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Online Surveys To Determine Favorite Halloween Candy

blog candyThe average person, adult or child, eats 24 pounds of candy per year and a lot of that is scarffed down on Halloween – today! Just do the math on this and you’ll quickly realize that our sugar-buzzed society eats billions and billions of pounds of candy confections over the course of 365 days.  The manufacturer of one Halloween treat, candy corn, pumps out 9 billion kernels of the bite-sized treat per annum.

 If your mouth is watering and your mind is wandering, you may be interested to know what some of the favorite candy bars Americans enjoy are. According to, the top three candy bars in our culture are Hershey’s, Snickers, and Twix. They didn’t come up with the top three in a super scientific way, such as an online survey with a large sample; instead their methodology was to troll through a large number of internet sites and online discussion forums to be persuaded by the buzz.

 As a fan of most types of candy, it’s hard to disagree with their picks. However, there is a much more objective way of figuring out America’s favorite candy – and that’s surveying the population! When you sign up to take paid surveys and free surveys at various survey sites, you may be invited to participate in a survey on candy. Your opinions about what types of candy you prefer, how much you spend, and who in your family eats candy all help major manufacters decide just how to stock store shelves to suit demand.  

 Occasionally, there are other market research projects about candy in addition to online surveys. Your taste buds are certain to be happy when invited to participate in a product sample on candy; these can take place in-person like a blind taste-testing or you could be sent coupons to try the product at home. We can’t speak for every online survey, product sample or market research study, but you often be rewarded with incentives for participating – this cold include coupons, free products and even cash!

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Surveys – Does Location Matter?

In some professions, location is everything. For example, you probably can’t bank on being a multi-million dollar real estate tycoon if you live and work in small-town America – however, on the other hand, Manhattan might be a good pace to rub shoulders with the rich. When trying to earn money from paid surveys, location isn’t always so important. While it is universally agreed that taking paid surveys is not going to land you on the Forbes 400 list, you can save up a nice little nest egg by sharing your insights and opinions. And, for the most part, it doesn’t even matter where you live!

 Literally, you can live anywhere and still take paid surveys – the only caveat is that if you are taking online surveys, you’ll need to have a computer with a decent Internet connection. If this is not feasible, there is always the option of visiting an Internet café, using the public library’s computer, or hitting up a friend or family member willing to share.  From the bright lights of a large city to the quaint quietness of a rural town, there are always opportunities to take paid surveys, especially online. The information super highway has connected us all together and made it forever possible for a market research firm, say in New York City, to hear the opinions of a mom living on the other side of the word in literally just a few quick keystrokes.

The first step in taking paid surveys, wherever you are, is to check out an online survey database that lists and categorizes the various survey sites which cater to your demographic profile. You can choose a large, global company that want to hear from everyone or uncover a smaller, more focused firm that specializes on your part of the country or specific stage of life.

 The only drawback to “location” is many of the in-person surveys, interviews, mystery shops and focus groups are conducted in large, metropolitan areas. It only makes logical sense that market research firms would want to set up shop in those cities where the most people live. Therefore, potential participants are likely to have more opportunities at their disposal that if they lived in a small little corner of the world.

 In terms of international surveys, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K have long been popular places for market research and paid surveys. But, even if you reside outside one of these prime locations, there is still plenty of opportunity to take paid online surveys that specifically recruit an international panel. As long as you have Internet access and ability to speak the designated language, you are always welcome to take surveys from your home – wherever it may be!

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Get Served With Spaghetti Surveys

blog pasta dayToday is World Pasta Day, a special celebration that really encourages you to put your noodle to good use! The National Pasta Association and various pasta manufacturers sponsor a number of activities and events that elevate this classic carbohydrate to new heights. For example, there is usually a large symposium where leading pasta makers, nutritionists and chefs meet to present research and recipes on pasta to the industry at large. Aside from the giant bowls of pasta being served up all over town, you can join in the festivities by taking online surveys about pasta. You can voice your opinions about your favorite types and earn a pretty “penne” in the process.

Major chain restaurants such as Olive Garden, Spaghetti Warehouse, and Johnny Carinos all administer customer satisfaction surveys that allow you to rate your dining experience. This is your chance to sing the praises of the chef or suggest areas that could use improvement. Your responses will be analyzed by top executives who make decisions about new menu offerings, advertising, restaurant décor and more – if you’re really lucky maybe you’ll get a mystery shopping assignment to dine in one of these Italian food establishments.

