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My Top Ten Survey Sites

Paid online survey sites are cyclical and my list of favorites has changed every few months.  There are other survey sites that I didn’t like at all in the beginning, but have come to like over time. Some survey sites actually listen to member complaints and suggestions and work to improve the way they handle issues and payments.  Here’s my current list of the top 10 survey sites. You can click on each link to create an account with the panels.

Global Test Market is a fairly established online market research panel. Membership to their panel is free.  They have participants from nearly 200 countries contributing opinions in return for cash rewards. Over the years they have maintained a solid reputation and have an impressive, 5 million plus, membership. 

Membership to their panel is free, and they offer points redeemable for cash for members that participate and complete their online survey studies. In addition members that attempt a survey study but do not complete it can participate in their choice of an instant win or sweepstakes game.

Ipsos is one of the largest survey-based market research companies in the world. They currently give more than six million surveys, in more than 100 countries, each year. The Ipsos i-Say Online Panel is part of Ipsos North America, and they are registered with Casro, ESOMAR, MRA, and MRIA, the top global market research organizations. Their membership is free, and they reward their members with points that can be redeemed for cash, prizes and donations.  They also give you other opportunities to win great prizes after completing each survey.

Synovate, started in 2003, is an expanding global market research company that gathers opinions on products and services for corporations worldwide. Their membership is 100% free. Members that complete online surveys are entered into sweepstakes drawings for cash, and also earn reward points, which are redeemable for cash. 

Pine Cone Research pays a flat rate for each completed research survey, and the site offers great support, fast payment, and many different products and services to survey. Many consider Pine Cone Research “The Best Survey Site” and the only small complaint is the fact that not everyone will qualify for every survey. Membership is free

American Consumer Opinion panel is owned and operated by Decision Analyst, Inc., an international market research firm which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. American Consumer Opinion Survey Panel accepts residents from all nations, and rewards its members with cash in exchange for participating in online surveys.  Membership to their panel is free, and they pay cash for each survey you complete. Plus, all registered members are entered into monthly drawings for cash awards. 

SurveySavvy is part of Luth Research, LLC., a market research leader since 1977. Based in San Diego, California, Luth Research, LLC. has conducted countless interviews, focus groups and surveys for their clients. They have over 1.5 million members across 190 countries earning cash by participating in their online paid surveys. Membership to their panel is free, and they offer cash for members that participate and complete their online survey studies. In addition, some of their surveys are rewarded with sweepstakes entries cash drawings. 

Survey Spot is a online paid survey panel that was created by Survey Sampling International, a market research company that was founded in 1977. Survey Sampling provides survey solutions for the market research industry in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Asia, however the SurveySpot panel is limited to the United States.  Membership to their panel is free.  Each survey invitation will usually include the amount of time the survey takes and the incentive offered. Some of their surveys offer cash rewards and others offer an entry for their $25,000 Sweepstakes plus one instant win game play.

Send Earnings and Inbox Dollars are unique in that they’re not just your typical survey sites. They are sister sites both operated by Cotter Web Enterprises.  Both offer you the chance to participate in doing paid emails, shopping and playing online games. So basically they are a combination between a survey site and a get paid to complete offers site.  Their membership is free.

Brand Institute, founded in 1993, provides an extensive global panel that conducts market research in industries ranging from pharmaceutical to consumer products. The panel currently has over 7 million members worldwide all of their surveys, and their feedback aids in the development of products and services in the health care industry and beyond. They pay cash (anywhere from $2 to $30 or more) per completed survey via check or PayPal. They have panels both for medical and consumers so everyone is welcome to join. Membership is free.
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Synovate Check: 8/31/2010

I received this check from Synovate for $150 dollars on September 4, 2010.  I requested it about three weeks ago (August 13, 2010).
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FAQ's About Paid Online Surveys

I came up with a list of questions I am frequently asked. If you have any other questions that are not listed, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me.

