/ Money

Have you used paid survey websites?

There are plenty of websites out there that allow users to earn money by filling out surveys. Have you ever used one? We have a few questions.

I gave out my date of birth more than a dozen times last week and I have no idea where it’s gone. That’s the main takeaway from my brief stint as a professional online survey-taker. 

I spent the week filling out surveys on and off via a number of ‘paid survey’ websites, hoping to find out how much I could make from each of them and share the results in an article. But so far I’m penniless.

Can you make money from online surveys?

Despite spending several hours engaging with these sites – telling them my name, postcode, political opinions and shopping habits – I paused my investigation having earned no money, and with no real idea of where I was sending my data most of the time. 

I’m not completely empty-handed. I have earned ‘points’ that promise to lead to real cash or voucher payouts someday. But they don’t do me a lot of good on their own. And they never will unless I keep up the survey grind. 

Some sites have an extremely high minimum payout of £50, which based on my experience would take a long, long time to reach. So unless you’re available for long-term engagement, these sites might not be for you.

Where are you sending your data?

I knew I wouldn’t necessarily find out exactly where my information was going or how it would be used. It’s part and parcel of filling out a survey that somebody, somewhere will read your answers – and that you’ll inform some kind of research, even if you don’t know exactly what it is.

But you have to trust that it’ll be properly stored and safeguarded, and while I did trust some websites, others made it difficult.

The sites I found most frustrating were the ones that act as a sort of ‘hub’ aggregating surveys hosted on other websites and sending you to them if you fit the desired criteria. Or at least that’s the idea.

These websites often bounce you around the internet like a beach ball, redirecting you from webpage to webpage as you fill out the same data again and again, hoping to qualify for the actual chance to earn cash (or points). 

As the surveys change shape, size and colour, you know you’re giving data to several different places. You cycle through URLs rapidly, sharing again and again who you are, how many hours of videogames you play a week (10+ for me) or whether you smoke (I don’t), before finally getting onto the actual main survey.

You get a message saying, ‘Okay, here’s your chance to answer questions and earn points.’ Wait, so you did all that for free? 

More often than not in my case, after filling out basic information and answering control questions like ‘Is this a frog?’ (Yes), I would get sent back to the ‘hub’ page with the site telling me I didn’t qualify for the main survey. I’d earned nothing, or just a token small number of apology points, for my time.

Help our investigation

After all this I was left with questions of my own: what was all that, then? Where did all that data go? And how hard is it to actually make money from survey sites like these? 

All of this is worrying because more people than ever might be turning to survey sites at the moment, hoping to make extra money on the side to support themselves through the cost of living crisis.

So we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think of these sites in the comments, and whether you’ve made money using them yourself.

Have you ever made money from survey websites?
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Lorna KIRK says:
16 May 2022

I by my groceries with vouchers earned by doing surveys

Lyn Cooper says:
16 May 2022

I tried various survey websites when I first retired and I had time on my hands. I quickly realised that it was vitually impossible to earn money on some sites unless you were prepared to spend hours for a very little return. I now only do surveys on 2 sites. One pays £1 for each 5 minutes and I earn about £100 a year. Most of the surveys are interesting and I try and complete most of them. The other doesn’t pay as much but I pick the subjects and only fill them in when I have spare time. I usually earn about £50 a year. The extra money is very useful for a pensioner.

16 May 2022

I have earned £hundreds doing surveys over the last 10 years. The best ones are Branded, Pure Profile, Panel Champ and Ipsos, in my opinion. As for security of data, one’s replies are pretty much anonymous but always be careful what info you give, and declining to answer certain questions (eg age, postcode, location etc) doesn’t appear to bar one from completing most surveys. So, if you have the time (and patience!), they are a great way of earning some money – especially at the moment. Good Luck! 🙂

Ruth Jones says:
16 May 2022

I found that surveys are a way of earning extra pennies, not a full time work income. I did a couple of years with Yougov while abroad and got something between £20 & £50. Other surveys also take a lot of time for little reward, so after another couple of years and reaching about £40 I bought 2 £20 Sainsburys vouchers and stopped wasting my time. Only really good for immobile people who have lots of time on their hands.

Dave B says:
16 May 2022

I use one survey site, been doing them for 1 year. So far earned £268. Most days I earn £1-£1.50. Can spend my “points” in supermarket, Argos & ebay. Fantastic way of earning a bit of pocket money (now I’m retired) &buying treats regularly. Basically its almost free money!

Allan Clare says:
18 May 2022

What is the name of the site you use?

Robert Pattinson says:
16 May 2022

I did YOUGUV paid Polls for years. But i have stopped as they target people to get the outcome they want. For example in my application i said i supported BREXIT but then i never got any polls on it . I found this with many topics. The Poll’s are fixed that is why YOUGUV have been miles out on the last two general elections.

A couple of years ago I earnt around £100-£120 per month from online surveys. Nowadays, I’m a bit more selective – if a survey get boring or is too long I exit. I also stopped doing several that took too long to earn a payout. Even so I’m still making around £50 in either cash or Amazon vouchers each month.

My partner has downloaded an app similar to this and gets paid a nominal fee to watch 10 second videos and answer a few questions. Not a bad way to earn some extra cash by not doing much at all.

C L says:
17 May 2022

I continue with one survey site that gives 300 points for each survey completed and points gain you vouchers. I choose amazon gift cards 1000 points £10 gift card there is a vast choice of vouchers and gift cards available but many are USA only. However as I have aged the number of surveys I qualify to complete has reduced drastically now months can go by with no surveys to complete. Other sites stopped sending surveys as soon as I retired!

Robin Benson says:
17 May 2022

As far as I’m aware the only survey site that actually pays cash is YouGov. £50 if 5000 points are earned, over several months. It seems other survey websites just harvest personal details and who knows where that ends up. Why do folks fall for all this survey nonsense? Just a rip-off.

Margaret Cox says:
18 May 2022

You get cash from a few of them. The best is Prolific….very easy to earn money every single day….When it reaches £5 you can do a PayPal transfer…..You can earn that or more every day (weekends there’s not much).

Gary says:
18 May 2022

Prolific here too. It took a while to get in (theres a waitlist) but once you’re you get more, and the surveys are a lot nicer too