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If you own a computer, like working from home to make extra income, and like giving your opinion or testing new products, you should try online surveys from home to make a little extra cash to help pay bills, and try new products. There are hundreds of companies out there that enlist research panels of average consumers to complete surveys online.

While you shouldn’t expect to earn a full, high figure salary from taking online surveys, but it is very possible, and fairly easy, to earn $50 to $100 a month in cash and also free products if you take several short surveys, according to experienced online survey site members. The key to having more success is to sign up with several online survey sites (which are all free to join) to increase your chances of being selected for the surveys and increase your income.

When you do decide to join a survey site, you will need to provide your personal and demographic information, which credible survey sites will not disclose to any other party. That information is then used to select participants for surveys on specific products and services. When you are selected for a certain survey as a panel member, you will receive an e-mail from the company inviting you to take a short screening survey to determine if absolutely you fit the profile for that particular survey. If you are a match and do qualify, you will be asked to take a longer online survey in exchange for some sort of compensation, including cash or prizes.

Compensation will vary by company and by survey. You may receive a few dollars, which can help with paying your utility bills or debt, or you may even be sent free products in exchange for trying them and providing feedback about them. Most surveys will "pay" even more money by entering participants into a sweepstakes.

I have taken about a dozen surveys myself with the two online survey sites I joined. I was paid for three of the surveys ($15, $6 and $1 each) and was entered into a sweepstakes for the other nine surveys (which I did not win). However, I did find it easy and very enjoyable to answer the questions.

Experienced survey site members, such as Christa Alewine of Georgia, also greatly enjoy getting all kinds of free products for themselves and their family, from graham crackers to dog food. Even her children look forward every month to getting products in the mail to test at home and have even participated in some surveys for children (with parental approval).

The largest cash survey payment Christa has ever received was $50, and the survey that paid her that took about 30 minutes to complete. Her usual cash payout is generally $1 to $3 for surveys that take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. She estimates that she is paid cash for over 10 percent of the surveys that she completes and she also receives free products for many of them.

Christa began her survey experience by earning money just by playing online games for 30 minutes a day and now earns more by spending that 30 minutes completing surveys. She gets to keep the products she tests, and enjoys getting a $20 Amazon gift card, gift cards to local restaurants or a few dollars in her Paypal account.

Make Sure the Online Survey Site Is Legit

Experienced online survey members recommend joining several different survey sites (at least five to 10) if you want to take daily surveys to make money or win prizes. Register with an e-mail address that you check frequently so you can respond quickly and, of course, be very honest and very accurate in filling out the survey. Never get discouraged if you are not selected as a survey participant after your first few screening surveys, as it may take you a while to see which survey companies' needs match your demographics.

While it would be impossible to list all the legitimate online survey sites that are out there, you can find many of the top sites on this website.

 

 

 

 

 

Be warned, though, there are also many sites that pose as survey sites to obtain marketing information from consumers. These sites will sell your information to advertisers, and you will get tons of unsolicited spam if you sign up with them. To avoid this, be sure you read any site's privacy policy before you enroll to make sure it is a legitimate survey site.

If a site were a marketing site posing as a survey site, it would disclose its practice of sharing member information with other parties in their privacy policy. If you can't find a privacy policy link prominently displayed on its site, skip that site and look for another one to join. Additionally, some sites will ask if they can share your information with other parties, and will already have the "yes" box checked. If you uncheck the box, you can avoid getting unsolicited e-mails.

A credible Web site's privacy policy will have a statement like this one: "We do not share personally identifiable information with other third-party organizations for their marketing or promotional uses without your consent except as part of a specific program or feature for which you will have the ability to opt out."

(abcnews.go.com/GMA/Consumer/Story?id=1937788&page=3)