Chances are you’re wanting to create an income for yourself by working from home. There’s a lot of different ways you can do this but the question is can you make money with paid surveys and if so, is it worth your time?
Why People Turn To Doing Surveys
To understand this space better I first want to discuss why people even turn to this method of making money in the first place. In my opinion it comes down to three main things:
- They are easy to do
- It doesn’t cost anything to start
- You get a ‘guaranteed’ payout
I think these are some legitimate reasons for choosing to do survey’s but they are also the same reasons that limit your income potential.
What do I mean by that?
Well, think about it like this for a moment. If something is totally free, easy to do and comes with an guaranteed high income… don’t you think EVERYONE would be doing it? The answer is yes, almost everyone would naturally be getting amongst it.
The fact that taking surveys for cash is easy, free and has some level of stability means that anyone can do it, in other words the barrier to entry is so low that there is an over supply of people to do this job. It doesn’t take much skill, motivation or any money and there’s currently over 3.5 billion people online…
But why does it matter if there’s tons of people ready to do this?
The Concept Of Supply And Demand
In economics there is a basic law of supply and demand and it very much has to do with the main question in this article.
Let me explain the concept and how it applies…
Oversupply: If there comes to be an over supply of a particular product and it exceeds the demand in the market for that product, then the price for that product is lowered. In other words, if there was a million Snickers bars and only 100 people wanting to buy them- Snickers would lower it’s price to sell the excess stock.
Undersupply: If demand for that product is higher than the available supply then the price for that product will rise. The company knows the product is in high demand and there’s only a handful available, so they raise prices because they know people will buy them anyway to a point.
What on earth does this have to do with making money with paid surveys?
The product is people in this case.
Using the above example: There’s a billion people and only a million survey jobs available, so people have to reduce their ‘asking price’ to get a job. The survey companies know they can pay less given the large supply of people willing to take them.
Like I was saying earlier, the reason there is an over supply of people willing to take surveys for cash is because it’s perceived as a quick and easy way to make a ‘guaranteed’ income and anyone can get started.
The Cold Hard TRUTH About The Income Potential
In all of the survey companies I have reviewed, joined or seen others I know join they all have one thing in common. They pay about $1-$3 per hour on average at best. No matter what they were claiming or how many testimonials on the website this was the kind of money really being offered.
There are 4 main reasons for the low income based on my expereience.
Price Per Survey: Like I just explained, the income potential is very low given the price the companies are paying for each survey. This is because anyone can do this with little effort and it doesn’t require any kind of learning or practice. There is an over supply of people that can do this.
The Middle Man: The companies themselves that need this research are hiring ‘middle men’ like Inbox Dollars or Panda Research to facilitate the taking of surveys. The middle man takes their cut and this reduces the amount you get paid, that’s just how this business operates.
Eligibility: Even though it is easy and there’s a ton of people to do surveys, companies are looking for a specific demographic of people to send these surveys to. You have no way of knowing how eligible you will be so it’s really just luck of the draw. This means you may not actually get many surveys at all unless you join a lot companies.
Downtime: One big reason the average earnings are so low is that people spend an awfully long time in between surveys trying to ‘qualify’. Often times several hours are wasted in a single day sifting through and filling out forms just to try and qualify.
In my opinion these are the main reasons people only ever earn pennies for their efforts.
Why I Don’t Like The Survey Model
Personally I am not a fan of this business model at all as you can probably tell, in fact I wouldn’t even call it a business. This is a way to exchange your time for pennies which makes it a ver low paying job without benefits, plain and simple. You cannot leverage this or scale things at all. Unless you are living in a third world country, even the lowest paying jobs often pay better than this.
If you are absolutely beyond desperate you might consider taking surveys for money, but otherwise I truly believe you are grossly devaluing your own time. To make good money you need to increase the value of your time and you can do this by learning real home business skills.
What About Referral Commissions?
One thing some of the die hard fans of survey taking tell me is this…
“You can make good money referring people to join under you”
I agree that you could make better money but there are two major flaws in this line of reasoning.
Firstly, this is now entering the world of affiliate marketing– not survey taking. This requires learning real Internet marketing skills that you definitely will NOT be learning with these companies.
Secondly, once you learn how to do affiliate marketing you will come to know that promoting programs like paid surveys is not the most profitable way to make money. Why? Because with the amount of time and effort that goes into a campaign you would be wanting to promote something that pays out a half decent commission. The commissions associated with these things are incredibly small.
The bottom line is that if you are going to do affiliate marketing (which is a good option) then you should promote something that will give you a better return on your investment. At least that’s my opinion.
I get the reason why people are chasing this kind of thing but the truth is it’s really just a waste of your time in the long run. There are WAY better options than this and ways that can produce a reliable and steady income online.
If you are absolutely desperate for cash and want a way to supplement your income while you build a real online business, check out my top 5 ways to make some extra cash. In particular, the User Testing website I talk about is a great option and one I personally know works.