Laura is a freelance digital artist and writer who enjoys doing research.
- Test out products at home.
- Lots of surveys available.
- Opportunities to win big prizes.
- Earn points by participating in short, sponsored polls.
- Earn money on the go using the Toluna iPhone and Android app.
- Earn money by referring your friends.
- Selection of rewards are poor; not worth the time it takes to do the surveys.
- Surveys are worth very little.
- Your inbox will be bombarded with emails and notifications from Toluna by default.
- Points accumulated have to be used within a year of earning them; if you don't use them, you will lose them!
My first impressions of Toluna were quite positive at the start. The website was professional looking and well designed. Not only were there tonnes of surveys available; they gave participants the chance to earn money from mini polls.
You can also try out and critique products at home, which I thought was a nice touch. You get to keep any items that you receive, too!
In order to get sent items, you have to first tell Toluna you are interested in participating. They will then chose a few people at random, in a similar way to a prize draw. Your chances of being selected are slim. However, if you are extremely lucky, you might get the chance to try out high-end electronic items such as a brand new iPad. The reality is, you would be lucky to get a free washing up sponge. I tried on numerous occasions but got nothing.
After being with Toluna a while, I started to notice three main problems. Firstly, a majority of the surveys I took part in, were screen outs! To give you an idea of how bad it was, I would be attempting surveys on a daily basis but I was only accepted about once or twice in an entire month; the rest rejected me! There is nothing more infuriating, than receiving tonnes of emails every day, advertising surveys that were basically a waste of time (and inbox space).
Who knows, maybe somebody with children or a different career to mine would have a lot more luck completing Toluna surveys. Or maybe not. I would be interested to know if anybody else has had success with them.
Last but not least, the rewards were absolutely terrible. 80,000 points is worth £15. A sponsored poll would typically pay you 15 points! I was with Toluna for a good year or so and all I ended up with, was a couple of cheap pen drives that I could buy anywhere for a few pounds.
Just for the record, if you are expecting PayPal payment, the minimum pay out is £30... be prepared to work for it!
One Poll is one of those great little websites that you can visit on your coffee break to earn the odd bit of cash here and there. The beauty of One Poll, is that the surveys are extremely short; great if you hate spending 30 mins or longer on a boring, long drawn out questions.
On average, you usually earn 10p for each survey you take; they usually comprise of about 5 questions. You also come across rewards of 20p, 25p ot 30p depending on the length.
So far it has taken me about 3 months to earn £12; make of that what you will. Annoyingly, the minimum pay out is £40 so I have a feeling it will take me some time to receive my first payment!
Now for the negative...I think the following screen shot says it all really.
- Surveys are short and snappy.
- There are lots of surveys available.
- Earn money on the go with their iPhone and Android app.
- Earn money by referring your friends.
- The average amount you earn per survey is 10p - 15p.
- Some of the surveys reward you in the form of prize draws and not money.
- You have to earn £40 before you can request payment; this can take you a long time.
- A lot of the surveys I tested were screen outs.
Yes...it was tricky finding polls that accepted my criteria; a common complaint with survey sites. I wouldn't class myself as being extremely different from the average person, yet it was quite a challenge finding surveys that were applicable to me.
The first question they usually ask is, "How old are you"?, "What is your current working status"? "Do you have any children"?
If you don't give the answer they want to hear, they will screen you out automatically. Even worse, is when you get accepted into a survey, then you get told the survey is full.
Thanks One Poll. If a survey is full, why not just take it off the website and save everyone the frustration? This kind of thing really annoys me and it is the reason I probably won't stay with them after my first pay out. This is a real shame because I love the company's concept.
Global Test Market
I have been a member with Global Test Market for a number of years now and I see that as a good thing. They are a very well established survey site and as a result, they have lots of surveys for you to complete on a daily basis.
Even though you will be screened out of some surveys, (because believe me, you will) it is not the end of the world because for every screen out you get, you will be put into a prize draw to win some money. There is always a chance you will get a nice reward.
- Receive regular surveys on a daily basis.
- Get the chance to earn money from screen outs.
- Great selection of payment options.
- Take part in focus groups with larger pay outs.
- Earn money by referring your friends.
- iPhone and Android app available for surveys on the move!
- The occasional broken survey.
- Screening outs several minutes into the survey.
- Some surveys take ages to complete.
- You are expected to keep your personal details and lifestyle habits up to date, yet they send you completely irrelevant surveys anyway.
