Online surveys can make you money, but it’s not a lot (or very easy)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — If you think no one ever cares about your opinions on Facebook or Twitter, know that there are sites online that value your opinion.

They are polling companies and they pay people like you and me money to do nothing more than share our opinions.

Online surveys have become a popular way for people to earn extra money during the pandemic. While offices were closing because people couldn’t work in an office, online surveys were still open and available. They’re here today, just waiting for someone like you to sign up and start answering their questions.

But do they really pay money for opinions? And how many questions do you have to answer to win real money? Is it something you can do in your free time while watching TV? I decided to give it a try to see what online surveys are all about.

There are many survey companies to choose from. Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, Nielsen, Opinion Outpost, and One Opinion are popular options. I’ve tried them all and found they’re all quite similar, so rather than explaining them all, I’m going to sum up my opinion with you on Opinion Outpost which bills itself as the #1 online survey company.

For starters, you’ll answer a ton of questions about yourself before you even access the surveys. Registration requires you to share your age, gender, job, income, pets, education. It will also ask you about shopping habits, interests, cell phone providers, people in your home, job title or role. You name it and they ask for it.

Since the surveys themselves are conducted on behalf of third-party companies, you will need to answer some of these questions again for other surveys.

It may take some time before you actually respond to a survey. And just because you’re invited to take a survey and you accept it doesn’t mean you’ll qualify. Out of about 20 surveys I’ve signed up for, I’ve only been accepted for 6. From what I’ve read in the reviews, that’s pretty normal. You will get some points. This is how all surveys work. You earn points by answering surveys. Most surveys are worth 10 points, although some (longer) surveys are worth up to 150 points.

I have been invited and agreed to participate in a JD Power survey. The survey was about how I use my primary credit card and my opinion of how the credit card company treats its customers. This survey was about 100 questions and was supposed to take 15 minutes, but it took over 20. And I earned 10 points or 10 cents.

I also took a survey for 150 points which took a little over an hour. I won $1.50.

Once you complete a few surveys, you will need to complete more questions for more surveys. And that takes a long time. I had won $6.50 from Opinion Outpost, but to complete other surveys I had to answer qualifying questions about the sports I watched and participated in. Which cell phone company we used and our typical monthly bill. What streaming services and streaming devices do we use. What smart assistants and smart home devices do we use?

Which Bluetooth headphones should I use? And on. And on. And on.

I never got to the point where I could take more surveys, so my 65 points are sitting there in my account.

Most survey companies won’t pay until you reach 1,000 points or $10 and payments will be in gift cards for Amazon, Apple, Walmart and others.

The good news is that you can make money from online surveys. The bad news is that it’s not much and it’s not very easy. You can’t navigate your way through the polls by just clicking on the answers, because every once in a while a question is slipped in there to make sure you’re paying attention.

It’s not something you can do by trying to pay attention to something on TV. Of course, you are only sharing your opinion and there is no critical thinking involved. But an 8-hour day of taking surveys can earn you between $20 and $30.

But there has to be a better way to earn extra cash.

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Melvin G. Rodriguez