All survey sites are not created equal, so how do you know which ones are going to be the most lucrative, and how can you get involved? In this article, we’ve compiled what we believe to be the Top 10 Online Survey Sites and focus groups for earning extra cash and bagging some freebies!
There aren’t many ways you can earn money without needing any special talents or skills (although try telling that to the Kardashian/Jenner clan), but if you are after a bit of extra cash, online surveys or being a part of market research focus groups can be a good way to potentially earn hundreds of pounds a year. Simply by giving your opinion on the latest cleaning products or venting about TV shows, politics, or even your sex life, (hey, it’s cheaper than divorce!), people are using their free time to earn cash, vouchers, or bag a free lunch!
How Do They Work?
You don’t need me to tell you that marketing is big business; you encounter hundreds if not more advertisements every day, and companies reduce their advertising budget by making sure their products are targeted at the right market. This is where surveys and focus groups come in – paying for your opinions will save them money on advertising in the long run, and, because they want to focus on lots of different types of people, you don’t need any special types of qualifications – you just need to be yourself!
And How Do You Take Part?
There are basically two options open to you:
- Online surveys for cash – This involves signing up to a site and then waiting for the surveys to appear in your inbox. The surveys are normally very quick to get through and a lot of fun, and afterwards the survey site will add cash, vouchers, or other rewards to your account.
- Focus Groups – These will earn you more money that the online surveys, but you are limited to just a few a year. You’ll be asked your opinion on a variety of subjects, and walk away with anything from £30 to over a hundred – plus, there are normally free refreshments!
Those who are dedicated to a life of online surveys can make up to £200 a year in cash and other goodies, and some ‘forumites’, as they are lovingly known, have been known to pull in up to £800 annually! Not bad for sitting around and giving your opinion is it?
Skills aside, what DO you need in order to reap the benefits of filling in online surveys and attending focus groups? Well, patience, consistency and, of course, time, are key in order to earn a decent amount…but what else should and shouldn’t you be doing?
- Set up an email address dedicated to receiving surveys
- Spend any gift voucher you may receive as payment ASAP
- Keep a log of what you have filled in for who, and what you have earnt
- Refer a friend – there are often incentives and bonuses involved
- Pay to join – you probably won’t make your money back, and there are plenty of free sites out there who will pay just as much
- Expect money to instantly come rolling in – remember patience is key
- Forget tax!
- Forget to check your emails!
With so many online surveys and focus groups about, it can be tempting to join every one you find on Google, but don’t. Instead, focus on the sites that pay well and are going to send you a reliable and regular amount of surveys.
Our Top 10 Online Survey Sites
Incredibly popular with ‘forumites’ and now has a cult following thanks to you being able to earn money watching videos and playing online games, as well as the standard format surveys. The site allows you to earn points or ‘swagbucks’ (SB), which can be spent in the site’s reward store. 700 SB will earn you a £5 Amazon voucher, and new recruits who sign up via the MSN Swagbucks link can earn extra points worth up to a tenner.
One word of caution – the site only allows you to earn points once a day on some types of survey, so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.
I know I said to focus on those sites that will send surveys on the regular, but PopulusLive is probably the exception to my rule because despite surveys being infrequent, they pay very well – £1 for every five minutes of your time. The downside is, as I mentioned, the surveys aren’t as frequent as with other sites, plus quotas get filled up quickly so if you’re interested don’t hang about!
If you’re interested in online surveys then i-Say (formerly Ipsos), really is a must-join site. Its surveys are very regular and they are one of the best paying sites, with forumites earning up to £10 or more in Amazon vouchers every month. Points you earn by taking the surveys – generally between 5 and 250 for each one – are redeemed for vouchers, with most members averaging 4 surveys a month.
As well as Amazon vouchers (a £10 voucher will typically ‘cost’ you 1,380 points), i-Say also pays in retail vouchers, and ‘compliments’ vouchers which can be spent in a number of high street shops.
This site doesn’t work on a points-based system like some of the others, and is popular because it pays in cold hard cash via Paypal, with you only needing to earn £4 before it pays out. The downside is that forumites report that the site’s payment system can be temperamental, although the cash does arrive in the end. If you sign up to this site and have issues with payment I recommend complaining on their Facebook page, as it normally results in it being remedied pretty quickly.
This site covers a huge range of subjects and is a favourite in the survey-site world thanks to the frequency of its surveys and the fact that it’s not uncommon for forumites to earn £100+ in just a couple of months, either through cash paid by bank transfer, or vouchers. The site also offers product testing and focus groups from time to time.
The king of survey sites, Pinecone pays well – £3 for every survey, but it is an invitation only site, so, if you happen to get an invite, or see a banner advert to sign up (often on mum and baby sites) jump straight on it! If you’re recruited you can expect to be paid in cash via Paypal.
7.) Panel Opinion
Pays between 50p and £5 per survey via bank transfer, Paypal or cheque, and pays out at £10. Forumites have a lot of good things to say about this site, mainly that it doesn’t take long to build up a decent amount of money.
8.) Vanson Bourne
I’ve added this one despite it being a little different to the others, simply because it pays well; a £5 Amazon voucher for each survey, plus you receive payment just a few hours after completing a survey – compared to other survey sites that can take a few weeks to payout. The big difference is that only people who work in business or IT are eligible to join. Only certain professionals qualify – you’ll find out if you are one of them once you’ve filled in your application, which will include disclosing details of the business you work for so you can be verified.
9.) Opinion Outpost
This one’s popular for it’s low pay threshold – it pays out at £2.50, so you’ll see money building quickly, either in Amazon vouchers or cash via Paypal. It used to be that surveys on this site were few and far between, but forumites have recently revealed that they’ve really picked up in recent years, so they’re definitely worth joining!
Last but no means least in our Top 10 Online Survey Sites is Newvistalive. This is another lucrative site, but doesn’t pay out until you have reached the £50 mark. However, paying out 50p – £1 per survey means that forumites have been known to reach that magic number of £50 within around 6 months. Reading the questions carefully and answering honestly is important when it comes to all of these sites, but Newvistalive adds quality control questions in order to catch out those members who might be lying in order to get more surveys.
As you can see, filling in online surveys isn’t going to rake in millions, but it is a handy way to earn a bit extra, with very little effort required on your part. So why not give it a go and see what you could earn in your spare time. Comment below and let us know if you have anything to add to our Top 10 Online Survey Sites!