Laura’s Top Ten Survey Panels

I was laid off from my full time job in November of 2009.  While job searching I stumbled into the world of online income, and began taking surveys in my free time – a welcomed break between job interviews and emailing resumes!  Even when I found a new job in February, I continued to participate in a variety of online income on a part time basis – either at home during the evenings, or during my down time at work.  During these first six months, I have been paid over $450 by doing surveys, clicking emails, and writing reviews in my spare time!  So here’s my Top 10 List of Surveys, based on my experiences.  My earnings reflect what I’ve actually been paid directly (or have pending) from each company, as well as incentives earned through each panel (such as invokes and forums).

Here is my Top Ten List of Survey Panels that I have joined

    1. SurveySpot
      • TOTAL EARNED: $151.00
      • Paid directly – $25.00
      • Pending directly – $11.50
      • Paid from invite/invoke – $115.00
      • Joined: 11/26/09

I found that I had to spend about two months or so attempting a lot of non-paying surveys in order to ‘prove my worth’ to the company.  Once I cross that threshold, however, I find that I receive several paying offers daily from Survey Spot, and qualify fairly frequently for many of them.  Survey Spot also offers many higher paying community forum invites and online chat invokes – I’ve made $15 from a Communispace Community as well as $100 from an online chat, both spawned from short survey invites from Survey Spot.

    1. Toluna
      • TOTAL EARNED: $55.00
      • Paid directly – $20.00
      • Pending directly – $15.00
      • Paid from invite/invoke – $15.00
      • Joined: 11/26/09

Toluna not only offers a wide variety of paying survey invites, but daily short paying polls on their website.  I find that when I don’t have time to sit down and do surveys, I can still earn several hundred points a day just by doing their quick sponsored polls.  In additional to some of their own higher-paying surveys, I’ve also found occasional forum invites – I’ve recently completed one for 45,000 points (or $15).

    1. Surveyhead
      • TOTAL EARNED: $43.10
      • Paid directly – $28.60
      • Pending directly – $14.50
      • Joined: 1/10/10

This is one of my “must log in to daily” sites – Surveyhead doesn’t always send an email invite for each available survey, so it’s good to check your dashboard a few times a day to see what is available.  Surveys pay several dollars each, and I find I qualify for a reasonable amount of them.  While unfortunately it can take quite awhile for pending amounts to process, Surveyhead offers so many surveys that the amount of money earned makes it worth the wait.

    1. Lightspeed
      • TOTAL EARNED: $30.00
      • Paid directly – $25.00
      • Pending directly – $5.00
      • Joined 11/24/09

Lightspeed offers a high rate of qualifying surveys, and with a low pay-out threshold, this was the first (and the easiest) site I found to make some extra change.  While I have had the occasional technical problem with surveys (and unfortunately Lightspeed’s costumer service is non-existent), overall my experience has been positive and leaves me feeling comfortable enough to keep going.

    1. Ipsos
      • TOTAL EARNED: $22.00
      • Paid directly – $12.00
      • Pending directly – $10.00
      • Joined: 11/24/09

While I find that I qualify for a vast majority of surveys sent to me by Ipsos, I have to give them even more credit for offering a handful of points for attempting a survey and not qualifying, too!  Ipsos surveys also tend to be a bit more interesting than other panels, and they offer a fun poll predictor game at the end of each survey for chances to win extra prizes.  If you’re looking for a survey company to help you unwind as well as make a bit of cash, this is a good one!  Ipsos also has a home testing division, and so far I’ve earned an additional $2.00 for doing short projects at home.

    1. Opinion Outpost
      • TOTAL EARNED: $18.40
      • Paid directly – $11.50
      • Pending directly – $6.90
      • Joined 11/25/09

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you’re having problems qualifying for Opinion Outpost surveys, you MUST fill out all of your personal profiles!  I almost quit this panel a few months after joining, but once I filled out my full profile I found that I qualified for many more surveys afterward.  While I still don’t have as high of a qualifying rate as I’d like, Opinion Outpost credits almost all surveys immediately, and the very few technical problems I’ve had with them have all been rectified.

