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Are Online Surveys for Money: Legitimate or Scam?

Are Online Surveys for Money: Legitimate or Scam?

Online surveys are becoming increasingly popular because of their flexibility and the low barriers to entry. The catch here is whether they are authentic or not.
Aparna Iyer
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Online surveys for money are becoming popular among people from all walks of life. These are in the form of a questionnaire or an opinion poll for gathering relevant data within a short period.
The questions might vary and are mostly of a personal nature since our likes and dislikes represent the taste of the demography we belong to. These surveys are popular because they are willing to pay for information that seems worthless to us. In addition to supplementing income, they may also provide employment to homemakers, teenagers or broke individuals.
Purpose
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Market research is very important for a business as it enables an organization to access the true demand for its products.
Market research helps a company to determine changes in demand, the potential customers, and the revenues that a product can generate. Market research involves both primary and secondary researches. Secondary research, as the name suggests, is based on secondary data.
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Primary research, on the other hand, is based on information that is gathered directly from people. This is done using questionnaires, opinion polls, or even by telephone.
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This is when online surveys become important. They constitute an important part of primary research, as the success or failure of a company to capture a market will be reflected in one.
How It Works
A paid research typically requires a person to register with a market research company that has been entrusted with the task of conducting the survey on behalf of some company. The registration process is free. In case we are asked to pay for registering, we can be reasonably sure that it is not authentic.
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The registration process will ask for a mail ID since we will be mailed the survey forms.
The Pay
These companies normally pay around USD 3 to 5 a survey. In addition, they might conduct lucky draws and give you the chance to earn a few extra bucks. You might also get gift vouchers from the company on whose behalf it is being conducted. The mode of payment is generally cash. You might also be required to have a PayPal account.
The most important thing one must remember is that authentic surveys do not require a person to pay money to take the survey. It is always the other way round. The earning amount entirely depends on its type. While some may take up 30 minutes of your time and pay between USD 1 and USD 5, others might be time-consuming and more rewarding.
Authenticity
It is not always possible to determine its authenticity. One should read the privacy policy, and in case one is not satisfied, it would be best to abandon the idea of participating in it.
A Possible Alternative to Online Surveys
Depending on the reason to opt for the survey, it might be possible to look for other alternatives. If a person participates in one because he enjoys it, it might be a good option to pursue a career as a market researcher with some reputable market research company.
Even if a person feels that he does not have the requisite qualifications, he might still consider approaching such a firm, as in case of primary market research, the barrier to entry is generally low.
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Online surveys can serve as a source of income for many people. One should provide all the necessary information, but exercise caution in case of doubt. Never divulge confidential information, and make it a point to read the company's privacy policy before signing up for one.