Online Survey Tips

11 Do’s and Don’ts of Online Surveys

Do's and Don'ts
Written by SurveyPolice

Whether you’re new to online surveys or have taken them before, there are some golden rules to follow. Here’s an easily digestible list of DO’s and DON’TS for you to keep in mind!


1. DO sign up with top rated survey panels for your region

Read user reviews and use sites like ours to discover legitimate survey panels in your area. Don’t bother trying to figure out on your own whether or not a survey site is reputable. If it’s not and you’ve already joined, you’ll just be wasting your time and you may unnecessarily expose yourself to spam.


Want to get rich?

2. DON’T sign up for survey sites that make promises that are too good to be true!

Did you know you can make $3000 a month taking surveys? If you see exaggerated claims like this on a survey site you’re considering joining, RUN AWAY!



3. DO set up a dedicated email account specifically for your surveys stuff

Keep survey emails separate from your personal emails by setting up a dedicated email account for all your survey-related business. That way you’re less likely to miss surveys invitations due to getting mixed up with your other emails. Check your spam box regularly in t his email account and whitelist emails coming from survey panels.


email check

4. DON’T forget to check your email daily for new studies

If you want your survey taking to be as successful as possible, ensure that you check your email for new surveys as frequently as possible! That way you’ll be the first in line to take surveys that offer the most generous rewards. As well, you might want to log into your account daily to see if new opportunities are posted there too.


keep records!

5. DO keep your own record of the surveys you take

It’s always wise to keep your own record of the surveys you’ve completed in case you’re ever missing compensation for something. By recording the date of the survey, the title of the study, and the compensation offered, if there’s ever a dispute, you’ll be armed and ready. Our free survey tracker tool is super-useful and is especially designed for this. Keeping the original survey invitation email for any completed studies is also a good idea.


piggy bank

6. DON’T bank large sums of cash or rewards in your survey accounts

Don’t wait until you have hundreds of dollars in your account before requesting your survey earnings. In this day and age, you never know if a company is facing potential financial challenges that may prevent you from receiving your rewards. Request your earnings regularly to avoid any nasty surprises later.



7. DO complain via Facebook and Twitter if you have problems with your account

If you’re having issues with your survey site account and you’ve already tried going through their customer service department without getting anywhere, try voicing your complaints on their Facebook page and reach out to them via Twitter. Businesses are often more responsive when approached via their public communication channels, so you may have better results. Read our post on collecting missing survey incentives to find out what else you can do if this happens to you.


don't lie

8. DON’T lie when you answer surveys

Don’t lie when you take surveys or when you first register with a survey panel. Doing so will eventually lead to getting banned and having your earnings forfeited – it’s simply not worth it.



9. DO leave reviews for survey panels you’ve joined

Especially since there are so many scams out there, it’s really helpful for other survey takers to know which survey panels are reputable and which to stay away from. By leaving your reviews, you’re helping the entire community of survey takers weed out any disreputable sites.



10. DON’T stick with survey panels who don’t value your time

If you’re getting disqualified from an unreasonable amount of surveys, or you’re constantly chasing credits for surveys, move on. There are hundreds of survey sites out there, so don’t feel like you need to stick with survey sites that are mistreating you. There are others that will be happy to compensate you fairly for your time!



11. DO refer your friends to the panels you like!

If you have some favorite survey panels, share them with your friends and extended family! As a nice bonus, our list of survey referral programs shows which panels have refer-a-friend programs where you can receive compensation for your recommendation.


BONUS: Use SurveyPolice to find safe and reputable survey sites

Before joining any survey site, be sure to check their reputation on SurveyPolice (use the search tool, or take a look at the main survey rankings). With over 17,000 reviews on our website, a forum where you can ask the community questions and hundreds of information articles, SurveyPolice is the most comprehensive resource for online surveys taking information online.

» Find the top rated survey sites


About the author


SurveyPolice is the world's largest online survey reviews website. For over 15 years we have provided ratings on top online survey panels. Compare the best online survey websites and see which are worth joining!

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    • Hi Marvellous,

      In most cases, it’s required that you use the same email address for your survey site account as you do for your PayPal account, though there are a few exceptions. A survey panel typically wants to verify that they are issuing a payment to the same person who owns the survey account, so there’s no misunderstandings in terms of who received the payment.

      As well, most survey sites prefer that you have a verified PayPal account (one such example is Paidviewpoint – a very reputable company), vs an unverified PayPal account, so that again, they can verify that it’s you who they’re sending a payment to.

  • What if people lie on paid surveys and earned a little and if they get in trouble will the money ever be asked to be returned?
    I never found a legit survey site that pays and i dont really trust sites with personal info so wanted to know if the earnings would be asked to be returned.

    • Hi Katherine,

      You definitely shouldn’t lie when you complete surveys. Doing so muddies the data that researchers are trying to collect and it hurts the entire survey taking industry. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be asked tr repay any earnings you’ve made from lying on surveys, the chances of your account with a survey site suddenly being closed are very high if you take this approach.

      There are many legitimate survey sites that pay. Please take a look at the top-user rated survey panels listed here: These are the highest rated survey sites, as decided by the survey taking community (and based on thousands of reviews) and they do pay their survey takers.

  • OK, you sign up, fill out the profile completely, right! Why do they send you emails saying you qualify, when in fact, 2-3 questions in, BOOM, you don’t qualify! It drives me batty! After two weeks of that hot mess I gave up!

  • I was asked to do a survey, and I would revive a free gift, worth over 100.00. All I had to do,
    was give a valid credit card to pay for shipping. I received a pair of earrings in the mail, with
    no paper work, nothing telling me what kind of metal, stone, or cost,(because it was a free
    gift for the survey!) Then a month later I received another package with another pair of earrings
    with no paperwork, I am clueless. I finely get my bank statement and find all of these charges
    I didn’t plan on.

    • Hi Norma,

      Unfortunately, the survey you completed was not provided by a genuine market research company, and you are a victim of a nasty marketing ploy (possibly worse). No legitimate survey company will ever ask you to pay for anything and will certainly not ask you for your credit card number.

      We suggest that you immediately cancel your credit card so that no further charges appear on your statement. Trying to stop these shipments and extra charges may prove to be difficult, so you’re better off ensuring that these scammers don’t have a valid credit card number for you anymore, rather than asking them directly to stop (though you can certainly try that too).

      Legitimate survey companies will rarely solicit opinions from people out of nowhere. If you’ve been contacted to complete a survey, it’s a good idea to research the company online to see if they’re in fact legitimate. You can also refer to our database of over 250 survey panels here:

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