Online Surveys in 2013: How Legit are they?

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If you’ve spent any time online in 2013, you’ve probably been asked to take a survey. In some cases, you were told you would make money by taking the survey. If you’ve spoken to friends or family about it, you may have even heard that there are people who regularly make money taking surveys. Immediately, your mind drifts to someone sitting in front of their computer for eight hours a day clicking away and being paid thousands of dollars for it.

And then you ask yourself, “Why am I not doing this?”

You decide to research and are discouraged when you read that they are all scams. There is no one out there that makes any real money, you read. Message board after message board has reports about people being wronged by one survey website or another. No one is making money hand over fist just for taking surveys, they say. It’s a scam.

Then you read more online, and you discover there are people who swear by this site or another. People may go on and on about the benefits and ease of online surveys. They may swear that they make perfectly good supplemental income by taking surveys.

So which is true? Let us dissect some of the voices you may hear.

“It’s a Scam!”

Let’s face it: there are deceptive websites out there. But, they aren't all scams. Unfortunately, for each site that is out there--legitimate or not--a horror story can be found. Some may seem only mildly guilty; they may be poorly designed, they may ask a lot of pre-survey questions, or result in most people being ineligible for various surveys before they even start. It could be bogged down with these types of things so that they may actually collect your data but you are unable to actually find any of the money for your time. When you finally read the fine print, you may learn there may be some kind of additional steps to take. Some may tack on “sponsored offers” or various other ways in which you must jump through hoops before seeing any of the benefits.

Then, of course, there are egregious offenders. These may be sites that are poorly handled and have many cases of people just not being paid as promised. They may actually require a membership fee. You should never ever pay to take surveys. Don’t forget that single rule. You are the one who should be paid for your time.

“It’s Not a Scam!”

Plenty of people have done their homework, investigated all of the many survey websites that are out there, and have taken the plunge. They've learned that it can be worth it. There are reasons these websites exist. Companies want information. It’s that simple. Websites and firms can have legitimate, “non-spammy” ways of conducting surveys, collecting data for these companies, and then paying people a nominal fee for providing that data. In other words: they pay you a little for a little of your time. If you’re efficient, a lot of that little bit of money might begin to add up.

For example, Survey Spot is one of the largest survey websites out there. They do not require a membership fee; it is free to begin. You earn points by taking surveys, and once you've earned your first $10 worth of points, you can begin “cashing out” your reward points. The company itself has been around since 1977 and seems to be an accepted market research business.

“It’s Sometimes a Scam!”

Let us stick with Survey Spot as an example. Although it is one of the larger survey sites out there, and they don’t have a rampant negative rating among various websites and message boards, they do have some that have had problems with their services. The main issues tend to be a long wait for payment, or inconsistently receiving compensation in a timely manner. Some do complain that, compared to some other sites, the amount of time taking surveys compared to the amount gained in cash is not worth it. So is this a Survey Spot Scam? Or are you going to be one of the people who find Survey Spot Success?

The main suggestion is that you do your homework. There are success and horror stories filling up the message boards all over the web. Do your research and you may just find a survey website that reaps big rewards.

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Comments (1)

  • Mari November 13, 2013 Reply
    There are many survey sites online, some more questionable than others. I guess you just have to go by feedback and/or give each a shot so you see for yourself. There are some great ones out there....