Manufacturers of pasta are also interested to hear what you have to say about this popular form of food. Take surveys and share your favorite shape of pasta (such as ziti, linguini or farfalle) or flavor (regular, whole wheat or gourmet flavors).  You may even be asked health-oriented questions on these online surveys as gluten-free, vitamin-fortified and diabetic-friendly versions of pasta are constantly being developed in response to customer demand. Or maybe you’d like to explain how you like to string macaroni necklaces in your spare time!

Many of these online surveys offer rewards for your participation. Free samples, pasta coupons and restaurant discounts may all be incentives for taking free surveys about pasta any day, including World Pasta Day. So load up your plate with a pile of pasta and fire up the laptop and start taking surveys about one of the earth’s favorite entrees.

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Helpful Survey Terminology


CB029654Participating in online surveys is much easier when you are familiar with the terminology. Most administrators of paid surveys and free surveys aim to write their market research projects free of industry jargon or lingo, yet despite their user-friendly efforts there are still occasionally terms that some of us are unfamiliar with. Some of the following terms are frequently encountered when you take surveys and it is good to familiarize yourself with the meanings.  If you ever have questions about a specific term when you take surveys, do not hesitate to call or email the company for clarification.

 Demographics: Demographics are various sets of data that define a human population. Market researchers are often interested in demographics that have to do with age, income, ethnicity, gender, and occupation among others.  

 Screener: A screener is a pre-qualification survey that market research companies give potential participants to determine whether they qualify for the study. Screeners may be based on several demographic and user-based criteria including whether or not you use the product, if you have children living at home, your attitudes and perceptions and other preliminary questions.

 Head of Household: Head of household is a demographic label that refers to the personal that is the leader of a house or family. On paid surveys, only one person can be marked as “head of household” and typically, when there are two or more adults in the home, the distinction is made based on who generates the most income or has the most influence over major household purchases.

 Moderator: A moderator is a neutral party that is paid by the market research company or survey site to lead a focus group or interview.  This person is skilled in asking unbiased questions that will lead to more in-depth conversation about the product or service being researched. You may encounter a moderator in both in-person situations and through internet research activities where they act as a sort of “chat” facilitator.

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Evaluate This – Take Paid Surveys

blog mom parkAre you ready to reflect about your personal goals?  We hope so because today is officially Evaluate Your Life Day. Now, settle down and keep reading; this is not an attempt to say that you’re not heading down the right path. But, everyone could stand to make some positive changes in their life such as spend more time with family, share your opinions and feel like you are being heard, and make a few extra bucks for a rainy day. Participating in paid surveys is a great way to get a good start on all these worthwhile goals.

 If you are looking to spend more time with your family, taking paid surveys according to the time schedule that you choose doesn’t tie you down as much as punching a time clock. You pick and choose the work you want to do – if you child would rather go to the park for a couple hours, you have the flexibility to say “yes, let’s go!” and get back to your online survey later. Additionally, there are family-oriented surveys and mystery shops that your child or teen can participate in along with you, giving you a good opportunity to spend quality time together while making money.

 Another worthwhile benefit of participating in market research projects such as online surveys, focus groups and secret shopping is that it validates your opinions. Everyone wants to feel that what they have to say is important and that people want to listen. You better believe that executives at major corporations are more that happy to hear your comments and concerns about their products and services. When you take surveys, your experiences as a consumer will be valued in many ways, especially as a way for company’s to better meet the needs of their target markets.

 And last but not least, making a little supplemental income is a great goal, however you evaluate it! It is not realistic to think that you can make a full-time gig out of taking paid surveys; you can count on earning some extra cash for socking away or spending however you please. College students, stay-at-home moms, retirees and folks just looking for extra cash can sign up with online surveys sites and take surveys on a number of interesting areas. Plus, there is no evaluating the bottom line – your wallet will thank you and you might just feel happier and more well-rounded.

