Anytime you look anywhere on the web where people talk about making money online the most prevalent subject is most likely online paid surveys. People have so many questions about them; Do they really pay? Is it a scam? Do you have to pay something? We hope to answer some of those questions here. This post is basically Paid Surveys 101.

Doing online paid surveys is probably the easiest way to make money online. The bottom line is that companies out there want to know consumer’s opinions about everything from razors to ice cream and the easiest way for them to get a consumer’s opinion is through the internet. So how does the survey get from the company to you?

The thing is, the big company who wants to know your opinion usually doesn’t even write the survey. Most of the time a large, or small, corporation will hire a third party to conduct a study to find out what it is that consumers truly value. This third party company will develop a series of questions that they feel will give the corporation the right idea about what it is they are making. This third party company, the survey company, has a website where users can sign up at their will and take surveys. Usually you have to qualify for a survey since these survey companies usually look for a specific age group, sex, etc., but we’ll get into that later on.

Once you complete the survey, along with thousands of others who complete it, this company will pay you the incentive they promised for completing their survey and they collect all the information and statistically analyze all of it. They return these results to the corporation who will use the information to better market and/or form their product.

“But everyone says that the whole online paid surveys thing is a scam.”

I have heard and read this more times than I can remember. People are so skeptical about online paid surveys because of what they hear from their friends, and they should be. There are many companies out there who promise that you will make hundreds of thousands of dollars by completing surveys online. According to such companies, it is not a scam because in their disclaimer they clearly state that when claiming how much money you could make they used words that anticipate such earnings such as “might,” “could,” and “possibly.” So legally, these sites are not scams. Morally, well that is up to you to decide. The truth is, you could possibly make that much with online paid surveys. The circumstances under which you could make that much money might include doing online paid surveys as a full time job and putting much of your effort into it.

I’m sorry to say that the average online paid survey taker does not make hundreds of thousands from it, however it is very much possible to make a good amount. How much are we talking? I can’t speak for everyone however I can tell you that I used to make about $350 extra per week doing paid surveys while only putting forth about 1 to 2 hours per day, 5 days a week. That was about two years ago, so how much you can make now might even be more since the industry has grown greatly.

Since you know all about how the paid survey gets to you, you probably want to know how the money gets to you and why they would even want to pay you in the first place. When the corporation that wants to know about consumer opinions hires the third party company to conduct the study, they give them a set amount of money to cover all the costs of the study, including the money to pay survey takers. The third party company will offer you money to take their survey because, well let’s face it, there’s no way you would take one without an incentive. Somewhere along the line someone figured out that not many people truly enjoy taking surveys; unless you throw some money into the mix.

Usually when you first get a survey invitation you will take a short survey screener. This mini survey, which usually takes less than a minute, will help them determine if you are in the group they are trying to study. They may ask you things like your age, sex, ethnicity, and even some weird things; once I got asked if I had brown nose hair. If you qualify you will continue to take the main survey (whose length will vary, they will tell you how long it should take you). After completing the survey you will usually get paid right away, however sometimes you have to wait to be paid until the survey quota is filled and the survey is over. You may have to wait months. These companies are reputable companies and they will pay you what they promise if you complete what they ask of you.