I got into a bit of a heated debate this past weekend with some random jerk guy via email. He called me a low-life pathetic scammer for promoting online surveys since “every online survey site is a scam and you know it.” His exact words.

Unlucky for him, I happened to have a stack of checks from various survey companies sitting next to me at the time…

Survey Proof

I had to resize the image to fit on the blog so the amounts might be a little hard to read.

There are three checks from Survey Savvy at $24.50, $42.50, and $40.75, two checks from Opinion Outpost at $33.00 and $39.00, and one check from American Consumer Opinion for $31.04. For a grand total of $210.79. Not bad for two months. These checks are a combination of both my efforts taking surveys and recruiting other people to the survey sites as well. The point being that there are survey websites that do pay.

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You should NEVER pay money to join a survey company. I believe this is was the cause for the argument at the beginning of the post. There are scammers out there telling you you can make a full-time living online doing nothing but surveys and that you have to pay a certain amount of money to join. Don’t give them money! Survey companies pay you! It’s best to join a few different ones to maximize your chances at being invited to take a survey. It’s relatively easy money and it helps pay the bills. What more could you ask for?

Bonus asides. Last week I joined InstantCashSweepstakes and yesterday I cashed out my earnings thus far. It’s not a ton of money, but they do pay out. Here’s the confirmation email I received and the money was in my Paypal account about 10 hours later.

Again, here is the list of survey companies that have paid me in this post. Sign up for them all! They’re free to join!

Survey Savvy
Opinion Outpost
American Consumer Opinion

I’d love to hear your experiences with these companies as well. Be sure to leave a comment below.

READ THIS NEXT: How to build a full-time income online with no experience

Join the Discussion

  • Brenda

    I totally agree. I have a few sites I am involved in. I to have made some money. I did run into one scam. I do not know if they were shut down, or what. I can’t even remember the name. I was so mad, I did what they said for a year, and suddenly they were gone. However like I said, I have a few that have paid me.

  • Marijo

    Some of these comments are really helpful! I spent a whole day trying to find surveys to take to earn cash and there are TONS of misleading ones out there, but I’ve been spending about an hour a day for a week and I have a combined total of $50 so far. Not bad.
    Does anyone know if the SixFigureProgram works or not? I DID pay for that and I paid a web hosting fee.
    I’m a little wary of the outcome, but I figure if it doesn’t work then I learn my lesson. Any advice/input is helpful!

    Oh, and how long did it take you all to earn 40+ dollars from opinion outpost!!!???
    Every invite I get from that is for points, so do they turn those into Amazon.com cash rewards??

  • Jon

    @Lily I did not finish the Nielsen survey on Opinion Outpost because I did not want them to be tracking my family when using the computer. This was one that I did not finish.

    I just started Savvy Survey too and not had any of the survey companies ask to download gears.

    I filled out the profiles honestly and 95% of the surveys have had choices to pick from that I did not have to lie to, however there were a few that did not have a choice that fit for me too.

  • Jon

    Turned my $72.50 rewards from Opinion Outpost into an Amazon gift card and purchased several things for my wife-daughter-son-myself. It took me about 2 1/2 – 3 months but it was well worth it to me, it may not be for everybody and you may not qualify for everything. But be patient and it will come, granted not a whole lot but it’s something. Just got up to $3.00 in Instant Cash Sweepstakes but gonna wait till I get up to at least 30-50 before cashing in. Thanks I’ve Tried That for my extra income.

  • Ann Pope
    Ann Pope

    I have read your information and found it to be very helpful. I tried to access your information on paid surveys and could not get to the actual list of companies. I did click on the recommended survey companies but did not get a response which was very discouraging. But I do want to thank you for all your hard work in bringing out the truth in many of these proposed schemes.

  • Jim Bateman
    Jim Bateman

    I have never heard about gears, but don’t download anything without going to scambusters.com and check if it is a scam.
    I have done many surveys and I have a lot of points but the points only buy their products, that doesn’t pay my bills. These companies make a lot of money for this information that we provide.
    Don’t do any survey under fifteen dollars.

    All the Best

  • Tiffany

    Sorry for double-posting, but I do have a question. Allot of survey sites always ask to install “gears” on your computer, I usually click deny. Does anyone have any recommendations on gears?


  • Tiffany

    Some survey sites I’m successful with and other’s not so much. The only thing that I can say I really don’t like about any survey sites is automatic entries into sweepstakes.

