by Satrap, BlogStash.com
In the current tough economy, it may be prudent to look out for extra income avenues to compliment your daytime job. In that respect, the web definitely has a lot to offer. You can, for example, undertake freelancing work from various job portals or become an efficient seller of used stuff at eBay.
What I'm going to offer you today is yet another option: getting supplementary income from those paid online survey panels.
In the following, I will touch on a broad range of related issues, from the working model of paid survey panels to potential income waiting for you. You will learn also if certain panels are legit or not.
How Does the Paid Survey Business Model Work?
Surveys and opinion poll are not new. As explained in this article, you can trace its roots all the way back to 1970. But, I always feel that one has to gain a reasonable understanding on the working of any online moneymaking scheme before he or she can start to have faith in that particular model. One way to put this across effectively and efficiently is as follows:
“The corporate world is always on the lookout for public feedback. It could be with regards to a new product launch or a fresh advertising campaign. From the cost point of view, it makes sense for them to get a third party company to gather these inputs, and the paid survey panels would be handy in this case.”
The bottom line is that big businesses will not hesitate to pay huge amounts of money to survey panels for them to carry a comprehensive marketing research in order for them to get critical insight of the market.
Essentially, the survey panels enjoy good compensation from these businesses. After taking into account on expenses related to administration and payroll, there is still a decent amount left to pay the participants of the corresponding surveys. While there is no specific guideline on how much could be set aside after all the deductions, you can generally assume that the payout amount can go anywhere from 10% to 50% of payment received from these corporations.
After successful registration, members will start to receive invitations to participate and make money from these surveys.
I hope the above explanation helps to clarify that it is a completely legitimate business. It provides a viable option for all parties involved. The big corporations get their market research done, the survey panels get to retain a decent profit from the outsourced work, and there is still some leftover amount to pay out to surveys participants.
How to Find Legitimate Paid Survey Panels?
While the above concludes the legitimacy of the working model employed by paid survey businesses, it does not mean that you should dive in without care. There should be sites that you want to avoid. Even though the general working model is completely legit, there is no stopping some unethical businesses trying to cut corners in order to fully capitalize on their positions. Thankfully, there are a few ways for you to quickly gauge if a certain survey panel is trustworthy or not.
Don't pick any survey panel which demands upfront payment from you before any actual work is done. However, this is not to suggest that such action represents a scam. It just raises questions about the conduct of that survey panel, and my motto is: if in doubt, never venture further. There is a completely reasonable argument behind this decision. Since we are into this paid survey panel stuff to get extra income, naturally we want to avoid situations that go the other way round. By simply taking out survey panels that want your money first, you will naturally mitigate your risk of being sucked of more money than what you can make.
Ratings and reviews are two good places to check. It should be easy for you to check on such information on the web. Unless you are sure that both ratings and reviews are entirely credible and favorable, never rush in to sign up with any new survey panel. The feedbacks left behind by past and present users reflect a more accurate indication of their reputation, rather than what is advertised on their webpage.
With the two guidelines above, you can be sure to stay clear of any possible scam and become inadvertent prey of fraudulent practices.
What Kind of Earnings Can You Expect from Paid Survey Panels?
There is no one single survey panel that can guarantee its members full-time income, so it serves as a complimentary income source rather than a main income source. However, if you are able to maintain your discipline and stay focused, getting an extra $200-$300 a month is really not that tough to achieve.
Ultimately, your income level is going to be dependent on the number of survey sites you register and the strategy you employ. It will be difficult to count on just one survey panel to sustain a regular payment of $200-$300 monthly. But if you continue to be on the lookout for new legitimate survey panels to sign up for, and make a habit of finishing the surveys in the specified time frame, you will get to that income level, or even more, on regular basis.
Let me say this again, I would never take any survey panel as a replacement to my current major income source. But if you think that you can use that extra income to invest in a new hi-fi set or overseas holidays, then the online paid survey panel is a good place to go to!
Satrap is the founder of BlogStash.com, a personal finance blog created for everyday folks. He also writes at SurveySatrap, a paid surveys review site where he shares tips on how to earn extra money with online market research studies.