There are thousands of “legitimate“ survey sites out there (believe it or not), but many of them would be restricted to a very narrow demographic. One is location, because by far the biggest proportion of survey sites are restricted to residents of the USA. However, restrict the parameters to International sites and, irrespective of incentives offered, the number drops to hundreds.
Best and most trusted? Are we talking generous cash incentives? Reliable regular supply of surveys? Prompt payment of earnings? The international Online Survey Panels that tick all these boxes number ten or so.
The real question is what is your motivation for seeking out online survey sites? If it is simply your desire to voice your opinion, have a say, make a comment, etc. then apart from the Panels run or commissioned by Market Research companies, there are many other sites offering surveys. They include News sites, TV sites, Radio sites, Magazine sites, Game sites, just to name a few. The reward for your participation is generally a sweepstakes entry and the like, or the opportunity to donate to a charity.
However, if earning some dollars or a giftcard (nearly as good), is what you are after, then the survey site pool is dramatically reduced. Even then, no one can guarantee which sites will work for you. By work for you, I mean send you plenty of email survey invitations you qualify for, and receive a reasonable reward for completing.
The reason being - your demographic. Statistical facts such as your age, sex, location, marital status, occupation, kids, even the appliances you own and the level of your household income. These factors contribute towards compiling a profile the Panels use to determine which surveys they invite you to complete.
Therefore, the best AND most trusted survey sites should:
(1) Be legitimate and reputable;
(2) Offer fair and reasonable cash or cash equivalent incentives;
(3) Provide surveys regularly, say on average 3/4 per week;
(4) Pay out in an acceptable time.
Then at a guess, I would say less than 50 in the USA and around 10 internationally. Three international sites that meet those criteria are:
Other international sites that are close, but have fallen down in one or two areas include:
GlobalTestMarket - This site was one of the best. However, in the last 6 months or so have dropped the non-qualifying incentive, and have introduced a lot of sweepstakes only surveys.
Surveyhead - Not enough surveys. Slow in validating and paying - but pays well if you are patient.
Greenfield Online - Miserly incentives. Very high non-qualifying ratio.
Opinion World - Points for cash surveys are attractive, but too many do not offer this.
Toluna - Reward threshold too high for too little.
Zoom Panel - Not enough surveys and modest incentive.
I hasten to repeat, it all boils down to your demographic, so it may just be my profile that has certain sites in these categories. So try them all, but, particularly if you reside outside the USA, proceed with caution.