Completing Surveys for Extra Dollars: Nielsen & Valued Opinions

Every week or two, my husband gets a check in the mail for $3. The check comes from Pinecone Research, which is a national survey company that he signed up with several months ago. He spends 3-5 minutes filling out a survey while watching a game or waiting for a webpage to load (he’s a web editor). And for his troubles, he earns $3.

Are we going to retire on these $3 checks? Book a trip to Hawaii? Buy all of our groceries for the month? No, obviously not!

But we can get a cup of coffee, or put together a few checks to go out to the movies one night. And for the minimal time he puts in, it almost feels like free money.

It used to be that you would have to spend half an hour filling out forms just to find out whether or not you qualified for the survey. Today, however, marketing companies have streamlined their ‘vetting’ process down to just a minute or two, and then you will get prompted with your survey. Some companies even have you fill out an application, and then only email you the surveys you qualify for.

Now, if you have a high-pressured, full-time job and barely get to see your kids before they go to bed at night, then surveys are probably not for you. But if you have a few spare moments in your day and you are often online anyway, then you might want to sign up for a couple of survey companies.

As I find out about openings with reputable companies, I will share them with you. (Most have windows in which they accept new applicants.) Here are two for today that I think look promising:

Valued Opinions: Receive up to $5 for every survey and up to $50 for specialist surveys. (Not sure what qualifies it as a specialist, but I’ve registered with them so when I find out, I’ll let you know.) As with most things, I recommend using a separate email, so your regular inbox doesn’t get slammed. This particular company does require you to confirm your registration, so use an email address that you check at least fairly often.

Nielsen National Consumer Panel: It’s part survey, part family fun night. You get a little handheld scanner — like when you register for your wedding — to scan the barcode on all items your purchase. Then once a week, you upload the data and send it to Nielsen. For your trouble, you earn gift points that are redeemable for name-brand merchandise, including electronics, jewelry, household items, toys, and more. My husband will SO be all over this one. I’m thinking the boys will love it, too!

Do you participate in any national surveys, like Pinecone or Nielsen? What has your experience been like?




  1. I am part of both Pinecone and nielson. I also am part of mysurvey, I-say and a couple of others. It is kind of annoying to scan all your stuff once you get it home with nielson. The surveys are sometimes interesting but also could get really annoying when filling them out. Like is this a good price? Well if its on sale and I have a coupon maybe;) But since I am a stay a home mom and don’t work, filling out surveys for money or items, while nursing or sitting down to a cup of tea is great. I have also gotten free products to try out.

  2. I got so burnt out on surveys that I started just deleting them when I see them in my inbox. I have earned some money in the past from them, but not lately! Now I just do the click for cents type ones like snapdollars and inbox dollars. (I can refer you if you don’t already do them!) Some of the survey ones really seem scammy like you never qualify. I should probably start doing the real ones again, like the ones you mentioned!

  3. I make a couple hundred bucks a year from Survey Savvy. My husband makes some money too. I’d love to send you and your hubby an invite. Yes, I get credit for your surveys too.

  4. I just joined Pine cone! Thanks!

    A great survey site I recommend strongly is Opinion Outpost!

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