Online surveys are finally starting to pay off

One of my most lucrative mystery shopping companies recently made some changes to the way certain surveys were done. Result: an easy stream of income – up to $80-100 a month for little effort – is no longer worth it to me.

So I’m focusing more on the well-paying individual surveys, which do require more work and time, but at least they’re interesting. I’m also starting to reap the rewards from online surveys; I’ve cashed in well over $100 that I can remember off the top of my head in the last nine months. There were movie passes, Rebel Sport vouchers (we bought a pricey basketball, among other things), a Warehouse voucher, free Vodafone topups, and donations to charity.

Granted, that’s the culmination of a couple of years of survey-taking. But I’m happy with what I’ve got out of it. I’m young; I have much more time than money, and the hourly rate I can command isn’t really all that high. I’m really not sure about Donna Freedman’s assertion that you can make “anywhere from $50 to $250 a month for “work” that can be done while you watch your kids play in the yard”, but perhaps we get a lot fewer paid surveys down this way.

You do have to put a bit of effort in, though. Most importantly, keep your profile up-to-date – living situation, education and work, shopping habits. The more accurate information they have about you, the more likely you are to get surveys.

Donna suggests starting a dedicated e-mail address just for surveys – that’s not a bad idea, IF, and only if, you’re going to check it regularly (ie, every day). Surveys, when they come around, usually fill up quickly and you can’t afford to waste any time getting in. I’ve been doing SO many since starting FT work and being at a computer all day!

But hey, if certain sites aren’t paying off, just don’t bother. Even if the cashout threshold is low, if you’re struggling to get past, say the $2 mark, it’s not worth the time.

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7 thoughts on “Online surveys are finally starting to pay off

  • Reply paranoidasteroid June 17, 2010 at 01:44

    I did the online survey thing for a while, but I kept being not selected! I decided it wasn’t worth it to fill out the unpaid questionnaire just to get one or two survey opportunities a month.

  • Reply The Asian Pear June 17, 2010 at 13:28

    wow. nice.

    I’m rarely ever chosen for anything like that. good for you tho!

  • Reply Bexi June 17, 2010 at 19:02

    I’m currently signed up to an online survey program (not sure how, tho) and have earned myself the grand sum of….$0.75!

    Whoo-hoo!

    /end sarcasm.

  • Reply Maggie June 17, 2010 at 22:21

    Oh wow, what survey sites are you signed up to? Have you heard of Buzznet? That’s the one I signed up to and having only signed up for less than 6 months/a year, I’ve won a $50 Warehouse voucher.

    I think it doesn’t really take much time out of your day to give your opinions and hopefully you will see improvement with services.. have you also done the one about fibre optic to the door one? I didn’t actually know about it till I got the survey..

  • Reply Amanda June 18, 2010 at 03:32

    I’ve just been caught up in reading random old posts of yours, but I have a tendency to lurk and not comment ><

    But I must say – wow, you're the first person I've seen to have cashed out on surveys for real. I've done a few back in the day out of sheer booooredom, but never did enough to actually get anything. Plus, at the time i wasn't really in the age range they were after anyway. Good on you though – Rebel Sports stuff costs too much anyway.

  • Reply Amanda June 18, 2010 at 03:32

    sorry for double commenting. But urghhh you know the 2.32am factor + no sleep from worldcup is taking its toll on me when i say “anyway” twice in a row. Eww.

  • Reply eemusings June 18, 2010 at 11:35

    Hey Maggie – the link in the second par details what sites I’m signed up to, but yes, Buzz is one of them! I can’t remember if I did the fibre to the door one. Def. recall getting the email invitation though.

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