Unique Types Of Surveys That Pay More than the Average Offers of June 2024 - EliteSurveySites
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Unique Types Of Surveys That Pay More than the Average Offers of June 2024

EPF Last Update: March 16, 2023

To many people, paid surveys look like a really great opportunity to make money online – work from home and give your opinion on products and services. They look like a dream job for most of us. But when you join some panels and start making money, you end up making so little per month. Is there a way for people to make more with paid surveys? Are the ads that claim you can make $150 per hour or more legit or a bunch of scams?

The truth is that no one can become rich with paid surveys! But there are always ways for people to make more money. In a nutshell, survey panelists make about $100-$300 per month on average. However, skillful survey panelists can make over $1,000. How is this possible?

3 writers at Nerdwallet did a test. In about 50 hours, they made about $90. Their average rate was $2.03 per hour. Although they described their experience as not so positive, they stated that they got paid differently by different survey panels.

An interesting study run by EliteSurveySites found that 70% of people make about $100 per month. But the same study also revealed that about 10% of (skillful) people make over $1,000. About 1,000 active survey panelists participated in the study. Again, this proves that people make different amounts of money with surveys.

Let’s discuss a few ways that skillful survey panelists use to make more money with paid surveys.


Focus Groups

You’ve seen a lot of ads offering you $50-$150 per hour for participation in focus groups. Are they scams? Well, yes and no. The problem behind the ads that post such offers is that they get paid to lead people to market research companies and that’s why they have to exaggerate. The truth is that making about $100 per hour with focus groups is possible, but the problem is that people rarely get invited for these offers.

What are focus groups actually?

Focus groups are an advanced way of conducting market research studies to gather data used to improve products or services. With paid surveys, people are only asked to complete some forms online, giving their opinion. With focus groups, people are invited to discuss a product or service with other people. Because market research companies believe that this way they will get a better insight into people’s opinions, they pay much more. However, people answering their questions have to meet their exact criteria and also to answer the questions in details. And at the end, you can expect from $50 to $150 per hour. There are cases where focus groups can continue for longer periods of time, so people can get paid even more.

Focus groups can be based on in-person or online communication. In-person focus groups are located in a specific place, where about 10 people are invited to discuss a topic. Online focus groups are similar, but the difference is that people are invited to answer the questions in an online chat. With in-person focus groups, people have better chances to be approved because they are local, so the competition among participants is not so fierce.

Tips to get approve for more focus groups.

  • Register with many panels that offer focus groups. Most big panels offer them. But there are also more specific panels that offer focus groups. You can search for phrases like “best focus groups” and join sites that are specifically designed for focus groups.
  • Complete your profile survey correctly.
  • Apply for focus groups only if you exactly match their criteria. Don’t waste time on applying to places where you don’t qualify. Although online focus groups are well known and very popular, you have much better chances to get approved for in-person focus groups because there you compete only with people living in your area.


  • You can really make $50-$150 per hour or even more if the study lasts for a few hours.
  • Focus groups are popular and there are many offers available these days.
  • They are fun.


  • It is not so easy to get approved.
  • If you apply and haven’t been approved, you have wasted time and maybe got a few disqualification points from the survey panel.
  • Some of them have limitations. For example, you can’t be invited if you have participated in a focus group in the last few months.


Mystery Shopping

You get paid to shop and share your opinion on your shopping experience. Big companies use these types of studies to get a better idea about their shops. People end up earning about $30 or free vouchers for shops and they can keep the stuff they buy. Mystery shopping can be fun. Unlike with focus groups, you can be offered a long-term option for mystery shopping.

Although there is a lot of legit mystery shopping, like in all businesses, there are some scams. A sure sign of a scam is being asked to pay upfront to get the job. Don’t pay them money, these are scams. Legit mystery shopping companies won’t ask for an upfront fee.

Mystery shopping offers can be found on some of the big survey panels, but there are some specific sites that focus on them only.

Here are the big names in mystery shopping.

  • Best Mark
  • Sinclair Customer Metrics
  • Market Force
  • Intelli-shop
  • Experience Exchange


  • These are high-paying offers ‒ they pay more than regular surveys.
  • Some of them can give you a long-term engagement.
  • They are fun.


  • Not so easy to get approved, but chances are higher than with focus groups.
  • More scams than with focus groups. But if you don’t pay upfront fees and if you check the company on BBB, the chances to get scammed are very low.
  • They require great communication skills. If you don’t have these, better stay away from them.


Telephone Surveys

Instead of asking you to complete an online form, a person from a market research company calls you on the phone and talks to you about your experience with a product. They pay more than regular surveys, but less than a typical focus group.

Although telephone surveys have decreased in popularity, they still exist. They are a type of focus groups, but the company which conducts them can probably get better answers in a focus group. So, they should probably offer people more money for focus groups. There aren’t big names among market research companies that specifically target telephone panelists. Phone surveys can be found on almost every panel.


  • They pay more than traditional offers.


  • There are few telephone surveys these days.
  • They require great communication skills. If you don’t have these, better stay away from them.
  • They pay less money than focus groups.


Video Paid Surveys

These are a totally new type of paid surveys. People get asked to answer questions and make a video. This niche has started growing fast in the world of surveys. This is something between paid surveys and focus groups.

Mindswarm is a fast-growing video survey panel that has become very popular these days. They pay you $50 to answer 7 questions and send your answers in a video. That’s really a great deal.

Many of the big names in the survey companies have started to offer paid video surveys. Some of them are:

  • Cash Crate
  • Opinion Outpost
  • Survey Savvy


  • It’s easy to get approved.
  • You can expect a lot of offers as their number will grow in the next few years.
  • You can expect about $50 per hour on average.


  • You can get denied if the company doesn’t like your answers. Although this looks like a scam, we have to say that people actually make money this way. Don’t worry. If you answer the questions honestly, you will actually get paid.


Custom Research Communities

Custom research communities are a specific type of paid surveys formed around people who belong to a specific target group. This can be based on their occupation, gender, etc. Custom communities are a growing trend in paid surveys. This way, market research companies get better quality answers than with regular offers. So, they are ready to pay more to people answering their questions. They can be found on almost any big panel nowadays.


  • You get paid more than with traditional surveys.
  • Fast-growing type of surveys ‒ you can expect many more offers like these in the next few years.


  • Limited amount of offers and a limited time to apply.
  • People can get approved only if they belong to an exact target group.


5 Tips to Make More with Paid Surveys

  • Don’t focus only on high-paying offers like the aforementioned ones. Pay attention to the actual time/money ratio. Surveys that pays $5 for 3 minutes still is a great deal.
  • Open a new e-mail address for your surveys.
  • When you receive a high-paying offer, apply and complete it instantly, because the quota can be reached very soon and you lose a chance to do it later.
  • Register with many  companies to start receiving better offers.
  • Avoid scams. People who ask you to pay to register with paid surveys or people who offer you too much money (min $100 per hour) are scams.



Paid surveys are a great way to make money online, but you can’t expect a lot. Although there are ways to make more money, paid surveys will definitely not be your main source of income.

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