If you are anything like me, you probably spend a good portion of your salary on books for yourself and your family. Back when I worked for Barnes & Noble, I relished being able to buy books at the employee discounted price. Besides having a paycheck in college, the employee discount on books was a big perk of the job for a book nerd like me.
I read articles, book chapters, and books for my career as an archaeologist, and tend to have those covered by my university. Since finishing my Ph.D. and eventually earning tenure as a professor, my personal reading has increased. I’ve tried to read something for fun every single day, even if it is a few pages of a book at the very end of my day. This year, I’ve focused on reading a book a week, and so far I’ve met that goal nearly every week.
How do I afford all of these books? I buy a good deal of them, and have used consumer survey sites to help pay for them. I’ve done consumer surveys since I discovered them back when I was a struggling college student in the late 1990s, often making up to $200 a month. Companies hire consumer survey websites to funnel consumers of certain demographics to their surveys in order to gauge consumer interest in new products and upcoming movies. You can read more about consumer survey websites on Survey Police, which provides ratings and reviews of survey sites (including their pay offs or lack thereof). Consumer surveys range from filling out surveys online to reviewing products that range from clothing to food to household goods.
OneOpinion is my favorite consumer survey website, as they are reliable, have good customer service, they pay well for surveys, they have great payout options (Amazon gift certificates; PayPal money; VISA gift cards; Starbucks gift certificates; Home Depot gift certificates, and Walmart gift certificates) and their surveys are high quality. Note that OneOpinion does not want you to complete surveys using your phone; you should make sure to only complete these surveys on a desktop or laptop, and stick with one computer for all surveys. Because there are dishonest people out there who use bots to complete surveys, most survey sites will monitor your IP address. If you are constantly switching computers and/or doing surveys in different parts of the state/country, they will notice, and it can result in freezing or potentially deactivating your account.
I also like Forthright surveys, which are easy, can usually be done on your phone, immediately pay you for filling out a survey (I usually choose PayPal), pay between $2-$3 per survey, and, if you don’t qualify for a survey because of your demographics, you still get credit towards a payout. I also like PanelPolls, which offers surveys for parents and children, and opportunities to test new and exciting kids’ products. Their payouts are fair, and they send you a check for your time.
How much money can you make in one month of survey taking? If you do about 10 minutes of surveys a day, you can make between $50 to $200 a month on average. For example, in February 2017 I made $75 in cash from OneOpinion. Here’s a snapshot of my earnings that month:
Finally, there a few survey websites out there that are fun, but often don’t offer the best payouts. I like VIPVoice because the surveys can sometimes be interesting, and they have verifiable raffles for big gifts. I’ve only won a few gift certificates from them, but I have completed some interesting surveys that have resulted in cash awards directly from the company initiating the survey.
None of the survey websites have paid me for writing this, and for any friends who are struggling with money, I always recommend going the consumer surveys route. It’s simple, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. There are no gimmicks, no products you have to purchase, and there are no membership fees for doing surveys and making money off of them.
I won’t cover how to get free books on this blog, because Chelsea of The Suspense is Thrilling Me has already started an absolutely fabulous series on book blogging and reviewing. Check out her blog post on that topic here.