Not just surveys!

As I get more and more involved in survey participation or paid marketing research, as it is commonly known, I find ways to maximize my time and experience. When you first start you will find surveys that pay $1 or $2 dollars while others give you points to accumulate.. Typically, you will need to collect at least $25 to be able to get paid. Lots of companies, including, Qualitative Insights, Valued Opinions, Inspired Opinion from Schelsinger Associates, MySurvey, Global Test Market, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, among others are looking for new respondents to take surveys. They are interested in people from all walks of life, ages, income levels and educational backgrounds. If you ever thought about giving surveys a try now is the best time to so.


Vocalpoint-A Place for Women

I am a big fan of Vocalpoint, an online community of moms who enjoy engaging with other people, like to give their opinions and especially enjoy sharing information about products, services, and  experiences. The site is sponsored by Proter and Gamble and gives you the opportunity to try out new products through samples or coupons without any monetary obligation. All they ask is for you to give your true opinion about a product you might have received from them. There is no cost to join the community and you can contribute as little or as much as your time allows. In addition to the product trials they also offer short surveys, invitations to participate in focus groups and a weekly newsletter that summarizes all of the information about the products and tips sent in by members.


SendEarnings can help you get earnings

I have tried all types of surveys. Sometimes the simplest are the best. SendEarnings is a free website that will email you links to view offers from online companies. There are a number of ways to earn cash on SendEarnings. You can receive 2-3 emails per day with special offers sent to the email address listed on your member profile. Normally you can expect to receive between .01-.10 cents just to read the email. Of course if you are interested in the offer you will receive additional cash from the advertiser. On the Members Page you can access cash offers, cash surveys, cash games cash shopping. If you are like the site you can also refer your friends there to automatically generate 10% of their Qualified Earnings. Check out the site at: 


Additional information on Secret Shopper Schemes

Intelligence Note

Prepared by theInternet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

January 20, 2010


The IC3 has been alerted to an increase in employment schemes pertaining to mystery/secret shopper positions. Many retail and service corporations hire evaluators to perform secret or random checks on themselves or their competitors, and fraudsters are capitalizing on this employment opportunity.
Victims have reported to the IC3 they were contacted via e-mail and U.S. mail to apply to be a mystery shopper. Applicants are asked to send a resume and are purportedly subject to an extensive background check before being accepted as a mystery shopper. The employees are sent a check with instructions to shop at a specified retailer for a specific length of time and spend a specific amount on merchandise from the store. The employees receive instructions to take note of the store's environment, color, payment procedures, gift items, and shopping/carrier bags and report back to the employer. The second evaluation is the ease and accuracy of wiring money from the retail location. The money to be wired is also included in the check sent to the employee. The remaining balance is the employee's payment for the completion of the assignment. After merchandise is purchased and money is wired, the employees are advised by the bank the check cashed was counterfeit, and they are responsible for the money lost in addition to bank fees incurred.
In other versions of the scheme, applicants are requested to provide bank account information to have money directly deposited into their accounts. The fraudster then has acquired access to these victims' accounts and can withdraw money, which makes the applicant a victim of identity theft.


Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of employment schemes associated with mystery/secret shopping:
  • Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
  • Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan all attachments, if possible.
  • Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
  • Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they match and will lead you to a legitimate site.
  • There are legitimate mystery/secret shopper programs available. Research the legitimacy on companies hiring mystery shoppers. Legitimate companies will not charge an application fee and will accept applications on-line.
  • No legitimate mystery/secret shopper program will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back.
Individuals who believe they have information pertaining to mystery/secret shopper schemes are encouraged to file a complaint at


Springboard America

I recently signed up with a new survey company, Springboard America, which is sponsored by Vision Critical and Angus Reid Public Opinion. Springboard gives you an opportunity to speak up on what affects your daily life, from politics to products. The site is elegant and well designed. Springboard America is extremely user friendly and offers surveys that pay out in survey dollars (a rarity now that most companies are using a points system). You need to accumulate 50 survey dollars to collect a check for $50 or a donation to a US charitable organization.

According to their website "Most of our surveys award between $1 and $5 if you qualify and complete them. We'll always let you know in the survey invitation how much you'll receive for completing it, or if there is a sweepstakes instead. The amount is generally based on what's involved in taking the survey - for example, if it is longer in length, or more complex, we'll usually award a little more."

Like most of the survey sites you need to fill out all of the profiles so you can get as many surveys as possible. Also, survey companies are looking for dedicated people. So, if you only want to take surveys once a week or once a month, indicate that in your initial responses. Otherwise you will see your survey opportunities drop dramatically if you don't respond each time they offer you a survey.