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It pays to speak up

We’ve all gotten the occasional questionnaire after we buy a product, or after we use an online service. Companies are still looking for our feedback to improve the user experience. Did you know you could be paid to give your opinion? There’s plenty of websites out there that offer you rewards in the form of money, points redeemable for prizes, or free products.

How they work:

Several websites look for a specific type of user to answer questionnaires. These surveys range in time lengths, types of questions, and format. You generally have to create a free account with basic general information. For the most part, you’ll need to give your name, age, sex, address, household income, education, ethnicity and employment. It creates a profile that allows the company to send you questionnaires that will yield a better chance of true and interesting answers. For example, if you are unemployed, it might not ask you to answer questions regarding your employment history or work benefits. If your household income is above or below a certain level, the survey might be specific to certain buying habits, like, how often you purchase electronics or cars. Some may dive into personal details such as health history, and personal preferences depending on a specific illness or ailment.

Types of surveys:

Online surveys are the most common, if not about the only ones you may encounter. Very seldom will you be asked to fill out a satisfaction survey at the grocery or department store any more. And for those surveys that offer rewards in exchange of your opinion, the majority is online. The website Swagbucks.com for example, is an interactive website that offers deals, coupons, rewards for searching, cash back options, and among other things, surveys. Some surveys pay you more points than others, and in the end, you can cash in those points for electronic gift cards that gets deposited into your account within days. You can either print your e-gift card and use it at your favorite store, or use it electronically when you purchase online. Some surveys can be 10 minutes long; others can take an hour or even more. The lengthier are often the better rewarded.

Types of Rewards:

As I just mentioned, survey engines like Swagbucks.com reward you with gift cards in exchange for your opinion. Others, may give you cash. Examples are GetPaidSurveys.com, SurveySavvy.com or I-say.com. The surveys once again, vary in length, type of questionnaire and types of questions. Some pay a few dollars per survey, others give you points that you can then cash in for gift cards, give to charity, get a check or choose a Paypal deposit. Sometimes, surveys ask you to test out products and after you give your opinion, you can also get to keep those products for your own personal use.

Don’t forget:

You might be compromising personal information when you participate in surveys. Not only are you providing your address and demographics, if you choose to get paid in cash or via PayPal, your financial information may also be at risk. It may not be worth providing a credit card or bank account, let alone social security numbers. And, of course, if it asks you to pay a fee to participate, it’s probably a scam. Be sure to always look for a privacy policy and terms on any website. Avoid the site if they don’t have any. Legitimate companies will post their address and phone number, and research the company/site, especially looking for other users who have provided feedback and ratings.

Perhaps the most important feedback I can give anyone looking to make some extra money, is don’t quit your day job. Taking surveys can be time consuming and there’s often a limit to how many a user can take a day or a limit to the types of questionnaires that will be available depending on your demographics or characteristics. Payment may also not be immediate, for checks sent to your home; it could take up to six weeks before you may receive any payment.