Leading market research companies want to pay you for your contributions or they would not be in business. The misconception of them being a scam is from bad sites and scammers who front as paid research survey companies in order to pry information and money from unsuspecting individuals.
It is easy to avoid this. How?... With simple research within the bio of the company.
Most research companies come equipped with accreditation to companies like TRUSTe, Survey Police, Better Business Bureau, and many other certifications. These trusted online sources provide the peace of mind for individuals who may have the fear in divulging personal information.
One major key to look out for is being asked to pay to join. All of the legitimate paid surveys on the internet do not ask for a dime to join and sometimes even pay you $5 to $10 or even more to sign up. If your being asked for money then mostly likely it is a scam. I say most likely because there are some legit products out there that may help you do surveys faster, learn how to make money from home doing them, etc.
Companies need you to provide your honest opinions. Your statistics are vital to influencing products of the future.
You may be asked to comment on a future commercial or T.V. show. Your honest feedback will contribute to a national study in order to identify what works and what doesn't so they can deliver a much better product before it hits the market.
You may be asked for your name and email and that's it. Most companies have this as a requirement for people to begin earning money with them. Sometimes you may be asked for your phone number to download an app, address to receive test products, or software to download on your computer or mobile phone.
What's neat is your paid fairly quickly, usually within 24 hours after meeting a payment threshold. In rare instances you will have to wait a week or longer.
Survey companies are in abundance these days. Many have been around for quite a while. As early as the 1970's as in the case with American Consumer Opinion. With the birth of the internet in the 1990's they have allowed marketing research companies to expand globally and develop from just a phone and mail outreach service. Now they send them straight into your email account or through text on your phone. I am constantly hit with work in my email and phone every single day.
What you want to do with online paid surveys is totally up to you. If you like taking them for free like I do then you will probably sign up for as many legit programs as you can. From there you can develop a work ethic that is on your time and schedule. You will soon reach exclusive studies and panels from marketing research firms who have developed a long-term relationship with you and have gotten to know your profile.