This is a guest post from Karen at Frugal Rhode Island Mama, where she blogs about weekly deals/sales/freebies.
Big name companies want and need to know your opinions, and what better way to get them than to have consumers take surveys? When they have a new product they need someone to test it out or when they want to change a product, they need to find out what the best way is to change it. The consumers wants and needs are their main concern and what better way to get it, then directly from the consumers?
If you do a Google search for surveys you’ll come up with tons and tons of companies but the question is, are they really surveys? The answer to that question is NO they aren’t all real. You need to take a close look at each company before you sign up because some of them lead you on and make you think you’ll be taking surveys for BIG companies but you probably won’t be.
I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve found a bunch of companies that really do PAY for your opinion and some even send you free products to test and then report back. Every person’s success is different with taking surveys and it really depends on so many factors.
One important thing is your background. Not everyone is compatible to take every survey. It may depend on your job, your age, your gender, your ethic background and so many more reasons. It’s OK if you don’t qualify for every survey. Certain companies may work better for some people then others, again it depends on your background and what kind of companies they work with.
Before you get started signing up with any companies let me explain a few things.
NEVER pay to join a survey site. They should be paying YOU for your opinions, not you paying them to give your opinions. If they want you to pay then they aren’t a REAL Survey company and probably a scam to get your email address and SPAM you.
You WILL NOT get rich from taking surveys. It’s a GREAT way to earn some extra cash and maybe get some free products but the important thing is you’ll be a ‘voice’ to the companies. You can make as much money or as little as you want. You can try every single survey that comes to your inbox or pick and choose, it’s up to you.
I recommend you set up an email address just for taking surveys so your inbox doesn’t get full too fast. Some companies will send out several ‘screener’ surveys a day or a week and if you join a few different companies then you box could possibly fill up fast. Then when you have some time to take a survey or two, you can go to that email and see what’s there.
Anyone of any age can take surveys. They even have some sites that will let teens take surveys.
If the company is a GOOD company, you should NOT get any SPAM. They are very good about keeping your personal information private but always read their privacy statement just to be sure.
If they send you FREE stuff to sample it’s yours to keep. If they are going to request it back, they will tell you before you agree to do the in-home test. I’ve never had this happen, but I suppose it could happen. In that case, make sure they will pay for shipping back. Shipping to you is always free.
Some companies will pay you cash (either checks or PayPal) and others will offer you gift cards or prizes. Each one will have their own policy on shipping, so make sure you read about it before you request a prize. Again, I haven’t run into any problems with having to pay for shipping but you never know. Some companies will offer you chances to be entered into a sweepstakes for joining, for taking a screener survey or for taking a survey. They will sometimes also pay you on top of the sweepstakes entry. Before you take a survey they will tell you exactly what to expect in return.
You will not qualify for every survey. Before each survey begins they will ask you a series of questions to see if you qualify, if you don’t then you may be entered into a sweepstakes or given a small token of points. You will only be compensated for those surveys you complete in their entirety.
Karen lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two daughters. Besides being a frugal stay at home mom, she blogs at http://www.frugalrimama.com about weekly deals/sales/freebies and more. In her spare time she enjoys taking surveys and doing some mystery shopping. You can see a list of Karen’s survey earnings on her blog.
Watch for Part Two of this article next week, where Karen will share some of her favorite paid survey sites. Subscribe to this blog via email (See Email Updates in the right sidebar.) to be notified when new articles are added.