Sunday, September 9, 2007

Can You Afford To Take Online Surveys?

Now there's an interesting question, and one I've tried to research the past few months. Perhaps we are so inundated with get "rich quick schemes" and "infomercials" about working from home that we as a society turn a blind eye to the fact that millions of Americans are being robbed blind by online survey companies.

Don't get me wrong, there are companies that will actually pay you "rewards" for filling out surveys online, but there are plenty of catches. Let's start with the pay. You see, it's easy to get around taxation and labor laws when these companies provide "rewards" instead of W2 earnings. Most paid surveys pay up to about $5 an hour. Yes, that's is below minimum wage and here's the real kicker: you have to take a short survey to see if you qualify for the actual survey.

Then there is the idea of actually acquiring a list of paying survey companies and let's just say that there are those out there that would have you believe that you need to pay $35 just to get a list. The fact is that you can get a list easily by going a Google search and reading reviews posted by the many angry folks. But don't be fooled. There will certainly be some seeds in there that say one site is good and they made all this money etc. WRONG. They didn't. I probably totaled "rewards" of about $200 all summer and these sites advertise much much more. Granted, I went in with the knowledge of the scam, but I still spent way to much time clicking on boxes about chewing gum and hair care products.

The bottom line is that if you really like to take survey in your free time; there are a ton of sites out there and many are reputable. On the other hand, many are not, but you have to realize that if you are trying to earn money, you are much better off getting another job for a few hours a week and then spend the time you would have spent on the computer filling these things out, doing something constructive.

All of that said, I am not going to list any of the companies, (as this is an opinion piece and not a news article) good or bad, but I will tell you that the Better Business Bureau does certify online companies such as these, therefore, I suggest looking for that logo and be prepared for a lot of boring clicking.

And to be frank, I am so glad that doing the research for this article is over because filling out those things is just no fun whatsoever.