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ANSWERED on Sat 7 Jul 2007 - 4:19 am UTC by Hailstorm

Question: Online surveys

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 3 Jul 2007 09:57 UTCTue 3 Jul 2007 - 9:57 am UTC 

I was surfing on the net when I accidentally came across a site that claimed to pay money to fill out surveys. Most of them always charged a $30+ set up fee or made claims to pay over $50 per survey. I did some research and found out that most companies were frauds. So my question is are there any real sites that pay money to fill out surveys, if so I would request some site links and some brief information on any fees. Also, I live in toronto Canada, so if there would be any problems on reciving the money based on my location please let me know, Thanks.




 4 Jul 2007 05:12 UTCWed 4 Jul 2007 - 5:12 am UTC 

I occasionally get survey requests from my professional publications. These "pay" anything from an entry to win a small item-- gift certificate, equipment, small electronics-- to actual money, as much as $50 in the past.The more generous ones take about thirty minutes and require some massaging of my client database. For the most part they are from drug companies looking for ways to market their product and are trying to determine what resistance they will need to overcome.

I don't think this helps you, though.




 4 Jul 2007 09:49 UTCWed 4 Jul 2007 - 9:49 am UTC 

Back in the days of Google Answers, there were several questions about surveys.  As I remember, the experiences were all unsatisfactory:
possibly scams;  never asked to participate;  if so, payment was less than the minimum amount the outfit would pay out; ...

Maybe I only recall the disgruntled postings,



Former Researcher

 6 Jul 2007 23:49 UTCFri 6 Jul 2007 - 11:49 pm UTC 

Hi knockouts22,

Let me try and rephrase your question to see if I understand what information you are looking for.  Are you interested in learning about legitimate market research companies that pay people living in Canada to take online surveys?

As I currently work for one of the world's largest market research companies, I think I would be qualified to answer in that case.




 7 Jul 2007 00:48 UTCSat 7 Jul 2007 - 12:48 am UTC 

Hi Hailstorm,

Yes, thats exactly what I want to know, sorry if I phrased it wrong.




 7 Jul 2007 04:19 UTCSat 7 Jul 2007 - 4:19 am UTC 

(Disclaimer: I am currently an employee of Synovate, a market research company I mention in my answer below)


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak on one of my fields of expertise, and hopefully dispel a few myths and untruths in the process.

The idea of market research has been around for many years.  It is used by companies to determine how to make better, more relevant products, or whether a specific product or idea under development may be commercially viable.  The concept behind market research is that, if you can gather data from a large enough sampling of a particular type of person, you can draw reasonable conclusions about the general nature of that particular demographic, and tailor your market strategy accordingly.  This is a science that has stood the test of time;  market research is now a growing, multi-billion dollar industry with many large, reputable companies devoting their energies to this field (the most well-known example being the Nielsen Ratings by A C Nielsen, which samples a portion of the radio and television auidiences to determine overall trends).

In the past, traditional marketing methods have included door-to-door, telephone (more recently Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing, or CATI) and mail-based surveys (more recently Computer Assisted Paper Interviewing, or CAPI).  However, due to its speed, low-cost, and convenience, the past ten years has seen a rapid increase in the use online surveys, to the point where it is expected that the majority of all surveys will be done online within three years time.

However, there are many unique challenges to online market research, not the least of which is confirming that the person who is taking the survey is actually who they claim to be.  For this reason, rather than than take a random sampling of the generation population, most companies prefer to gather their own pool of individuals who agree to take part in surveys, otherwise known as a "panel", gathering demographic information about them in advance so that they can invite the most relevant people to a particular survey.  It is the members of these panels that earn some form of compensation.

The companies that you refer to that charge a fee are those that take your information and basically act as a middleman, signing you up for many different company's survey panels, and relaying the survey invitations on to you.  The individual companies that are recruiting for their panels are all free to join, so if you are willing to put in a little bit of effort to search for them, these "middleman" sites offer no benefit whatsoever.