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Make The Most of Magazine Reader Panels

blog women magsDo you love to read magazines? Now you can add even more to your enjoyment of these periodicals by joining magazine reader panels. Realizing that soliciting opinions from subscribers and newsstand purchasers was a great way to improve loyalty, get valuable feedback and improve circulation rates, many successful magazine publishers have launched reader panels.

Being on a reader panel is free of charge and often open to both paid subscribers and occasional purchasers. Participants will receive a variety of perks including free samples, free coupons, product testing and review, and sweepstakes / contest entries.  Additionally, most reader panels also have user forums where you can connect with other fans who share similar interests.

The first step in joining a panel is to visit the website of your favorite magazine; most will have a direct link connecting you to the registration forms. If the panel is somewhat exclusive, you may have to search around on the internet, check survey site databases or visit forums to figure out how to join. If you are joining a number of reader panels, it is a good idea to create a spread sheet with the web address, your user name and password. Also, check into your reader panel web sites at least once a week to see if there are any new online surveys or other fun projects – you may not always be emailed about new opportunities.  Below is a list of some popular reader panels that offer online surveys, fun polls and other worthwhile incentives.


All You Reality Checkers
Cosmopolitan Reader Panel
Cooking Light Table Talk
Fitness Magazine Reader Panel
Glamour Glam Spotter
Good Housekeeping Panel
InStyle Magazine Trendsetter
Lucky Style Spotter

Marie Claire Velvet Rope Club

More Magazine Reader Panel

Oprah Magazine DevOtee
ReadyMade Magazine ReadyMaker Panel
Tell Harlequin Reader Panel
Vogue Insiders

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Online Surveys About Durable Goods

blog buy fridgeMajor manufacturers are eager to hear what you have to say about making larger purchases on durable goods. Durable goods are those larger items that are considered to have a life expectancy of more than three years. Cars, furniture, household appliances are all items that fall into this category. During this recessionary down turn, sales of some of these products has dipped and online surveys help companies know how to better meet your needs and also plan for the future.

Automotive manufacturers use paid surveys to find out what types of features consumers are looking for in the next car purchase. Basic demographic information such as family size, age, education and income all have significance to market researchers. Additionally, the product development folks for car companies need to know what kinds of features people want in cars, recent trends include more fuel-efficient vehicles, eco-driven GPS units, narrower cars for easier parking in urban areas and more. We’ve even heard that one particular car maker is accommodating more women drivers with higher quality interior finishes, pedals that can be engaged while wearing high heels and extra front seat space for purses and shopping bags – these are all details that can from feedback on paid surveys.

Furniture is also another area where your feedback on paid surveys is valued. Both manufacturers of large household pieces and retail outlets that sell them will occasionally administer online surveys to find out what people in the market place are looking to buy. What trends do you like in home decorating? Do you have a family with children or are you single? How do you feel about furniture that you assemble yourself? These are just some examples of questions you may be asked to answer when you take surveys about household furniture.

Similarly, appliances for the home are driven by consumer demand that is often plucked from online surveys.  Do you have a large family that generates lots of laundry? Do you need more freezer room than what comes in the standard side-by-side refrigerator?  How often do you run your air-conditioner in the summer? When you provide answers to questions like these, you help manufacturers fine tune their durable products to meet the demands of the market.

As a “thank you” for taking online surveys and sharing your opinions, most survey sites and companies offer incentives to keep you providing feedback. While some paid surveys will offer monetary compensation, occasionally you will see rebates and cash-back offers for taking survey on durable products. In this economy, rebates and discounts encourage consumers to upgrade and replace durable goods sooner instead of holding off until finances look more stable. Occasionally at the end of a free survey, some participants may be invited to participate in a focus group or telephone survey about the experience.

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Online Surveys For The Cure

blog pink ribbonThe month of October is dedicated to the awareness and education of breast cancer.  However, you probably already knew about this important health campaign given the influx of pink ribbons, the universal symbol of breast cancer awareness, this time of year. There are a number of non-profit organization, academic institutions and health-care facilities that are dedicated to curing this disease that will affect at least one in ten women during their lifetime. Take a stand for yourself or someone you love by agreeing to participate in online surveys about breast cancer.

