How to Tell If a Survey Company is Really Legit

On your quest to earn extra money, you’ve probably heard about online survey companies and focus groups. Working with a legit survey company can be a great way to earn extra income from home if you have little time.

While taking surveys and even participating in focus groups won’t make you rich, many opportunities aren’t scams and can actually help you earn extra money in your spare time that can be used to supplement a bill, pay for an unexpected expense or go directly into your savings account.

On the other hand, some survey companies are too good to be true. If you want to avoid getting scammed, you need to know how to identify a legitimate survey site.

First, Let’s Define What a Scam Is


A ‘scam’ can mean something a little different to everyone, but for this purpose, I’ll be referring to scam survey companies that either don’t pay out actual money or don’t give participants the fair opportunity to make money taking surveys.

Getting sucked into a scam can waste your time, energy and even some of your money, which is why online work scams should be avoided at all costs.

Some people may argue that all survey companies are scams, but I disagree. Surveys are an important aspect of market research and allow brands to learn more about what their target audiences think about their products and services so they can market more effectively to them.

That being said, the best survey companies are willing to pay consumers for their highly-valued opinions. Survey companies are free to sign up for because the company should get paid by the brand to act as the middle man by collecting survey data. As the survey taker, you receive a cut of what the company receives from the brand each time you take a survey.

You just need to be able to figure out which companies are credible and you can do that by paying attention to the following factors.

Signing Up Should Be Free


First off, you should never have to pay to sign up for a survey company or to participate in a focus group!

Sometimes, there may be a wait list if there are too many participants signed up and not enough surveys to go around but they should be paying you to take surveys and signing up should always be free.

a Better Business Bureau Rating should be present


If the survey company is legit, 9 times out of 10, it should be accredited with the BBB and have a rating you can review. Some companies may not have a BBB accreditation, but if they are making claims on their website of being the biggest and best survey company, it would make sense that they’d make the time to get verified by the BBB.

Don’t get completely turned off if complaints have been filed on the survey company in the past. Check them out to see if they’ve been resolved and what the issues were. Also look at the volume of complaints the company has received. If you see lots of complaints claiming that the company is a scam, that should raise a red flag.

A survey company should make Privacy Policies Visible


When you’re considering signing up for a survey site, first check to see if their privacy policy is visible on their website and read through it carefully. If you can’t find a privacy policy, that’s bad news because the company could be selling your personal information online to make more money.

there should be no Promises of How Much You Can Make


Legit survey companies are a great way to earn extra money from home. While they help you do that, they will never make promises of how much money you can earn per day. If you ever come across a site claiming you can earn “$150 per day” it’s most likely a scam. Taking surveys online is not a consistent job so they pay probably won’t be consistent.

You’ll receive notifications via email to take surveys but the compensation will vary so you won’t know how much you’ll earn per day or week.

Other survey companies will share how much money users have earned along with the average payout per survey, which is fine so long as they aren’t making claims they can’t back up.

Payouts Should Be in Actual Money


This is very important because you’re obviously taking surveys to get paid. When you’re taking surveys online or participating in virtual focus groups, you should actually be compensated real money either in the form of cash (or direct deposit), a valid check or a gift card.

There are a number of sites out there that enable you to get free Amazon gift cards, which can be redeemed for just about anything.

While some people may prefer cash (Opinion Outpost is a legitimate survey company that pays in cash), gift cards are also valuable and can be used just like cash so it’s a common payment redemption option for most survey companies. Other similar survey sites that pay out in cash or gift cards are:

You should be wary of survey companies that offer to compensate you by joining sweepstakes programs so you can win prizes or by signing up for offers that require you to make a payment upfront.

The odds of winning prizes via sweepstakes is pretty low and it’s basically like someone asking you to do work then saying there’s a chance you may or may not get paid.

When you take a survey, you want to receive points that you can redeem for cash or gift cards or flat out cash each time even if it’s just $2.

Using a legitimate survey company can be a good way to make extra money. Here's how to tell if a survey site is legit, plus ones that pay you cash!

Final Word


Taking surveys online can be a great way to earn extra money without much skill or effort, but it’s unfortunate that some companies take advantage of that opportunity by scamming people and making false promises.

It’s important to do your research when looking for a credible survey company and be mindful of all the red flags. At the end of the day, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Have you ever taken surveys online before or come across a site that seemed liked a scam? What legit survey companies do you use to make money online? What is your favorite way to earn gift cards?

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