First off, let me say that I personally know some of the people who set up many of these sites you have seen where you are "paid to answer surveys." All the folks I know are good and honest people. They are successful marketing on the Internet and found a great niche when it comes to these online surveys.
But still…"Are there any surveys you can make money on?"
I think the answer is yes, but with conditions.
First, realize that in order to give away an iPod, or pay you cash for participating in a survey, someone has to pay for that.
Companies realize that someone taking a survey is actually focused on their marketing message.
"Are you concerned about using chlorine bleach for your whites?"
If you say yes, a good survey is going to ask you another question that might very well point you at an environmentally safe bleach and you were actively participating in the exchange.
This isn’t some passive marketing approach.
Before you go "whoa, that’s manipulation" get a grip. If you said no, the survey would have just continued along a different path. Those who said yes ended up with information and knowledge that satisfied a need.
What’s wrong with that?
So add about 50 more questions and you have a survey that, after all the pennies are collected from the advertisers, pays for paying you to take the survey.
Considering that many people are lazy and drop out of the survey early, the actual margins for the person running the survey site could be pretty sweet because they’re not sending iPods to people who wouldn’t finish.
Some surveys also include mandatory offers–you’re asked to select from 6-8 different vendors and choose an offer. Everytime I have done one of these surveys, I’ve ended up with a good bargain on ink jet cartridges so I can’t really complain.
I was going to buy them anyway.
Some people out there are very good at making money with these surveys. I have heard tales of work-at-home moms with spreadsheets, tallying every dime in and out. They’re more than willing to buy ink, and resell it on Ebay and still make a profit after counting in the money made from the survey and the margin made on the ink. Sometimes the total margins come out to 10%.
10% doesn’t seem like a lot does it?
I’m talking about per day!
With all this talk, you might wonder why I’m not spending my time making money taking surveys. The answer is simple: I know I lack the discipline to track things well enough to make that kind of money. I would be a wreck. Making money should be fun and for the people who love to do it, do it.
That’s just not me.
But yes, I think it is possible to make money on these surveys. I think it requires effort and it requires that you pay attention.