Surveys are a waste of your time. There, I said it.
If you’re as active on the web as me, you probably have been hammered with blog posts and even emails about how you should sign up for this and that to get a $5 bonus and start making money completing surveys. I swear a day does not pass without someone publishing an article about how much money they make with surveys and cashback sites.
So in honor of another money experiment I decided to try them out and do a few surveys here and there to see if I could earn some extra ££.
I didn’t get very far.
I signed up to Swagbucks, TopCashBack, OnePoll, InboxPounds, Global Test Market and Ebates. At first I told myself I’d do 1 hour a day. When I realised this was a little too much I told myself 3 hours a week. It really didn’t work out: surveys are a waste of your precious time.
Who the on Earth wants to waste their time filling out mindless forms on what clothes they shop for and whether their laptop has a touchscreen or not? No one. So why do it? You could spend that time working on your next side gig, reading a productive book, reading a personal finance blog and many other things that will give you a much better value for your time. But before I go on a rant, here’s some specific reasons why surveys are a complete waste of time and you shouldn’t listen to anyone trying to get you to sign up.
You don’t even do the surveys
Half the time I spent ‘completing’ surveys was actually trying to qualify for the surveys. You answer a few questions and then a screen comes up saying ‘Sorry but you’re not qualified for this survey’. But I just spend 10 minutes answering those questions!!! And I don’t get any SB or LifePoints or anything for NOT qualifying. You may set 1 hour to complete surveys but really it’ll only be 30 minutes survey 30 minutes using up laptop battery. Truly a waste.
I’m not sure why, but I didn’t think surveys would be boring. Everyone kept saying ‘they’re so much fun!’ and ‘I’m actually learning something’. Complete BS. So boring. After entering ‘Self-employed’ into the occupation section for the billionth time you start to get a little mouldy (yes that adjective is appropriate). Or even how much income does my household make – I have no clue how much my flatmate or the Airbnb guests make, sorry. You just keep clicking and clicking on the same things! And maybe some of you will think ‘yeah it’s great I’m earning money just for clicking’ but if that’s your idea of a fulfilling and productive way of earning money then I don’t know where you’re at pal.
Because the surveys were so boring, I would get exhausted after just doing 30 minutes. And carrying on from my last point, if I was only doing 30 minutes then I was really just doing 15. Pointless.
Earning money? Through surveys? You’d earn more sitting on the street shouting ‘surveys’ over and over again.
The rewards are hard to get and even with the most popular survey website, Swagbucks, it would take ages to have enough to withdraw. I’d say the only way you can earn a bit more is by getting other people to sign up with your referral (ever noticed how positive reviews always have sign up links?). And you know what that sounds like? A pyramid scheme. Stay away from them.
You’re not gaining any skills
You’d think this is obvious, but many people view this as a positive point. Because it doesn’t require any skill, it’s ‘easy money’. Well first of all you’d actually have to be earning this ‘easy money’, and second of all, the fact that you don’t need any skills means that you don’t acquire any new ones (unless you consider clicking a mouse pad a skill).
Imagine if you spent the time reading Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour work week instead of completing surveys? Or completing a programming/copywriting/knitting course’? The knowledge you’d gain would be far more useful in life than being able to remember what your dad’s grandmother’s cousin’s first car brand was. There are so many interesting and cool things to learn about in this world, and yet people still choose to do surveys.
You’re not relaxing
Some may argue that surveys are great because you can do them in your breaks or downtime since they don’t require much concentration.
NO! Your break is there so you have a break. Your relaxing time is there for a purpose: to relax, to wind down from the day. You’re really going to sacrifice your relax time to complete useless surveys?
That precious down time is what will give you energy the next day, energy that might get you a tip at your job, or help you complete a project early. For the love of God, don’t sacrifice your down time to spend more time in front of screen trying to remember the name of your Dad’s high school. It’s not relaxing and it’s not good for your eyes. Why not read a book instead?
They feed the greed
The survey sites keep promising a lot of money and great rewards. Not only do they NOT do that, but they make you greedy. You think ‘damn, wouldn’t mind earning £50 a survey that’ll take me 30 minutes to do’. Turns out the survey ‘isn’t available in your area’ and ‘maybe next time’. But no, now that you’ve heard ‘£50’ and ‘30 min’ you’re interest is piqued – what if I could make that money? You start searching high and low all over the internet, looking for surveys promising high returns. You think ‘surely if one offered it then others will’.
Next thing you know you’ve just wasted an hour looking for surveys instead of completing them which further reduces your ‘hourly survey wage’. And survey sites love that – more eyeballs on their websites and more sign ups. We’re just helping them.
I honestly don’t know what goes on behind those survey sites. You enter a lot of personal info and many times you have to enter an email address and even home address. What happens to all that information? They sell it to other companies.
You may think it’s harmless for these companies to know that your first pet was a fish, but the more surveys you do the more info you think it’s ok to share. Then you start getting strange emails in your inbox, and even in your post! They’re trying to sell you stuff and you have no idea who got your details and where. Not fun.
So conclusion of this Experiment: FAIL. Surveys are a waste of time and that’s that. According to Scamavenger, the most you could earn a month is something like $10. For maybe 2 hours of work a week. Do the maths – that’s well below the minimum wage. You really want to waste your life away doing this? Check out the books on my Books page, the knowledge you’ll gain there is priceless.