What are online surveys?

Online market research is a growing trend that gives companies a reliable alternative to traditional ways of collecting consumer opinions. Online surveys are web-based questionnaires that allow companies to learn what consumers think about their products and services.

What are online survey panels?

Market research companies host online survey panels. These companies gather willing consumers with different demographics and geographic locations to share their opinions. By forming these online panels, market research companies can then host online surveys on new products and services on behalf of their corporate clients. The answers from all the participants are then compiled by the market research company and presented to their client.

Will survey panels try to sell me things?

No. Survey panels are only interested in summarized information on the attitudes, opinions, market practices, etc. of the sampled consumer groups. Some panels may offer you gift rewards or products to try, for free, as part of a study. However, sales or solicitation is not acceptable or permitted in legitimate and professionally conducted survey research.

How do I get started with online surveys?

If you want to earn money by filling out online surveys, you will have to spend some time creating accounts with as many legitimate sites as possible. I highly recommend signing up with my top ten best surveys sites on the web. Signing up with multiple sites may be time consuming, but it is not hard work. You are asked to fill out basic profile and provide your email address and your mailing address (so that rewards can be sent to you). Legitimate companies will NEVER ask for your social security number or bank account information.

Who can take online surveys?

Every site's requirements vary, but most sites require participants to be 18 years of age or older. (Some sites allow minors ages 14 to 17 if they have parental consent). Your country of citizenship may also determine your eligibility for certain sites. Males, people ages 18 - 24, and minorities are most likely to receive the highest volume of surveys, but anyone can make money with online surveys.

Why do you have to be at least 13 years old to participate in online survey panels?

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) says that online survey panels cannot accept panelists under the age of 13 to register directly their panel. However, input from children is still often needed, and in these cases parents that are panel members are often asked to provide input from their children for specific studies.

How do i know when i can take a survey?

When a research company has a survey available for you, they will send you an email invitation. The invitation generally specifies the time required for the survey, the topic, and the reward type for completing the survey. Most sites will also have the link available on their websites when you log into your accounts.

Which survey companies are the best to join?

There are hundreds of companies that pay to take online surveys. A lot of them are published and will be reviewed on this site. Take a look at my top ten companies to join. Also, it is important to join as many companies as possible to maximize your earnings.

How do paid survey companies pay you?

Paid survey companies conduct market research on behalf of companies that produce products and sell services. They offer you cash and prizes in exchange for your time and consumer opinions. Some companies will sweepstakes entries, and others will send you sample products. They will pay to conduct product evaluations.

How much money can you make taking paid surveys?

Typical cash paying surveys will take 10 to 30 minutes to complete, and will generally reward you $1 to $10 (or possibly more) for every survey you complete. Other sites may give you gift certificates or enter you into sweepstakes for cash or prizes. Some sites occasionally offer focus groups. These usually last 1 or 2 hours, but generally pay more the $50. For more details about a particular paid survey site be sure to read the reviews for the particular panel.

How many surveys can i expect to receive per month?

The number of surveys you will receive depends on your demographic profile. Survey panel conduct different studies for different consumers. For instance, a surveys study about a new shaving gel would target adult males, while a study about a new portable digital music player may target teens and young adults. The number of surveys you will receive also depends on the survey panel as well. Some survey panels will send more frequent survey invitations than others. Be sure to complete your profile surveys for each and every panel. The profile surveys are very important because they help the survey companies match the surveys to the desired segment of the population as required by the study.

Are paid survey panels free to join? Will i ever have to buy anything?

Most paid survey panels are free to join. There are lots of sites out there that would have you think that taking surveys involves paying for trial offers of services and products, but THIS IS NOT THE CASE. While it is true study, they should NEVER charge you for the products or ask for any compensation other than completion of the survey study.
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Advice on Paid Surveys

Everyone wants to know which surveys pay, but there are a few other things that you need to know before you even sign up for your first paid survey site. Here are some tips, tricks and techniques that I have learned and I will add others as they occur to me.
1) Try to find out those companies that have a decent feedback on the Internet. Search for reviews on different survey companies. The search will come up with a range of comments and feedbacks that will assist you know about particular company.

