Online Survey Tips

Paid Survey Panelist Tips and Tricks

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Written by SurveyPolice

If you’re new to being a paid survey panelist, navigating the world of online surveys may seem overwhelming. Time is precious and making mistakes out of the gate can lead to frustration and missed opportunities.

Common paid survey panelist mistakes:

Below are some common mistakes that paid survey panelists make and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Not researching a survey site before joining

Since paid surveys first went online over 25 years ago, survey scams were quick to follow. Even with so much time passing, unfortunately, scammers still exist and companies who are not legitimate still manage to convince people to join their websites.

Before becoming a paid survey panelist with any survey website, always ensure you do the following:

  • Check that the survey site you’re joining is legitimate and is run by a true market research company
  • Read user reviews
  • Never, ever pay to join a survey site
  • Don’t sign up with sites that make exaggerated claims (i.e. you cannot get rich taking surveys)
Pro Tip: Look at the top rated survey sites in your country and read reviews for the sites you’re interested in joining.

2. Providing false information

It might seem innocent enough to say you’re someone you’re not when joining a survey site, but market research companies are pretty adept at spotting panelists who falsify information.

If you pretend to be a 45 year old male engineer in Wisconsin when signing up with a survey site, when you’re actually a 22 year old female student in India, your days with a survey panel will be numbered and your account will eventually be banned.

How you’ll be caught:

  • Keeping lies straight is more difficult than you think and your answers will lack consistency
  • Your answers will likely be wildly different from others in your supposed demographic
  • Your VPN will be detected

A simple solution to this? Don’t lie to survey companies, or you risk forfeiting your rewards at any moment and having your account permanently banned.

3. Rushing through surveys

Receiving your reward for completing a survey as quickly as possible can be tantalizing. Why spend 20 minutes completing a survey when you’re a fast reader and typist and can do it in 10 minutes?

The problem with this approach is that most survey panelists think they are faster than average, but by rushing, they generate low quality data. Whether it be inconsistencies in answers for the same survey or long form questions that are answered with only a few words, giving half-hearted responses undermines the reasons behind conducting a survey.

Companies conduct market research to gauge opinions on things about their company – be it about brand perception, or new and existing products and services. When data collected from surveys is poor, they’re less likely to conduct future surveys.

4. Being disorganized

This point isn’t one to overly perseverate on if you’re a member of just one or two survey sites, but if you want an online survey job where you’re generating a consistent income taking surveys, you’ll want to have your ducks in a row.

Ensure you do the following to ensure that taking surveys is as smooth as possible for you:

  • Set up a separate e-mail account specifically for surveys (otherwise, important e-mails may get lost among survey invitations)
  • Link this e-mail to your PayPal account so that you can receive cash payments to your account
  • Keep track of the surveys you complete; use a simple spreadsheet or the SurveyPolice Survey Tracker tool so that you have your own record of the research you’ve participated in

5. Not asking for help from the right sources

We get many inquiries from survey panelists asking us why they’re having problems signing up with a survey site, or why a site has changed, etc. In many cases, these issues can be resolved by simply asking the survey site themselves!

Most survey panels have a detailed FAQ listed on their website, but more importantly, are reasonably responsive when users ask them questions via their contact form – especially if they’re being prevented from joining their site. As simple as it sounds, asking the site directly is usually the quickest way to remedy the situation and is often easily solvable.

6. Banking large sums of cash

Although receiving a huge $100 PayPal payment is exciting, it’s usually best to request rewards more frequently instead of constantly banking them.

When you bank large rewards, you risk that the survey panel may close your account unexpectedly, thereby forcing you to forfeit your rewards. Although this is less of a problem with reputable survey sites, it’s still a risk.

Pro tip: Only bank large sums of cash with a survey site if you’ve received rewards from them before without issue.

7. Not joining sites that offer signup bonuses

This tip is especially true if you’re a new online survey panelist and have never joined a survey site before.

There are tons of sites where you can kick start your earnings by taking advantage of a sign up bonus which will help you reach your first cash out sooner. These can be as high as 20%! Here are sites that offer generous joining bonuses:

  • Branded Surveys – offers a $1 joining bonus (100 points) and has a $5 (500 point) minimum rewards threshold.
  • Marketagent – has a 100 point ($1.25) sign up bonus for new members and a 1000 point ($12.50) payout threshold.
  • Swagbucks – gives a full $5.00 to new members and has a $25 minimum rewards threshold.

In conclusion, whether you’re a new paid survey panelist or have taken many surveys before, it’s good to be reminded of the tips that can help maximize your success when participating in online surveys.

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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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