Thursday, November 26, 2009

Making Money at Home

I've always had a hankering for earning a couple of extra dollars, and so when I knew that I was going to be becoming a stay at home mom, I nosed around for ways that I could still earn money while being at home. That is how I discovered the wonderful world of drug store games, couponing, and ....survey companies. Yes, you heard me. Survey companies.

At first I was a bit skeptical. Do people really actually make money with these companies? I did some research and discovered that they do. So I dove in and tried it myself. I learned things the hard way- by trial and error- and made plenty of mistakes. But before too long, I was making a nice little side income without spending too much time doing it.

Maybe you are interested in making a little extra money. If so, I have compiled a list of the companies that I like and some of the important information about them. Feel free to leave me any questions you have regarding any of them. I'll be more than glad to try to help you out!

Oh and one more thing, if you are interested in joining survey companies, you seriously might want to consider downloading roboform to your computer. This little tool will speed up filling out all your personal information in those surveys you fill out and save you a LOT of time.

HCD Research
Cash Out: $10, paid by check
Survey Frequency: once a week
Referral Program: $0.50 for each referral
Sign Up Bonus: NONE

This is a fun company to do surveys with. So far, all the surveys I have done have paid 50 points, which is $0.50, and have taken about 5 minutes. I have found the surveys to be fun since they involve watching a short, informational video and answering approximately five questions. (I do know of others who get surveys with higher payouts than this.)

Cash Out: $25 by Paypal or gift cards
Survey Frequency: multiple offers per day
Referral Program: NONE
Sign Up Bonus: $5

I enjoy doing surveys for this company because of the often high value amounts of the surveys. I also really like that you can see up front how long a survey will take and what you are going to get paid to do the survey. This makes it easy to decide it if it worth your time. You will receive some survey invitations by email, but I highly recommend logging into your account too as you will see all the surveys available to you there. All surveys are worth at least $1 and I have done some for $4, $5, and $10. Those go quickly though, so you need to be fast if you want to do them. Occasionally, when you opt to do a survey, you will do what is called a pre-screen survey and be disqualified. This is because they have already filled their quota for that type of participant. This can be frustrating, but they pre-screen surveys typically take less than 1 minute.

I cashed out several times with Surveyhead. It does take a couple of weeks for the money to be deposited into your Paypal account once you request a payout, but it does happen eventually. (The reason for this is that all the surveys that you did need to be "cleared" before they can pay you.)

You Data
Cash Out: No minimum, whatever you earned is automatically deposited weekly to Paypal
Ad Frequency: Several a week
Referral Program: Up to $1 per referral
Sign Up Bonus: NONE

This is another fun, fast way to earn a little money. Basically you get paid to view advertising- well actually it is usually websites and will typically earn $0.10 to $0.20 per advertisement. The really neat thing is that your earnings are automatically deposited into your Paypal account every Friday, not matter how much you have earned. The two downsides of YouData are that Paypal deducts a small fee when the money is deposited, so instead of $0.10 you might only get $0.07 and the other thing is that lately the offers have been pretty sparse, at least for me. However, I know of some other people that are still getting quite a few advertising offers per week.

One other thing you should know is that when you sign up, you will be asked for a phone number to text you a verification code. Don't worry though, you will not get any other texts or phone calls from YouData. And if you don't have text capabilities, call them and they should be able to give you a code over the phone. They did for me anyway. In fact if you have any questions or concerns, I have found the customer service very helpful and workable.

Cash Out: Varies depending on what you cash out for. For 45 Swagbucks you can get a $5 gift card (probably the best offer) or for 70 Swagbucks you can get a $5 PayPal deposit.
Swag Earning Frequency: Depends how often you search, but typically at least one winning search a day
Referral Program: earn what your referral earns up to 100 Swagbucks per referral
Sign Up Bonus: 3 Swagbucks

You've probably seen me link to this before but I thought I would explain it more here. I LOVE Swagbucks as it is one of the easiest ways to earn a little extra money.

This site is a little different from the others that I mentioned in that you earn "swagbucks" for searching the internet. You can do this by either logging onto their website or by downloading their search toolbar. (I recommend the toolbar, then you can use that to search anytime you need it. It will simply take the place of the Google search bar if you have that.) You do not earn swagbucks for every search, but from my experience you will earn something for approximately every five searches. The usual winning is 1 swagbuck, but occasionally you will earn more than that at a time.

Cash Out: $20
Survey Frequency: Once daily, however there are also offers you can do as well
Referral Program: 20% of level one referral earnings, 10% of level two earnings & $3 when your level one referrals reach $10
Sign Up Bonus:NONE

You can do 2 daily surveys both of which pay $0.80 each. There are also a whole list of offers that you can complete for various dollar amounts. If you do the offers, be sure to use an email account where you don't mind getting spam, because you will get it. It takes a bit to learn how to do the offers successfully, but with a little bit of time and by frequenting the forum, you can do fairly well.

I don't devote a lot of time to this site, but when I have a couple of free minutes, I do a few offers and slowly the money adds up.

Cash Out: Varies on what gift card you cash out for
Offer Frequency: Several offers daily
Referral Program: varies, but I think it is typically around 100 to 200 points
Sign Up Bonus: NONE

This is another easy way to earn a little bit of extra money via gift cards. Basically you earn points by reading emails, completing offers, doing surveys etc. and then can redeem the points for a variety of gift cards. I typically just do the email offers and am able to earn a couple of gift cards a year.

This is not a huge moneymaker, but for the little bit of time and effort it takes, I think it is easily worth it. If you decide to sign up for MyPoints, I'd be honored if you'd leave a comment or send me an email so that I can send you a referral link. Someone might as well benefit if you sign up, right?

Pinecone Research
Cash Out: $3- the amount for each survey
Survey Frequency: once to twice a month
Referral Program: NONE
Sign Up Bonus: NONE

This is one of the best survey companies out there. However, part of being one of the best also means that they are an "exclusive" survey company and really limit their openings. In the last 6 months though, they accepted applications at least twice. The next time that there is an opening, I will try to let you know.

The great thing about Pinecone is that you get paid $3 for each survey and they usually take about 10 minutes to complete. And after each survey you get paid, no waiting for a minimum payout amount or anything. You can get paid via Paypal or by check. The other really neat thing is that sometimes you get offers to try out the product that you took a survey about. So not only do you get paid to do the survey, you receive a free product!

Some other companies that I have tried and not found worth it in my humble opinion are Memolink, Inbox Dollars, Ipsos, Dollar Surveys, and Mind Field Online. Either they took too long to have any real earning potential or else the surveys were very low payouts for the amount of time spent doing them.

There are also several other companies that I am checking out and as I find ones that are legitimate and worth taking the time to sign up for, I'll be sure to let you know!


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