Profile of an Online Survey Taker

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Let us look at an experience of a person who has signed up on a survey website to make some extra money. In doing so, we can look at a few specific actions, examine them, and see if she may have taken certain actions differently (or more thoroughly) that may or may not have resulted in a slightly better experience. What takeaway’s can we surmise from her experiences? This is taken from an actual post on a forum. The name has been changed and whether things happened exactly as described is unknown.

Lauren decided to make a little cash by dabbling in online surveys. She figures she won’t make a lot of money, but she can make a little in her free time, which will help with her bills. She signs up for the website MySurvey, which is one of the more well-known survey sites.

TAKEAWAY 1. Lauren has a realistic expectation, initially; however, one thing she might have done differently from the start is to sign up for more than one website. She probably should have signed up for at least two--three would have been better. Realistically, you do not get enough surveys from any one website. If you sign up for several survey sites, you are more likely to quickly take many more surveys, thereby generating a larger amount of money from different “streams” of survey sites.

Lauren takes surveys regularly for about three weeks. She is now at 495 points. Most surveys she receives only award her 10 points. Occasionally (in this case, twice in the previous three weeks) she gets a survey that rewards her 100 points. Doing the math, Lauren looks like she has taken approximately 22 surveys so far. According to her, she will get about $5 deposited to PayPal from these surveys. This is frustrating to her.

Even so, she does not have a grossly negative feeling about the website, so far. She is not labeling the experience as a MySurvey scam just yet, although she is undecided about whether she wants to stick with it.

TAKEAWAY 2. It is healthy to be skeptical, like Lauren. But it also okay to wade into the experience and determine whether some tweaks to your “system” might have better results. In this case, more websites would allow her to take more surveys at a time and possibly doing her research on which website to join would help. Perhaps other sites pay better.

The surveys themselves are simple to take. The questions are straightforward and Lauren doesn’t answer anything that she feels uncomfortable answering. They are questions like, “How many times have you been to the cinemas in the past six months?” and other common purchasing-related questions. She sees why companies may want to have this type of information, so it doesn’t seem like anything particularly harmful.

TAKEAWAY 3. Taking the surveys themselves should be a safe and easy experience. You shouldn’t be giving out information that you don’t want to, and this includes your phone number and other information that seems like it could be used maliciously. By and large, this isn’t the case with most survey sites.

Lauren is waiting for her first payout through the survey website, which won’t arrive for another three weeks. She is going to continue with the website, but not as aggressively until she is paid the small amount she has earned so far.

TAKEAWAY 4. Lauren is wise to keep an eye on compensation and not invest too much until there is a healthy payment of services. But survey sites are famous for taking some time for compensation to be made. In most cases, however, the money does eventually arrive. It is just slow.

One last takeaway we can draw from Lauren’s experience is the initial research that should be done before investing in any website. Do Google searches for “mysurvey,” “mysurvey scam,” and “mysurvey reviews” in order to get people’s experiences with a particular website. Doing this, and learning from experiences such as Lauren’s, can help you make the most informed decisions.

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