Top 5 Paid Survey Do’s and Don’ts

If you’re an experienced online survey taker, you know there’s many pitfalls to be avoided in the survey jungle. If you’re new to the game, be aware that there are a fair amount of scams out there looking to capitalize on people new to the space. Not only will you receive little or no rewards, but some will even entice you to part with your credit card information to “product test” in hope of bigger rewards.

Whether just starting out or an experienced vet, here are some helpful do’s and do not’s to help you maximize your time, earnings, and overall experience when deciding on which survey sites to join.


1. DO join a variety of paid survey sites
It’s always a good idea not to put all of your eggs in one basket. There are a variety of benefits for joining lots of paid survey sites, the most obvious one being the chance to make more money.

2. DO research each site before you join
When deciding which panels to join, there are a variety of factors to be taken into account: How fast will you get paid?, Are there other ways to earn other than surveys?, Is this survey company reputable? You have to decide which attributes are important to you. Access our reviews here to help you determine what site or sites are right for you.

3. DO seek out sites that offer more than surveys
If you want to start making significant money, find sites that offer more than the everyday survey. Making up to $150 for special research projects or product testing is possible. You’ll have to earn it though, focus groups of this nature will usually take at lest of few days of participation in online discussions and in-depth input.

4. DO fill out your profile information
Many sites will ask you a few questions after signing up to ensure you receive surveys that apply to you. It’s important to complete these profiles to ensure you’re getting more surveys and don’t get disqualified. No matter how much you may like earning with paid surveys, it can certainly be tedious. When signing up for multiple survey sites, or daily surveys, you’ll be certain to find yourself entering the same information over and over again. Some browsers have some handy form filling tools, but if you want to get serious you should consider form-filing software like Roboform.

5. DO take advantage of your smartphone
As internet usage continues its migration to mobile devices, companies have come up with a variety of ways for you to take advantage of this phenomenon. In addition to handy apps that let you take surveys on the go and passive income apps that pay you simply to let their app run in the background, you can also find specialized sites like National Consumer Panel that pay you for scanning products.


1. DON’T get stuck on any one survey site
If you find yourself often being disqualified, or receiving surveys that are low paying, you’re probably not in the best demographic for that particular site. Instead of being frustrated, just move on. There’s a bevy of sites out there that are happy to pay for your input, finding the right one is the key.

2. DON’T fall for sites that promise to pay big
Many survey sites advertise that they pay $75 or more for a five-minute survey; this is simply false. As with all things in life, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Shady operations like this are usually just after your information to peddle to unscrupulous marketers, or even worse phishing scams and the like.

3. DON’T pay for anything in hopes of larger reward
This point is somewhat related to what’s known as the “free trial” scam. As you might have guessed, these trials aren’t free at all. You might be promised $50 for “trying” an online service like Netflix, which you are expected to pay for out of pocket. Offers like this are sometimes full of stipulations like you have to stay subscribed for a year. Many people get scammed and end up losing money on these types of offers even if they do receive their promised rewards.

4. DON’T join sites that ask you too little about yourself
While it’s easy to sign up for a site that may only ask for your name and email address, you’ll find that many of these operations are a waste of time. Generally, the less detailed info a site asks for, the less you’ll earn per survey since the market research is sure to be tailored to a more generic audience. Many “get-paid-to” (GPT) sites fall into this category.

5. DON’T get discouraged!!!
There’s no one best way to earn by taking paid surveys, but you can find the best way that works for you. Try a mix of survey sites, get-paid-to sites, and survey apps. Discover what works for you and what doesn’t. No one is going to get rich taking surveys, but you can certainly put a few extra bucks in your pocket if you stick with it for the long term.

That’s all for now. If you’re looking for even more paid survey tips and advice, be sure to read our surveys for money FAQs and our post about the top 5 paid survey mistakes.

Robert Fleming
Written By
Robert Fleming

Robert Fleming is a 20-year veteran of the market research industry and now serves as co-CEO of Paid Survey Update which he co-founded in 2015. He resides in Myrtle Beach with his dog Gunnar.