2) Have patience. This may appear very easy but it is not so. It may take time and to earn some cash.

3) Try to get registered for at least around ten survey companies. Logically, if a survey is paying $5 will take around 30-35 minutes. If you do about 3-4 each day, the average over the month is pretty good.

4) DO NOT REGISTER WITH THE SURVEY COMPANIES THAT ASK YOU TO PAY FOR YOUR MEMBERSHIP!! I cannot stress this enough. You can find the same market research companies for free.

5) The companies that you register with should be in the business for at least 1 year.

6) Check that the company makes you eligible immediately.

7) Check out for good customer service via phone or email, with response time less than 24 hours. Look for a guarantee that you will get at least a minimum number of surveys upon getting enlisted there, however there is no 100% guarantee.

8) Be honest in your answers. DO NOT try to cheat, the survey companies by simply filling any answer in multiple-choice questionnaires. There are some who try to complete as many surveys as they can without really reading through. The survey companies have review staff that will review your answers. They have seen enough to differentiate fake surveys from the real deal.

9) Use a separate e-mail account. Free Internet paid surveys are sent to you via email. Since there can be quite numerous, you do not want your personal email to be jammed with these mails. If your mailbox is full, the mails would bounce back and the survey companies would remove you from their list. You wouldn’t want that to happen. Use free email accounts like Yahoo that gives you 1 GB of mailbox memory to register with the survey companies. That should last you for a long while.

10) Try to use the same username and password for all of you accounts. This makes login easy, and you don’t have to remember different login information for all of you accounts.

11) Be smart when filling out your profile information. Some survey companies would conduct a series of screening questions to determine if your profile suits their client’s requirements before forwarding you the survey. There are some who however make reference to the profile details you have registered with them. Normally, in the profiling, your age, gender, occupation, hobbies and other demographics would be captured.

It is obvious that the more interests, hobbies, etc you indicate, the likelihood of you being a potential survey candidate for the free Internet paid surveys improves. However, balance this with full honesty in profiling yourself. For example, do not check the boxes like love arts when you obviously have not even stepped into an art museum in your whole life.

12) Small and steady rewards really do add up. You don’t need to attempt every single survey you receive (though, of course, some panels tend to send you more invites if you have a good survey history). However, don’t overlook the simple and quick daily point earners, either! I’ve developed a routine where I’ll check my survey email account before I even get out of bed in the morning – this is when I usually do my quick point earners.
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Payment Methods

Sites That Pay by Check

         For whatever reason, some people either have had a bad experience with Paypal or don’t have a checking account, so they can’t open a Paypal account. Here is the short list of well-known survey sites that will pay by check to your home address.  Feel free to comment if you have more to add to the list.

Sites That Pay by PayPal

Here is a list of well-known survey sites that will pay by PayPal:

4) Toluna
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What Are Paid Online Surveys?

Online surveys are online questionnaire forms about a particular product or service. These questionnaires can range anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour depending on the subject. The incentive of completion will typically range from $.50 (for a very short survey) to $75. If you sign up with survey companies, sometimes you will be invited to participate in focus groups that will pay up to $50/hour.

You may be wondering why market research companies offer incentives for filling out surveys.  Companies need to know the opinions of their consumers so they can improve their products and services to make them more money. Your participation directly affects the products and services you use every day.  This is why your opinion is very valuable even though you may not realize it. These companies are looking for honest people to join their online survey panels. Online market research companies pay cash or other prizes every time you take online surveys. You will always be paid an incentive for your time.

