How do Online Surveys Work?

Get paid by doing online surveys. Who doesn’t like it? Getting paid for collecting opinions is loved by anyone. If you are new to the industry of making money by doing surveys, let me explain how these surveys work.

Whenever companies want to find out the opinions of their customers about the products they sell, they approach those companies that conduct surveys and give the output about their results of the study.

make money doing online surverys

Questions asked in surveys

  • There are no boundaries in expecting questions from the company, and hence they could be anything that could be intended to the company’s product and its new features and versions.
  • Every question in the survey carries data, and it is the most important thing for a survey company. The information is what that is going to decide the result of the survey and the consequences.
  • At the end of the day, if you can’t get an impression about your customers, you can’t sell your next product.
  • Questions that are part of the survey focus on everything related to the product to understand every view of a customer and to analyze what makes a customer to buy their product.
  • In this way, they can either be detailed or a simple question which can be either a yes or a no.

Let me get you an example. Assume that we are going to do an Online survey of a company called Payoneer, which is a company that allows you to send and receives money online with an easy method.

These could be the questions that can be expected.

  • Is it easy to send and receive money with Payoneer?
  • Where do you prefer to use Payoneer? On your mobile phone or your computer?
  • How often do you use Payoneer?
  • What changes would you like to see in the new version of Payoneer?

This is a demonstration of how the questions would be and how the data would be collected. The whole idea of any survey is to obtain the relevant data about an opinion from the customers and use it for the improvement of the products.

You can also read our Best ways to make money online guide.

Why do they pay people to take part in surveys?

  • When you are good at something, never do it for free! Jokes apart, but the fact is that nobody does things for free, and hence they pay for taking part in the surveys.
  • People who are expressing views are spending their valuable time to give an opinion about your product that will further benefit and enrich big companies and corporations.
  • This is why they pay you, i.e., to fill out the surveys to with questions and give an opinion, they provide the incentive for your efforts.

Where does the money come from?

  • Every company gives the contract to a Market Research company to conduct the Online survey on its behalf. They do this by allocating some budget for them to work.
  • So, to get the data from the survey, the business companies pay the MR companies.

What is the need for an MR Company? Why don’t companies do it themselves?

  • Okay. Let us say you have got an automobile engine vehicle and you are facing an issue with it. Would you fix it by yourself because you own it, or you go to an expert who can fix it for you?
  • This is what exactly happens in the MR companies. The whole process is expensive and time-consuming, but when the companies allow the work to the one who is dedicated themselves to do surveys like these, they will do it for the companies properly.

How do they pay?

  • The pay method varies from one company to another. Generalizing the ways to pay, there are basically three ways that are common for every company.
  • Points – Payments using Gift cards, and prizes.
  • Cash – Payment via a cash a cheque.
  • Sweepstakes Entries – Giving you a chance to win cash prizes.
  • Nowadays, most of the companies are willing to pay using cash or gift card over sweepstakes entries.
  • How much money can be made by taking surveys?

Moving on to the next question. If you are serious enough about cashing out of online surveys, this curious question is obvious must have popped up in your mind about how much can be made by taking surveys. To be honest, there is no proper figure to explain this.

There are multiple factors that decide how much an individual can make out of surveys. Anyway. Listing out the things that one would consider while involving in surveys are,

  • Survey’s length.
  • The topic of the survey.
  • Points that matter.

So, considering all the factors and parameters, a proper online survey can pay you from $0.25 to $250.

If you are getting excited reading the numbers, let me calm you down by saying that it is very important to notice that the exceeding number of surveys would not take more than a half an hour to fill out and hence the average payout would be somewhere between $1 to $5.

If you notice, the usual payout is proportional to the amount of the time spent in completing a survey. I would add, an average member of a few panelist sites can sign up for more than one survey site and make a few extra dollars a year.

Anyhow. There will always be people who are going to take part in more than one survey and end up making a few hundred dollars by the end of the year by spending time in more surveys.

How do I qualify for a survey?

  • Is there a qualification to be part of surveys? Well, this is one of the most confusing parts of taking surveys for money who are curious about it.
  • Sadly, many people think they didn’t qualify for a survey and hence the company is scamming them by conducting fake surveys.
  • This is not at all true. The companies conduct surveys, they do collect the data and give it all back to the business corporations.
  • Remember the example about Payoneer we discussed in the article before? Why would someone spend their time and money in asking about their product? Why would anyone waste money in asking questions from people who don’t even use the product?

