Paid surveys are generally used by companies to gather anonymous data from customers. These surveys tend to come in two legitimate forms – those taken in person, and those taken over the internet. In both cases, these studies tend to be taken either in a single sitting or over the course of a lengthy period; the latter type of study tends to be more in the nature of product testing, while the former tends to be for data collection purposes. No purchase is ever necessary to take a paid survey, and many individuals tend to come upon these surveys purely by accident.
In the recent past, paid consumer surveys tended to be the province of specialized marketing firms that were often positioned near major shopping areas. Survey takers would give potential clients a pre-interview, and those chosen would receive the full survey. In today’s market, the surveys tend to be placed online, and most paid surveys are distributed through one of a number of major survey websites. The payouts are relatively similar between the two types, though, with monetary rewards of about two dollars being average in both cases. Payment for surveys taken in physical locations tend to be in the form of checks or cash, while those online tend to be in the form of online store credit, gift cards or even in the form of money paid directly to an online account.
Though the state of consumer surveys is often changing, the field seems to be solidly settling into the online market. Individuals can sign up for these surveys anonymously on a number of websites, and a few paid surveys are even distributed to random customers. It is important that consumers tend to view these randomly distributed surveys with suspicion, though, as many so-called surveys are little more than bait and switch schemes to either force consumers to pay for another item or to get hold of credit card information.