If you’re searching for a way to make money from home, you’ve probably seen lots of ads for paid surveys. But is taking surveys for money a legitimate business opportunity? What is so great about them, and what are the pitfalls? This post will explore some pros and cons of taking paid online surveys and talk about some things to consider if you decide to sign up with a survey site.

What Are Paid Surveys?

Paid online surveys are an essential tool to measure public opinion. They give you the opportunity to share your point of view with companies and organizations and get paid for it in the process. It’s all part of market research, and it’s a vital part of understanding the products and services people want. 

The Pros of Taking Paid Online SurveysTop view of different types and colors American dollars placed together on each other

There are a lot of great reasons to get involved with paid surveys. Here are the primary benefits of the survey opportunity:

1. You Will Make Some Extra Money

You aren’t going to get rich taking paid online surveys, but you will make some extra money. For many, it can make a huge difference. While your earnings will vary considerably, the chance to earn even a little bit of your own spending money is a fantastic benefit of paid surveys.

Most reputable survey sites also offer multiple ways to cash out your earnings. For example, Branded Surveys offers Paypal, Branded Pay, and dozens of gift cards to select from. So, if you don’t want to get cash, you can opt to take surveys for gift cards and redeem them for something you have had your eye on.

The options available to members at Branded Surveys include gift cards from restaurants, coffee shops, major retailers, travel services, auto repair shops, and even airlines! In addition, many people choose to take surveys for Amazon gift cards, where they can purchase nearly anything—food, music, clothes, car parts—you name it!

2. You Can Have Your Voice Heard

For many people, choosing to take online surveys for money is not the only perk. Being able to shape the future of new services and products can be exciting! Your opinions and ideas could become a reality when companies introduce their products to the marketplace, and often, it will be your thoughts that helped bring it to fruition. Knowing that you had a say in what some big corporation out there decides to do is enormous.

3. Anyone Can Take Surveys for Cash

The inclusiveness of surveys is a huge advantage. Typically, survey sites are open to anyone, regardless of age or skill level. You do not need prior education or experience to make it work. As long as you have a computer or smartphone and internet access, you can get involved.

Plus, unlike many other gigs, there is no lengthy interview process and no applications, resumes, or cover letters to deal with. You can start immediately, so when you sign up, there is no waiting period or trial. You can register with your preferred survey site and start answering questionnaires within the hour.

Whether you are a senior, a student, a mom at home with your children, or you have a disability; the survey gig is open to you. For many people, this flexibility is the main reason they got involved with surveys in the first place. 

4. You Can Take Surveys Anytime

For lots of members, convenience is one of the significant factors when it comes to taking surveys. Unlike a part-time job where you have to punch a time clock or be obligated to show up on time, you can take surveys any time, day or night.

This means that you can work on a survey site anytime you have a few spare minutes. Lots of people find they can squeeze in a survey or two during their lunch break, while waiting for an appointment, on their morning commute, or even in bed at night when they can’t sleep. And because the internet is never closed, you can work on surveys 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

The Cons of Paid SurveysSide view of serious young Hispanic male remote employee sitting on sofa and using laptop while working distantly from home

Now, let’s take a look at a few of the downsides when it comes to paid surveys.

1. There Are a Lot of Scams Out There

This will be the number one issue you run into when searching for the best survey site to join. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fraudulent sites and phishing scams online. You may be wondering why this is. It’s pretty easy to set up a fake site and get people to sign up, especially if you offer unrealistic earnings or overblown projections about the opportunity itself.

For example, many scam sites advertise that their users will make $25, $50, $100, or more per survey. If you see a site claiming you can make this much by taking easy online surveys, you can be assured it is a fraudulent site. Advertising earnings this high is not only dishonest, but it also would never be sustainable. Think about it logically. If you could really make this much money taking surveys, wouldn’t everyone be doing this?

The other primary issue you will encounter with scam sites is that they often ask for a fee to join. While this may cause them to appear more exclusive, legit survey sites will never ask their members for money. So even if it seems like a reasonable amount, don’t fall for it. The site will likely take your money and your personal information, and that’s the last you will hear from them.

2. The Pay Is Low

Realistically, you will not make enough with paid online surveys to quit your full-time job, despite what some of the advertisements suggest. Most of the surveys available to you will pay between $1 and $3, which is not a significant amount of money.

Occasionally, you will come across surveys that pay more than that, or you will have a string of great paying surveys all in a row. However, this is not an income you should count on to pay your mortgage or keep your lights on. Instead, it would be best to look at the money you earn taking surveys as extra cash to spend on something you enjoy, like dinner and a movie, a new shirt, or some other small reward.

3. You Won’t Qualify for Each Survey

Another con about paid surveys is that you will not always qualify for every opportunity presented to you. So when you see a survey you would like to take or get an email inviting you to fill out a questionnaire, it doesn’t always mean you will be eligible to complete it. 

Usually, the survey starts with some basic screening questions about your demographics, such as where you live, your age, or how many children you have. However, you will often find that the screening process is also where it ends for you. If you don’t meet the specific qualifications they are looking for, you will not be eligible to continue with the survey.

Sometimes, a site will reward you for trying, but this, too, will be negligible. So it can be pretty frustrating to attempt to qualify for survey after survey only to be turned down. Of course, the flip side of this is that you will occasionally have a great run where you qualify for many opportunities in one day. It’s all part of the process, as annoying as it may be. 

4. Registering With a Lot of Survey Sites Could Flag You for Fraud

As we discussed, survey sites don’t always pay a lot. So, many people try to register for as many different sites as possible with the idea of earning more. However, this can backfire in more ways than one.

Many sites offer the same surveys from various market research firms. Therefore, if you attempt to complete the same study on one site that you have already completed on another, your account may be flagged for fraudulent activity. This is because, in some cases, you are only allowed to take the survey once.

If you have been working hard on several sites and are ready to begin cashing out and you get flagged for fraudulent activity, you run the risk of losing all of your earnings. The best way to avoid this scenario is to stick with one reputable site and take as many surveys as you are eligible for.

The Bottom Line on Paid Online Surveys

If you have done any searching online for legitimate work-from-home opportunities, you have no doubt come across advertisements for taking online surveys for cash. They represent a real chance to make some extra cash, and there are many advantages to this type of work. However, there are some disadvantages as well.

Always be sure to look for a reputable site, one with good user reviews and an excellent reputation. Stick with one solid survey site rather than registering for a whole bunch of panels, which could backfire on you. Remember that you are not going to get wealthy by taking surveys. Instead, you can earn enough money to enjoy some of the small pleasures in life. 

While you won’t qualify for every survey opportunity, there will be many that you are eligible for. Plug away at it every day and soon, you will see your little nest egg grow.