While market research companies are making billions, how much can people actually get paid for their opinion? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

While market research companies are making billions, how much can people actually get paid for their opinion?

It is only natural that people who find themselves in a financial hole search for all kinds of money-making opportunities. One of the available options is to do paid surveys and earn money for stating your opinion.

The market research industry has been there for decades. It is a great method for companies to find out how they can improve their products or services.

And while they have a lot of benefits from researching the market, you, as a potential survey taker, want to know how much you can really earn through paid surveys.

Let’s find out.

How Much Can You Actually Earn with Paid Surveys?

When people learn about paid surveys, they usually get an insane enthusiasm boost, thinking they can become rich overnight form the comfort of their home.

But this is not as easy as it seems. In fact, it’s impossible.

According to a survey about paid surveys conducted by ElitePersonalFinance, 70.7% of surveyed people reported that they make less than $100 a month. Even though this sounds discouraging, a majority of these people fail to use all the available opportunities.

On the other hand, about 10% of the respondents said they earn over $1,000 a month. Now, this sounds much better, doesn’t it? But keep in mind that these are the people who spend hours a day completing surveys.

Here are some more stats from this survey:

  • 9% reported spending less than 3 hours a week on surveys
  • 5% said they spend less than 10 hours a week
  • 8% are registered with fewer than 3 panels
  • 5% have accounts with fewer than 5 panels
  • 8% complete surveys for fewer than 10 panels

Now you understand why there are so few people earning decent money with paid surveys. They don’t spend enough time on them and aren’t registered with enough panels.

This survey is always open and if you are an old hand at paid surveys (or even just a beginner), you can contribute by sharing your opinion and experiences with other panelists.

In addition, a case study conducted by NerdWallet discovered that it takes a lot of time to earn some money as a regular survey taker. By ‘regular’, we mean no focus groups or other special offers. The average hourly earnings in this study ranged from 41 cents to $2.03, which is way below the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

Even this much money is only possible to earn if you register with the top survey sites, which you can also find in this case study.

With that in mind, it pays to know that you can earn some money with paid surveys, but this is far from a decent income, even for full-time panelists.

Beware of Scams

As attractive as the world of paid surveys may be, you need to steer clear from fraudsters who want to rob people of their money.

There are a number of scam survey websites offering as much as $100 per hour to their members. However, the sooner you realize that this is too good to be true, the better. There is no such thing as a survey panel that can regularly provide you with such a high income. If there were, nobody would have a regular job.

What is even worse, these scammers give a bad name to the entire paid surveys industry. One such incident can easily turn people away from similar opportunities to earn some extra cash on the side.

Here is how you can spot a survey scam right away:

  • they ask for money to register
  • they offer too much money (as much as $100/hour)
  • their prequalification surveys go on forever
  • their minimum payout amount is impossible to achieve
  • they don’t have a privacy policy

Final Thoughts

There you go ‒ now you know what to expect from paid surveys. If you invest a lot of time and effort into doing research, creating survey panel accounts, and taking surveys, you will hopefully earn some extra cash that can help you improve your budget.

However, you should never fool yourself that paid surveys can replace a full-time job. Moreover, if you get overenthusiastic, you can easily fall into a trap and end up being scammed by illegitimate survey panels.

Therefore, it is best to treat paid surveys as a side source of income and have fun completing them, without setting your expectations too high.

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