Just as I was pondering this, I saw an article claiming I could make up to $250.00 a week taking online surveys.
Perfect! I have a laptop. I have opinions, lots of them. What more do I need? Sadly, I found out the answer to this question.
In the beginning…
I signed up with two online survey sites that touted quick and easy cash. They are Survey Junkie and InboxDollars. Starting the accounts was easy. They of course needed my email address, demographics (age, race, gender…) and some basic information about interests and habits. In no time at all I was up and running and ready for my payday.
Not So Fast
The websites advertise participation in “high paying” surveys. Apparently “high paying” means between $0.25 and $1.25 per survey.
Some surveys take as little as 2-5 minutes, others up to 40. I dive in. After three hours I had earned about $4.33. I am pretty sure my time is worth more than $1.44 an hour.
Welcome to the third circle of hell.
As I mentioned, when I started my accounts I entered all my demographic information. As I opened each new survey, they wanted the same information I had already given. I can’t tell you how many times I typed my age, race, zip code, and estimated my household income. After the constant retyping of this information comes the preliminary questions. Have you eaten here, shopped there, thought about purchasing, own any of…? I answer affirmatively, follow up questions ensue. I assume I am in the survey, then BAM! “We’re sorry, you don’t qualify for this survey. Here is two cents for trying it.”
Time after time I gave opinions about cars, beverages, store brands, retirement locations and got kicked out of the survey for either not qualifying or because the survey was suddenly full and they no longer needed me after 20 minutes of answering questions.
After a while I began wonder, is it me? I am no longer in the highly coveted 18-34 year old demographic. I’m a middle aged woman. Maybe they need more diversity in their survey? I am a white American. Is our household income too high, too low? Why don’t they want my opinion?
It’s not me, it’s you.
A big drawback to these survey sites is that you are not matched to surveys you are eligible for based on your demographics or interests. There is no way of telling if a survey will close out while you are in the middle of it. The repetitive introductory questions are relentless. Other ways to earn cash (especially through InboxDollars) require signing up for services you don’t want or with Survey Junkie, using your webcam in the survey (both options I refused).
After several days of logging into these sites pretty consistently, I have now earned $5.60 with Survey Junkie and $6.80 with InboxDollars. However I cannot cash out until I have earned at least $10 with Survey Junkie and $30 with InboxDollars. At this point I am pretty sure it’s not worth my time to try to reach those minimums to get the cash I earned.
I really don’t see how anyone could make the advertised $250.00 a week on these sites. I started out by asking what more did I need besides my laptop and my opinions? Apparently the answer is infinite time and the patience of a saint. I have neither. Don’t waste your time, you are worth more than $1.44 an hour.