How to Tell if a Paid Survey Site is Legit or a Scam ?
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How to Tell if a Paid Survey Site is Legit or a Scam ?

EPF October 6, 2015

The idea of paid surveys is not all that new, even if you have just heard about it. Actually, marketers have been using opinion research for a long time in order to explore what customers want and need. Most companies spend large amounts of money conducting research about consumers so that they are aware of what needs have to be met or what consumers want the most. From their perspective, the more money they spend finding out what is needed, the more money they will ultimately make. This is the idea behind most of the paid surveys you find online. They don’t mind paying for your opinion because in order to maintain their business, they really need to know what consumers are thinking.

What do companies pay for surveys?

Each paid survey site has its own platform and amounts they pay to consumers who complete their surveys. Some offer points that are exchanged for products or cash; and others pay a set amount for each survey depending on its complexity and length. Some companies pay only a few dollars in exchange for your opinion others may pay you:

  • $75 to complete surveys online
  • $120 an hour for taking phone surveys
  • $50 for each shopping assignment ( completing shopping surveys – sometimes known as mystery shopping)
  • $250 for participation in focus groups

It can be difficult to set a specific amount on how much you can earn online by completing surveys since it really depends largely on which surveys you participate in and how many of the platforms you are using. One thing that is for sure is that you can make extra money by completing surveys for legitimate sites and you need to sign up for several sites in order to make the most money.

How do I know if a site is legitimate?

When you first start out, it can seem like a very difficult task to find the surveys and panels that are legitimate and which ones are actually scams. Sometimes this is easy and when you first come up on a site you can tell something just isn’t right. But there are some very definitive signs to let you know a survey site is not legit such as:

  • The site does not include company information. If a site is not open about their business and you cannot find anything about them on their site, it’s likely they are just fishing for your information. Legitimate sites will offer visitors plenty of information about the company like where their headquarters is located, the history of the company, information about their survey panel and things you need to know about them. This is actually a great way to start building trust with those who are going to take surveys for them. Always look for a very informative “About Us” page when you visit a site for the first time.
  • Simplified forms are a sign of a scam. When a site just asks for your name and email address, it is not usually a legitimate survey site. This super simple sign up page should alert you to a company that is just collecting your information without sharing any of theirs. Legitimate survey sites will usually have you fill out a multi-page form that goes through tons of information about you. This allows them to choose which surveys are most fitting for each individual’s preferences or knowledge.
  • If it sound “too good to be true” it probably is! Sometimes scam sites will claim you just sign up with them and then you will start to make a million bucks a day or you’ll be rich by the end of the month. In most cases, those sites who advertise exorbitant amounts of money are fraudulent. Most reputable market research companies are going to be encouraging to users because they want them to complete their surveys. This lets consumers influence the types of products and services that are available in the future. Some sites pay more than others, but most offer at least a reasonable compensation for taking surveys.
  • They want you to pay to sign up. Any legitimate site should allow you to sign up for free and if they are charging you to sign up then they are likely the only one making money on the deal. Honest sites will never charge you for signing up. It doesn’t make any sense that you would pay to get to work somewhere does it? Well, you shouldn’t have to pay to take paid surveys either. Legit sites are there to pay you for your opinions, not the other way around.

Think about the Flip Side

No one likes to fall prey to a scam – no one! Just like you don’t want survey sites to scam you just to get your information or money, it’s also fair for the legit sites to expect full honesty from you too. It’s too bad, but sometime people sign up for survey sites thinking they are going to get something (pay) for nothing. Other times, people sign up trying to scam the survey site. They don’t answer questions honestly, or they have an account for each person in their household. Just like you want the survey site to be honest with you – it’s important for you to be honest with them.

The Good News

There are some legitimate paid surveys that will compensate you for voicing your opinions. They are a fun way to make some extra money and have an impact on the types of products and services developed by companies. You may even be part of helping some products be modified, improved or discontinued. Once you understand how the paid survey works, it is easier to find the real ones that are legitimately paying for consumer’s opinons.

Are you ready to get started?

There are plenty of legit paying survey sites out there that are waiting for you to sign up and start filling out surveys.  If you want a list of all the legit sites that have been proven to be legit just click here. And if you’d like to learn more about taking surveys to earn money, you can download a free book called Paid Surveys Cash.

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