Paid survey scams!

  • Market research is a huge industry ($44.35 billion to be exact,) and while there are legit market research companies that conduct online surveys and actually pay panelists for their participation, there are also scammers out there who don’t mind ripping you off.
  • Sadly, a lot of people do fall for these get-rich-quick scams.
  • To help you avoid becoming one of those people, we’ve gathered a list of 57 (which will grow as we update the list periodically) of the best trusted paid survey panels that you can join for free.
  • Be sure to read the entire post as we also explain in detail how paid surveys work, how you can spot and avoid scams and find the ones that do pay.
  • The companies that have a proper market research have their panes online and offline and when they get a team of panelists to share their views and thoughts about the products and services.
  • If you have an idea on how focus groups work, you can understand online surveys very well; the only difference is that these surveys collect the data online in the form of questionnaires.

Paid Survey Scams: How true is that?

  • Unfortunately, there are quite a few scams happening all over in the name of surveys, but it doesn’t mean that all the surveys are a scam.
  • It sounds so easy to make money just by making paid surveys and scammers know that very well and people probably fall out for such scams related to paid surveys.
  • In their offers, promise you the heaven in making money online by spending either just a few bucks and money.
  • They attract you by telling that you can cash the income by just making some fun surveys.
  • Well, if they come up with offers like these, who wouldn’t do that?
  • But nobody can make a living while taking surveys. Well, there might be a few people who might be really making money and when asked, they might say it is their job, but that will not be the case for most of us. We just do it for some extra cash. That is all.

How to stay away from survey scams?

  • The best and the easiest way to ignore or avoid scams in online surveys is by remembering the fact that all the legitimate survey sites are totally free to join and you do not have to pay a penny to be part of any survey.
  • If anyone asks you money to be part of any survey poll, stay away from them.
  • There is no real survey panel that charges you for a registration fee and, in fact, they are supposed to pay you for your opinion. So, you do not have to do anything to join their sites.
  • Keep this one thing in mind, though just by knowing how to join is not enough to find out if the site is good. But if you could avoid the sites that ask you pay for their survey, you can save money by not moving further in that process.
  • Doing a proper research online about the sites that really pay you the money for your time on opinioning about their products can help you further in knowing about them. You can check out their online and forums, reviews, and whatever that will help you in getting a better insight before taking part of any survey.
  • Here are the most trusted platforms where you can make money by spending the relevant time to be part of the surveys. Most of these are free to register for all major country users (i.e., USA, CANADA, INDIA, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, UNITED KINGDOM, PHILLIPPINES and Many more)

Best Websites For Online Surveys


  • Swagbucks is an online survey where students can give a shot for the fruitful rewards. There is an exclusive signup bonus for taking part.
  • They are a highly reliable source for surveys and are trusted for paying with offers and rewards for watching videos and playing games.

Payment Method

  • Swagbucks pay using vouchers, cash, and prize draws for participating in their survey. They pay in SB, which is their payment method. Each SB has 70 points, which is 40p in Indian currency.

Minimum Payout

  • 1Sb


Our review

We have an all positive opinion towards Swagbucks, so do from our readers. In our research, we found out that spending time in finishing surveys and polls can give you the best return valuing your time.

You can participate in many surveys as they do not consume much of your time, well, not more than 10 minutes to complete, by participating so, you can anyhow earn somewhere around $2.40 an hour. If you are not qualified for a survey, you Swagbucks allows you to finish multiple surveys from more than one providers and give them points for consolation.

Sign up to Swagbucks

Valued Opinions

  • Valued Opinions is one of the major names heard in the vertical of survey companies which is a subsidiary of a major market research group. Your profile has to be matched with their demographic requirements if you want to be part of their surveys.

Payment Method

  • They pay for gift cards, vouchers with added rewards from the likes of Amazon, M&S, Sainsbury’s, and John Lewis.

Payment Threshold

  • Ten Euros

Minimum Payout

  • £10 worth voucher per hour.

Amount per survey

  • £1 – £5.

Our review:

When you sign up for Valued Opinions, you are eligible to win a prize already, ie., an iPad. That is the beginning, based on your profile, you will be receiving relevant surveys to complete which you can earn. Their surveys are interesting and not time-consuming as it takes hardly 10-30 minutes each, which means you can bag a voucher for yourself within an hour.

