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.