You will typically receive a mixture of surveys; some offering more money than others. You will occasionally come across the odd survey that is more like a focus group and will Last several days or weeks. At the end of the study, you will be paid a lump sum.
In the past, I have been paid about £30 for some of these focus groups. They are a nice earning opportunity when you come across them!
Now for the not so good—my biggest bug-bare is being screened out halfway through a survey. On occasion, it has happened at the end of the survey!! Being told a few questions in, is one thing but there is nothing more annoying than spending about 15 mins of your valuable time answering endless questions, only to be told you don't fit the criteria. A real cheek if you ask me! Why not just save our time by sending us relevant surveys in the first place.
I have also noticed the odd survey to crash half way through or suddenly stop working just before you submit the survey for processing. This means one thing; you don't get paid. Although it doesn't happen a lot, it does happen from time to time.
UK My Survey
- You can request payment when your balance reaches as little as £3.
- There are plenty of surveys to participate in.
- There is an iphone and Android app that allows you to do surveys on the go.
- Earn money by referring your friends.
- A lot of survey screen outs, often several minutes into the survey.
- The occasional broken surveys.
- A lot of the surveys are similar, if not the same as Global Test Market, which can cause issues with payment.
UK My Survey
I have used UK My Survey for a long time now and I have earned consistently from them over the years. The amount of points you earn can be built rather quickly, on the condition that you don't encounter too many screen outs.
The website is user friendly and I like the fact that you can request payment when your balance reaches a minimum of £3. There are many different payment methods available but I have found PayPal to be the best value. You don't get as much for your money if you request vouchers and Nectar Points.
Global Test Market and UK My Survey are very similar actually; a lot of the surveys I do on Global Test Market can be found on UK My Survey. This can be a bit dull and repetitive, especially if you have already spent 40 mins answering the same questions before.
I was recently involved in a research study that lasted 5 days but because I had already done the same study on Global Test Market, I didn't get paid. I took the matter up with customer services but I never got the problem resolved, unfortunately.
Whenever you talk to UK My Survey customer services, you are always expected to know the reference code of the survey you are doing. If you don't know the reference code (which is only visible at the very start of the survey), they don't seem very eager to help you, which I think is a huge negative.
- Professional company that pay you well for your time.
- Quick payment.
- Surveys are not too long.
- They will send you surveys specifically targeted towards your spending habits.
- No annoying screen outs.
- You will occasionally receive products to try, delivered direct to your doorstep.
- The website can be a bit confusing; especially the reward center. It took me a while to work out how to request a PayPal payment but once I figured it out, it has been a breeze.
- You are allocated a username and password and you have to enter them each time you start a survey (thank heavens for copy and paste).
- Only one member per household can hold a Pinecone Research account.
- Sign up process can be difficult although it is very worthwhile!
- No friend referral scheme.
Ohh Pinecone Research! How I have grown to love you, so!
Pinecone Research is a rare diamond. Sadly I can't disclose too much information about the surveys themselves because it against their policy. However, I can tell you that they are a survey company that do things the right way.
They will typically send you an email asking what your spending habits are like, then they will send you relevant surveys based on the information you have given them. If you don't buy Ketchup for instance, they won't send you surveys about Ketchup. What this means, is that you won't be screened out of any surveys. Isn't that wonderful!?
If you are lucky, Pinecone Research will send you products to try at home; it is a nice surprise if a product turns up on your doorstep. You will then get paid for sending them feedback.
The surveys are reasonable in length; they won't go on and on for all eternity unlike some survey sites. The best part is that they will pay you £3 for every survey you take. You might not receive many surveys each month; maybe a couple. However, you will probably make more money doing two surveys than a whole bunch of surveys on some of the other sites I have mentioned in this review.
The other thing I have noticed with Pinecone Research, is their fabulous customer service. If you have an issue, just send them an email and they will get back to you in a timely fashion and treat you as an individual...they don't just send you a generic email that they send to everyone.
The only bad thing I can think of, is that it is really difficult to sign up with them. You won't be able to register via their website unless they are specifically recruiting; you will have to hunt forums and job sites to find one of their invite links. You will then have to complete a short interview online, in the form of a survey. At the end, they will then tell you if you were successful or not. This to me, added to the whole excitement of them though. It didn't take long before I was able to sign up and start earning money with them.
Best and Worst Site for Making Money Online
The best survey site in my opinion is Pinecone Research. They have a brilliant track record and they won't let you down. Their surveys are always targeted to your lifestyle and spending habits...something I wish other companies like Global Test Market, Toluna and UK My Survey would pay more attention to.
