Can you really make money doing surveys online? Yes, you can and I have.
There are many online paid survey programs available, but for many the payout versus time spent just isn’t worth the effort. However, two online paid survey sites that I really recommend are American Consumer Opinion Panel (ACOP) and CashCrate. I also recommend SurveySavvy although I haven’t qualified for one of their surveys yet. However, you do earn cash for completed surveys so I think it’s worth joining – be sure to fill out the profile section to increase your chances of qualifying for surveys.
BUT, my favorite ways to make a little cash from home are below!
Get Paid to Watch Videos, Complete Offers and Take Surveys
My new favorite program is SwagBucks, a search engine interface. All you need to do is perform all your internet searches through SwagBucks and you will earn points that you can redeem for prizes. You can also earn my watching videos online or using your mobile phone. The best reward seems to be a $5 Amazon giftcard for 450 SwagBucks and it doesn’t take too long to get there. If you join, you will receive 3 SwagBucks just for signing up.
My second favorite is InstaGC. It is a lot like Swagbucks but you can cash out much quicker. With just 100 points you can cash out for a $1 credit at Amazon (which you just add to your Amazon account balance, super easy!). I mostly just watch the videos under the earn section as that is the most hands off. You won’t make a lot of money, but maybe $20 a month to buy some books or gifts without doing much.
Swagbucks vs InstaGC
If I had to choose between Swagbucks vs InstaGC? At the moment I would probably go with InstaGC just because you can cash out at such a low level. I find cashing out every $5 or so helps keep me motivated.
All of these programs are free to join but I do recommend you open a free email account (Yahoo or Gmail) specifically for surveys. Some of the offers from CashCrate in particular could generate extra email so it is better not to bog down your personal account. Also note that the CashCrate site has a forum where you can get tips from other users.
ACOP and CashCrate pay cash for all surveys for which you qualify. NFO pays reward points which can be exchanged for cash or prizes and the points add up quicker than you would think. I highly recommend all of these programs as an easy way to bring in a few extra dollars here and there.
Check Out Local Focus Groups
In addition to online surveys, it is also beneficial to join local marketing groups that hold focus groups in your area. A focus group is a small group of people chosen by a marketer to talk about a new product or idea. A session usually lasts between 1-2 hours and pays $50-$200 for your time. You can now sign up with many of these companies online. Check out Greenbook.org for listings in your area. Craigslist.org is also a good place to look for focus group opportunities under “jobs-etc” if your city is listed.
Email and Shopping Rewards
Also, check out email reward programs. Get paid for reading emails and for shopping and it’s free to join. My favorite is My Points where you read their email ads to earn points which you can redeem for gift certificates. Inbox Dollars is also very popular although I haven’t used them in awhile
You can also do your online shopping through their site to earn extra points, although I prefer to use Ebates first if I can. After a few months you’ll have enough points to cash in and it doesn’t take up much time. Plus, Ebates is usually offering a promotional $5 sign-up bonus or $10 gift card after you make your first purchase so it is definitely worth a try.
Ebates is a great program to earn back discounts on many online purchases. I use it all the time for my online shopping, especially at Christmas time. Just launch to the shopping site through Ebates and they will automatically put a set percentage of your purchase into your account. Combine that with an online coupon and you can end up with a nice discount.
Swagbucks vs Ebates
You can also get points for shopping through Swagbucks. It is similar to Ebates in rebating a percentage of your purchase but in Swagbucks instead of actual dollars. What I do is check the different programs to see where I can get the best discount. And don’t forget, you can usually earn an extra $5 for each friend you refer. I have found many of my friends are happy to sign up to save money, especially at Christmas time. So sign up to the sites above and save money, and make a few extra dollars helping your friends save money. It’s a win-win!
mTurk vs Swagbucks
And since we are talking about free and easy ways to get paid online, let me mention mTurk. Now technically, you could call mTurk a survey site as they have many surveys. And honestly, I like doing surveys on mTurk the most because you don’t have to fill out a bunch of questions just to find out that you aren’t qualified for the survey. But mTurk has a learning curve so it’s not quite as easy to jump into as something like Swagbucks.
There are a few forums that can help you out. If you are stuck at home and have time to work on your computer, it doesn’t hurt to give mTurk a try. It’s easy to join, especially of you already have an Amazon account. Just search for surveys and see how you like it. I do it while watching TV so while the hourly rate isn’t great, at least I am earning something.
How much can you make on amazon mechanical turk? I have seen people claim to make $50 per day. But those are the outliers – expect to make a few dollars each day with an hour or two of work. But remember, you can do it while watching TV or listening to music.
These are some of the sites I have used, liked and gotten paid from. I suggest you try them all and see what sticks. Everybody has their favorites and one site may work for me but not for you. It really is trial and error. Good luck!