Earn cash from surveys.
Can you really make a living?
Well, nearly every day I receive spam in my inbox telling me how easy it is to 'Make $300 a day for 2 hours work'. Clicking-through almost always leads to articles on how people can easily make huge amounts of cash just by 'spending only 2 hours per day undertaking surveys'. Yeah, right you can, if it was that lucrative everyone would give-up work and become survey-junkies.
2 years ago, I signed-up to the top 10 survey sites available in the UK. Here are my findings so far.
First-off we have Ciao, they paid between 1 and 50p per survey. However, having undertaken 100 surveys, I never received a single penny. Ciao have now merged with Toluna.
Next up, I signed-up to Lightspeed (now part of Mysurveys), these were much better. They paid points per survey, these could then be exchanged for a variety vouchers, or for cash payments to Paypal. They always had plenty of surveys on the go including 'profilers' (no points, just prize draw entries) and 'Quickmatch' (just for fun). Over 2 years, I got £25 in Paypal payouts and £15 in Amazon e-vouchers.
Yougov was next on the list. Surveys are very irregular, their minimum pay-out is £50. After 2 years I have obtained £25. Now, they have changed to a points system.
Mysurveys came to my attention when I discovered they paid in Nector points. I ended-up earning £13 worth of points before they changed to offer other vouchers as well. Now I cash-out in Amazon Vouchers and have accumulated £50 so far this year.
Valued Opinions has been a good earner over the last couple of years. They pay real cash per survey, some of the surveys pay as much as £1.50. You do however, get turned-down for about 40% of the surveys. This is due to the strict criteria they set for each survey. Once again, they pay in various vouchers including Amazon.
IPSOS pay MaxiMiles points for surveys, so you need a Maximiles account. This isn't a problem as Maximiles points can be exchanged for a range of vouchers from various retailers as well as charaties. Once again Amazon is the voucher of choice.
Toluna is one of those sites that pays in points. Not only can you earn points through surveys, but through doing polls as well. The cash-out limit is 80,000 points which gets you a range of £10 vouchers. It took me 18 months to reach cash-out and once again, I chose Amazon vouchers. Now, here is where Toluna is a complete let-down, from cash-out to receiving the the vouchers is between 6 and 10 weeks. The other sites deliver within 24 hours.
You may have noticed my favorite cash-out is via Amazon vouchers. These tend to be universal amongst the survey companies, so by using them as a universal currency, you can build-up a bank of vouchers to pay for big treats for yourself.
Tips & Hints
When you are signed-up to a survey site, you have no control over the content of the surveys you will receive. They could be about cars, drink, shopping, technology or 101 other things. The one thing you can be sure of and that is the first series of questions are 'screeners', designed to check your suitability against the profile set for the survey. The survey-setter may, for instance, be after males aged between 24 - 50 who drive a new car, if you don't match the profile, then you don't get to complete the survey and collect the reward.
To counter this, and collect the reward, you need to think with cunning and all the tact of a battlefield General. For instance, the opening question in many surveys asks if you work in certain industries. By looking at the list, you can work-out roughly what the survey will be about, thus enabling you to tailor your answers to get you through the screener and into the survey proper. For instance, they may ask if you work in the pub trade or for a brewer of alcoholic beverages. From this, we can deduce that the survey is about alcohol. By knowing this, you will be know that to progress, you can answer 'none' or 'N/A' to q1, then at the second hurdle, tailor your response to indicate you drink some kind of alcohol, and so on. When you get the hang of it, it will become second nature.
Be aware that some surveys can drag-on for what seams like hours, to combat survey-fatigue, take a break every 20 minutes or so. Go make a drink or something, then came back and carry-on where you left-off. Some are so boring you feel like falling asleep. Just stay with it. It will finish eventually.
Earn while you surf.
As an alternative to surveys, there are sites such as 'Gift Hunter' & 'Swagbucks' who pay you to view video ads. These can be run in the background without having to actually sit & watch them. If your works internet is fully-open then you could have a browser open in the background showing the adverts whilst you get on with emailing, document creation etc.