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Making cash from online survey sites - new MSE guide

edited 28 January 2013 at 5:23PM in Boost Your Income
579 replies 256.3K views


  • online survey sites only offer little reward.
  • Kenth wrote: »
    online survey sites only offer little reward.

    So the £50+ that I earned last month (while doing other things at the same time) is little reward.
  • gildiusgildius Forumite
    299 Posts
    tinatease wrote: »
    Hi Everyone,
    I'm just about to sign up to Swagbucks, does anyone fancy referring me for an extra boost to your account?

    Are you still after someone to refer you?
  • After spending several months filling in surveys for half a dozen companies, I decided not to bother with most of them, as some often screen out after spending 10 minutes or so with nothing but a draw entry as reward. Toluna was easily the worst and with such a big company the odds of winning must be huge. To add insult to injury, they take months to send the vouchers.
    I have found Ipsos and e-rewards the best, particularly e-rewards who pay even if you screen out and where I have earnt over 10,000 avios points in a year.
  • hkj01hkj01 Forumite
    33 Posts
    Has anybody got a referral for Pinecone?
    2013 competition wins :) ... I Pad, Tesco pedometer, £20 Papermash voucher, Tropical Sun crunchy coconut peanuts
  • elsienelsien Forumite
    25.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Pinecone tend not to do referrals very often, unlike some of the other survey sites.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • eldanieleldaniel Forumite
    245 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Ok, I have decided to sacrifice little time to other moneysavers and to write my little guide through survey companies.

    I am going to list them in order from best to the worst in terms of money earned by me in the last 2 years. However with some of them I started later or earlier so if I believe that certain place is not adequate for certain survey company I will mention that.
    Bear in mind that payout threshold does not bother me because you will get there eventually with every company. It is just a matter of time.
    I try to do quite few surveys on my android smartphone, so if you are interested in this too, I added few comments about doing surveys on android for each company. Doing surveys on mobiles can be tricky because you never know if they will be some features in surveys that your phone wont be able to handle i.e. drag and drop. But I prefer to take a risk sometimes as I spend a lot of time on my phone, but not a lot o my pc.
    So here we go:

    1. Global test market - decent payout vs time taken, surveys come quite often and if you are screened out that happens usually after few questions rather than half a survey (however they went slightly downhill with screening out lately). Points credited instantly. Nice to redeem a cheque for £40ish pounds now and again :) Many surveys can be done on smartphone - but it is a hit and miss because if you try and you get stuck half way through survey you cant finish it on PC. It recently developed mobile app, but I realised I am not getting any points for completing surveys on the app (very few surveys on app too). Perhaps it is early stage of development - watch this space.

    2. Valued opinions - it takes time for reward to be credited. In terms of money is on my second place, but unfortunately it looks like they blocked my account for some reason. I can still log in and do everything on the site, but I can only do 1 in 20 surveys lets say. For all the rest it is showing me a message that either I replied already to that survey or that there was data inconsistency, which is quite upsetting knowing that I took time for 2 years to accurately & truthfully answer the surveys. I tried to contact them but no email reply. On the phone number given there is no answer. Many surveys works well on smartphones (maybe that is why I got blocked - maybe they dont like ppl using smartphones... who knows). Quite few surveys are working fine on mobile phones.

    3. Toluna - it is on 3rd place but this is a real hard work. They swarm me with the surveys but quite often screen you out half way through. Only for determined survey goers. It takes a lot time to get reward. I.e. now I am waiting for my £30 L2S voucher for 2 months already, but similar happened in the past. If you are not in hurry then that is ok. You will get it eventually.
    Also takes quite a while for the points to be credited. Customer service quite helpful. Very often they offer you rubbish surveys. I.e. 2200 points (41p) for 40 minutes. I am trying to stay away from this kind of surveys. Often time specified in the invite is misleading (too short vs the real time taken). Mobile app is useless. However doing surveys on mobile through email invite (not app) works well quite often.

    4. Pinecone - 4th place, but definitely the best in reward vs time aspect. Never screen you out. Interesting surveys. Always reliable, so definitely the best site. If only they would offer more surveys ... Works great on android!

    5.Ipsos - very good company. I used to get loads of surveys from them. Now not so many. Even if you screened out they reward you with few points which is often nice. Good thing is that they also invite other ppl leaving with you to some surveys, which can boost your balance. I don't remember having much technical troubles with their surveys. Quite annoying that in Ipsos surveys you can never use Enter button to confirm answers to speed up the process :) slows me down :) Most of their surveys works fine on android devices.

    6. UK.mysurvey - fair amount of surveys, but screens out quite often (or does not redirect after you complete, which is even more annoying) and surveys are very repetitive/boring. But if you are stubborn you will be able to earn fir bit of money there.
    Good customer service though. Emma always reply to my email.
    Never log in to this site from abroad, otherwise they will block you and then you will have to contact them to unblock you. About 50% of surveys can be done on android. Uk.mysurvey surveys include a lot of drag and drop so mobile not recommended for it.

    7. - they rarely send invites. you have to log in regularly to check. They used to have a lot of technical glitches (i.e not redirecting you to the site after you complete the survey etc.), but this slightly improved in recent months. Rewards are pending for quite a while and sometimes you get "invalid" message instead of "earned" for unknown reason. I contacted customer service and I got reply that once in a while is nothing to worry. I tend to get through surveys quite quickly so maybe that was too quick on those occasions. Some surveys offer little reward compare to time specified, but I personally avoid this low paid surveys. If more ppl won't do them, they will have to pay a decent money to complete the surveys. Today I had one survey for £0.33 for 28 minutes. Just not worth it. But most often it is around £0.60 - £1.00 for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes also screens you out after few minutes in the survey. Does not work on android very well.