 At first, many women may be hesitant to share such personal information through an online survey. However, most administrators of these free surveys take great care to maintain the strict confidentiality of each respondent. Typically, responses to online surveys about your health history are reported as a summary in conjunction with the responses from other women who participate in the summary. No names or personal identifiers are marked; most survey projects separate name, address, email and other identifiable demographics from the actual survey answers. If you ever have any concerns, administrators of legitimate surveys will outline their policies in detail or provide a number where you can call for more information.

 When you take surveys about breast cancer or other health issues, you may be asked a number of questions that can be grouped into several categories – demographics, medical and family history, perceptions. Your demographics such as age, number of children, educational level and other factors can be used to make important inferences. Your medical history and family history can also be used for comparative purposes against other project respondents. And, finally, your qualitative attitudes and perceptions can help researchers understand the less quantifiable issues related with breast cancer and other health issues.

 Your incentive for participating in an online survey about breast cancer is the intrinsic feeling of goodwill that you will gain from helping out with this very important women’s issue. In addition, some survey sites also like to thank survey-takers with other rewards such as monetary payments or gifts – especially items bearing the signature pink ribbon!

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Alternative Incentives For Online Surveys

blog gift boxIf you’ve ever completed an online survey for a survey site, company or academic institution, you may have noticed that cash payment for participation is becoming a less frequently offered reward. While some studies have shown that offering cash remuneration for completing a survey has no affect on the participant’s attitude, other research shows that survey takers viewed their participation in terms of the monetary incentive rather than just an intrinsic desire to help out. Also, companies have found that offering cash payments sets a precedent for future surveys that they may not be able to fund.

 For these reasons, alternative incentives are becoming popular with paid survey sites. One of the top incentive plans is to offer survey takers with “reward points” for successfully completing the online survey. Often, the length and complexity of the free survey dictates how many reward points are doled out. In turn, these reward points can be spent on a number of prizes such as gifts cards and merchandise. The fact that these points can be accumulated over time, after taking several paid surveys, means that the tendency to bring in bias by linking a specific reward with a specific survey is reduced.

 Other ways companies say “thanks” for your time spent providing feedback through online surveys is by entering your name into a sweepstake for cash or a large prize and the end of a specific time  period, such as a month or a quarter. Therefore, the higher frequency with which you take surveys increases your odds for winning the big prize. Legitimate survey sites will always post their winners names (usually just first and last initial) and city, state on the website so that you can see that they are really fulfilling the promised prizes.

 In addition to or instead of reward points and sweepstakes entries, many companies like to provide participates with gifts that promote the product at hand. For example, free t-shirts and coffee mugs bearing the corporate logo are free to you and serve as advertising for them. Product samples, coupons for free items and other discount, encourage you to try a new product or keep being a loyal consumer. So, don’t dismiss an online survey just because it doesn’t offer cold hard cash – many of the other alternative rewards are just as valuable, if not more so.

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Customer Service & Satisfaction Surveys

The first week in October is Customer Service Week although we think customer service should be a corporate value that is demonstrated every day of the year! Most businesses today do, in fact, realize how important it is to provide good customer service if they expect to be successful in the marketplace. Research has proven that satisfied customers lead to increased profits, the driving force of the economy. Surveys are often used to capture data about a customer’s experience with a specific product or service that can be used to make improvements or create new offerings. Plus the actual gesture of having a way for clients to voice their opinions shows that a company really cares about their target markets.

 You may have noticed one type of customer service surveys on the restaurant table or on the back of your receipt after a shopping trip at the mall. Typically, these types of online surveys allow you to log onto the specific survey site that the corporation uses to fill out a brief survey about your experience. Usually, these free surveys must be completed within a certain number of days or hours from your purchase so that your memories will still be fresh. While most of these online surveys don’t offer cash rewards, you will usually be treated to codes that can be used on your next visit to the store or restaurant for free products or discounts. Another popular reward is to have your name entered into a drawing for a large cash or merchandise sweepstakes.

In addition to online surveys, you can participate in customer service surveys that are administered through phone interviews, one-on-one interviews and through mail-in questionnaires. If you have something important to say, good or bad, speak up on these customer service surveys. Businesses need to hear from customers like you so that they can discover unmet needs, fix problem areas, and develop action plans to take care of other critical corporate issues. Companies want to make you a loyal devotee of their products and services and are ready to listen to your concerns (and compliments) on customer service and satisfactions surveys.

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