There are two philosophies towards paying people for taking surveys in the market research industry.  Many of these panels actually do not pay its participants on a per-survey basis.  This philosophy, as laid out on the information page of Global Information Panels, the panel run by Synovate, is as follows:

"While some companies pay for responses, many researchers believe that 'paid responses' can be different from unpaid responses. For this reason, we try to avoid direct payment on our surveys but as a token of our appreciation, your household is entered in a draw for cash or exciting gifts. For lengthy studies, we often promise some sort of incentive for every household completing the survey."

So these companies provide entries into cash and prize sweepstakes and occasional non-monetary compensation as motivation for joining their panel.  However, the turnover rate on online panels is very high, so some companies feel that per-survey monetary compensation is necessary in order to gain and maintain a large enough sample to conduct a sufficient volume of surveys.

In order to allow you to determine whether becoming a panel member is right for you, I have included a list of eight of the most prevalent and respected online panels that are currently recruiting members living in Canada, as well links to the represented company's websites.  Four of them offer payment for each completed survey, while four of them offer sweepstakes and other occasional non-monetary compensations.

Payment Panels
Global Test Market (Operated by Global Market Insight)

  Comapny Website:        

  Canaidan Panel Registration Site:

Survey Lion (Operated by Canadian Viewpoints)

  Comapny Website:        

  Canadian Panel Registration Site:

Opinion Outpost
  Comapny Website:        

  Canadian Panel Registration Site:

Survey Savvy (Operated by Luth Research)

  Comapny Website:        

  Canadian Panel Registration Site:

Sweepstakes Panels
Global Opinion Panels (Operated by Synovate)

  Comapny Website:        

  Canaidan Panel Registration Site:

I Say (Operated by Ipsos)

  Company Website:

  Canaidan Panel Registration Site:

Web Perspectives (Operated by ConfirmIt)

  Company Website:

  Canaidan Panel Registration Site:

Survey Spot (Operated by Survey Sampling International)

  Company Website:

  Canaidan Panel Registration Site:

I should also mention that, if a company says you are can earn $50 in a single survey, be aware that this is the _maximum_ amount you will make for the survey.  The vast majority of online surveys begin with a series of screening questions to determine whether you are the type of person that is being targeted in the survey.  The $50 surveys usually target an extremely difficult to reach portion of society, such as "people who own their own helicopters", that companies are willing to pay top dollar to obtain.  People who do not pass the screening phase generally only receive anywhere from a few cents to perhaps a dollar for their participation.

While participating in online surveys can be a way to earn a little bit of money in your spare time, it is definitely not a path to financial independence, and I would only recommend joining one (lket alone several) if you have a genuine interest in making your opinions known to the companies that are trying to improve their services to meet your needs.




 7 Jul 2007 11:25 UTCSat 7 Jul 2007 - 11:25 am UTC 

Hi knockouts22,

For a time, I participated in online surveys for dialego.com. It was legitimate, in that the company did pay out what they promised. Payment was in the form of points which could be exchanged for Amazon vouchers.

As hailstorm says, many of the surveys ask a few screening questions, then you are told that you do not match the profile they want for that particular survey. You still receive a (very small) number of points for this. Survey invitations came only a few times per month, so it takes a long time to accumulate points.

I certainly would recommend against paying anyone a "set up fee" or similar. I expect most people wouldn't make the fee back before they give up.

Hailstorm wrote: "While participating in online surveys can be a way to earn a little bit of money in your spare time, it is definitely not a path to financial independence". I second that, and would go further and say that for most people it won't be worth doing unless you are also interested in the task. It does give you a glimpse into the workings of the commercial world, into products about to be launched, into what goes on behind public opinion surveys, etc.

Dialego was good in that they let you see the results of many of the surveys you have participated in. You can see a few of these here:

   Dialego: Latest Surveys




 16 Jul 2007 10:23 UTCMon 16 Jul 2007 - 10:23 am UTC 


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