The most important thing to know about online surveys: NEVER PAY A COMPANY FOR A LIST OF SURVEY COMPANIES! You will find companies out there trying to scam money out of you telling you that you can make thousands of dollars doing surveys and then you have to pay them to get a list of companies to sign up for. Don't do this! You can find plenty of information out there for survey sites that is totally FREE! Including in this post!
My personal story: I started doing surveys back in April/May of 2009. I found a great website that listed a bunch of companies that I could join for free and I signed up for a few of those. There are a lot of survey companies out there, if you are just getting started pick one or two and go from there. I started receiving emails for surveys in my inbox and away I went! I take surveys whenever I want. Mostly during Naomi's nap time and in the evenings after she goes to bed while we are watching TV. I don't take every survey and I certainly don't qualify for every survey I take but I have made a good bit of money for just giving my opinion. I have also gotten to do some great product testing as well. I get paid for the 1st survey, get sent the product for free to try and then get paid for the follow up survey! I can't tell you exactly what I have tried because it is confidential but I have gotten to try things like shampoo & conditioner and even cheese! Like I said above, I have cashed over $150 in checks and that does not include the money/points that I haven't requested checks for either.
How it Works:
Once you have signed up and filled in your profiles you will start receiving emails for survey invitations. There will be a lot and remember, you do not have to participate in every survey! The first few minutes of each survey is a pre-qualifier survey to make sure you fit the right demographic. If you fit, the survey continues and you earn money in your account. Some companies will even pay you a little bit for every pre-qualifier you take as well.
If you qualify and finish the survey you will get points in your account. Once you have a certain amount of points you can "cash out". Some companies pay you right away for each survey, some you have to reach a certain amount of points before you can get rewarded. And each reward amount is different; some are $10 to cash out, some are $25 or even $50. You will typically earn between $1 and $5 per survey. Typically, the longer the survey, the more money it pays.
First things first; set up a new email account just for surveys. Trust me on this one! You will receive A LOT of emails for survey invitations and this way it isn't coming into your main inbox like a tidal wave! Email accounts from Yahoo and Hotmail are free and fast to sign up for; example: samssurveys@.
Second: I recommend downloading Roboform. This will save you a lot of time because it will save your information and auto-populate a lot of info for you on those pre-qualifier surveys. Trust me again, you will get tired of entering your birthdate a million times!
Third: Sign up for some companies! This is very time consuming at first. You will need to set aside a couple of hours to fill in your profiles on the companies you have signed up for. A lot of times they will pay you a small amount for filling in your profiles and then you get surveys sent to you that you have a better chance of pre-qualing for.
Fourth: Check your email frequently and start taking surveys!
Recommended Companies: Here is a list of some survey companies that I am a part of and recommend!
Opinion Outpost - $1-$3 per survey, $5 minimum cash out.
HCD Surveys: Surveys about current world events, typically fun and short! $1-$2 per survey/$10 pay out.
MySurvey.com (please email me HERE to receive your invitation to join) - $1-$3 per survey/$10 cash out.
Gobal Test Market - $.25 per pre-screener/up to $5 per survey. $50 minimum cash out.
Toluna - $1-$3 per survey, $10 minimum cash out.
E-Rewards - Join through your Upromise account first. Your cash out credits your Upromise account.
YouData - View online ads and get paid weekly via Paypal. Not a lot of pay (Typically only $.10 - $1.00 per week) But very quick and easy money.
I apologize for the lengthy post! Was it useful? Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question!