Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Earn More Cash Online By Spotting Booby-Trapped Surveys

When I take surveys online for cash, sometimes I end up feeling elated; sometimes rejected. And sometimes, in the worst of times, I just feel used. That's when we go to bat for you by getting scam surveys banned.

A case in point. A survey today about TV viewing  habits screened me through all the usual filters, accepted me into the flow then proceeded to collect dozens of answers about my television viewing habits. It promised $5.25, a nice payout. It was well laid out survey, with big network logos, oversized selection buttons and a nice design. The questions were mostly about what I watched, what networks I had heard about, and how much time I spent watching. This went on and on for 10 minutes. I answered each question honestly. For $5.25 they had a right to expect my full attention and honesty. Then this...

"Unfortunately this survey was not a good match. Sorry."

Excuse me?

Essentially this is theft. They collected all this data, asked for my time which I gave in good faith, and then they reneged and refused to pay me for it.

Most market research companies are honest; they need data and they are willing to pay you for honest answers. That's what Cashback Research is all about: Connecting market researchers with people willing to take surveys for rewards. We wouldn't be celebrating our 11th year in existence if this weren't true.

But unfortunately there are also market researchers who are just bad citizens in the survey ecosystem. They sneak into this orderly house and profit from "free" research. Part of our job at Cashback Research is to get these scammers banned.

So how do we do that? By exposing them. We send reports up the chain of command, including links, screenshots and a description of the experience in order to get these bad surveys removed so that you never have to see them in the first place. I call it "weeding the garden."

Want to help? If you are a Cashback Research member and you come across a survey that collects real data -- not just screener questions to determine suitability -- and then does not payout on the reward, then you should:

  1. Take screenshots of at least one page in the survey.
  2. Send us the link address that launched the survey
  3. A short description of your experience in the survey
  4. Send it all to us via a ticket

We'll take if from there, notifying the right people on your behalf. A rich, fertile garden helps us all earn more cash from online surveys with less effort.

Monday, August 27, 2018

What Planet Mars Has To Do With Earning Cash Online

In order to earn more cash from surveys, you have to actually make it to the end of the survey, and to do that you must run through a minefield of quality control questions.

So what is a quality control question? These are questions that market researchers slip into their survey flows that ensure you are being honest and engaged. Some of them are pretty straightforward, while others are downright diabolical. If you flub one of these questions you'll be bumped from the survey. If you flub too many, you may get banned for several days or even forever.

 As I took my daily surveys today I kept track of every quality control question I encountered. There were eight in all. Answering these questions is critical to earning a cash reward from online surveys. The 8 questions fell into five categories.

The Trickster

I saw one of my favorite all-time Tricksters today: How many episodes have you watched of "Survivor: Mars?" Now as far as I know, the popular reality show has not yet made it to The Red Planet, so any answer other than "0" will get you bumped from the survey. (As a side note, if they ever make it to Mars, I'll definitely tune in!)

The Yardstick

These questions are the equivalent of your high school teacher slapping a yardstick on your desk to see if you're awake. I saw three of these today. One told me to select "beige" from a list of colors. Another asked me to identify the animals that I might find on a farm. Another asked me which of the following fruits were berries.

The Essay

Two of these showed up for me today. One asked me "What is your favorite food and why?" The other asked, "What is your favorite childhood memory." Obviously the researchers don't care about the answer to either of these questions, but a person who takes time to give a thoughtful answer is someone from whom they would like to hear. So be sure to write at least three sentences in reply. Their filters are looking for people who are engaged and involved in the survey. An answer like, "Lobster cuz it's yummy" may get you bumped (even if it's true).

The Diabolical

These are more common than you think, and you have to really pay attention to spot them. I saw one today on a survey about my flying habits. The survey asked how many times I flew in the last 12 months. I answered 6. Later, the same survey asked how many times I flew first class, economy plus and economy. This was a diabolical quality control question. If these three numbers do not add up to 6, then either you were riding on the wing or you were not being honest. This would get you dropped from the survey.

