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Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and dig. In an effort to find out if doing research online to earn money was worth it, we asked some writers to test a few tools.
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The results were not impressive: It was a lot of time spent for very little pay. Now let’s admit it, this was back in 2017, but a recent analysis of app store user reviews shows that things haven’t changed much. Nobody is rich – but surprisingly few people complain about that.
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It is possible that making money from research is not a problem. People are allowed to express their opinions over time, but the minimum wage is an added benefit.
In our search for the most popular iOS apps to get paid to do research, we found these apps leading the way in the field:
They all had over 100,000 views and 4 or more star ratings at the time of writing.
Although many reviews of these apps admit that the payouts are not great, many users seem to enjoy doing research while getting a little pocket money.
Earn Money By Sharing Your Opinion From Your Home
In 2017, the three of us spent over 50 hours on paid surveys, and our combined earnings didn’t break $90.
So, no, internet research was not a viable way for us to make money. (Leave the list or continue to learn about our experience.
To be honest, doing paid surveys was easy and could be done at home, if you had an internet connection. The websites we tested were free and required no training or knowledge. Depending on the site, research can be an easy – albeit cheap – way to earn a few bucks or a boring job that pays for nothing.
Some sites paid more than others. We are happy with the websites that have presented value for money for every review and affiliate link. We were afraid of websites that paid us with a confusing array of points and sent us surveys that we rarely earned.
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Please note that demographics and other characteristics determine whether you are eligible for the survey. All three of us surveyed in 2017 were single women in our 20s who lived in cities. Depending on the survey, we may or may not be the right participants. Your situation may lead to different results than ours.
Below is what we found out about trying to spend an hour a day at each location for five days. On some days there was not enough research to fill an hour in several places. (We did not count that time in our total test hours.)
We have listed these US locations. based on the average hourly rate we earned in 2017, from our highest to lowest wage.
This site is a research center with an active review process. The dashboard is informative and displays useful features, such as your activity and customer support form. The site was above average in our selection of qualifying surveys. As for the points awarded per review, 500 or 1,000 points may seem high at first, but when translated into real earnings, you will earn 50 cents or a dollar. You also can’t cash out until you reach 25,000 points, which equals $25. Read more in our OneOpinion review.
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This site collects a small amount of research, but it stands out. The site has a clean dashboard, is easy to use, and provides top scores for every test you take. The points system is simple and shows you how much your points are worth in dollars on a dashboard. But you have to reach 500 points before you can exit. Check out our Survey Junkie review for more information.
Some survey sites bombard users with information and opportunities – but not Opinion Outpost. The simple, intuitive website helped us research after research without much thought. As beginners, we also appreciate the site’s straightforward point system, which works out at 10 cents per point. Most importantly, we actually made money. We made $1.50 an hour at Opinion Outpost and were able to outsource it to Amazon. Check out our Outpost Reviews review for more information.
This site only provides surveys through Ipsos, the market research company that owns it. The site offers fewer searches than aggregators do, but you stay on iSay for all searches, making the experience easier. Sometimes it shows searches you’ve already tried, which is confusing. For more information, check out the iSay review.
This site returned 75 search results, the most of any site we tested. But it also had the lowest success rate, 9.33%, and the lowest hourly wage rate. Also, the reasons for inaccessibility of research were often unclear. On one occasion we were rejected after being asked to write the word “Purple”. (Yes, we spelled it right.) Check out our full MyPoints review.
Survey Junkie Review In Detail 2020
This site offers many research opportunities, but disqualifications occur frequently. Sometimes we got disqualified just because we clicked on a survey link. Swagbucks collects surveys from others, so some sites it sends you to are better than others. It takes a while to find the details, but the site’s extensive rewards market has hundreds of options to choose from, including gift cards, sweepstakes and PayPal payments. Check out our full Swagbucks review.
Unlike many other sites, Toluna allows users to choose the topics of their research, such as electronics or travel, which made the job more interesting. However, this flow did not make up for his limited income. When we converted the points into cash, we got just 71 cents an hour—one of the lowest rates of all the sites we tested. Our five hour points weren’t enough to buy cheap gift cards. Learn more in our Toluna review.
New users get a $5 bonus after verifying their email address with InboxDollars. But that didn’t make up for the small amount we made per hour from our research — 41 cents, the lowest rate among the 12 sites we tested. Sometimes, instead of sending us a survey, the site directed us to advertisements that required our address, phone number and date of birth. Read our InboxDollars review.
Regardless of the site, research salaries can be small compared to other career opportunities. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, for example, and our hourly wages ranged from 41 cents to $2.03. Many survey sites also require a minimum number of points before we can redeem them for rewards. On most sites, we did not reach that minimum number after five hours of work. (You may want to consider other hobbies that make money.)
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In addition to our time, we have provided important individual information in these study areas. We often disclose our birthdays, zip codes, income, medical conditions, races, residences, and more. And after spending hours in an interview, we didn’t think much of giving that information.
“The biggest risk is not knowing how that data will be used,” says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Information Theft Center. You’re really putting yourself at the mercy of those sites, and you’re saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to trust that you’re a good steward of the information that I’m giving you.’
Velasquez says our information could be used for questionable studies or sold to health insurers, for example. Or it could be stolen, which is a risk with any website that stores personal information. Most of the information we shared seemed harmless—our shopping habits and travel plans, for example. But information such as date of birth can be used and other stolen information to capture your identity. So keep that in mind when answering the questions.
Despite the disadvantages of online research, some people may still consider doing research as a good option. In addition, there is no barrier to entry, and they can be done from anywhere with an internet connection.
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Do not share. If you are asked to provide your Social Security number, bank account number or driver’s license number, skip the test. Velasquez recommends being “intentional” about sharing personal information with research sites. Answering questions on a TV commercial is probably fine, but providing medical information may not be worth the risk.
Create an email address for research sites only. Many survey sites send us several emails every day. Signing up for these sites with an email address prevents search offers from cluttering your primary inbox.
Install anti-malware software. We recommend this step if one of the survey sites leads you to a spammy third party client.
Take a break. We used to spend long periods of time researching, our faces glued to the computer screen
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