Many companies have a point system that they go by. Each survey is worth a different amount of points, depending on the length.  Some companies will credit your points to your account directly after completion of the survey, other survey companies will credit you account within 2 – 4 weeks after completion of the survey. Some companies enter their survey takers into a drawing after each survey is complete. The chances of someone winning the drawing enough times to earn full or part time income are slim to none. If you are planning on taking online surveys as a form of employment, you may want to consider a career change.  You will NOT get rich taking online surveys. However, they can be a lot of fun. It needs nothing but registration with several legitimate online survey companies. If you're looking to enjoy yourself and maybe earn some merchandise, win prizes and even end up with a little pocket money, online surveys are definitely for you.
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About Me

Hi, my name is Carl, and I will be helping to guide you on your journey through the online survey process.  I will update you as much as possible to which sites are worth a visit and provide what they say they will, and also those that don’t measure up. 

I will offer tips on how to make your experience both fun and profitable! I know that’s why we are all here, in this day and age, every bit of extra money is helpful, especially when you can do it on your down time. 

I hope my experiences will be helpful and that you will visit this blog often. My goal is for this to be interactive and informative, so I would love to see lots of comments and questions posted! Also, please feel free to email me.
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Brand Institute Check: 8/13/2010

About a week ago (August 13, 2010), I received my first check from Brand Institute. They send a check after each survey you take for them.  The pay from this survey was $2.  Click on the image for a larger view. 
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Synovate Check: 8/12/2010

I requested my first payment from Synovate on July 26, 2010.  About a week ago (August 13, 2010), I received my first check from them in the amount of $15.  Click on the image for a larger view. 
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Global Test Market: Review

Company Information
Global Market Insite
1100 112th Avenue NE
Suite 200
Bellevue, WA 98004 USA
Email: Contact Page

Minimum Age to Join: 14
Rewards: Market Points redeemable for cash
Minimum Points for Redemption: 1000 points / $50

GTM is a international consumer research panel.  Some of their surveys are rewarded with sweepstakes entries for their daily and monthly cash drawings.

How to Earn Money with GTM
1)  Join GTM, and complete your profile surveys.  This will qualify you for more survey opportunites.
2)  Check your email for survey invites or check the members area on the website.
3)  Complete surveys and earn points.  Most surveys range anywhere from 35 to 50 points.  If you don't qualify for the survey you will be rewarded with a sweepstakes entry.

Payment Terms

  • 1000 / $50 required to request your earnings
  • Payments are sent by check.
  • It takes 4-6 weeks from the date of redemption for your check to arrive.

GTM is a solid research company.  They do a great job of providing numerous studies for their panel members, which makes their 1000- point redemption threshold easily attainable. I receive about 2 surveys a day from GTM, which is the reason why it is at the top of my list.
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Synovate: Review

Company Information
222S. Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606
Email: marie@synovate.net
Phone: 1-800-745-4267

Minimum Age to Join: 18
Rewards: Points redeemable for cash
Minimum Points for Redemption: 5000 / $5

Synovate Launched in 2003 and is an expanding global market research company that gathers opinions on products and services for corporations worldwide.  The official name of the panel is Global Opinion Panels.  Members that complete online surveys are entered into a sweepstakes drawings for cash, and also earn reward points, which are redeemable for cash.

How to Earn Money with Synovate
1)  Join Synovate, and complete your profile surveys in the members' area.
2)  After joining, you will receive survey invitations by email or you can check the members' area for your current surveys available. 
3)  Take surveys and earn points for completing them.

Payment Terms
5000 points / $5 minimum required for payment redemption
It can take 3-4 weeks to receive your check once your redeem your points.

Synovate's Global Opinion Panel offers a fair compensation, generally in the $.50 to the $5 range, and most people can expect at least once survey a week.  I receive about 2 or 3 each week, and typically receive about $2 per survey.