The Invisible

By their very nature, I can't know how many invisible quality control questions I encountered today. An example would be if they ask you early in the survey what you earn annually. Then if they ask again much later in the survey, you had better give the same answer. This goes for almost any question that is asked multiple times.

Earning More Cash Online

So what's the takeaway from all this? Market researchers have gotten very good at obtaining quality research online. Your best hope of earning the most cash from online surveys is to pay attention and be honest. Which is good advice anyway, right?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

What To Do When Things Go Wrong

This was not the post I wanted to make today. I imagined writing about my awesome experience taking our latest smoking survey from the FDA that is paying $2.50. Alas, that didn't work out. Instead, the app decided that I was residing in the UK and demanded a UK-styled postal code. Huh?

Because I work at Cashback Research, I could do what you cannot: I called up the daily quota stats on that survey: 0 completed smoking surveys today. Zero. Now I knew why. Sheesh!

So now I get to write about what to do when something goes wrong. Here goes:

  1. Don't throw your phone or laptop. That won't help. And worse, you'll lose your ability to...
  2. Tell us about it. Submit a ticket, and we'll get back to you personally, usually the same day. You may also post on our Facebook page.
  3. Don't impersonate a Brit. Besides being a violation of our Honesty Policy, you'll have to mind all of those alien spellings of analyse, disc and car park. Brilliant!
  4. Find other things to do. Presently, there over 47 cash-paying activities on the desktop dashboard and 14 on the mobile app. While I waited for the zip code error to be fixed, I earned $3.50 by installing the Mobile Expressions app on my phone. Long overdue. I'm now just $5.25 from another cash payout!
  5. Be cool. Please don't curse at me in your ticket. The error is from our research partner; we're just the middle man. Besides, NO ONE can take the smoking survey right now, so the budget will not go away. I'll still be able to earn $2.50 cash on that survey once the form is fixed. 

Hm. That will leave me just $2.75 short of my next payout. There is a daily survey on cereals that pays $1.15. Maybe I'll give that a try over lunch.

Do you feel like taking a survey and earning some fast cash today? Choose your format:
Mobile App

Friday, August 24, 2018

How to Choose a Survey Site Without Getting Ripped Off

Before you can earn your first dollar taking online surveys for cash you must first join a reputable site. This is critical. The harsh reality is that most survey sites are merely referring you to someone else's panel site and then counting that site's registration bonus as earnings. Bogus.

A true survey site works with market research companies to gather opinions on an ever-changing variety of topics. This allows you to earn recurring cash on a daily basis. Each survey has its own payout. You can do multiple surveys each day. Your survey site tracks and collects your commissions for you, and when you reach a payout threshold (typically $30) allows you to cash in.

Steps to Earning Real Cash From A Survey Site

  1. Determine that the website focusses on surveys and not cashback offers
  2. Check that it pre-qualifies subscribers for its surveys
  3. Make sure that its available surveys are not just other survey sites
  4. Make sure it has a mobile app, so you can work while you are on the go.
  5. Make sure that it pays out in cash.
  6. Check its reputation in Trust Pilot, Google Reviews and the BBB.

Here are three sites that meet these criteria.

1) Cashback Research is unique because it pre-qualifies users for surveys. This reduces the amount of time you spend trying to take the wrong surveys. Cashback specializes in surveys, with very few other activies, so you won't be distracted by advertising concealed as cashback "opportunities." They have been around since 2007, pay out in cash through Paypal or Amazon gift cards, have an active Facebook page and a dedicated help desk. They also have a mobile app that further simplifies earning cash online.  If you're looking for a legit site that will allow you to earn a little extra cash each week, then look no further. (

2) Swagbucks is a big player in rewarding online activities, and they have a tab for surveys. It also provides shopping and other activities that have nothing to do with surveys but which could potentially supplement your survey earnings. They also have a mobile app. (

3) Inbox Dollars has been around as long as Cashback Research, and also provides survey-taking opportunities as well as other activities for cash. They have a mobile app that ties all of this together. (

Earning Cash and Saving Lives With Clinical Trial Finder

I am thrilled to announce the launch of Clinical Trial Finder, our tool for matching our users with paying clinical trials. Cashback Resea...