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We are proud to present fourth Case Study on earning extra income with paid surveys - this time freelance writer Katie from Leeds shares her experience with us. Find out which are her favourite survey companies and how she prefers to spend her earnings.
How long have you been taking paid surveys?
• I've been taking paid surveys for two years.
Do you have any other jobs?
• Yes, I have a regular part-time job; and I'm also a freelance writer.
How many different survey companies have you tried?
• About 50 in total. I haven't stayed with all of them, and some of them simply run in the background. But I love finding new ones and trying them out.
Which survey companies do you like the most?
• Survey Network, Harris, MySurvey, Valued Opinions, Global Test Market
Why do you like this or these specific survey companies the most - in what way this company is better than others?
• The five survey companies I like best are some of the most professional of all the sites I've encountered so far. I treat these five as my 'core list' of survey panels, as the surveys seem to come regularly. MySurvey and Valued Opinions are my particular favourites - MySurvey has low cash out thresholds, and Valued Opinions have a wide range of high street vouchers to choose from. These are very attractive features in any survey panel, as it's very motivating to see the points and pennies mount up!
Do you do surveys every day?
• Yes. I log into my designated survey email address every morning to check for survey invitations. Depending on my work schedule for the remainder of the day, I will log in a couple of times during the day, and again in the evenings. It's addictive!
How much time does it take to fill in surveys in order to earn something?
• On average, surveys usually take anything between 10-25 minutes. Of course there will often be a few surveys that are fairly short and snappy; these will only take 5 minutes or so, but well worth clocking up. At times, there will also be a few longer surveys that might require a little more effort; these will usually pay upwards of £1 (or the points equivalent) and are well worth the extra time involved.
On average - how many surveys you take during one week?
• Mondays and Fridays are either very quiet (8-10 surveys) or very busy (18-25 surveys). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are usually steady, with about 15-20 surveys.
What do you usually earn – gift vouchers or cash?
• Both. I'm addicted to Amazon vouchers! I'm always buying books, dvds, cds, and gadgets. I'm never without the latest coffee machine either, so Amazon vouchers are particularly good for me.
I also like to collect M&S and Boots vouchers - these are really handy for buying gifts, or for splurging on something indulgent for myself.
Cash is obviously fabulous! I look forward to the end of month payment from Vivatic, and the regular cheques from Global Test Market too.
How do you choose to spend your earnings – cash or gift vouchers?
• My earnings mostly go on entertainment items: books, dvds, cds; and gadgets and accessories. I've also been decorating my house recently, so M&S vouchers have come in very handy for all those cushions and throws!
What is the value of your average earnings per month?
• I usually earn between £150 and £200 each month, in cash and vouchers. I wish I had more time!
What's the most you've ever earned from a single survey?
• I was once paid £5.50 for a survey of about 20 minutes - I couldn't believe it, and it actually took me to the cash out threshold of £25.
Do you think it would be possible to earn more money with paid surveys and how?
• I think that if I had more time I could strategise my paid survey earnings more effectively. I sometimes find that I've missed out on some lucrative surveys because they've closed before I could get to take them; and whilst there isn't anything I can do about my demographics, I know I ought to update my profiles more regularly - up to date profiles are very important.
Have you had a bad experience with any of the companies?
• There will always be a few blips and mishaps with anything; but I'm lucky I haven't come across any truly bad experiences thus far.
What is your top tip for taking surveys?
• Fill your profiles out to the max! Don't hold back, and enter as much information as you can about your lifestyle, what you buy, what your consumer preferences are etc.
Have you tried any other home-based jobs?
• Yes. I currently write articles for Vivatic; they're a great way to boost your market research earnings, and you get to learn about all sorts of things you wouldn't otherwise know about.
What's the best question you've ever been asked in a paid survey?
• "When was the last time you......rode a dinosaur?" It still makes me laugh!