Taking online surveys is a way to make a little extra cash and to get free products to test. I’ve been paid for completing surveys on everything under the sun–from diapers and toys to online-buying habits–with lots in between. On the free-product side, I’ve been paid to test frozen pancakes, homeopathic cold medicine, a ketchup-like substance, and fabric softener.
Here’s how it works:
- You register on the survey site and complete a questionnaire designed to classify you for upcoming surveys.
- The information you provide during registration is used to match you with surveys related to your work, background, and interests. When the survey company has a survey that might fit you, they email you an invitation to the screener’s short questionnaire. Your responses to the screener determine whether you’re a good fit for the survey itself (a longer questionnaire).
- If you’re invited to complete the survey, you’re told ahead of time approximately how long it will take you to complete it, as well as how much you’ll be paid for completing it. Because these companies pay $$$ (and don’t just enter you in a monthly drawing or give you their warmest thanks), their surveys tend to fill up quickly.
- You complete the survey and the company pays you–generally either with an Amazon.com gift certificate or with cash deposited in your PayPal account. Occasionally, they’ll mail you a check.
I don’t complete many surveys these days; but when I did, it was just for companies that paid me in cash (or Amazon.com gift certificates) or that sent me products to test. The following are my current favorites.
Over the past year or so, I’ve participated in three Bzz campaigns (two for books and one for cereal) and been given a free Sonicare toothbrush.
The way these campaigns work is:
- The BzzAgent company is hired to generate buzz in the marketplace for a particular product.
- BzzAgent volunteers who accept the invitation to participate in the campaign receive the Bzzkit in the mail.
- After testing the product (or reading the book), BzzAgents go to work spreading the word about the product.
- BzzAgents then post their promotional efforts to the “Central Hive” web site and are awarded points that can be redeemed for a variety of goodies.
goZing pays $4 to $25 for every survey you complete. Their surveys are generally about products or unreleased movie trailers.