I Got Paid (Barely) to Take Surveys


Not every survey is a perfect fit, but here is $0.02.

Penny Hoarders is a website that shares advice on how to save and make extra money, and it recommended participating in surveys in its article, “32 Legitimate Ways to Make Money at Home.”

Challenge accepted. I was stoked at the idea that I could make money at off-hours. 

For five days I devoted two hours each day to filling out endless questionnaires that paid me – sometimes with many pennies – for my endless opinions. In the end, I took 51 surveys for 11 hours and earned $10.22. The goal was to make $10, enough to redeem a $10 gift card from Best Buy. It would go toward 12 percent of a $79.99 Apple iPhone 8 LifeProof case.

Despite my big winnings, the experience was a redundant daily chore that I would dread writing down in my daily “to-dos.” It felt like a real job with no payout.

I found out early in the game that one can make money at a graceful slow aging and steady pace, with 90 percent of the time I only made $0.02 off surveys. Going into this I was trying to figure out a strategy, “What was the catch?” I knew companies spend big budgets on marketing and research to help boost sales.

Fired up to make some money, the first survey I took I didn’t meet the requirements. It booted me out and told me, “Hi there, not every survey is a perfect fit … you weren’t a perfect match for this survey but we have credited you $0.02 for your time and effort.” Slightly let down, they recommended me another one. Though “recommended” didn’t mean I was more compatible, it was just to get me to participate in more.

I took a survey that was originally worth $0.36, I answered 80 questions until getting kicked out. I was appalled to see the message on the screen, “Thank you for trying out our survey.” “Sorry, but you do not meet the study requirements.” I took my bittersweet $0.02 and proceeded to take more surveys.      

On the third and fourth survey of the fourth day, I got some excitement. The third survey was about protein supplements usage while working out, and I made $1.04. The fourth survey was even better. It hauled in a nice $2.24, simply for answering questions about customer experience at Wendy’s. It was my favorite of all because it was executed like a video game. I threw up my arms with delight, I was so excited I made $3.28 in two surveys in a row.

The second after realizing the embarrassment that I just got overly excited about making $3.28, I then proceeded to take more.   

On the final day, I made the most off a survey. It was for Microsoft Office software products. It was engaging and interesting, it had me compare and give feedback on product content with questions like, “Which images are visually pleasing?” As enjoyable as it was to take it, the reward of $2.56 was even better.

Classmate Jorge Santos looked over my shoulder and pressured me to make up my answers. This is advised not to do, but we tried it anyway and it backfired with a gain of $0.02.

By the end, I was pretty burnt out. It was a drag to find the motivation to make the two-hour minimum requirement with the streak of receiving only $0.02 for almost every single survey.

Though it seems easy and a fast way to make an extra buck, be ready for a lot of rejection and some two cents. My grandfather is 77-years-old and works every single day for our family business, Pawaa Plumbing. He told me when I was younger, “You have to get your hands dirty to find the treasure, bumbai waste time.”

Filling out these surveys made me appreciate the part-time job that pays me nearly more than $100 in one shift compared to slaving away for 11 hours, a boatload of redundant multiple choice answers and ending with a whopping total of $10.22. 

Try it out and get paid take surveys too at Earning Station.