    1. GlobalTestMarket
      • TOTAL EARNED: $16.00
      • Pending directly – $16.00
      • Joined 11/25/09

Global Test Market has unfortunately been throwing a lot of unpaid surveys my way lately, as well as hundreds of invites for surveys I don’t qualify for.  I’m getting a little frustrated at this point, but am hanging on a bit longer to see if things improve.  The $16.00 I have pending was all earned in about three months, so I’m hoping the company gets a little more stable and I can resume my climb to their $50 pay-out.

    1. MyView
      • TOTAL EARNED: $12.73
      • Pending directly – $12.73
      • Joined: 1/18/10

MyView is similar to Surveyhead in that it’s best to log in daily to see what new surveys are available; and, it’s similar to Ipsos in that you still earn points for attempting a survey and not qualifying!  So this is a great panel to work with – I find that I qualify for many of the surveys offered, and am creeping closer to that $25 Visa card.

    1. Synovate
      • TOTAL EARNED: $9.76
      • Paid directly – $5.00
      • Pending directly – $4.76
      • Joined: 11/25/09

Synovate is a small but steady earner for me – while I don’t receive a lot of invites from this company, surveys are usually short, and qualification is easy.  Synovate has a low cash-out threshold, so it’s another company that’s good for a quick buck!

    1. HCD Research
      • TOTAL EARNED: $7.15
      • Pending directly – $7.15
      • Joined: 1/18/10

HCD Research is by far one of the most fun survey panels out there – most of their invites revolve around the entertainment industry; in fact, most of the money I’ve earned to date was simply by voting for my favorite American Idol contestant!  Surveys are short and simple; so while not frequent, it’s well worth the effort.

Do you have a list of favorite survey panels?

Please leave a comment below and let us know some of the survey panels that work best for you.

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8 Comments

  1. Char August 26, 2010 Reply

    Oh how dissapointed i am in survey spot been w them since 99!! i recently went to redeem my money which was successful couple weeks ago…im pay pal approved etc did it all correct, well everytime i go to try and redeem im being FLAGGED and or sometimes it will say internal error occured, and its happening to my husband as well he is being FLAGGED i contacted via e mail to the help desk its been 3 days and no response, im not doing anymore surveys if they dont contact me i will be leaving there site…so far i have 21 dollars being held and my husband 28 , worked our butts off for WHAT!! BEWARE read on some other sites complaints same as ours being flagged and been w them some 2 years and no reason to be flagged!!

  2. Steph August 17, 2010 Reply

    Opinion Outpost is the best survey site out there in my opinion! A 5.00 payout and you can earn that on one survey at times…Also their surveys are polite and short. Give them a try.

  3. Justin June 27, 2010 Reply

    Sweet.. Great post..
    And congrats on your
    earnings…

  4. LapisLee June 11, 2010 Reply

    Great job Laura! You remind me of myself about two years ago when I first started taking paid online surveys. A little-known fact about Lightspeed customer service is that they can only be reached through their rewards site:

    https://www.perksplus.com/PerksPlusV2/Secure/Client/Default.aspx

    You can find their Contact page here:

    https://www.perksplus.com/PerksPlusV2/Secure/Client/Support/CustomerCare.aspx

    • Joe the Admin June 11, 2010 Reply

      Good find Lee! Looks like that link requires you to login in.

      This link takes you to the contact form: https://www.perksplus.com/contact.asp?CountryCode=&LanguageCode=

      • Laura H June 11, 2010 Reply

        Oh, awesome! Thanks so much for the link! Luckily I haven’t had any problems in the last two months, but that’s a great resource if I do run into issues in the future! :-D

      • LapisLee June 11, 2010 Reply

        The link can be shortened until you reach the http://www.perksplus.com Home page and take it from there. I have gone round and round with Lightspeed and never got a reply until I started contacting Perks.com.

  5. Lloyd June 10, 2010 Reply

    My best was planet pulse . Paid $95 till date.