What to Watch for in a Survey Company

what to look for in a survey company

Be careful when choosing a survey company or you might find yourself investing time and effort in a good-for-nothing deal. Here are some items to watch out for in a survey company:

High paying surveys

You will not get rich from taking surveys! Companies are not throwing $75 per survey to respondents on a regular basis. This sort of payout can happen but is really rare. The only way you can get this type of money is from being a very rare demographic and if they are desperate to get opinions from that group. The average survey will pay an average of $2.00 for 15 minutes of your time.

If you see Ads like the following stay far away. High paying surveys are very rare. Basically you should never expect to see one.


High value survey rewards

Some survey sites may offer you a high amount per survey, but they only offer rewards in items you may not want or put high values on things like magazine subscriptions. When the choices are less desirable items and high prices on reward options, your survey value is realistically a lower price. Check the values, check the prices of the redeemables, and make sure you are getting compensated fairly.

Sweepstakes entries for survey participation

If a company only offers sweepstakes entries for every survey you take, the next thing you should ask yourself is, "What are the odds?" Some people do win! But again, what are the odds? Look for a company that pays in currency or in points that can turn into cash or items you can purchase. This way you know you get paid. If they offer sweepstakes in addition to cash rewards then you probably don't have to worry as much.

High cash-out limits

Some companies may offer you good rewards for surveys but put in difficult restrictions on when you can cash out. What they do is offer you "join rewards" for signing up and then set a high value on what you have to earn before you can cash out. They plan on many people signing up and taking surveys and people giving up before they can claim the rewards. They want to keep the money in the system and keep any amounts that aren't claimed. Choose sites that have lower cashout limits. Don't choose a site that has over a $10 cashout limit.

Points vs currency disadvantage

Be careful about reward systems that offer you point equivalents that match dollar values and then make a switch in the rewards page. For example, some companies might offer $50 gift cards, but you have to redeem 150 points to earn the reward. This issue is a hard one to catch. Be aware of this tactic and help report problems like this if you see them.

Time limits on points

Some survey sites offer rewards and say you have to use the rewards before a certain time or they expire. If you delay in using your rewards they just disappear. Be careful that you don't forget to cash out if you are part of a survey site that operates like this. For instance, Google's Screenwise Panel pays well, but the points only last for one year.

Activity restrictions on points

If you are not logging into the site and participating for six months, your points could expire on some survey sites. This is not bad if you are active, but if life gets busy and you don't stay active, some of your earned points may get forfeited.

Survey switching through routers

Be careful with survey companies who use survey routers. Often they send you an email inviting you to one survey, say you don't qualify for that survey, then drop you into a different survey that may take longer and may actually pay you less. Most survey companies use routers these days, so they are hard to avoid. Just make sure you are told the amount you will be paid and the estimated survey time before you start any survey.

Multiple surveys in a row without returning and rewarding

An invite should take you to only 1 survey and when you are done with it you should see your reward in your account. If a survey site takes you to one survey after another in a long string of surveys, this should be a warning.

Survey companies sometimes try to get a value out of you and your responses without having to reward you. They want to keep your rewards in their system as long as possible without having to pay you. Many survey companies use a combination of the above tricks to make it almost impossible to cash out.

We suggest visiting survey rating sites such as www.surveypolice.com or surveysatrap.com as a place to research the best survey sites to meet your needs. These review sites will give you a place to start when choosing a survey company and give you a preview of how a survey company operates. If you need more details on how to avoid fraudulent survey sites, please read 'Top Ten Ways to tell if a Survey Site is Legitimate' and 'How to Report a Survey Company that is Fraudulent'.

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