Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What are Paid Surveys?

Paid surveys are indeed what they imply they are: surveys – which can take various forms, depending on the needs of the company – which, upon answering, will reward the respondent either by cash or non-cash items.

Who Can Answer Paid Surveys?
Some surveys don’t care about the demographics of their respondents: they can be of any age, gender, and location, just as long as they can answer the questions in the survey honestly and capably. Other surveys however require their respondents to characterize their target market. These are necessary if they have a specific objective to attain, and they’re using paid surveys to help them understand their target market better.

Where Can You Find Paid Surveys?
Although most people have only learned about paid surveys through the Internet, paid surveys are actually a time-tested market research method. Sales, marketing, and research departments of companies are usually the ones assigned to conduct paid surveys.

They can call you on the telephone, send you a letter, or invite you to drop by their office. All expenses incurred in relation to the survey are usually covered by the company. Respondents are either chosen randomly or according to how they match a certain criteria.

What Do You Need to Take Advantage of Profitable Paid Surveys Online?
Companies that directly or indirectly allow you to profit from paid surveys will typically ask you to submit the following:

Email Address – You need to have a valid email address to register an account in these companies.

Personal Information – You’ll also have to submit personal details about yourself, such as your name, address, contact number, age, gender, and other characteristics that are usually important to research studies.

How to Choose a Profitable Paid Survey
There are two types of companies online that are offering profitable paid surveys: the first are those who are directly conducting and paying for the surveys you’re going to answer while the second are referred to as “middleman” companies.

If you’re working with the first, there’s little to worry about. If you’re working with the second type, that’s when you should be careful about which company to transact with.

Most middleman companies will offer you lots and lots of information about how wonderful paid survey opportunities are. The information they’ll offer can be divided into three classifications:

Official Documents – These companies are proud to provide you with documented evidence proving the earning potential of paid surveys. Of course, you should always remember that similar to network marketing companies, the fact that one member’s earning well and regularly doesn’t automatically mean you’ll enjoy the same rewards as well.

Guarantees – Unless they’re willing to offer you a clear, black-and white, 100% money back guarantee in the event that you don’t earn as much as they promised you would, you shouldn’t place too much faith on their guarantees. These are just words, after all.

Testimonials – Remember that anyone can be paid to do testimonials, so unless it’s someone you know and trust that’s vouching for the company, be careful of whom you trust.

If you do find a company that you’re impressed with, the next thing you should do is check it out with the Better Business Bureau. They’ll be able to tell you if they’ve received any complaints regarding the company. But if the BBB doesn’t have anything bad to say, that doesn’t put them completely off the hook yet. It could just be that none of their victims have ever thought of reporting to the BBB.

The next thing to do is study the terms and conditions of the contract. Check the membership fee. If it’s a substantial amount of money, be very wary indeed. Don’t neglect to read the fine print because it’s usually the section that contains loopholes which are to YOUR disadvantage.

If it passes that last inspection then congratulations! You’re lucky to have found a legitimate profitable paid survey!