    8.Populuslive - This is one of the top survey Company. Pays £1-£3 per survey and if you are screened out, then you will find out straight away, not after doing half of the survey. £50 payout threshold, so you have to be extremaly careful not to speed through surveys or to fail security question. Otherwise they will remove you from the panel. Surveys are very interesting (i.e. politics, economy etc.) and not repetitive.
    One of the best companies out there. What is important too, this company is also most advanced with surveys being conducted on smartphones. It tells you in the invite if you can do them on mobile phone or not.

    9. Onepoll - small surveys but build up rewards quite quickly. Pleasant to do. I normally avoid sweepstake sureys (they tend to offer quite few). Only interested in pure £ :) Recently they trying to be clever and started adding some proper surveys which would take 10-15 minutes to do and they only offer for it few pence more i.e. £0.20 - £0.25. If I open any of those surveys I quit, as it is not worth it. Only do the quick polls. Works well on android devices (occasional drag and drop happens).

    10. Vindale research - They used to offer $1.50 per survey, now it went down to $1.00, so not so worth it anymore. however $1.00 it is still around £0.60 so can build up pretty quickly. There is quite a lot of technical issues on the site. Very often money is not added and when you complete a survey it does not even goes to pending, so you have to trust the Company to pay you later for it. Not a lot of ways to track/check it. Very often screens you out and quite often after completion you are not redirected to the Vindale website and waste time for nothing. It is not working well on mobiles too. Only for proper survey stashers.

    11. Gameplaysurveys - It look like it is sister company of (and swagbucks too), because you are invited to the same surveys and as soon as you complete it in one panel, invite instantly disappear from the other panel. But it is worth keeping all of them active, because there are times when particular invite is only on one of those panels. Technical aspect of this site and everything else is exactly like

    12. Yougov - brilliant company. Surveys are about everyday life. They don't ask you stupid questions i.e. "imagine if toilet cleaning block would be a person then how would you describe your relationship with it" :) Surveys are quick to do and very good from technical aspect. You can do most of the surveys on android devices and what is great about it, even if you get stuck half way through the survey, you can click invite link on your pc and you can continue from when you got stucked! Great for me. Also you pretty much never get screened out.

    13. Pure profile uk - another good company. You have to check the website regularly for surveys. Sometimes even few times a day and every time could be a new survey waiting there. Site feels great and rewards are very decent. For example they offer fair bit of Toluna surveys for £1 - £2 rewards, where for the same survey Toluna would pay you fraction of this reward.
    £50 threshold is quite high but you don't have to spend so much time to get £50 worth of rewards, unlike many other sites. Does not work on android - you are able to complete the survey, but never redirects you back to pureprofile website, so waste of time.

    14. - rare surveys, but low payout threshold. Sureys are quite good in regards to time vs reward. Never tried on mobile.

    15. Survey savvy - rarely receive any invites and they pay you in US cheques!! So beware because cashing up US cheque in UK cost money. So only worth if you want to build up decent amount of money and then take it out. First time I did payout I think for £10 if I remember well and I pad half of it as a fee to the company to convert my cheque in £. From technical point of few surveys are ok. Never tried on mobile.

    16. Mindmover - great surveys. Much more interesting than other companies. Great time vs reward ratio. Able to complete most surveys on smartphone. They only negative is that surveys are quite rare.

    17. Harris interactive - over 2 years I managed to earn £18 with them :) so not really quick build up, but if you do surveys they are very good, reliable and relevant. Never tried on mobile phone.

    Recently I have signed up with Panelopinion, Surveyfriends and Swagbucks, but too early to comment.

    Above guide was listed by the £ I earned, which does not always give credit to the best companies. Because you can earn fortune with Toluna if you doing every single survey they invite you, but you waste a lot of time for being screened out etc. On the contrary you might earn much less from Yougov, but spend very minumum time on the site.

    So to summarize, now I will list my rough guide best to worst in regards to time taken to complete survey vs. reward earner:
    1. Pinecone
    2. Populuslive
    3. Yougov
    4. Mindmover
    5. Onepoll
    6. Pureprofile
    7. Globaltestmarket
    8. Valued opinions
    9. Ipsos

    All the other companies are pretty similar and be prepared to waste quite a lot of your time to get little rewards sometimes.

    Sorry I did not have more time to put it all nicely. Probably my whole guide is quite chaotic, but I hope it will help some people to make a decision which survey site to choose or if you want to do it in the first place.
  • Personally I've found that I reach the YouGov threshold in under a has certainly never taken me 3 years....and most of their surveys are fairly quick ones.
    Pinecone is a great one if you can get onto actually pays £4 per survey....and you quite frequently get stuff to trial....always full sized.
  • eldanieleldaniel Forumite
    245 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    They changed that some time ago. Whoever joined Pinecone after approx. 2010 is already on £3/survey. It is admirable for the company that they have decided to maintain £4 for people who joined before the changes.
    For example Vindale research changed the rate from $1.50 to $1.00 without notice at all, without letting anyone know and they changed that for everyone. So I guess that is how we can recognise good companies.
  • Hi! Just wondering if you can tell me what the payout thresholds are for uk.mysurvey? I can't find it on their site anywhere though it does say it will pay through paypal which is great!

    Thanks :)
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