Sign up for Valued Opinions


  • If you have opinions about society and government that can impact more, then using YouGov, you can also earn using your opinions. YouGov polls are different from others as they focus mostly on the societal and political issues.

Payment method

  • They pay in Euros and rewards are additional.

Amount per survey

  • 50p – £3.

Min. reward threshold:

  • £50.

yougov surveys

Our review: 

Because of their unique way of conducting surveys through which you can make money, YouGov stands as a platform of surveys where anyone can participate and win them with an ease since all you need to do is to express your opinions.

Each survey you take in can take up to 30 minutes, but they are not very frequent. So, it will take a month or more to hit their threshold limit. However, you get £1 only for joining and make if you can refer your friends to join to sign up to gain more points.

Sign up to YouGov


  • Test, keep products and earn vouchers. Toluna is one of the highly trusted opinion websites that work on behalf of the leading companies.
  • They collect the opinions of the people about the products and services they conduct surveys in, and that is how you get rewarded.

Payment Method

  • Free products from Amazon vouchers and prize draws.

Amount per survey

  • 3,000 – 6,000 points. If you could get 80,000 points, then you are eligible to win a £15 voucher.

Min. reward threshold

  • It is 500 for prizes, 80,000 for vouchers.


Our review:

Toluna sends products to review, but that seldom happens. Anyhow, isn’t it worth to get free products?

The site has listed a few surveys where you can earn yourself and earn points whose worth is as equal as vouchers? Each survey they conduct hardly takes more than 15 minutes to complete, hence it takes 3-4 hours to earn a voucher.

Sign up to Toluna

Global Test Market

  • Anyone’s purpose to take part in surveys is to make money and it takes time and trust to find the right ones to spend our valuable time.
  • Global Test Market is one of the trusted sites which provides surveys every month.
  • Hence it is easy for anyone to collect points and gift cards every month.

Payment Method

  • They pay in MarketPoints for each survey. Yes, that’s what they call it.

Payment Threshold

  • $50 is the threshold limit in the Global Test Market. It costs you 1199 points.
  • You can retrieve the points for rewards like Amazon, PayPal, Macy’s, and UNICEF charity donation.

GlobalTestMarket Online Surveys

Our review

The best part about Global Test Market is the time it takes to reach the minimum threshold is easy as there are many surveys available and the gift cards to claim are huge too.

Sign up for Global Test Market


  • Make £3-5 per hour.

Who are they? 

  • MySurvey is one of the popular consumer panels who are always in search of new members that can participate in their surveys and win awards.

Payment Methods

  • Payments are done in PayPal, Amazon and high-street vouchers.

Amount per survey

  • Around 100 points.

Min. reward threshold

  • 345 points (£3).

Our review:

MySurvey is definitely worth to spend time with as they send surveys that can match your profile and interests as a consumer.

In each survey, where it takes 15 minutes to complete, you can make 100 points. That means you can earn around £3-£5/hour.

Sing up For MySurvey


  • Vivatic not only allows you to earn money from the surveys they conduct but also conducts other opportunities to make money from other jobs such as writing reviews & data entry.

Payment Method:

  • Cash

Amount per survey: ~£1-2.

Min. reward threshold: £25

Our review:

The best part about Vivatic survey site is that is has got a vast range of opportunities to provide to make an extra money by signing up. Each survey they conduct won’t consume more than 15 minutes to complete, and in addition to that, you can browse for an extra money on the site.

Sign up For Vivatic


  • Crowdology is a very popular survey company that gives rewards with vouchers for completing the surveys.

Payment Methods: Amazon or Paypal vouchers.

Amount per survey: 40p-£10 per survey.

Min. reward threshold: £4 (For Amazon, it is £10)

Our review:

About the time that is consumed to complete each survey, it takes 2 to 15 minutes to complete them, and they are tied up with big brands and TV. Also, they are one of the few survey companies that pay huge for rewards.

Sign up For Crowdology

The bottom line

We hope this post helps you in making the good income by using survey sites in making a little extra cash with the help of surveys by avoiding scams.

If you are serious about making money with surveys, make sure you bookmark this post. We keep adding new sites to the list as we keep researching about online survey sites.

One final point. You can not get rich by taking surveys, but these sites can for sure help you in making money in your spare time which in turn can help the companies to improve their products and services that we use in everyday life.