Sunday, January 12, 2014

Can I make money from online survey sites?

Those reading my blog will notice I decided to test the online survey sites with the aim of determining if they're worthwhile in terms of earning some income. If you read the information provided by the sites most sites will let you know, don't give up your day job. In my opinion, so far based on my tests, if you have a choice of doing overtime or paid surveys, go with the overtime. You'll be so far ahead it isn't funny.

I decided on the 8th of January to start recording in detail the time spent completing surveys. I actually started this on the 28th of December, but didn't log the information in detail at that time. So far I've signed up for 17 online survey sites. You should allow half an hour to complete the initial profile information and each day you'll receive emails which you need to check. Unfortunately quite a few of the emails won't offer any value and simply consume time before you've read enough to decide to simply delete it, or visit the site to then realise you've wasted your time. I haven't included the time involved in those emails. You'll also get some marketing where they offer shopping rewards, or entry into prizes. I consider those to be of little value. In effect you're gambling your time against the possibility of winning something and like all gambling, there's usually one winner and a lot of losers.

Since the 8th of January (admittedly not long so far) I've completed 13 paid activities out of a total of 29 invitations or registrations. Most registrations give you very little but I found one site which paid $5.10 as a result of the sign-up process. Now keep in mind I can't collect this money until I reach $30. None of the sites during this period would have paid enough to actually provide a payment. My feeling is either you'll never get paid because whilst you do some surveys, you may not hang in for the few months required to reach a reward, some sites may not send you enough surveys to ever reach your threshold, or the money you earn will trickle in over time, but it won't be that great.

So how much have I earned since the 8th of January. Remembered this is earned but not yet entitled to receive. The total amount has been $28.82. The average hourly rate for this work has been $5.82. This works out at an average of $7.21 per day. The maximum I earned during one day was $10.90. I could not have earned more per day because I did everything I could in terms of answering surveys.

In terms of an hourly rate I consider this to be nothing short of using people if people do this to make money. One site said they'd pay 35% of the money they receive for doing surveys. That means they keep two thirds. Companies who farm the survey work out to other companies to organise the completion of surveys most likely want to reduce their costs. They could easily get people to do the surveys and pay them if they wanted to, but they generally want to save money. In effect they simply want to pay people less if they can. They pass the work out to survey companies and then the survey company keeps a large slice for themselves making it close to impossible to earn what would be considered a reasonable hourly rate. If you don't have a source of income, or perhaps are on the pension and want to top up and have nothing better to do with your time, then perhaps surveys may be worthwhile. But if you need additional income or even a first income, surveys will end up being equivalent to slave labour for you.

As a note, keep in mind I haven't included all the time but just the time to complete the actual surveys. The time to read the survey site, check out the terms and conditions, check out whether they're actual survey sites and not competition sites or marketing sites in disguise, as well as checking the value of rewards for the effort put in, has not been included. If I included this time I'd estimate the return on the time involved would be $1-$2 an hour at most.

I'll keep logging the surveys I do and see if things improve. Ultimately my aim is provide people with real information so they can make better decisions as to whether it is worthwhile completing online surveys to make additional money. I've read lots of sites saying there are better ways to make money online, yet most of those sites don't tell you what those better way are, or if they do, it is their product or service which if you investigate is largely what I'd consider a con and won't pay you much either. They knock survey sites and then present the solution which is not really a solution at all.

Kelvin Eldridge
Ph: 0415 910 703 for computer support.

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