    Maybe I’m being pessimistic but I’ve not come across anyone who has one a “big prize”

    It would be better instead of having sweepstakes to allot that money and have higher paying surveys IMO.

  • Janet

    Many surveys are about expensive products and services, which means a lot of people don’t qualify to take them – and here’s the thing I find ridiculous: only people desperately short of money are likely to be signing up for these surveys – why would a person with money waste their time on them?
    Also, a lot have questions about the workplace, yet surely only unemployed people are signing up for paid surveys.
    Many of the surveys I’ve tried to take about regular products ( ie not things like airlines and vacations etc) have some pages that have no option to check if none of the questions apply to you, and so the only way to proceed to the next page is to lie. I refuse to lie, so I always end up abandoning the survey.

  • Lily

    I recently was linked to Nielsen Digital Voice via Opinion Outpost… https://digitalvoice.nielsen.com/pnl/us/p11.hiw I’m not sure how I feel about this, downloading what is essentially spyware seems like a silly thing to do. Is this legit?

  • Lisa

    I have received checks from opinion outpost. totaling a couple hundred $ a year for piddling in my spare time. I like a little extra cash. Oh I also had a check get lost from them and after I E-mailed them about it I received a new check in less than a week.

  • Norma

    I do surveys for several sites and it takes quite a while to get to the payout for me. I believe it is because I don’t have anyone to refer and because I am 74 and have no one living with me, I am disqualified a lot. I understand that. Don’t have anything real important to take up my time some days so it is fun to work the surveys. I have collected from Send Earnings, Inbox dollars and American consumer. I really was disappointed that Send Earning and Inbox Dollars charge a service fee for sending the check but not enough to stop doing the surveys. I also get a few products to keep or test. Nothing of much value but it all adds up and it is something I would not get if I were not taking the surveys. I am weeding out surveys that offer gifts I”m not interested in. So many items are geared to the younger generation. Understand that too.

  • Cory

    I forgot to mention – a lot of these sites require you to qualify for a survey and a lot of them you may not even qualify for.

  • Cory

    You know what, I’ll bite. I didn’t have too much success with Cashcrate so I’ll give these sites a try. But isn’t there a minimum payout you have to reach?

  • JimM

    The problem is with many of the surveys I see is that it takes a long time to complete surveys for very little money.

    One survey company I joined will give you .50 to 100 for 20-30 minute surveys. Well that is $2-3/hour!

    I think the key is how much time does it take to make that type of money. Sometimes it’s not worth it. Thanks for sharing. Jim

  • Marianne

    Just a quick note to add that I was very impressed by how quickly I received my first payout check from Opinion Outpost. It was way sooner than they said it would be, which was a pleasant surprise.


    I joined ICS last week after reading Steve’s review — it’s fun, it’s quick and it provides a 5 minute break from other work. Better still, I am well on my way to my first payout….(got $1.00 for signing up) …. and whenever I get a cash reward, the message says that Steve W also got the same reward since I signed up through I’ve tried that.

    I read both Steve’s and Eddy’s sites and am grateful to both of them for all the insight the provide to newbies like me.

  • Marina

    Okay, so here’s my take and experience on “survey sites”. The reason I don’t pursue this option anymore is because most of the sites I’ve checked out want to pay you a $1 to complete a survey which takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes. I’m sorry, but my time is worth more than that. I know this isn’t full time work or income, but even as a pure sideline, the pay is insulting (at least the sites I was signed up with). Yes, again, I know, you’re not going to get rich doing this and I know that. But seriously, $1? Maybe if it’s a 5 minute survey but I haven’t found a site like that yet. Some of them also just want to give you “stuff” instead of money. I don’t need anymore stuff, cash only please. In all fairness, I may check out the sites you mentioned in your post Steve and I will let you know how it works out.

  • Kam

    I do surveys by Pinecone Research and they do actually pay out. It’s not much, but I use the earnings to pay my ebay fees.

    • Lynda

      Ha! That is EXACTLY what I do! I joined same company years ago and while you never get rich off of it, it’s always just enough to cover little things here and there I want without dipping into my bank account. Works for me.

      And one other thing I notice with Pinecone is that it has varied over the years, but I seem to be earning more now in the last year and a half than I did previously. They seem to offer more surveys. I average $15-20/month paying out @ $3/survey.

