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Paid Surveys Best Practices

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If you’re looking to put some extra cash in your pocket each month, taking paid online surveys may be an option you can do at home and at your convenience. By following survey-taking best practices–such as signing up with multiple reputable platforms, keeping good records, and having realistic expectations about your earning potential–this side hustle can put some extra cash into your wallet.

However, if you search for fast payout survey sites, it can be a decent side gig. If you’re just getting started or find that you’re not making the money you were hoping for, you may need to do more legwork and research sites with frequent paid survey opportunities and find reliable paid survey platforms

Keep in mind, though, that high-paying surveys are rare and usually only target a narrow audience, such as those with an unusual disease who are interested in participating in a clinical trial. To help boost your survey-taking results, here are some best practices to keep in mind as you head down the paid survey path:

Only Sign up With Reputable Survey Sites

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Americans lost more than $10 billion in online scams in 2022. The field of online surveys is not immune to this trend, and there are unscrupulous sites constantly popping up touting their money-making opportunities. Some telltale signs that the site may not be legit are unprofessional-looking pages with typos, glitchy loading, demands for payments when signing up, high payout thresholds, and non-existent customer service.

You want to steer your efforts toward the higher-paying sites, and if a platform sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Seek out sites that have a good reputation in the industry. The last thing you want is to not get paid for the time and effort you put into taking the surveys, or for the site to misuse your personal information.

Read through all the terms and conditions of a survey site. Some pay cash, while others pay with gift cards or vouchers. Make sure you sign up on sites that meet your needs.

Spread (and Minimize) the Risk

After you’ve narrowed down your list of survey sites, sign up on multiple platforms. Turn on notifications so you are aware of any new opportunities. Be honest when completing your profile and when taking the surveys, and only take surveys where you know about the topic. 

You don’t want the company to cancel the survey because they are suspicious of the answers they’re receiving. Your responses could also be declined or you could be disqualified from the survey if they don’t believe what you’re saying, and you won’t get paid for the work you put in if this happens.

Keep Good Records

Always make sure you understand the pay rates and terms of the survey and platform. Keep detailed records of the work you do, any fees that might be incurred, and how much you’ve earned. Don’t let the money and other rewards sit in your account for too long. On many sites, these amounts expire after a designated amount of time.

You’ll also need information about earnings you make when it comes time to file your taxes. Any time you earn more than $600 from a single survey site, the Internal Revenue Service wants to know about it.

A Few More Thoughts

How much you earn from surveys will depend on how much time and effort you invest in this side hustle. That said, most survey takers only spend a couple of hours on them at a time and average about $10 per hour.

You won’t get rich taking online surveys, but they can be a good way to supplement your cash flow if you have the time and follow these best practices. Take this side hustle seriously by paying attention to details and answering surveys completely and honestly.