I don’t quite know why, but I enjoy being asked questions. Maybe it’s because it’s nice to think that your opinion – so insignificant in the grand scheme of things – actually counts towards the results of a survey.
Despite knowing that the more surveys I answer and provide my email address for, the more junk email I’m going to get, I have a tough time walking on when someone with a clipboard desperately asks: ‘Can I ask you a few short questions for this survey?’ Craftily, I have an email address that is used for just such moments.
Surveys and Friends is a website that costs $34 to sign up to. You make money by completing consumer surveys and recruiting other people to do the same.
The surveys take many forms: online surveys, telephone surveys, SMS surveys, taking part in focus groups and think-tanks, and testing and reviewing products. Furthermore, you have the potential to be offered mystery-shopping jobs. This and the focus-groups pay very well, but I have no idea who is selected for such things, and why.
You also get access to your own Surveys and Friends website that you use to recruit other people. The more people who sign up through your referral link, the more you get. You can also accrue affiliate commissions from this. You can customise it to your own country so that those that sign up there are eligible for all the surveys for that country. Like the mystery-shopping and the focus groups, this referral opportunity could be much more profitable than taking surveys yourself.
But don’t think you’re going to get a nice little trickle of income stream into your PayPal account. You get rewarded in the form of points – which you build up and exchange for ‘prizes’ or cash (2000 = $100) – or you get rewarded with an entry into a competition. This can be quite lucrative in itself, and there’s many a professional competition enterer out there. But for me, I tire of consumer surveys terribly quickly. There are only so many people I want to inform of the date of my car insurance renewal. So many = one… Me. When I said I like surveys, I meant the ‘What is your favourite film?’ type (Doctor Zhivago since you ask), and more often than not, the consumer survey types of question become repetitive and boring.
So once inside the website you sign up to the panel that corresponds to where you live. You’ll not be eligible for any of the surveys on the other panels. When you’re presented with the surveys you are eligible for, you soon realise that each one takes up a significant amount of time. When you’ve worked out what that equates to when you exchange your accrued points for money, you’ve roughly earned £3 an hour. I earned that way back in 1997 when I stacked shelves at my local Kwik Slave – sorry: Kwik Save.
To conclude, this is a potential, if very small, earner for those of you who want to simply provide a service in exchange for a token payment. The website is easy to navigate around and if you explore the recruitment element and manage to get work out of it as a mystery shopper or as part of a focus group, it may be worth your while taking a punt. But, as I said, the return payment for just taking surveys is always going to be very small – and for most, it just isn’t worth the time of day.