    • Lynda

      Sorry for the double-post but I wanted to mention too that their surveys are very reasonable time-wise, around 5mins tops. They actually used to take longer and they have since cut the time down on them. That makes it doable for some extra cash. Now, sitting in front of a compt and answering questions for 20 or 30 mins for one dollar I WOULD NOT DO!

  • haydee

    I appreciate for listing websites that are truly legitimate survey sites. Actually I’ve been a member but sadly, most survey offers are targeted to locations like US/Canada. So it’s not really for someone like me from a country other than that mentioned. I’ve been browsing and registering to many legit sites. Survey offers arrive at my inbox everyday but when I click the link, it always says “Sorry, this offer is not available in your area….” I get this everytime.

  • Miyako

    You’ll probably make the most of your membership to various survey sites if you also refer people. I’m fully aware that I won’t make much on some sites because I have no one to refer. The links to the sites in this post are referral links, so Steve will benefit if you join the site after clicking one. Since you might not have known about the opportunity if he hadn’t told you, it’s only right to “thank” him. If you don’t want to, you can always go directly to the site yourself.

  • Eddy Salomon
    Eddy Salomon

    You know what’s funny about people that claim stuff like this is a waste of time? 99.9% of them are already engaged in activities that are a waste of time that they aren’t get paid for. For instance if you spend time on a facebook babbling about nothing, that’s wasting time. But if you do the same thing on mylot and earn a few cents, well now that’s not really wasting time. You probably give your opinion about stuff all the time and don’t get paid for it. You probably watch ads or click on ads on websites all the time as well and you’re not getting paid for it. But now you could make a few cents or dollars and it’s still a waste of time? It just doesn’t make much “cents” to me.

    One final thought, things like surveys aren’t meant to live off. It’s just some extra money to have while you either try to land a traditional work at home job or start a business which you can earn a living with. The problem is people are looking to make a living with survey type of opportunities and that’s not possible. But these scam artists are running around telling you that you can.

    Anyway, I just wanted to chime in because I find comments like this funny because people never really look at all the ways that they waste time and continue to do so and don’t mind doing it. But when you can get paid for the same activities, they look down on it. It just doesn’t make “Cents” literally.

    But what do I know? I’m just someone that works at home full time and it all started because I never viewed opportunities like this as a waste of time and learned to build from them instead of seeing them as the be and end all.

    • Archimedes M. Quilet
      Archimedes M. Quilet

      That is so right. I agree with you Eddy!

  • maxinecharles

    I signed up with a number of the survey sites mentioned here and elsewhere, all legitimate, and faithfully filled out surveys for months. I made about $5 for many hours of work. Total waste of valuable time. Don’t know how others are getting paid, but it didn’t work out for me.

  • Shannon

    I’ve been involved with a few others that pay out as well and I never had to pay them anything. The one is through Upromise called e-rewards and the other is Valued Opinions, which I have gotten three $20 ecertificates for Amazon. I still need to sign up for that last one that was mentioned too!

  • Eddy Salomon
    Eddy Salomon


    I applaud you for shutting these negative people down. Too often people jump to conclusions without having all their facts straight. To their defense the scams out number the legitimate companies so the odds are they are running into more of the scams so they just assume that all of them are.

    But my thing is when you’re faced with proof that this may not be the case, then just man up and admit you were mistaken and happy that someone legitimate like you showed them the error of their ways.

    People just have to realize that just because there are a lot of bad apples in the bunch doesn’t mean that all apples are bad. This industry really just boils down to doing your due diligence. Unfortunately not everyone gets to stumble across websites like this. So they learn via trial by fire and usually are burned so many times they have become just bitter negative people that have written the whole industry off.

    In which case there isn’t much you can do which is what you already do which is educate and provide proof that this stuff does work when you’re picking the right companies. If they still don’t see the error of their ways after that, then I hate to say it but screw them. There isn’t much you can do for people that don’t want to be helped.

    It’s a hard lesson I have learned. I rarely get into these debates with people any more because it just takes up so much wasted energy sometimes. Your work speaks for itself and if people actually take the time to read it rather than scan it, then they’ll know that when you recommend something, it’s because it’s real and works.

    In any event, I’m glad to see you’ve cashed out your first payment at ICS! It’s such an addicting site. The last two days I’ve been taking some video based polls. Cool stuff!

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