Can you really make money from online surveys?

Have you ever seen adverts promising you that you can make money from doing online surveys? And have you ever wondered what that is all about?

In this article we take a peek into the world of online surveys to see if they really can help you to make money.


What are online surveys used for?

Online surveys are one of the tools used in market research. They are a useful way for a business to obtain feedback from customers and potential customers about what they do and don’t like. Many large businesses use surveys as part of their market research, including Starbucks, Apple, McDonalds and LEGO. 

Survey results are used to help the business launch new products, improve existing ones, and offer better customer experience and service. 


How can I participate in online surveys?

The easiest way to get involved in doing online surveys is to sign up on a reputable online survey website. Some of the most popular are:

You may have to complete an online survey about yourself as part of the signup process. Sometimes you will be rejected by the survey company. This is nothing personal against you, but survey companies need to ensure that they have a representative balance of different people answering their surveys, so it’s possible that they may not need you at this particular time.

Also when signing up to a survey company, ensure that you don’t part with any money. You should not need to pay anything to register with them.

Once you have been accepted, you will start receiving survey alerts by email. It is important to check your email regularly as the survey will close once enough people have completed it. So it’s easy to miss out. It is worth setting up a separate email address for your surveys so that you can check it regularly and survey alerts won’t be lost amongst all your other personal emails.


How much would I get paid from completing online surveys?

You will receive some kind of payment for doing surveys but this varies from company to company. Some pay cash (often via Paypal), others send you vouchers of your choice, for example Amazon or John Lewis, and others pay you in points which you can then redeem in their online store. 

Most companies also operate some kind of survey threshold, whereby you will only get pay or vouchers when the value of what you have done reaches a certain amount, say £5. So check with any sites you sign up for as to how and when they will pay you.

But, in theory, it’s possible to make the equivalent of a few hundred pounds a year if you do surveys regularly. 

If you want to make a bit more money from it, it is also worth looking into becoming part of a focus group. These are small groups of people that meet either face to face or via Zoom to discuss topics in more detail. It’s possible to earn anywhere between £50 and £150 from being part of a focus group. Check out sites such as Paid Focus Groups and People for Research to find out more.


So what’s the catch?

On the face of it, there isn’t one. You can spend a bit of time completing surveys and gradually get some kind of payment coming back. You just need to be aware of three things:

  • As mentioned earlier, there may be a minimum amount that you have to earn before you actually receive payment or vouchers. So if you need cash quickly, completing surveys is not going to help with that. It will usually take time for the rewards to start coming.
  • You are not guaranteed regular work by completing surveys. It depends on how many surveys the company has available and how many other eligible people are interested in completing them. You often have to be very quick off the mark to get to complete a survey.
  • If you earn more than £1000 per year from surveys and any other money-making activities, you need to declare this to HMRC. The value of gift vouchers earned counts towards this £1000 too. Whether you are employed or self-employed, it will then count towards your income for the tax year. So you could end up paying tax on your survey earnings.


We hope that this article has informed you about opportunities for online surveys and focus groups. Good luck if you decide to give it a go!

If you are currently in the process of changing career, and need some short term extra funding to get you through, remember that Simple Fast Loans offers unsecured loans that may be able to help.

Check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Simple Fast Loans.