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Opinion Outpost: Review

Western Wats
701 East Timpanogos Parkway
Building M
Orem, UT 84097
Email: Contact Page
Phone: 1-877-254-1234

Minimum Age to Join: 18
Rewards: Opinion Points redeemable for cash
Minimum Points for Redemption: 50 points / $5


Opinion Outpost is a survey research panel that is operated by Western Wats, a survey research data collection company based in Utah.  Opinion Outpost works with marketing research companies from all over the world as well as many Fortune 500 companies.

How to Earn Money With Opinion Outpost

1)  Join Opinion Outpost.

2)  Login to the members' area and complete the profile surveys.  If you fill out all of your profiles you will be more likely to receive more survey invitations.

3)  Check your email regularly for invitations.  Each invitation will indicate the number of reward points you can earn and the amount of time each survey will take to complete.  Be patient, it can take up to one month to start receiving surveys invites.

4) Complete surveys and earn points.  Most surveys pay anywhere from 10 to 50 points.  Opinion Points should be credited to your account immediately after completing the survey.  If you don't qualify for the survey study, you will usually get a chance to participate in one or several instant win or sweepstakes games in exchange for your effort.

Payment Terms

10 Opinion Points = $1.00, and you must accumulate a minimum of 50 Opinion Points ($5.00) to request your cash reward.  (It usually doesn't take long to reach the payout minimum.)

Payments are sent by check to your mailing address, and can take up to 4 - 6 weeks from the date of redemption to arrive, but i usually receive mine within 3 weeks.

Stay active on the panel.  You must take at least one survey every 3 months or your Opinion Points will expire.  So if you plan on not taking surveys for a while, be sure to redeem your points first.


Opinion Outpost is on my top ten list, and i recommend it to everyone.  I receive 1 or 2 surveys each day from them, and the incentives are great.
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Get Paid to Read With Read Bud

Getting paid to read articles sounds like a great idea. A website called ReadBud claims to do just that.  I decided I wanted to give it a try, but first I did a little research on the site. It’s a fairly new website, but I still managed to get a decent amount of information.   I couldn’t find any people who have actually reached payout, but that isn’t to imply that there aren’t any people who have done it. 

When I signed up, all the information I had to give was my name, country and email address.  Then I had to choose a username and password. I read all of the usual terms and conditions and privacy policy and didn’t find anything unusual.  Next, I selected areas of interest for the articles that they would provide for me to read. I choose about 8 categories out of the many that were offered. The maximum that you can select is 50.

After choosing my areas of interest ReadBud gave me the list of articles to read, and after I read the complete article I had to rate it. The most that I earned in the process was 9 cents for an article about gardening. Most of the others were 5 or 6 cents. The minimum payout amount is $50, which in my opinion is very high.  It would take a lot of 5-cent articles to reach that amount.

From the website:
"We cannot and do not speculate or guarantee the amount of Article invitations you may receive within any time-frame.

Each article is assigned a monetary reward based on total word count of content. This reward amount will be stated on the article invitation. We deserve the right to modify global reward rates at any time.

 By joining the Service you initially give us consent to send you commercial advertising messages via email (referred to as ‘advertising email’ or ‘email rewards’).

We will offer to you an incentive of reward points for viewing the entire advertising email and clicking on the designated link in the advertising email. To be eligible to earn reward points for an advertising email you must click on the designated link within 14 days of the advertising email being sent by us.

Receiving advertising email is an optional part of the Service. Therefore you may opt-out of receiving advertising email at any time after your registration is complete. This can be done in the Accounts detail section of this web site."

Payment is by PayPal.  ReadBud seems legitimate. It seems to serve the people writing the articles in terms of exposure, and those who want to make some extra money who read them. Since they are articles in your interest categories, you probably will not get bored reading them either. 

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Why Are Profile Surveys Important?

There are so many people who get annoyed of having to fill out profile surveys when they first get started with paid surveys.  They complain about being asked the same questions over and over again, but they do not understand the importance of them.  

