While I don’t advocate taking part in research surveys as a full-time occupation, those with the time and inclination can earn cash and gift cards for major retailers. Most of the major players operate in a similar manner. You register your email address and then complete a basic questionnaire, outlining your background (age, gender, where you live) and interests. Afterward the company matches you with appropriate surveys. For every completed survey you receive points or credits. Those, in turn, are exchanged for gift cards and sometimes even hard, cold cash (via PayPal).
Here are a few to check out. All cost nothing to join and you can unsubscribe at any time: My Survey (I’m a My Survey regular and have earned several restaurant gift cards), Survey Spot and Opinion Outpost.
Consumer Advisory Group is specifically targets market segments in crafting its panels. Be sure you sign up for the right one. Men should use this link. Women should use this link.
Another good one is NPD Research. It’s one of the “go-to” research firms for journalists seeking statistics on trends, consumer behavior and buying habits. Right now, you can join the NPD Group Research Team. To join fill out the form and click on the Register button. You should receive an email asking you to confirm via clicking on a special link that you really want to participate. Then expect to receive surveys every so often about your purchases from music and DVDs to food and clothing.
LOTC tip: Some sites ask for a ton of personal information. Only divulge as much as you feel comfortable. Should any ask for credit card or bank account numbers, just say no. And while you should be honest in your opinions, it’s okay to fudge a few things (like the month/day of your birthday). Plus, don’t use your primary email address. Instead sign up for am additional account. That way, if you get flooded with email or spam, you can simply walk away.
I’ve been on MySurvey for at least 15 years (it used to be called something else). I always use my points for Amazon.com gift cards, where I can purchase just about anything. I’ve also tested several products over the years for them. My favorite was the month’s worth of diapers when my first child was born! :-)
I also like E-rewards. They have some good, and some not-so-good rewards. The best ones, for me, are the magazines (great for gifts!) and hotel frequent-stay points. My dollar amounts really rack up quickly at E-rewards because when you qualify for a survey, you generally get a good return on your time. Other survey places don’t offer as much, IMO.
Laura Daily says
I use my My Survey points for restaurant gift cards like Red Robin, very popular here in Colorado. Once you get entrenched in their system then they really shoot a lot of stuff your way. I only tested one product, something to do with hard water where I had to play scientist and use strips to test mine household tap, but it was fun.