Getting paid for online surveys?

I feel a bit silly even asking, but I was wondering if anyone had the Straight Dope on those sites that talk about how you can make money by taking surveys online. It seems obvious that there must be a serious catch (I noticed no mention of the fee the site itself charges you) or that it could just as easily be a scam to get your banking/personal info. On the other hand, has anyone done this and found that any of the sites were legit?

Just checking my options as an impoverished student…


I have never used one. The extent of my knowledge comes from what I’ve read on another board, so take this with a grain of salt. Yes, there are places that are legit. It is possible to get paid, and some people like doing them. However, I’ve read that some people have trouble getting offered surveys, because of income, or not being the decision maker in the household.

i used to do it when i first went online.

at the time, i thought internet access was a frivolous waste of my hard earned cash, and found that if i did enough surveys online, it would be as if the internet was paying for itself.

and it did.

no reputable site charges a fee or asks for your banking info.

offhand, i remember pinecone, gozing, globaltestmarket, greenfieldonline, ithinkinc and lightspeed.

it’s funny now, but i was thrilled when i got my first check in the mail for a 20 minute survey i had completed.

it was for two whole dollars, lol.

have you looked into focus groups in your area? those pay much better.

I am familiar with Pinecone Research. The only thing is, you can’t volunteer to do surveys. They solicit at different websites at different times. Just have to be lucky enough to find one.

They don’t ask for any bank information. They do ask for your gender, marital status, age so they can solicit the proper surveys to the demographic their clients are looking for. I do a survey, they mail me $5. I don’t get that many - maybe one every 4 to 6 weeks. The surveys vary in length - some take less than 5 minutes, a few up to 20 minutes. Takes very little effort and I make a couple of bucks.

I don’t know about all of them but many are legit. I wouldn’t necessarily do one that comes in through the dozens of SPAMs I get every day. I have done the Harris poll. Every now and then I get a couple of Stabucks gift cards out of them. gives out American Airlines miles if you qualify. Not a lot, but it can be enough to top off an account if you have miles already.

The Zogby poll doesn’t pay you but they are entertaining.

I’ve tried some but got bored fairly quickly and they usually give you a chance to win, with the result that I never happened to win. The only time I got paid is when I did online surveys that were industry specific at work, in which case I was offered a specific amount ahead of time, and was paid as much as $50. But I was the purchaser for my job and obviously they were trying to find out what methods companies were using to determine to decide which products to buy and from whom. (This was a biotech company and most of the surveys were selling tissue culture media). Probably the generic online surveys will be a similar experience to sending back publisher clearing house contest entries.

I do these survey for one organization and don’t find them too boring. Last month I had to keep a log of every time I used my printer for a month. This was easy .I was supplied with a pre-printed form and return envelope. After sending off the results I received a store voucher for £5 .

At the moment I am carrying out a survey on dry dog food. They sent me a 7.5kg sack of a very expensive brand (the sort they sell in the vets) and all I have to do is feed it to our dog for a month and complete an on-line questionair. In the past, as well as testing actual products such as shampoo, I have done other on-line surveys and received other store vouchers. The company I use are prompt payers and the surveys don’t take up too much time.