What Are The Best Survey Panels For YOU? - Evaluating Paid Surveys
Once you’ve been taking paid surveys for a while, you will often find that you have become a member of many survey panels. You will probably be flooded by emails with survey invitations, and may decide that you want to cut back and focus on the survey panels that are worthwhile and are the best paying online surveys.
Unfortunately, since each panel is looking for people who fit certain demographics, the paid survey panels that are most worthwhile to me may be worthless to you, and vice versa, so there is no hard and fast rule saying that panel X is good, and panel Z is bad, and I so cannot just tell you which panels to keep. So, how can you evaluate this for yourself?
While every survey taker’s experience and preferences are different, I find that I can divide the survey panels into four main types, depending on the frequency and number of their surveys (“volume”) and the amount of pay they provide for the time spent (“value”). I find that I can group the survey panels I take into several categories, and if I have multiple surveys to take, I will take them in that order.
My categories are:
If you evaluate your own panels in a similar fashion, you will be able to prioritize the best surveys for you and make the most of your time while you try to make money online. Let me take a little time and expand on the categories for you.
- Low Volume, High Value
- High Volume, High Value
- High Volume, Low Value
- Low Volume, Low Value
1. Low Volume, High ValueThese sites provide very few surveys, but the few they do pay well. I take these first, as they usually pay the best for the amount of time spent. For me, a couple examples of this would be OpinionPlace (one survey per week, but pays well for that one survey) and PineCone Research (an invitation only panel that sends out only a handful of surveys each month, but each 15-25 minute survey pays $3 the day after the survey is taken and I have never disqualified from them). Another example is GlobalTestMarket, although I do screen out from their surveys more often.
2. High Volume, High ValueThese are sites which provide many surveys AND pay relatively well for them. I can spend a lot of time at these sites, taking many surveys, and find that my rewards have increased dramatically afterwards. For me, examples of these would be SurveyHead (many surveys at varying levels of value) and OpinionOutpost (some email invitations, but you can almost always take more surveys at their site directly).
3. High Volume, Low ValueThese survey panels send out lots of surveys, but pay very little per survey. When I figure what I end up making per hour, it generally is far less than minimum wage. But, if there are no other surveys available in a higher category, these ones do have many surveys and some give out a few points for disqualifying from a survey, so the points add up quickly. In addition, they occasionally have a higher-paying survey that ups the average. If I don’t feel the survey reward is worth my time, I won’t take that particular survey, and if I run out of time, I will skip all of these.
4. Low Volume, Low ValueThese are the companies who both have very few surveys and pay practically nothing for them. Generally, any survey company that ends up falling into this category is one that I would not be continuing to use. At first, I just cancelled my accounts, but I have started to notice that there are periods of low activity and high activity, so instead of canceling, I am now just letting them stand idle and waiting for the activity to pick up again.
Extenuating CircumstancesThere are some other circumstances that might make you choose to keep a survey panel even if it falls in the last two categories, such as if it sends out high-paying special surveys infrequently, or is one that sends product tests regularly, or if you just find the surveys more enjoyable to take.
For instance, I have one panel that is definitely not my highest paying panel, but they occasionally have movie screenings before the movie is released, and also send out several product tests which are useful and valuable to me. So I keep them around even though they would otherwise fall into the “Low Volume, Low value” category.
In ConclusionKeep in mind that, depending on your demographic, you may find that survey panels will have better or worse surveys for you specifically, but using these general tips, you can evaluate your own online survey panels and spend most of your time at the places that will let you make the most money at home.
I’d also recommend you sign up for our 7 day course (use the signup box on the upper right at www.getpaidsurveys.com) which contains some other tips that can help you evaluate how to make the best use of your time when taking free online surveys for money.
I'm also interested to learn how other survey takers choose to evaluate their survey panels. Please, leave your comments and ideas below!
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