Picture this scenario: inspired by a desire to make some money and curiosity, you have signed up to a site that will pay you to take surveys. After taking three surveys that dragged throughout, and still being some distance from a payout, you neglect the next invitation they send you because you do not want to spend twenty minutes answering questions that seem inane. You will continue to receive regular emails thereafter, though you will probably never un-join the survey site - apathy is perhaps your defining characteristic.
The point is that most people who take surveys do not jump at the chance to take them. We are usually members of a handful of sites, receive a dozen or so a week and take just one or two. I take them when my time is unimportant enough that selling it to the survey is worth it. To some people, taking surveys and the compensation offered will never be worth their time; these people are obviously considerably wealthier than I am. Working out a per annum average of survey opportunities offered to you will reveal something a little over minimum wage. Obviously, you will never earn this much, but it could add up to an amount of money fairly significant for you as it does for me. This money comes tax-free and without leaving my house, so it compares favorably with my actual job. If you are experienced with other ways of making money online, you will know it compares favorably with them as well. Just for the record, the most I have received is ten dollars for a genuinely thirty minute survey on video games.
How much money you can accumulate as well as how much that accumulated means to you can change how you feel about survey-taking. This can be affected by a few variables, such as where you live with some people suggesting that companies are only interested in American consumers. This is isn’t true, I have found survey companies more interested in Germans, Australians and Indians than anyone else. Wherever there is a dearth of survey-takers at a particular time or on a particular subject, your worth to the survey company can skyrocket. One clear trend I have noticed is that survey companies value the input of young males more highly than anybody else. This is not surprising, these people are the most elusive consumers in society, and the are particularly interested in video-gamers. One feature of a survey site I always appreciate is the ability to earn by referring people to the site. All these factors will affect whether paid surveys, or particular paid surveys sites are worth your time.
There are reasons for taking surveys other than money. It is a unique opportunity to influence products and perhaps even Government policies at the pre-production stage. People are guaranteed to be uniquely interested in what you are saying, that is what they are paying for. They are also sometimes interesting and fun, at least in part, but it would be wrong to emphasize these. By and large, survey-taking is a boring and potentially arduous experience, one you will be glad when it is over with, and anybody who says they take them for reasons other than money is lying.
Even boring surveys can be rewarding however. I once had a survey where I was asked whether I would be willing to pay for a particular sandwich at a particular price. They tested my instinctive upper limits, then threw in a drink and tested again. When they had found my upper limit for that, they threw in a snack, then tried a different sandwich, and then a different snack. They permed the options together in every conceivable way, which was incredibly boring for me, and no doubt very useful for them. This one stands out for its tedium, but I felt satisfied when it was completed
Aside from the general boringness, there are a few irritations that can sour you on surveys. Starting a survey, giving a reasonable amount of time to filling out the preliminary questions and then being rejected is a bugbear of many. It sometimes really seems like the survey-designers are abusing their position a little and drawing some information that useful to them from you without paying you. Thankfully these occurrences are rare enough to never really deter people from taking them. Another annoyance is the survey failing to load its next page halfway through. This too is rare and isolated to a few sites.
There is always a risk you may not get paid. This has never happened to me, and its easy to find a list of sites that pay on the web. Buncecentral.110mb.com is one such site that recommends surveys sites for users, and there are many more. Information about non-paying sites is readily available, for obvious reasons people want to expose the awful people behind scam sites, so you can be almost completely confident that you will get paid for your time.