Online surveys are a growing way for people to make additional income from home, or to diversify their income. This seems like a great deal if you are looking for a little extra cash, but how do you know that these companies are legitimate and not another online scam? First, you want to consider what is in it for them.
Why would companies pay for your opinion?
Page Table of Contents
- Why would companies pay for your opinion?
- What are some common safety pitfalls when looking for online survey companies?
- This could make it sound scary, so what sites should you use?
In recent years, more and more companies are looking online for ways to test products, do market research, and find avenues to sample advertising ideas before putting them to market. Online survey sites work very well for this, as the companies can find large numbers of people within their target demographic to test these ideas on and to do further market research with. They also can do this at a lower cost to the company than traditional methods.
What makes this such a fertile ground for scammers is the fact that even legitimate survey companies need basic personal information in order to better serve the needs of the companies doing research. The more information you provide, the more detailed results the companies get. This is great for them, but scammers take this to the next level, as they may try to get more valuable information.
There are numerous legitimate, well-established survey companies (you can find some of these at the end), but as you will read below, there are common red flags for the less trustworthy sites.
What are some common safety pitfalls when looking for online survey companies?
Avoid sites that charge you for access.
Sites that offer access to thousands of surveys and life-changing income if you buy a certain package are looking for easy access to your wallet. Legitimate survey companies want a broad range of participants; as many as possible for the panel. So, charging for this access defeats that purpose.
There are companies who compile these surveys and send them out to you for a fee, and are not a scam. However, you are better off using a free site (like this one) where you can maximize your earnings.
Be cautious of sites offering to send you expensive products upon signup.
If a site offers to send you expensive products like game systems when you sign up, it is most likely too good to be true. If these companies were to send these products to every new person who signs up, it would not be cost effective. Product testing is a legitimate industry, but beware of a too good to be true offer.
Privacy policies, contact information, and disclaimers should be available on the site.
While I know most people avoid reading these, when you are giving personal information, you might want to look at these and see how the information will be used. If a site does not have these (usually at the bottom of the page), you might want to look for income elsewhere.
Contact information is another major clue. When these sites collect information for the research companies, they want things to be efficient. Without contact information, problems could go unnoticed for long periods. Be cautious of survey sites with no contact information, as it would seem they want your information without you getting theirs.
Do your homework
Research firms are the companies behind many of these survey panels. These are legitimate companies attempting to maximize the pool of users and information. Therefore, most of these companies can be found on the BBB site, where you can get more information on them. But it can really be even simpler than that. If it is a site you are not familiar with or have not seen on a trusted source (such as this site), do a simple Google search. You could search the company name and see if there are any listings of it on the scam reporting sites. The top survey companies are trusted and have a solid reputation.
What are they asking for?
Research companies want as much information as possible, as it allows for more thorough, detailed research. However, there is a limit on what they will ask you for. If they ask for critical information such as account numbers, card numbers, social security numbers, or anything to that level of detail, you should avoid that site. That information is something that could be used quickly to your detriment.
This could make it sound scary, so what sites should you use?
Though it sounds like there are thieves around every corner in this industry, it is similar to many industries. There are always potential scammers where money is to be made. To simplify this for you and help you get started, just focus on the top companies and add one or two more as you get comfortable with the process.
TIP: You will want to make a special email address for survey sites, as you will get a lot of emails from them all.
Below you will find my current top survey sites. Check them out, they are the sites you can trust, as I have put them through my own tests. You can sign-up or see the reviews below.
In conclusion, you have to be aware of what scammers are looking for when trying to take advantage of your desire to make money online. However, there are great companies who have an actual interest in doing the right thing and trying to serve the needs of you as well as the companies doing the research. If you stick with the top companies and add the ones I recommend along the way, you will have a good source of online income.
If you want to see how to maximize that income, check out my reviews for more tips on exactly how to use these sites for maximum return.