Are Paid Survey Sites Worth Your Time? Guest Post- Anna Thurman

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

The honest truth to making money from online surveys.My work-at-home journey actually started with taking paid surveys. It was one of the easiest things to get involved in: there were no tests to take, no pre-existing skills to have, and no special equipment to invest in.

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So, I signed up for as many paid survey sites as I could and started getting online for hours at a time providing my feedback. Unfortunately, it didn’t take me long at all to realize that I was wasting a whole LOT of time in spite of all the misleading ads promising that I could earn hundreds of dollars per week answering all these questions!

It was pretty apparent from the get-go that there were all kinds of problems with the “paid surveys” gigs. For starters, I didn’t qualify into more than half of the surveys I attempted, and in many cases I wasn’t alerted to this fact until I had already spent 10 minutes of my time answering questions.

This problem was much worse with some survey companies than it was with others, but it was still a regular occurrence. This made me feel ripped off because the survey companies in question were still able to get a good bit of valuable information from me without having to pay me. I didn’t necessarily buy it that I just “didn’t qualify” when they had already been accepting answers from me for that long.

The other problem with paid surveys is the pay. If you’ve ever attempted any yourself, then you probably know you can’t earn much. Most expect you to sit there for 15 to 30 minutes answering boring, repetitive questions for maybe $1 or $2 a piece. Attempting surveys for dollar amounts this small is almost never worth it — especially when you know there’s a chance you won’t qualify.

Other companies don’t even pay in cash — they pay in points. The points thing makes it harder to determine exactly how much you’re earning per hour because you normally redeem the points on “stuff” rather than in exchange for money, but if you took the time to do the math, you’d see that you’re still not technically earning more than a buck or two for each survey you take the time to complete.

In spite of all these problems with paid surveys, the fact remains that some people actually enjoy taking them and feel good about having a direct impact on the products and advertising of various companies. If you really do enjoy the questions and like voicing your opinions, taking paid surveys is undoubtedly worth your time.

Earning even a small amount of money is worthwhile if you’re truly doing something you like and care about. Just keep your expectations low because your participation probably won’t ever equate to more than a little extra money here and there and possibly an occasional free product to test out.

Needless to say, I have since moved on to other opportunities for extra money, but if I happen to get a survey invitation in my email that pays more than $5, I’ll usually go ahead and try to qualify. Unfortunately, I don’t get these invitations often. If you’re curious about which survey and market research companies are most worthwhile, you might want to check out 20/20 Research and Pinecone. Studies done by 20/20 usually pay very well (sometimes more than $50 a piece), and Pinecone is a guaranteed $3 per survey.

While $3 isn’t much, you can count on Pinecone to send it to you via PayPal very quickly after you’ve completed a survey — sometimes the day after! Pinecone isn’t always open for registration unfortunately, but you should keep your eyes peeled for their banner nonetheless. If you see it displayed anywhere on the web, you’ll know that means they’re taking applicants.

Read More: 39 Real Online Survey Jobs That Pay Cash

— Anna Thurman is a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom of two wild little boys. Visit her website at Real Ways to Earn Money Online for advice, reviews, and resources regarding all things work-from-home.

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May 31, 2011 at 1:30 am

The only one I do is crowdtap. I keep getting this weird email for a survey site that pays 50 cents for 30 minutes. LOL

Miranda Grimm

May 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm

wow, I am surprised they are not disguising the pay as points as to not be so blatantly obvious as to how low it actually is! But at least they are being honest. Take it or leave it….leave it! 😉


May 31, 2011 at 2:37 am

I used to participate in Pinecone and would receive, on average $4-5 per survey. It was my Starbucks and Subway money. When they started offering sweepstake entries I quit.

Miranda Grimm

May 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Some good things just never last. Sad when they are still one of the most sought after survey companies and yet they make such drastic changes like that.

Emmauel Smith

January 29, 2014 at 3:57 am



May 31, 2011 at 3:14 am

What I like about Pinecone is that they only send the $3 surveys to people who already qualify. So you know if you get the email that you will get to complete the survey and get paid. And they pay a few days later through paypal. They also occasionally send “household question” survey for no money (I think you get a chance at a sweepstakes) but they are short and I usually don’t even bother.

I also like Focus Forward and Directive Analytics. I don’t fill out the surveys for points or whatever, but I’ve qualified for a few online focus groups with them that paid $50-$100 each.

Miranda Grimm

May 31, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Thanks for a couple of leads. I don’t think I have heard of Directive Analytics but I will go check them out now.


May 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm

It always seemed like too much effort for too little pay.

Miranda Grimm

May 31, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I agree! I gave up on surveys a long time ago as well. For some reason I gave it another try about a year ago and remembered why I gave it up.


May 31, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I used to do paid surveys long before I started working from home. Once I saw the other things available online, I haven’t gone back. Sure they can be fun! But often, fun doesn’t pay well. LOL

Miranda Grimm

May 31, 2011 at 7:35 pm

“fun doesn’t pay well”…how true! The fun jobs are the penny collectors


May 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Like many, I started out doing paid surveys but it was not as lucrative as some made it.

That Fish Lady

June 1, 2011 at 3:29 am

“…and in many cases I wasn’t alerted to this fact until I had already spent 10 minutes of my time answering questions.” I did that a lot too in the beginning. I don’t take paid surveys anymore, but they were the first thing that I stumbled upon when I realized I could make money from home.

Carla Easley

June 2, 2011 at 2:31 am

Online Surveys are fun every once in a while. It really depends on the topic. The only sites that I feel are worth participating in are Pinecone Research, Mindfield Online, and Survey Savvy because they offer cash rewards for each completed survey. They also send out free products to test out as well.


June 7, 2011 at 1:05 am

I have to agree that no one is ever going to make good money doing surveys and I really wish people would stop posting those ads saying you can make $1000s of dollars doing it. I’ve done it for a few years now and you get a little spending money at best. The best site for taking surveys (in my opinion at least) is I like them because there is no cashout limit so even if you have a few cents in your account they’ll send it to your paypal account as soon as you request it. I don’t really have time to do surveys these days, but I used to make about $20 a month on quick rewards. Certainly not a lot of money but it more than covered my netflix bill lol 🙂

John Jansen

May 8, 2012 at 5:13 am

It will take a lot of research to find really good paid survey sites. I know there are legit ones out there but they depend on specific locations. So, if you see your location is not included in their distribution of surveys, better look somewhere else.


December 5, 2014 at 10:02 am

I enjoy completing surveys from time-to-time. They aren’t something that I devote much time to, since the pay is usually not worth the effort. Some of them are quite fun, especially the ones related to commercial ads and entertainment.

Raj Mehta

February 17, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Exactly online survey is the most easiest way of earning money. yes but sometime we may suffer from disqualified for survey problem so for this we have choose a reputed website for survey and completely update our profile.

Linda Santoro

January 27, 2018 at 10:26 am

I 0nly have a cell phone- would this be a hinderance fir entering survey sites?


February 14, 2018 at 8:03 am

On our recent study, 90% of the people reported that they make less than $100 a month with paid surveys. Here are the results:

I hope you will find our unique study interesting. About 1000 people answered it.