Make Money by Taking Surveys? I Don’t Think So

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make money by taking surveysHave you ever thought about taking surveys online for a little extra cash? I mean, why not? It would take maybe 10 minutes of your time, you could make $5, and you’d be a bit richer without hardly noticing it! AND, maybe it would even keep you off of Facebook for a few minutes out of the day. Double win! But, do you really make money by taking surveys?

I’m sure you’re skeptical, and quite frankly, you should be.

Make Money by Taking Surveys?

This post contains affiliate links.

For about the 3rd time this month, I’ve had a survey site reach out to me, asking if I would promote their site to my readers.

After all, the survey site would (supposedly):

  • Allow my readers to earn some extra money,
  • Receive some free product, and
  • I’d earn an affiliate wage of $2.50 for every person that signed up through my link.

Just like you, I was skeptical, so I asked if I could sign up myself to see how much I could earn as a regular user before recommending their site to my readers. They pretty much ignored my question entirely and continued to emphasize that I would earn $2.50 for every sign-up, which could really add up quickly.

…and my skepticism grew…

If they wouldn’t recommend that I take surveys to earn money as a site owner, why should I recommend it to you, my readers?

The only reason: money. (Good thing I don’t really need it.)

Naturally, I passed on the offer. And, instead of promoting the whole idea that you can make money by taking surveys, I’m pretty much taking a stand against it with this post.

How Much Can You Earn With Surveys?

I did some sleuthing to try to figure out how much you could actually earn by taking surveys, and not to my surprise, there are pretty much no articles out there that state what can be earned without there also being an affiliate link offered (which means that their data is likely skewed so that they can get more sign-ups and earn all their money by signing people up…and NOT by taking surveys themselves).

When I was 23 years old, I worked a 40 hour job and had absolutely nothing else going on. Out of boredom and curiosity, I signed up for a few survey sites. The first introductory survey took about 30 minutes to complete and paid me $5. Hey! Not a bad start, right? Too bad I needed my account to grow to $10 to earn an actual payout. Long story short, I was only able to qualify for a couple other surveys that only paid $0.50 or so, and I never physically got a check for my work.

Turns out, not much has changed over the last 9 years. Survey sites are still enticing, but they still suck as a form of income.

Expect to earn roughly $0.50-$4.00 per survey and an approximate hourly wage of $6 or less.

Can you earn a little bit of money with surveys? Sometimes, yes.

But is it worth the hassle? I say absolutely not. I mean come on, $6 an hour? You could do almost anything else and earn more than $6 an hour! Minimum wage is $7.25, people! Why are you taking surveys for $6 an hour?

What Can You Do Instead?

Like I just said, do ANYTHING instead of taking surveys. You’ll earn more.

“But Derek, I like that I could make money by taking surveys because I can do it in little time increments throughout my day, without interrupting my life.”

Again…$6 an hour? Is it really worth it? But hey, I’ll play this game with you a second.

What else could you do throughout the day that would be flexible and pay MUCH MORE than online surveys?

  1. Medical billing
  2. Web design
  3. Content writing (BTW, I’m hiring! Want to earn $25 per article? Shoot me an email through my “Contact” tab at the top of the page!)
  4. Blogging (put up some articles, put up some ads, and start earning money! Ha, well, it takes a bit more than that, but it IS possible to earn a decent, flexible income)
  5. Data entry
  6. Photography
  7. Book-keeper

Each of these options would earn you more than $20 an hour. Sure, you probably don’t have the skills to do all of them, but I bet you have the skills to do one of them!!

What work might be less flexible, but would earn way more than $6 an hour?

  1. Car detailing
  2. Bar tending
  3. House cleaning
  4. Pizza delivery
  5. Translator
  6. Child care
  7. Tutoring
  8. Pet sitting

This Has Been a Public Announcement…

Please, please, please, pleeeeeaaaassee don’t get caught up in taking online surveys. It sounds all great in the beginning, but the money just isn’t there. If you truly want to earn an income, just pick something from the list of gigs above. You’ll be much happier, and you’ll earn far more money.

And, in the future, if I ever recommend a survey site, you can be rest assured that it’s fricken awesome – like no other survey site that I’d ever seen. Either that, or I’ve lost all my moral integrity and I therefore give you permission to unsubscribe, unfriend me, and give me a punch in the kidney.

Make money by taking surveys? Not likely.

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20 comments to Make Money by Taking Surveys? I Don’t Think So

  • Ann B.

    I am so glad that you wrote this article on taking surveys. I signed up for quite a few a while back and I am sorry I did. Seems they send you the survey, you answer 10-15 questions, and then you are disqualified…a total scam. They got the answers they wanted, then tell you that you don’t qualify? Total Nonsense.

    • Yup. There may be some reputable companies out there that actually do pay out money, but it’s far less than someone could earn by working a minimum wage job! Totally not worth it. I’m telling people just to not waste their time. Thanks for the confirmation on that, Ann!

  • Yeah, I used to do a couple of different survey sites but gave them up with no regret. For one site, they initially paid you $5 but then dropped it to $3. Then, they made it so that you had to respond to the survey within x number of hours and if you didn’t you were penalized and eventually they would kick you out if you missed like three surveys per month. No loss at all when I got the boot.

    Then I moved on to one that, like Ann B. above mentioned, would take you 5-10 minutes to pre-qualify only to find out that you were ‘not qualified’. Total scam

  • I actually take surverys with a very reputable company, Pinecone Research. You have to be accepted into the program, and it is not a source of substantial income by any means, at $3.00 per survey, but it gets a few extra bucks in my pocket, umm I mean my savings account. I make about $9-$12 per month, and I choose to have a check sent to me, but they also offer Paypal.

    Now, about that content writing position…..

    • Hi Dana! Do you ever get the feeling that you’re putting way to much time into it for the resulting dollars, though??

      And about the writing position, we’re currently hiring!! Send me an email with a few article pitches, I’ll pick one, you then write up the article and submit it. And then we’ll take it from there! Email me at derek [at] lifeandmyfinances [dot] com. Thanks!!

  • I think it comes down to perspective and what your expectations are. I used to do surveys quite a bit and I still do them every once in awhile, but I never expected to get rich off them. It was just to earn a little extra spending cash. No one is ever going to be able to quit their job and take online surveys full time, but many people aren’t interested in starting a blog or any small business for that matter. For these people surveys do offer an easy way to earn a few extra bucks. As long as they don’t expect to quit their day job I don’t see the harm.

    • But wouldn’t it be better to put your time toward something else? I mean, pretty much ANYTHING will earn more money per hour than surveys. Knit something, build something, become a blog writer. Instead of earning $2, you could earn $50!

      • Oh I agree there are many more effective and profitable ways to earn money. I’m just saying you and I aren’t like everyone else. There are a lot of people who love surveys because they’re easy money (just not a lot of it) and they don’t want to be bothered building a business or anything that involves actual work.

  • Liz

    Thank you for our honesty!! I agree with you regarding surveys!

  • ricksterb

    Agreed!!! I suspect that some of these companies require folks to “qualify” to take their surveys and then deny most everyone without giving a payout. They then have your personal/demographic information for free!

    I will no longer waste my time for the possibility (probably not) of making 50 cents.

  • david

    They are indeed, totally lame. Thanks for the heads up to others!

  • Haha… love it.

    Although FYI (and, not surprising at all), the ads that are imbedded here are showing survey sites because of how slick their targeting is 😉 So you can’t get away from it even if you wanted to! Haha…

  • Barb T.

    Absolutely spot-on! In addition to not paying out, your email address is distributed to their “customers” who/which proceed to blow up your inbox.

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