A big welcome to our newest blogger, Howard. Howard is a 54 year old white guy from Jacksonville, FL. He spent 27 years in the US Army and retired as a Master Sergeant in 2004. He has participated in survey panels since January 2009. He enjoys fishing, tropical climates, and playing with his 2 tabby cats for fun. Sports, beer, and a laid back lifestyle are his passions.
Opinion Outpost is one of my favorite survey panels. I’ve earned $969 since joining in January, 2009. They have evolved a great deal in this time. They were bought out by Survey Sampling Inc (Survey Spot and Opinion World) in 2011. There were some merger glitches that have, for the most part, been resolved. They are consistently one of my top moneymakers because they offer many survey opportunities that I actually qualify for.
They have a very user friendly Dashboard that is well laid out without a lot of excess clutter.
I used to receive 10 to 15 specific survey invitations a week, but I’ve noticed lately that I get mostly generic e-mail invitations that take me right to their survey qualifier questions webpage. I like that they try to pre-screen their surveys; it saves me and Opinion Outpost a lot of wasted time attempting to qualify for surveys that I am not the right demographic match for.
I like their point system because it’s very easy to understand. Each point is worth 10 cents, so if a survey tells you that it’s worth 5 points for 8 minutes, I know that I’ll make 50 cents if I complete that survey. They offer many surveys for only 5 or 10 points, but those quickly add up to 100 points. There is no waiting for a survey to be credited to your account like many other survey sites. Minimum cash-out is 100 points or $10. Before the SSI merger you could cash-out at $5 for a check. Even though the cash-out is higher now, I like their new policy better because they have the fastest system of any survey site that I have encountered. I use PayPal and the money is always in my account as soon as I cash-out from Opinion Outpost. Within 2 to 3 days, that money is in my checking account for my personal use. No more waiting weeks for a check. I usually cash-out at the minimum threshold at least twice a month.
If you don’t like PayPal, they offer Amazon vouchers at the same cash-out level. About 2 weeks ago they started offering iTunes vouchers. You can download their mobile application to take surveys from your smartphone or tablet called QuickThoughts. I personally haven’t used this yet, but many of our readers like this option.
Opinion Outpost has a Facebook page where you can interact with other panel members and ask questions. They ran a survey completion contest, this last December, for chances to win a drawing.
Another nice aspect of this survey site is that you still get a chance to earn points, even if you screen out of a survey. I bet that I screen-out of 75% of the surveys I attempt. I accept this as a normal part of taking surveys. I always say no thanks to another survey, so I can use the Pick a Door to Win feature. I’ve won a few extra dollars with this. You also get a sweepstakes entry for every survey you screen out of. They have quarterly drawings for $12,000, which I’ve never won, but every 3 months, someone is a lucky winner.
Other ways to make money with Opinion Outpost are focus groups and special studies. I’ve participated in a few focus groups that have paid from $50 to $100. Last month I completed a 2 week usage diary for $30. Sometimes I receive an email invitation and other times I pre-screen for these studies just taking surveys on the site. I get a few product tests occasionally, which are nice, but they usually only pay 5 points. That’s not a big deal for me, because I’m saving on brand name products that I would have bought anyway.
I’ve had my share of problems with surveys, and other technical glitches on this site. I was even removed as a panelist at one point. I have found that customer service is pretty responsive and usually gives me credit for completed surveys that didn’t show up on my dashboard. I’ve had good luck because I’m polite and I make sure I have the survey details in my requests to their support center. They can resolve many problems with a quick phone call. Most survey sites do not have a phone number listed, but theirs is on the upper right corner of the support center webpage.
No one makes a living taking surveys, but if you are looking for some dependable extra cash, then give Opinion Outpost a try. Even an old guy like me, with less than ideal demographics, can have some fun expressing my opinion and be rewarded for doing so.