A paid survey is the latest method for most companies to do market research for new products and products that are still in development. Manufactures want to know what potential customers think so that they can determine what features to build into a product and what are the best features to stress in their advertising campaign. In the past, this information was gathered using mailed paper surveys, telephone surveys, stopping people in shopping center and malls and focus groups. All of these methods offered incentives for the consumer to take the time to answer the questions such as free products, discount coupons and cash.
The reality today is that there is no dearth of scam survey sites. However, discrediting the whole industry as scam is not sensible either. For those in the dark, online surveys are just one part of the exercises that are market research studies. Now no one can deny that these studies form the bedrock of all consumer products/services creation in all the countries around the world. Companies and manufacturers learn many important things from these studies. They get information on how their products or services are used by the average consumer, what are the opinions generated by their products and services, and what kind of changes do consumers want in future versions of these products and services. These are a few examples only. To gather this kind of information, market research companies have no option but to incentivize their surveys to attract people. This is the genesis behind the term ‘paid surveys’. Paid surveys are an excellent opportunity for people wanting to make some useful cash with the internet. This has led to a lot of people desiring to take part in such studies to earn some quick and useful cash.
Before we get to avoiding scams specific to paid surveys, let me mention a quick thing here. There are lots of different kinds of scam on the web. If you do any kind of activity online, I highly recommend you read this article by the FBI. It has lots of great tips for avoiding all kinds of online scams.
In the business world, an untested idea is a bad idea. Before spending millions of dollars designing, manufacturing and marketing a product, companies first have to figure out whether anyone even wants to buy it. That process is called market research. Market research is big business. American companies spend billions of dollars each year on focus groups, product testing, interviews and surveys -- all in an effort to determine which logo is the catchiest, which flavor of potato chip is the most addictive and which pop song will be the next big hit. To save time and money, many companies are turning to online market research. Surveys, in particular, can easily be conducted online or over e-mail. The cost of a 200-person, e-mail survey is $2,500 to $5,000. To get the same number of responses from a snail mail survey would cost between $5,000 and $7,000, and phone surveys can run as high as $15,000.
There are sites that charge "membership" fees for lists of marketing research firms that conduct online paid surveys, despite the fact that you can find many of these surveys free by simply searching online. These services compile lists of surveys that anyone could find in an online search, and then try to dupe you into believing their lists are special. However, according to messages on scam forums, their lists are essentially the same as all the other middleman sites. Worse, some also list other membership sites, trying to trick you into buying essentially the same list over and over again. They include sites that seem to be their competitors because they earn referral fees when you buy memberships. A couple mentioned in scam forums even try to dupe you into buying the same list at other membership sites they own under different names. Naturally, these sites also have an incentive to exaggerate how much you'll earn from online paid surveys.