Can You Really Make Decent Money With Paid Surveys?

Chances are you’re wanting to create an income for yourself by working from home. There’s a lot of different ways you can do this but the question is can you make money with paid surveys and if so, is it worth your time?

Why People Turn To Doing Surveys

To understand this space better I first want to discuss why people even turn to this method of making money in the first place. In my opinion it comes down to three main things:

  • They are easy to do
  • It doesn’t cost anything to start
  • You get a ‘guaranteed’ payout

I think these are some legitimate reasons for choosing to do survey’s but they are also the same reasons that limit your income potential.

What do I mean by that?

Well, think about it like this for a moment. If something is totally free, easy to do and comes with an guaranteed high income… don’t you think EVERYONE would be doing it? The answer is yes, almost everyone would naturally be getting amongst it.

The fact that taking surveys for cash is easy, free and has some level of stability means that anyone can do it, in other words the barrier to entry is so low that there is an over supply of people to do this job. It doesn’t take much skill, motivation or any money and there’s currently over 3.5 billion people online…

But why does it matter if there’s tons of people ready to do this?

The Concept Of Supply And Demand

In economics there is a basic law of supply and demand and it very much has to do with the main question in this article.

Economics and finance

Let me explain the concept and how it applies…

Oversupply: If there comes to be an over supply of a particular product and it exceeds the demand in the market for that product, then the price for that product is lowered. In other words, if there was a million Snickers bars and only 100 people wanting to buy them- Snickers would lower it’s price to sell the excess stock.

Undersupply: If demand for that product is higher than the available supply then the price for that product will rise. The company knows the product is in high demand and there’s only a handful available, so they raise prices because they know people will buy them anyway to a point.

What on earth does this have to do with making money with paid surveys? 

The product is people in this case.

Using the above example: There’s a billion people and only a million survey jobs available, so people have to reduce their ‘asking price’ to get a job. The survey companies know they can pay less given the large supply of people willing to take them.

Like I was saying earlier, the reason there is an over supply of people willing to take surveys for cash is because it’s perceived as a quick and easy way to make a ‘guaranteed’ income and anyone can get started.

The Cold Hard TRUTH About The Income Potential

In all of the survey companies I have reviewed, joined or seen others I know join they all have one thing in common. They pay about $1-$3 per hour on average at best. No matter what they were claiming or how many testimonials on the website this was the kind of money really being offered.

The truth about paid surveys

There are 4 main reasons for the low income based on my expereience.

Price Per Survey: Like I just explained, the income potential is very low given the price the companies are paying for each survey. This is because anyone can do this with little effort and it doesn’t require any kind of learning or practice. There is an over supply of people that can do this.

The Middle Man: The companies themselves that need this research are hiring ‘middle men’ like Inbox Dollars or Panda Research to facilitate the taking of surveys. The middle man takes their cut and this reduces the amount you get paid, that’s just how this business operates.

Eligibility: Even though it is easy and there’s a ton of people to do surveys, companies are looking for a specific demographic of people to send these surveys to. You have no way of knowing how eligible you will be so it’s really just luck of the draw. This means you may not actually get many surveys at all unless you join a lot companies.

Downtime: One big reason the average earnings are so low is that people spend an awfully long time in between surveys trying to ‘qualify’. Often times several hours are wasted in a single day sifting through and filling out forms just to try and qualify.

In my opinion these are the main reasons people only ever earn pennies for their efforts.

Why I Don’t Like The Survey Model

Personally I am not a fan of this business model at all as you can probably tell, in fact I wouldn’t even call it a business. This is a way to exchange your time for pennies which makes it a ver low paying job without benefits, plain and simple. You cannot leverage this or scale things at all. Unless you are living in a third world country, even the lowest paying jobs often pay better than this.

If you are absolutely beyond desperate you might consider taking surveys for money, but otherwise I truly believe you are grossly devaluing your own time. To make good money you need to increase the value of your time and you can do this by learning real home business skills.

What About Referral Commissions? 

One thing some of the die hard fans of survey taking tell me is this…

“You can make good money referring people to join under you”

I agree that you could make better money but there are two major flaws in this line of reasoning.

Firstly, this is now entering the world of affiliate marketing- not survey taking. This requires learning real Internet marketing skills that you definitely will NOT be learning with these companies.

Secondly, once you learn how to do affiliate marketing you will come to know that promoting programs like paid surveys is not the most profitable way to make money. Why? Because with the amount of time and effort that goes into a campaign you would be wanting to promote something that pays out a half decent commission. The commissions associated with these things are incredibly small.

The bottom line is that if you are going to do affiliate marketing (which is a good option) then you should promote something that will give you a better return on your investment. At least that’s my opinion.

Final Thoughts

I get the reason why people are chasing this kind of thing but the truth is it’s really just a waste of your time in the long run. There are WAY better options than this and ways that can produce a reliable and steady income online.

If you are absolutely desperate for cash and want a way to supplement your income while you build a real online business, check out my top 5 ways to make some extra cash. In particular, the User Testing website I talk about is a great option and one I personally know works.

Read next: How I make over $10K p/m in passive online income (4-step formula)

Tim McKinlay
Hope you enjoyed the article! My name is Tim and I’m the creator of Affiliate UNguru. I started this site out of a passion to help others avoid scams and to share how I’ve been able to create a successful business online. You can see how I did it in this free training.

2 thoughts on “Can You Really Make Decent Money With Paid Surveys?”

  1. Loved your website. Good job! Keep it up. Unfortunately, I fell for the survey easy money scam and now I am flooded with emails that lead to nowhere. Any suggestions on getting out of this never ending circle. My email in inundated with useless “opportunities.” I just want them to stop and have no idea how to make that happen. Have directed them to Spam and now, of course, that’s overloaded. Have also sent reply emails asking them to take me off their rostes. That doesn’t seem to be working either. Would certainly appreciate any advice you have with regard to this self inflicted nuisance. Thanks, Carol

    Reply
    • Hi Carol,

      Thanks for the feedback and kind words 🙂

      I can totally relate to your spam problem and I know how freaking annoying it is lol! I get my fair share of unsolicited email, text messages and phone calls every week from stuff like this.

      It’s difficult for you to do anything about this particular email account because a lot of these guys will actually rent, sell and share your info to the highest bidder, it’s big business these days. Once your email is in the wrong hands the spam will likely never stop. That said, there’s usually a tiny little ‘unsubscribe’ text link somewhere at the bottom of each email (legally required in most cases) which might help you to some extent. IF they are selling your info, then this is nothing more than a band-aid solution unfortunately.

      Personally, I would open up 2 new email accounts (free through google and others) and start completely fresh.

      First account: Only ever give this new email address to people or companies you know and trust. This is your ‘good’ email address.

      Second account: Make this email account solely dedicated to using in situations where you are not certain of the websites legitimacy. At least that way the majority of spam only ever goes to ONE dedicated email account.

      This is one way to solve this moving forward anyway. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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