Paid Survey Reviews

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First of all, let me explain what is meant by the term 'Paid Survey'.  Paid surveys are a form of market research whereby consumers who fit a specific profile give their opinions in an online survey or poll and are then rewarded (compensated) for their time in the form of cash, vouchers, prizes or points which can be saved and then exchanged for cash or goods.  Most companies also conduct surveys over the telephone or in person for some products and the reward for these are usually greater

I started joining paid survey panels last year as a way of subsidising the cost of my broadband connection, and my first words of advice would be
"don't expect to give up your day job in favour of being a full time survey buff".  Many  paid survey  guru sites suggest that there is a fortune to be made doing online surveys.  This may be the case  in  the USA, but in my experience, none of the overblown claims have come to fruition in the UK.  Don't get me wrong, taking paid surveys can provide a reasonable supplementary income and there are other avenues of market research which pay extremely well.  Also, if you fit the right demographic profile, focus groups will be abundant. In many cases, you need to start taking paid online surveys regularly before the higher paying opportunities are offered to you.

Below are some of the sites I have received paid surveys from (and have been a member of for at least six months), along with my opinion of each.  Visitors to this site who are not based in the UK should not feel left out - many of these sites offer paid surveys worldwide, and the links will redirect you if you choose to join any of the panels. I have also included a list of international links to survey sites at the end of part 2 .

Survey Name / Reward Description Minimum Payout Earning Potential Rating
Brand Institute  Brand Institute consists of a number of companies. Their panels consist primarily of either medical professionals (Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians etc) or consumers (someone with a particular ailment/illness or uses a particular type of medication). You are paid either by PayPal or cheque for each survey completed, so no waiting around for a balance to accumulate. Survey rewards start at around $15 each and, depending upon your profile, invitations arrive regularly. They do have a comprehensive survey screening process, so do not try to "con" your way through the screener. This site comes highly recommended, and the link takes you to more details on how to sign up. N/A Excellent £££££
Ciao UK  (Cash)

Community style website for consumers.  Not only can you earn cash for participating in paid surveys, you can publish reviews, which will earn you money if rated helpful or higher by other members.  A user portal allows you to track your earnings month by month.  Surveys seem to come more frequently if you are an active user, ie, writing reviews and rating other people's. You may also be offered the opportunity to take part in online focus groups paying around 25 per group.  The US arm of Ciao is Greenfield online

5 Very Good
YouGov (Cash/Prizes)

Major public opinion survey organisation formed in 2000 and used by government and the media.  

At present, YouGov have paid survey panels consisting of members from the UK, USA and Middle East

YouGov usually send out between 2 and 10 paid surveys a month, paying anything from 50p upwards. This site is worth subscribing to if you don't mind waiting for your balance to reach the minimum.  It would have gained another point rating if the redemption balance was lower, but a recent follow up survey suggests that this may be about to happen.  If you opt to join via this link, please use the referrer e-mail address as darren_gibson*@*hotmail.co.uk (without the asterisks {*} these are icluded to stop spam robots scanning my page for email addresses)

50 Good
Valued Opinions  (Vouchers) Not just online paid surveys from this company.  Telephone surveys and focus groups pay much higher amounts.  Although redemptions are in the form of vouchers, they are for recognised high street names (Tesco, HMV, M&S, Argos, WH Smith, Kingfisher -B&Q, Comet etc.., Boots and for various charities too.  The average paid survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes and pays around 2 5 (10 for Tesco) Very Good
Test & Vote  (Vouchers/Prizes) Part of a French market research organisation called ToLuna.  You earn points for various transactions, including online surveys, product tests and quick polls.  Points can be exchanged for vouchers (HMV or Pixmania), Ipoints or prize draw entries.  Invitations to surveys are infrequent, but regular points are available via alternative transactions, and surveys reward well when they come.. 10 Fair
Surveys.com  (Ipoints) Part of GFK/NOP market research organisation.  Surveys arrive regularly, but the site is very slow to update your account.  The redeeming quality of joining this panel is that you are offered regular surveys from the parent organisation (TV research and 'What I buy' in particular) where you have a 1 in 7 chance to win cash prizes.  My rating reflects these "membership bonuses", as I have received a number of prizes from both, in the form of Amazon e-vouchers. N/A Fair to Good
Pureprofile (Cash) Paid to visit websites recommended as a result of your personal profile.  You will be credited with between 40p and 1.50 per invitation 25 Fair

More sites are reviewed in Part 2 . Further sites will be added as I join them and/or have received enough surveys to evaluate them properly.  For anyone with a chronic or longstanding medical condition, those taking prescription medication regularly and members of  the medical profession (doctors/nurses/technicians etc..), I would recomend joining the Brand Institute  panel (this link takes you to a page containing more information), which is always looking for evaluators with a medical background.  Brand Institute typically pay between $10 and $25 per survey, sometimes much more, and payment per survey is either by cheque or PayPal. If you haven't got a PayPal account, you can sign up for one here. As these pages are about free to join paid survey sites, I am not going to go into too much detail about paid subscription databases, but have found that Survey Hawk  and  Survey Scout  can both be joined for about $30 (15) each, and contain enough information to at least get the subscription value back in survey rewards (obviously, any visitors from the US get the full set of options running into several hundred companies on the database). Survey Hawk also contains information regarding mystery shopping, and is the site I have found to be most useful. These sites list literally hundreds of free to join panels, so if you are intending doing a lot of surveys, they are well worth the one time only fee (I am a member of both). As an added bonus for visitors to our site, if you sign up for PayPal via the link on this website and join Survey Hawk (again, via the link on this website), I will give you a third of your subscription back, paid into your new  Paypal account.  Click here for the terms.            


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