The absolute worst survey site, in my opinion, is Toluna. If you enjoy giving your opinion away for free, your opinion might be different from mine. However, offering your services for next to nothing only encourages big, rich, Market Research companies to exploit the little people like you and I. Your time is precious and you deserve to get paid for your services.
Please share your experiences! Any other good ones to add to the list?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Oliver Walter on June 29, 2018:
You missed out a couple of good ones: Populous Live pays a lot more than average (£8-£10/ph), though you need to earn £50 before cashing out; Surveybods is also quite good.
Of the sites you've mentioned, I found Toluna to be the worst of the worst, because so many times they screen you out around 15 minutes into a survey, which is just not right. MySurvey, which is similar to Valued Opinions, has many surveys on offer, but the pay is dreadful, working out at around £2/ph or less.
Harish Kumar on April 06, 2018:
Thanks for feeding some knowledge about the online survey sites, pros and cons are really useful for newbies like me, it's really a genuine review, keep doing this great work
Laura (author) from West Sussex on December 19, 2016:
Pinecone Research are unusual because they post sign-up adverts around the internet at random. When you click the on the advert, this takes you to their registration page. Unfortunately members are unable to send referral links and you can't sign up via their website. I recall finding a sign up link on Money Saving Expert - well worth searching for. I have earned so much with them. Really great company and they pay within a day or two of requesting it :)
Wille, did you end up getting your ecard sorted? I hate it when survey companies take ages to pay out.
Wille on December 18, 2016:
Global Test Market has a problem when you redeem points. They LIE when they say it will take up to 11 business days for a ecard. For me it is over a month so far and Yet no ecard. The regular gift card that is to be mailed has yet to reach me. They WILL NOT answer inquiries as to what has happened to the redeemed items.
Adeola on August 12, 2016:
Hello Laura, thank you for such a wonderful article. I tried out pineconeresearch, but it seems they only accept members through referrals. Is that true? If it is, can you kindly refer me? I will really appreciate it. My mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia on July 03, 2016:
It appears that Pinecone Research isn't allowing anyone to sign up... unfortunately.
Sara Price on May 30, 2016:
Very good review indeed!
I have used MySurvey for several months now and I am very pleased with the website. The only downside is that there are not many surveys; I get 2-3 per week. It takes about 2 weeks to get paid by paypal but never had any issue and it seems to me very reliable.
I am also a member in Clixsense. It is completely free to join as standard member. In addition to surveys there are many other activities that can be done to increase your earnings such as tasks, games (clixgrid) or offers. And if you complete a checklist daily which is very straight forward you get a bonus. You can get paid in cash via paypal or other platforms. I use Paypal and have received the payments within 10 days. Here is my affiliate link in case you want to give it a go:
If you have any questions or need help just contact me! I am afraid we won't get rich with any of these websites, but they are a good way to increase our income.
Jane on May 13, 2016:
Good paid survey review. I think Toluna is a very good paid survey site. I have heard a lot of good things about them. And now your post has convinced me to join them. I will join up through you. Do they have a referral program so I can post them on my site: http://www.legitimatesurveysites.com Thanks
Emma on May 13, 2016:
As you know, there are lot of scam survey sites online and many more keep coming. Some may decide to pay you once and scam you once they realized you have trusted them. you avoid scam and join legitimate survey sites, you must:
1. Not pay to join. Any survey site that asks you to pay before joining is a big scam. Paid survey is free everywhere.
2. Research about a particular site before join. Just google the "name of site + Scam" and you will be able to read all people are saying about the site. If there are lots of complaints,that shows they are not sincere, pls, stay away.
3. Search for their payment proof online. Using Google image search and Search for eg, "Cashcrate scam" and it will bring you all their payment proofs if there is. If not, stay away.
4. Make sure you read their term of services before joining to avoid making any mistake that might cost you your hard earn money.
And if you are looking for how to make money via paid survey referral program you can learn all that here: http://www.getpaidonlinesurvey.com/how-to/how-to-g...
Hope this helps. Wish you all the best.
Laura (author) from West Sussex on January 13, 2014:
Definitely check them out if you can. They are brilliant. It wont make you rich but every little bit helps.
I hope Pinecone research accept applications outside the UK...are you living in Texas?
Stephanie from Texas on January 12, 2014:
Very interesting. I've personally never had any luck with any market research company. I have never tried Pinecone Research tho, so I may have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!