Yes, it can get a bit tedious, but there are reasons you should take the time to fill them out. Survey companies will have no way of knowing your likes and dislikes unless you complete your profile surveys.   If a market research company needs information for a client who manufactures cars, they will need to target their surveys to those who actually own a car.  It saves time and money to target people of a certain age and demographic which benefits both the manufacturer and the survey taker.

People complain to me that they aren’t receiving enough surveys from survey companies. When I ask if they have completed all of their profile surveys, they usually respond with a “no”.  Then, when they do fill them out, they almost immediately will start receiving surveys more frequently.

So, to those of you who have been putting those profile surveys off, now would be the best time to get them completed!  It will be worth your time in the end, and you will have much more money in your pocket!

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What Should I Expect From Online Surveys?

When survey sites advertise bogus claims of wealth, many people may assume that an early retirement and riches are in the future.  There’s no way that these claims can be true.

The most frequently asked question I get from people is concerning how much money can be earned by taking surveys online.  Most people have unrealistic expectations about how well they will do, especially when they first get started.  First of all, you should never quit your day job to take paid online surveys.  There is no possible way that you will ever make $1500 a month, even if you joined every single survey site on the Internet.

I earn an average of $100 a month taking paid surveys, but I am not as dedicated as other people. Most survey sites have payout minimums that you have to reach before cashing out. These minimums range from $1 to $50 so it can take several months before you actually see any of the money.  Survey sites will also start sending you higher paying surveys after you have taken surveys with them for a while, and you have established a reputation.

The main point is that you CAN earn extra spending money by taking online paid surveys. It won’t happen overnight, and you won’t get rich by any means. An extra couple of hundred dollars a month sure can come in handy though, especially in our current economic situation. However, be sure to keep your expectations realistic and you will avoid frustration.
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BigSpot.com-Is It Worth My Time?

There has been some buzz about the television commercial for BigSpot.com.  I figured that since it was on T.V., it had to be good so I decided to give it a try, and I wasn’t very impressed.  I searched the website for a FAQ’s page to find out a little more about it, but i couldn't find one.  I thought that maybe there would be one after I joined, but I was wrong.   A list of survey sites came up on the screen.  I soon realized that BigSpot.com was actually just a directory of a whole bunch of survey panels instead of being a panel itself.  You don’t need this website to find all of the legitimate survey panels out there.  I immediately thought that whoever put together this website had wasted a huge amount of their time.   Then I looked under the terms and conditions page and read this:

Description of Services

“The website provides you with potential opportunities to earn money and prizes by participating in market research surveys hosted by our clients. There is no fee to use our service on the Website. The Website does not administer any individual surveys; it merely facilitates access to them. Not all market research panels allow panelists to exchange their points for cash, some offer you the opportunity to use them for merchandise, services, or contest entries.”

I never received a confirmation email and opted out of the survey sites listed, because I had already signed up with them.  I guess on a positive note, at least you don’t have to pay for this list like many other survey sites require. But for all of you reading this blog, I really don’t think there is any point in joining BigSpot. There is no review of the survey sites or descriptions, just links to the registration, and the site itself does not offer any incentive.

My advice would be to skip it.  BigSpot doesn’t appear to provide you with anything you cannot get from somewhere else without having to key in your personal information. You will still need to sign up with each individual market research company separately in order to receive survey invitations. 

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SendEarning and InboxDollars - Get Paid to Read E-Mails!

Are you looking for some extra cash?  SendEarnings provides you with an easy and fast way of earning some cash just by reading emails. To get started, first you need to sign-up to become a member. You’ll receive an instant $5 bonus just by signing up. Then you can start reading emails and earning money.   Each email that you read and confirm will credit about 2 cents to your account, and you will receive about 2 or 3 emails each day. Along with the paid emails, you can take daily surveys for 50 cents.  When you reach 30 dollars in your account, you can request payment.  A check will then be sent to your postal address.
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