey sites and providing examples as to why they are not worth the time and effort.

Survey Site Examples

The most common survey site people often gawk about, is SwagBucks. The people who recommend others to this site all say the same thing, that the surveys are high paying in a reasonable amount of time. Sure some may be, but if you really look at it, the surveys are long and low-paying for the most part. Keep in mind, for these survey sites I will be focusing only on the survey aspect of them, and not the other aspects (such as SwagBucks and how it offers points for watching videos, cash back from stores, and all that sort of stuff).

To start out, SwagBucks has a selection of surveys available to take. (See the image below).

Why is this image so blurry? But you get the idea, it's the surveys from SwagBucks.
Why is this image so blurry? But you get the idea, it's the surveys from SwagBucks.

As you can see, most surveys here are around 5-10 minutes. Reasonable enough, as they give around a median of 50 or so SB. Now, that's not a lot of SB (the rewards points for taking surveys on SwagBucks). But this is really only for the shorter surveys, the larger ones give out 300 and 225 SB, so that must be worth it, right?

Well, yes and no. Yes if you have nothing better to do with your time, no if you have better things to do with your time. Most of the time, you have better things to do with your time.

You see, with these surveys, you go through loads of screening questions, questions of which are very personal. Extremely personal questions are sometimes asked (an example being a question asking you for your address or if you or a loved one has had cancer in the past).

With this in mind, it's not really the survey sites fault for any of this, they're just the platform that is hosting the surveys. They're more or less like the middleman of things, but that does not mean that you should steer clear of them.

Reasons Why Survey Sites are not Ideal

Negatives of Survey Sites
Often times, when you're well into a survey, you will get disqualified because you do not fit the targeted demographic the survey is asking for.
Surveys take a lot of time to do, and in most cases, they take longer than the stated time it takes to complete them. (An example being a survey saying that it is only 20 minutes long, but in reality it would take you around 30-40 minutes).
There are numerous scam websites that claim to pay you for doing surveys, but they do not, hence why I'm calling them scam websites.
The pay is pretty low if you think about. Spending 30 minutes on a survey for $0.20 does not sound good at all.
There are much better alternatives to then survey sites.


Now that I'm done ranting and complaining about these sites, it's time to talk about some alternatives. These are alternative things you can do instead of going to survey sites for some extra money.

The HubPages logo. That's it.
The HubPages logo. That's it. | Source


So surprising that I would put HubPages as one of the alternatives, right? But in all seriousness, HubPages and other writing sites/blogs are a great way to earn passive income, whether you're an expert writer or an amateur one.

I'm not going to go into full detail as to how you can earn money on HubPages, as it does take some time to explain how things work, but the general idea is that you write articles and gain money through ad revenue.

If you want to learn more about how to make money using HubPages, use some of these articles below:

- (Pretty outdated article, but still does well explaining things).

- (One of the better articles that explains how HubPages works).


Although "Apps" sounds immensely vague, and it could engulf an enormous number of apps, I mainly want to focus on popular ones (aside from survey taking apps, for obvious reasons).

Some apps I recommend to use include:

It's Benefits
A popular app, you pretty much earn cash back on receipts, so it's practically getting paid to do your grocery shopping.
An app that I think is very under the radar. You earn points by watching ads, and doing Dabbl exclusives (which are watching a 2 minute ad and answering 3 or so questions). You can cash out at 5,000 points, the equivalent of $5.00 for a selection of gift cards (although the selection is pretty limited).
Stock Apps
These are apps like Robinhood and Acorns, where you can invest, buy, and trade stocks. This is a great way to earn money if you know what you're doing.
RobinHood app.
RobinHood app. | Source

Do not interpret this article as me controlling you and ordering you not to use survey sites and apps. But take this as a suggestion, and please pay attention and think about the things I have discussed in this article.

Whether or not you heed my warnings, it's all up to you. Do what you want with your time, nobody is going to stop you. However, that does not mean you should not look for better alternatives to improve something, such as finding alternatives for survey sites.

Nonetheless, thank you for your time in reading my article, and I hope I may have influenced your opinion on survey sites.

Survey Poll

Do you think survey sites are beneficial and good?

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© 2019 Danny Grove


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